Let’s talk sponsorships and how to get them, keep them, and make sure you get the most out of them.
You hear the word “sponsorship“ tossed around a lot these days… And I think the water is getting a bit muddy. A sponsorship is not a donation- a sponsorship is a transaction of duties between two parties. A donation is “I will give you some gift certificates, patches, money etc and hope you have a great day.” A sponsorship is “I will give you gift certificates, (or insert whatever other agreed-upon item), and you give me an equal valued exchange in return, whether that’s promotion on social media, clothing badges, or any other mutual agreed-upon exchange.”
Approaching sponsors or potential sponsors is always awkward. One thing you can do is make sure it’s not an obvious copy and paste message to them- nothing feels more disingenuous and then a mass email or Facebook message. The sponsor already knows what they can do for you, you need to make it clear what you can do FOR THEM. How many eyeballs are going to reach your Facebook/IG posts? How many eyeballs are coming to your event? You need to make the deal sweet for them- and consistency is key on this. Two Facebook posts after a Sponsorship is NOT a way to hold up your end of the agreement- especially with the current social media algorithms. I can promise you that as somebody who gets it hit up daily for donations and sponsorship requests, the girls who continually get them regardless of their title are the girls whose names I recognize instantaneously because of consistency- three posts a month can go along way when it happens every month for a YEAR. I have a list of girls who automatically get nearly anything they want because they have shown me that my company is appreciated and that I can trust them with my brand.
This (above) is also one of the quickest ways to keep your sponsors- keep them happy. Just as in any relationship, keeping the other person happy is key. One of the quickest ways to lose them is to forget to list them on the sponsorship sheet. Another quick way is word of mouth, if the sponsor finds out you were only mentioned one time during an event when the gift cards are being passed out they’re probably not going to be super keen to donate to your organization again. The reciprocation is also true, if our girls reach out to us saying that you were repeatedly mentioned and girls were encouraged to (if nothing else) visit your social media, that opens up the floodgates of generosity. Speaking from experience on this one.
I dare you and try to make me annoyed by seeing you post about my brand. This is not to be confused with pointlessly flooding social media with generic posts, but I can promise you there has never been a sponsor in the history of ever that got tired of seeing their brand shared. It doesn’t always have to be in the way the product was intended either – we love seeing our earrings, in addition to the rodeo arena, doing all sorts of fun things – barrel racing, hunting, going to dinner with friends, maybe being worn to the office… We appreciate more than you know sharing the versatility of whatever our product is and I promise you we will remember the next time you ask for a sponsorship.
Owner, Rhinestone Lipgloss
Sarah Kelsey graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a degree in Mandarin Chinese. In the fall of 2014, she began exploring leather tooling and jewelry design; creating a Facebook page and setting up a small table at various craft shows and rodeos. After working as a translator in the Tool and Die industry, she left her corporate life at the suggestion of her husband, Roger, to pursue her hobby of jewelry design and leather tooling in February of 2015- and the rest is history. Since early 2015, she has placed work in 14 countries, the Red Carpet, countless rodeo queens, Miss America contestants, World Champion Barrel Racers, Horse Show Winners and hundreds of other gorgeous women. Rhinestone Lipgloss has become a movement of motivation- proof that if you want it bad enough, you can make a living doing what you love, and never 'work' another day in your life.