You see them in concert programs…
You see them on Instagram posts…
Sponsors are out there supporting music.
But how do I find sponsorship for my projects?
SPONSORSHIP IN MUSIC
Sponsorships seem so near and yet so far for most musicians. You see it working for others but we don’t know where to start.
Where do you find businesses that want to sponsor music? How do you approach them?
THINK LIKE A BUSINESS MARKETER
It’s not just anyone in a business who might approve a sponsorship…it is their marketing department.
Wait, don’t they just want to support music?
Uh, no, not usually. It’s not that the people involved don’t love art, it’s just that their job is to market their business, increase their market share, and introduce new people to their products or services.
Sponsorship is marketing for businesses. From our side it might be artistic support but don’t forget why businesses engage in sponsorship.
So what are businesses buying from you when they choose sponsorship? They are buying access to your audience and gaining a positive association with their business.
Your audience will be inclined to like that business because they support your work. Your music is awesome and your audience knows that. This is a chance for a business to share in that mutual affection.
GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
What’s the number one thing a business needs to know?
- Who is your audience?
- Is your audience their target customer?
That means you have to know who is coming to your event or buying your music and key demographic information about them…
- Areas where they work and live
- Interest in certain music, art, food, hobbies, or activities
- Other key demographics that may intersect with customers of this business – age, income level, profession
You can discover all this information through surveys and conversations.
You can also use deductive reasoning. For example, if you know that half your audience walked to the event, you can reasonably assume they live nearby.
REACH OUT TO THE RIGHT PERSON AT THE RIGHT BUSINESS
Now we know, you are looking for the marketing department or the person who handles marketing for this business.
Which businesses should you choose?
Now you take everything you’ve learned about your audience and look for intersections with businesses.
Who is trying to reach your audience? The group of people that support your music are a unique niche and there is a business looking to access that group.
OKAY, I’VE GOT MY PERSON….NOW WHAT?
Your number one tool in finding sponsorship is your sponsorship deck.
This is similar to the levels of a Kickstarter Campaign. For each level of support, a sponsor gets a certain set of thank you gifts.
Remember, this is marketing for this business, so these thank you gifts should all revolve around your audience getting to know this business, understanding clearly that this business is supporting you, and making it easy to reach out to the business to share their mutual support.
Sponsorship decks can include written thank you’s, inclusion of logos, and ads on websites, ticket pages, social media, programs, signs, and posters. You can get creative with inclusion of samples from the business in your event or other innovative marketing ideas.
Sponsorship can also be a donation of products or services. There is no limit to the number of in-kind donations that you can find…
- Food and Drink
- Use of Space
- Professional services like accounting, marketing, and more!
If you’re taking either in-kind or monetary donations through a non-profit organization or fiscal sponsorship, be sure to follow all applicable guidelines on assessing and disclosing the value of thank you gifts.
GO GET ‘EM!
I hope all the information above has taken some of the mystery out of sponsorships for you. Now you can go out and try this for your next event!