Get Your Programs Sponsored
by Burt Dubin
How to collect even higher speaking
fees by creating alliances with sponsors
Can you believe that a perfectly simple, marvelous, easy-to-
implement marketing idea can be largely ignored by the community
of professional speakers?
Can you imagine having an organization with deep pockets
of cash promoting your programs at their expense, building
your name and fame in markets you want to penetrate?
Can you picture this cash-rich sponsor sending along a logistics
person-on the speaking tour they've set up for you-(Be still,
my beating heart!) to handle all the physical details like
room set-up for you.
And, of course, you may as well fantasize your sponsor then
doing all the advance publicity to be sure you address a packed
house. Well, hold on to your hat because all the above is
true. It's real. It's happening now for 2 speakers. They are-in
alphabetical order-Michael Chatman and Barb Schwarz, CSP.
This article is due to their generously revealing how they
What is a sponsor:
A Sponsor is a group, a company, any cash-generating, profit-
making entity that can benefit from exposure to your target
market. Sponsor needs you because they want to market to the
same folks you target. When you work together you create a
triple win. The third winner is your target market. If your
target market is schools and their students, logical sponsors
include retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers. They get their
name and logo on your handouts. They get great PR. They are
the good guys. Remember the firms that place soft drink, snack
and candy machines in the schools, suppliers of uniforms for
school athletic teams. Purveyors of the foods served in the
I share these insights anecdotally. I do not pretend to have
access to any wisdom beyond my own experience. What I say
here is true for me. You alone can decide whether it is true
for you. And this may not be all there is. It's simply what
I get here and now:
Photographers who do class pictures, school ring vendors.
Every entity that makes money from providing equipment, supplies,
consumables to the school. If you address sales professionals,
cellular phone companies, computer companies, vendors of everything
salespeople buy are potential sponsors.
If you speak to real estate agents, title companies, escrow
companies, mortgage companies, etc., are appropriate sponsors.
In any industry or trade group that buys from a group of
vendors, any member of that group-including vendors presently
frozen out by trade custom or long-time habits-is a prospective
sponsor of your programs.
Your sponsor, or sponsors, use funds from their advertising
or promotion budgets, funds already committed to be spent
somewhere, to advertise and promote attendance at your programs.
How do sponsors benefit from promoting you:
Exposure of their products and their company before
the program starts through the publicity created by any of
the interested parties.
Sponsor can do a Pre-program presentation. You can sometimes,
depending on the venue, give Sponsor table top display space
in the back of the room. Sometimes you can arrange for sponsor
to have a booth. Sponsor name and logo may go on all printed
materials, including any tickets, book covers, albums, bumper
stickers, your letterhead.
In media interviews you always mention sponsor's name. Sponsor's
representatives can sit down in front and you can introduce
them during program. Sponsor's customer goodwill and loyalty
is enhanced. Sponsor may get more direct business because
they sponsored you.
Is there to be signage at this program? Arrange that each
sponsor have the exclusive sign for their type product. If
sponsor markets a soft drink and refreshments are to be served,
you arrange that sponsor is to have exclusive pourage rights
with no other soft drink to be made available.
There may be $ generated from your product sales-and you
need to agree in front whether you get all this or whether
sponsor shares. You can create a data base of attendees or
of key influencers for later follow-up.
The Speaking Success System notebooks include pages and pages
more on this profit-boosting topic. Space precludes my sharing
more with you here.