How to Get a Sponsor for Your Podcast

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There are many ways to make money with your podcast (not to be confused with getting rich). The best of these methods is to obtain a sponsor that works with you exclusively. Often times this will result in more money, more customization, and an overall better experience for your audience. This however is likely the hardest way to monetize your podcast…or is it?

I found this video today by Gary Vaynerchuk. If you don’t know him, he is a wine retailer turned podcaster turned millionaire.  But what I know Gary for most are his insights into new media and his awesome ability to speak and engage an audience. You will definitely see what I mean when you watch this video. He never lacks for energy. The bottom line, when Gary speaks he’s often right and this is one of those times…

Gary breaks down the “simple” process of obtaining sponsors for your blog or podcast. His method requires a bit of guts but you really have nothing to lose and likely will be surprised by your results.

“How do I make money with my podcast” shouldn’t be your first, second or even likely your fifty-second question when starting a podcast but if you’ve built a solid brand that’s listened to and/or viewed by thousands, you might be ready to start reaching out to sponsors.

While this method is simple in it’s methodology (search Google, find ads, make phone calls) it’s unlikely to produce a lucrative sponsorship right out of the gate. You’ll likely be making lots of calls and facing lots of rejection. But that’s not a bad thing.

Podcasting is hard work. It tends to weed out people in it for the wrong reasons. One of those reasons is often times money. People start a podcast cause they think it might be an easy way to make money on the Internet. Most of know, it certainly is not. In fact it’s a grind even when you love your topic. Writing, recording, editing, posting and promoting your show week in and week out can burn out the hobbyist podcaster quick.

Those who start a podcast because they want to geek out over their favorite topic with others who share their often niche interest are usually the ones that go on to produce hundreds of episodes with thousands of listeners.

Once you’ve accomplished this, you’ll be ready to make these phone calls. Along the way you’ll likely find out a lot about yourself and your podcast. You’ll learn exactly who your audience is. You’ll be an expert in talking about your show and boiling it down to it’s core purpose. You’ll develop confidence in your show and yourself. This is what talking to random retailers who you want to sponsor your show will do for you. Don’t see the “no’s” as rejection, see it as perfecting your pitch.

The best part of this video is Gary making a cold call. Gary who is not your average podcasting story suddenly looks like you or I struggling through our first call. The message is don’t give up. Build up your confidence by pitching to friends, learn everything possible about your audience via surveys and statistics and be able to talk about your niche like you do on your podcast. And then, as Gary would say, Crush it!

Let me know what you think in the comments. Could you do this? Will you?

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About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters’ Studio and Podcasters’ Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.

Comments

  1. I am a huge fan after listening to Gary's book Crush It. Making cold calls is tough since I have a "real job" during the day. Most of the time when I'm home and podcasting its after hours so its tougher to get in touch with the people who make the decisions.

    • Sounds like you\’ll need to take the approach I\’m taking to producing Podcast Quick Tips episodes in 2013. One day off, one massive day of recording. Not the best way to spend a vacation day but if it leads to sponsors…that\’s a lot more vacation days;) Thanks Nick!

    • Nick, you could try contacting people via Twitter, email, or Facebook. If that doesn't work you could at least have a springboard for a conversation rather than making a "cold call" on one of those vacation days.

  2. Wayne Brekke says:

    At Necronomicast, we get a lot of our interviews via social media. Getting sponsors is just what Gary said, just getting on the phone and playing a numbers game. What I need to refine is what every potential sponsor wants to know, PRICE. As well as what they are getting and your numbers. What if your numbers are only a thousand downloads per month? How do you price out clickable ads on a site and in-show promos as well as host-reads? It's different if you have a super popular show that gets thousands of downloads per day or episode, but what about the other shows that could offer sponsors a very targeted audience that is also a growing audience? Thoughts?

    • Wayne it's a tough one because anyone getting sponsors is blazing a trail. There are no rules yet. So you have to sell it best you can. I'd say if you have a few shows you need to sell the idea of placing the ad across all of them so that you can pool your listeners. Of course if the content is really different that can be tough. The ads for very niche show just might have to be a much smaller return but setup short contracts. As the show grows along with traffic to your site you can monetize many different ways for each sponsor. Website, podcast, etc. Again, it's all new and I'm interested in hearing how you conquer this one. If you're getting any money at all you are way ahead of the game;) Congrats.

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