A couple of things before I begin:
- Remember that some people will have outrageous prizes and dollar amounts for their giveaways but don't be intimidated by this, but remember that it's okay to have one sponsor for at or around the minimum dollar value and you will still get bang for your buck!
- It is okay to sponsor yourself - I personally take a percentage of my blog profits and keep it in reserve for purchasing things like Amazon.com GC or doing paypal giveaways, not because I can't find sponsors necessarily, but because PEOPLE LIKE THEM and YOUR GIVEAWAY CAN BE WORLDWIDE, attracting more followers!
So, on to getting sponsors:
1. Go with who you know. Keep in regular contact with companies and PR firms that you have worked with in the past. Let them know what you are participating in and how it would benefit them. I worked with a PR rep quite some time ago and approached her again this past spring because I was doing a Mother's Day event. She had just signed a new client who was happy to offer a review and giveaway. I have another contact who wants to be pitched for every blog hop that I do that fits certain criteria and I love working with her, so I keep her in the loop constantly!
2. Use your networks - tweet, post to your facebook wall, your linked-in account, your blogfrog, your blog and anywhere else that you are looking for sponsors for your upcoming event. You never know if someone has a fabulous etsy store waiting to be discovered, a home-based business or even who works for a company that would love to work with you.
3. Use services such as profnet.com, pitchrate.com and ReporterConnection.com. These services allow you to send out a customized press release or e-blast to a large number of contacts who want to get information like this.
4. Cold pitch - Search for the media or blogger contact at a specific company that has something that you'd like to review or giveaway. If you can't find the right contact you can even blind pitch to through their general email or contact form (just make sure you clearly post that you are a blogger wanting to connect with their marketing/social media department)
What makes a good pitch?
1. Be clear - Make sure you get the who, where, what, why, when and how covered in your pitch
2. Make sure you ASK for something - sending out a press release without a call to action will not get you noticed, so ask for what you want. If you are putting together a package with a specific theme, explain that and be clear what you are asking for. If you want to do a giveaway AND REVIEW make sure they know that.
3. Sell the event and your blog - use your own blog statistics and any information that you can glean from the event organizer. For instance, if there are 100 blogs participating in an event and each will have a minimum $25 prize, you can confidently say that there will be over $2500 in prizes available to be won. If you are joining a hop that has grand prizes or additional advertising, mention that too! You want to make your case as strong as you can - people who are pitched by you will probably be pitched by others too - make yours stand out by selling your opportunity!
4. Tell them how they will benefit specifically - will you do a separate teaser post, extra facebook or twitter posts? How many links/entries will you provide? This can be on a sliding scale - if they only want to sponsor a small dollar value you can offer a basic opportunity with one or two links, for a larger sponsorship you will offer more.
5. If you have a media kit with details about your blog, attach it!
Here is a sample email that I sent to a targeted cold pitch for an upcoming event
I saw your post on xxx and wanted to connect and tell you about my blog, www.actingbalanced.com in the hopes that you might be interested in participating in a review/giveaway event that I have coming up from September 21st - 25th. The event is called Rafflecopter Round-up and will feature more than 100 blogs with prizes of $25 or more.
I am putting together a prize package containing sustainable packaging for travel and lunches, and I thought that your reusable snack bags would be a great addition. In the past, my participation in hop-style giveaway events has garnered over 1000 entries into my giveaways and multiple impressions per visitor for my sponsors.
In exchange for a review, you will get a preview post during the week before the event which will include links to your store and any social media that you'd like me to highlight. If you are only interested in donating a giveaway prize, I am happy to accommodate that as well, however you will only be mentioned in the giveaway post and will have a maximum of two direct links.
I am attaching my media kit to give you an idea about my blog and would love to hear from you if you think that your company would be interested in this opportunity.
My media kit contains my blog stats, policies and a brief history of my blog, so I don't include that in my pitch email. If you haven't put yours together yet, you should check out this great tutorial from MomSpark Media.
What has worked for you in the past? Where have you found sponsors? What is your # 1 tip? Please share!!!!