Last week, I celebrated signing my first podcast sponsorship campaign of the year (2024). The response on social media has been nothing short of incredible. With an outpouring of positivity and curiosity about my sponsorship process, many expressed interest in learning about my workflow, so I decided to break down the three core phases of getting podcast sponsors.
Although brand deals may seem complicated, I have simplified my framework to make the process more approachable and achievable. However, these three core phases are not standalone elements but consecutive steps that build on one another. Think of them as interconnected chapters, where each phase lays the groundwork for the next. Skipping steps or taking shortcuts is not recommended, as each phase builds upon the other.
Ready to turn your passion for podcasting into a profitable venture? Discover the three phases to help you turn your podcast into a sought-after platform for brands. From creating a noteworthy portfolio to mastering the art of pitching and negotiating, here’s how to reliably generate income and not only secure sponsorships but craft partnerships that truly resonate with your audience.
An Overview Of How To Get Podcast Sponsors
Phase 1: Building a Portfolio
The first phase is about preparing and building a solid foundation for your brand.
During this prep phase, get crystal clear on your audience by creating engaging content they’ll enjoy.
Here are the key steps:
1. Understanding Your Audience
Focus on being the go-to resource for your target audience. The goal is to establish a strong connection with your listeners through captivating storytelling, insightful interviews, or addressing topics that matter to them.
Ultimately, could you tell me everything you can about your listeners? Do you base all your content on serving them?
Validate assumptions you make about your audience and their interests through one-on-one interactions, reviews, feedback, and conversations with current and potential listeners.
2. Developing a Compelling Media Kit
Next, a podcast media kit is an important brand asset, which highlights key metrics and important information about your podcast, such as listener demographics (age, location), downloads, and engagement rates.
Google Analytics, your podcast hosting company like Ausha, and Spotify for Podcasters are great places for gathering data.
Providing tangible information gives sponsors a clear picture of your reach and the impact of your show. It also helps compare your show to others they may be considering.
Beyond your stats, highlight other noteworthy achievements such as awards and accolades, glowing reviews and testimonials, grants, and guest appearances.
To streamline your journey through Phase 1, check out these resources:
- Stand Out and Secure Lucrative Podcast Sponsorships: In this audio training, learn my 3-part framework for catching the eye of brands. We cover essential topics like what brands truly look for in podcast partnerships, media kit do’s and don’ts, and how to address concerns.
- Podcast Media Kit Template: A comprehensive Canva template that addresses every criterion brands consider when evaluating potential partnerships. It’s your shortcut to creating a media kit that stands out and convinces brands that your show is an excellent fit for partnerships.
Phase 2: Pitching and Outreach
Once your portfolio is solid, it’s time to reach out to brands, make connections, and establish relationships. Sure, you can wait for brands to find you (potentially), but being proactive leads to faster results and greater control. Plus, you’ll gain valuable skills!
Pitching is a crucial skill for creating a sustainable business with podcast sponsorships. Once I learned how to pitch, I was able to repeat the process over and over again. It continues to pay massive dividends as I regularly pitch for speaking opportunities, collaborations, podcast guest appearances, and more.
A consistent pitching strategy is key to maintaining a steady flow of opportunities and generating fresh leads regularly. Pitching is like a muscle. The more you flex it, the stronger it becomes. However, it takes time to develop.
Ultimately, brands partner with podcasters to promote their products to the right audience and boost brand visibility. Consider reaching out to brands you use, your audience would find helpful, or companies you know, like, and trust.
While some podcasters choose to reach out to brands via social media, I prefer email. For those currently navigating Phase 2, consider leveraging my podcast pitching outreach templates. This resource features (8) different scenarios, offering a comprehensive approach to reaching out to brands. These pitch templates have helped me secure five figures in sponsorships each year! With this resource in hand, quiet those doubts and confidently approach pitching. Don’t forget to customize these templates to fit your voice and individual needs.
Dealing with Rejection
As with other parts of the creator journey, encountering rejection is inevitable. The sponsorship game requires thick skin and an understanding that rejection does not (always) reflect the quality of your podcast or your abilities as a content creator. Sometimes, brands have limited budgets, or the topics you propose aren’t a priority. Behind the scenes, there are a lot of factors you may not be aware of.
Keep your spirits high throughout the pitching process. Consider every rejection as an opportunity for growth and refinement.
Instead of viewing rejection as a closed door, see it as an open window for improvement. When possible, politely ask for feedback or future follow-up dates. Use this feedback to improve your approach, content strategy, or presentation in the future.
Podcast monetization is a marathon, not a sprint. With perseverance, continuous improvement, and a positive mindset, you’ll overcome rejections and emerge stronger and more prepared for the opportunities that lie ahead.
Phase 3: Negotiating
Congratulations, you’ve made it to Phase 3! In this phase, you’ve confirmed interest and are actively discussing rates, negotiating terms, and finalizing agreements with interested brands.
Once the rates and terms have been thoroughly discussed and negotiated, formalize the partnership with a comprehensive agreement. This formal document is a binding contract outlining both parties’ responsibilities, expectations, and deliverables. A well-negotiated agreement lays the foundation for a successful and long-lasting relationship between your podcast and the sponsoring brand.
While we’ve reached the end of the cycle, don’t stop there; rinse and repeat! Put a system in place to consistently attract and land sponsors. Systemize your sponsorship processes by consistently allocating time to researching, using pitch templates, and utilizing scheduling platforms to make finding time to meet with brands a breeze. Aim to automate and standardize as much of this process as possible. Most importantly, maintain a regular pitching cadence to have a steady flow of new leads and interested clients who want to work with you.
Securing brand deals and getting podcast sponsors is a lucrative revenue model worth exploring. It’ll take lots of hard work, experimenting, and learning new skills, but the potential and opportunities for growth are limitless!
In the comments, let me know which phase you’re currently in—I’m here to support you in securing your first, fifth, or twentieth brand deal. Happy podcasting!