How To Get Sponsorship Deals That Pay

This topic is one that I always bring up and talk about when it is that
time of the year for the first NAMM (National Association On Music
Merchandisers) convention. While thousands of industry buyers walk
around to the various manufacturer's booths talking about what product
to buy and feature in their music stores, countless numbers of
independent artists are flying around trying to get the attention of
anyone who will talk with them. All desperately seeking a sponsorship
deal from one of those coveted audio gear, recording equipment or
instrument companies. Only later to learn that the deal they so
desperately wanted doesn't provide them with money but if they are
lucky, a free guitar or a discount on strings.

Now once again it is time for me to remind artists such as yourself,
not to focus on equipment or music related companies but on "consumer
product based companies." It should be obvious that these companies are
more valuable because their "audience " per se or customer base is
basically everyone. So they have more money and are worth 10 times more
money than a music product company whose audience is limited to only
musicians.

Whenever I talk about this subject the inevitable first question is,
"why would a company like that want to work with me?" Primarily because
the television, radio and print advertising they are doing in specific
markets is not yielding the results they want. Your audience consists of
the demographics they are going after for a specific product and you can
generate something more effective than their advertising campaigns.
Personal interaction and the "word of mouth."

Let me give you an example. A clothing company can sell thousands or
millions of items nationwide but have poor or limited sales in your home
market. Since the advertising is not working the way they want, they
need to build the "word of mouth" regarding the product. Your sales are
based on "word of mouth" so you have the "control" over the potential
customers they want! That's what they are looking for! To use your
influence to get your fans to buy their product.

More products are sold by the word of mouth than advertising. Think
about the last things you bought. Was it only based upon the advertising
or a friend's recommendation. Especially when it comes to movies, books
and music.

Companies become interested in you based upon their "perception" of you.
This what we talked about a previous article, How to
use the media to build your "perception."

So where do you start?

  • Research. What products do you and your audience identify with? What
    do you know about the products and companies that make them?
    Who is your audience? How would you define and describe them?
  • Once you have answered those questions, start small. Research what
    local companies or merchants you can connect with. Focus on the areas
    where you play and your audience lives.
  • After you have researched the local opportunities then review the
    potential of national companies. Start by thinking about what products
    people talk about that are big somewhere else but not yet in your home
    market.

These are just a few ideas to get you started.

So what do you send these companies?

Identify the key person at each company that will be your main
contact. Usually start with the head of marketing and let them direct
you. Then once you have identified which person is the right one, send
them a modified version of your Artist Profile. Never send them a press
kit! Remember, you always want to best represent yourself. Why send them
a press kit when it symbolizes a "non-priority" artist. Is that how you
want others to see you?

In your modified Artist Profile include a cover letter that defines your
music, your audience, the product you associate with and your area of
influence. Your objective is to set up a meeting where you can meet to
discuss your specific marketing ideas and how it will benefit them.
Never define or state how much money you are looking for up front. Do
that in the meeting. The reason why is because you can sell yourself
short. You wanted one amount when they would have been willing to give
you twice as much. So they gave you the smaller amount because that is
what you wanted.

The point of this article to is to get you thinking about not limiting
your potential sponsorship search down to only the music related
companies everyone starts with. Think past the back of your hand. Push
yourself and your music to new levels.

Right now you are probably paying for stuff that you may not have to.
Don't pay for future recording, CDs or CD samplers, T-shirts, equipment
or even new cars or vans until you talk with sponsors. Take the money
and spend it on something else that will be beneficial to you.

My various books and audio books will help you build the fan base,
promotional materials, web site and attract the attention you want to
get the kind of sponsorship deals you want. If need help mapping out
your plan, putting together your modified Artist Profile or you want to
attend one of my workshops in person or over the phone, visit my web
site and email me. www.tsamusic.com.

**If you are serious about your music and you want to do your music full
time, plan of joining me at www.musicstrategies.com.

Author Tim Sweeney is head of Tim Sweeney & Associates, who are entering their 18th year of being, "the only true artist development company in the world."

Tim is one of the music industry's most sought after experts and consultants, and has written several influential books including "Tim Sweeney's Guide To Releasing Independent Records".

Tim Sweeney

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