Did you know that big corporations with big pockets are paying business owners just like YOU to talk them up to your audience? (yeah, us either.)
Jessica Chinyelu is sharing her incredible knowledge on exactly how you can make this happen – including your first step to getting started, what you should NOT do… and even where to find corporations that want to sponsor you.
If you want a bit extra income from doing what you’re already doing anyway… THIS is the episode for you.
(while you’re there, get her freebie – the Corporate Sponsorship Template!)
Get Jessica’s training on how to land 4, 5, and 6 Figure Sponsorship Deals
Follow Jessica on Instagram
Watch Jessica on YouTube
Find Jessica on Facebook
Connect with Jessia on LinkedIn
Jessica’s favorite connection tools RocketReach (try it for free)
Alyson Lex 0:03
I don't know about you, but when I think sponsorships, I think either Little League teams or influencers, and I haven't really thought about what sponsorships might look like in my own business. And so when I met Jessica chin a little Jenny and I met her through this podcast, she is the sponsorship lady. And she teaches people just like me, just like Jenny. And just like you how sponsorships might play a role in your existing business. I'm so excited that she's here to talk to us all about that today. Jessica, thanks for being here with us.
Jessica Chinyelu 0:42
Thank you so much for having me. Ladies, I am so very excited about this opportunity to chat with you in Jennie, and your audience about landing the partnerships and sponsorships of your dreams.
Alyson Lex 0:54
So let's talk really quick about sponsorship and partnership. As you mentioned, when can I use it in my business? Would that even work with an online business? Talk to me a little bit about it?
Unknown Speaker 1:07
Jessica Chinyelu 1:09
If you are an influencer, a podcaster, an author, a nonprofit founder. If you're an expert in your field, a service provider, you can work with sponsors, every single one of those that I just mentioned, if that's you, there's an opportunity for you to work with sponsors. And here's the reason why sponsors are always looking for ways to market their products or their services and reach different audiences or their target audience. And you have that. And so when they partner with you to do many different things through cause marketing or any type of marketing initiatives, or it could be through employee engagement, there's a lot of different ways. And we'll definitely dive deeper into that as we go further into this conversation. But yes, there's lots of opportunities. And I tell everyone, you're leaving a lot of money on the table, when you don't consider sponsorship revenue for your business.
Jennie Wright 2:08
So one of the things that you said there was very interesting, and that is, you know, if you're an influencer or a podcast, or an author and etc. And you said podcaster, and my ears totally perked up, because obviously, you know, we have this podcast. My question is, what kind of brands are sponsoring businesses like Alison and I were, we're technically solopreneurs, or we have a podcast, what kind of businesses would be willing to do that? And how would they do it?
Jessica Chinyelu 2:34
Great question. And I love giving real life examples. So I have a client. She is an accountant. But she also has a podcast. And she recently partnered with American Express business, because they were launching a new card that was specifically for accountants or service providers. And so the partnership really until two different things, her coming on as an expert, or an ambassador to speak about this card. But then I said, you know, hey, Kendra, there's really good opportunity for you to invite them to not only have a commercial slot on your podcast, but invite them do a series, so bring in their employees to come and speak about the product, but have an organic conversation. So she pitched a four part series to American Express business for her podcast, and they absolutely loved it. Because when you think about like the statistics of the audiences, or the people who listen to podcast and the amount of money that they make, it's the perfect audience for American Express business, and the demographics and the audience in which they're trying to reach. So a key thing when it comes to partnerships, data is everything. And she was able to backup that, hey, a four part series with my audience or on my podcast, it will work very well because here's my audience demographics here, the number of podcast downloads, I'm getting what I've done these type of podcasts in the past, here's the click rate and all those cool things that you can track and have a successful partnership. But you have that data to prove that, hey, if we do this together, this is going to be fantastic. But you've got American Express business. You've got brands like Thinkific, Asana, really cool business platforms, regardless if they're financial, or tech based. They're looking to partner with podcasters, as well as any other service provider that's out there.
Alyson Lex 4:42
What if you're a podcaster? That's never had a sponsor before. How do you get how do you get that first one, like you don't have the data to show them. So how, how do you back yourself up here?
Jessica Chinyelu 4:57
That is a great question. Allison. When you don't have the data to back it up, or if this is your first time going out and pitching brands for partnership opportunities, you have to really think about the goal. I'm pretty sure their previous case studies of something that you may have done in the past. And you can use that information from what you've done in the past to prove that you can do something else that's going to be highly successful. But the key thing here is the goal, you should be able to clearly articulate in your proposal that we are expecting to reach this number of people, here's how we're going to do it. Here's how these people or this audience of people or group of people that we're going to serve through this partnership, here's the impact that's going to be made. This is what they're going to receive. And if you can clearly define that and place that in a proposal, they're going to go for it as long as it aligns with their mission and their goals.
So this is where the homework needs to be done. Every proposal that I send out is custom. You don't want to send out a general sponsorship deck to a brand that you've never worked with before. And you've never done this before. You've never had a sponsor. So send out a custom proposal. The other thing that you want to do is heavily research that brand research their hashtags, what kind of campaigns have they done in the past? Have they ever spent money on something like what you're proposing in the past? And can you do something similar? If you can do something similar? How are you going to make it even greater than what they've done before. And then, of course, that point of contact, who you're reaching out to you learn every everything that you can about that individual. So that way, when you're pitching to them, you are seriously making their heart dance insane when they open up your email, you want to do those three things. So that way, the next step is not necessarily to get a partnership right away, or a yes or no right away. It's more so that you can continue the conversation and get a meeting scheduled, and even just really begin to brainstorm on ideas. So don't include that partnership proposal. The customer one in the first initial pitch email, now probably said way too much, but I want to make sure that's good for everyone.
Alyson Lex 7:20
Makes a lot of sense. And I love I call it getting creepy or doing some light stalking. And I love that you're advocating for that as well. It's not a bad thing to know and do your research. I am 100% on board with that. what I'm wondering is what kind of following do I need? Is there some kind of magic number for my audience or following? Can someone with smaller audiences still do this?
Jessica Chinyelu 7:50
What's so interesting is just two days ago, I did a hosted a masterclass with someone. Her name is Liz j Simpson. And she is a huge advocate for using LinkedIn to attract your ideal clients. Now, if you know anything about LinkedIn, LinkedIn, people who are on that platform, they do not care about how many followers you have on Instagram. But that is where over 70% of corporate buyers and decision makers they reside. And so that is more you should be spending a lot of your efforts to connect and engage with your potential buyers or corporate sponsors. With that being said, the number one question that I get from everyone is do I need to have a large following? I'm going to say no. But if you were going for influencer partnerships, I would say to have at least 1000 followers on Instagram. But if you are someone who is a consultant or the service provider or the podcaster you shouldn't even be focused on the number of followers that you have on Instagram. I love Liz and I hosted that masterclass with her simply because she has less than 10,000 followers on Instagram. She is a LinkedIn influencer. And she has managed to lend over $2.3 million in contracts just from simply using a LinkedIn outreach strategy. This is why I would highly recommend those of you who are focused on what we like to call and we mean, Liz, we say this all the time, vanity metrics,
Alyson Lex 9:31
don't focus on the vanity metrics
Jessica Chinyelu 9:33
focus on building genuine relationships with the brands that you really desire to partner with. And you're going to go so much further in your outreach process by having those relationships instead of focusing on the number of followers that you have on Instagram.
Alyson Lex 9:50
Jennie Wright 9:51
I think I need this masterclass that you were talking about because this is really really cool. And the fact that you're talking about smaller audiences still Being able or somebody with a smaller audience still being able to get a partnership or sponsorship, that is awesome news, it just means that we have to do a little bit of the work to find those right connections and everything. And you were talking a little bit earlier about a custom pitch proposal for partnerships. Kind of love The alliteration there. And I wanted to sort of go a little bit backwards and talk about that a bit. You were talking about homework and knowing hashtags and these types of things? Is it going to be a ton of work? Is this something that they should just hire you for? Can I do it myself? How much is entailed What's in it?
Jessica Chinyelu 10:34
It most certainly is going to take a lot of work. I like being very upfront about that. Sales is sales, and sales requires a ton of follow through. And you're not always going to hear Yes, you're not always going to get a response on that first initial pitch email. But I teach a very solid and proven framework that works. And I have seen so many of my students who carve out time to make it happen, see incredible results, and easily get the money back that they invested into my program. But if you are the CEO that hate sales, and you're like, Oh my god, I cannot do this. What I usually recommend is hire a really good assistant or admin or VA, that can help you with the outreach process. So I have a lot of CEOs that will sign up for my program. And then they'll say, Hey, is it okay, if I just have my VA take this program? Absolutely. Because I'm going to show them the way now they're doing the work for you, but also getting results for you. Now I do have some people who say I don't even want to focus on a VA because what if my VA can't do as great of a job as you then at that point, that's when you'd go for the done for you services. But I usually always recommend at least start I'm big on many of us are small business owners, and a done for you service is quite expensive. If you're going to hire me to do it, it's a lot of money. And if you ever start small, and if you aren't seeing the results that you'd like to see, then I always say upgrade, and we can get to the done for you services. But I think it's possible. And I've seen again, great results for those who have invested in my program and placed their VA is on it. They be killing it. They they kill it.
Alyson Lex 12:27
Okay, so let's pretend that I want to try this, like you said, start small. I'm gonna try I'm gonna finish this episode. And I'm gonna go try one, using the tips you're giving us here? Where would I even start to look for somebody to sponsor me?
Jessica Chinyelu 12:44
Really good question. You guys, I love your questions. So if you're going to look for someone to sponsor you, there's a couple of different places which you could reach or in wit where you could find them. LinkedIn is going to be the number one place where you can find your potential sponsors. How you do that LinkedIn, and by the way, is a free tool, you don't need LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find this person, all you're going to do is go to the company profile. So if you're looking for someone, and let's just use American Express business, if you're looking for someone who works for American Express business, you're going to go to that company profile. And then it tells you the number of employees that are on LinkedIn, who works for American Express business. The next step is this search bar in that search bar, what I highly recommend you do is type in partnerships, or influencer, or sponsorships, those are usually the first three key words that I use in my search. At that point, you're now going to have everyone filtered anyone with partnerships manager or sponsorships manager or anything in their profile with those keywords, it's going to pull them up. So you might have 100, you may have 50, it could be three with American Express business, I would imagine that you're probably going to have at least 20 to 50 people that fall under that category, which means that now you've got 25 to 50 people that you could reach out to because there's never just one partnerships decision maker within a brand. Now it's your responsibility after you've seen each one of those contacts to look through each profile and see who's the best contact for what you were looking for. Because you may have someone that's over community impact. You might have someone that's internal engagement, external engagement, see what type of events or what type of activations or marketing or HR, which department it's in, and what does your program or your opportunity fall under. That's why you want to make sure you're reaching out to best contacts. Now LinkedIn is not going to give you emails, but they are going to give you the name of the person. They're two different resources that you can use. And for a certain number of searches, it's free, but there's rocket reach. There's also hunter.io. When you go to hunter.io, all you have to do is copy and paste the name of the individual, put it into a hunter.io. And it's going to come back with an email address. There you go, you've got your email, if you use rocket reach, it's going to ask you to copy and paste the LinkedIn profile their URL, you put that URL inside of rocket reach. And again, it's gonna give you multiple emails for that person. I personally prefer using hunter.io. I also use databases like winmo. But those are paid platforms that you have to use an in pretty expensive. So I recommend starting with rocket reach LinkedIn rocket reach in hunter.io. But before you even sin, that pitch email, or before you send out an email, after you've now gotten the contacts, another good thing that you can do is subscribe to that person on LinkedIn or that company. So anytime there's an update, anytime they make a post, anytime, maybe the company just went public, you now have information that you can use inside of that first initial pitch email, or it's going to help you to develop that custom proposal, because you know, everything that's happening with this company that you're pitching to, but that's the first place that you would find contact information. Now, if you want to go beyond LinkedIn, you can always Google press releases to find another contact. But LinkedIn is usually always going to be the best place to find a contact.
Alyson Lex 16:48
That was way more in depth than I was even thinking of. So Holy guacamole, thank you. Again, the stocking on what I'm on board with the getting creepy. I really like it. How do I identify? Even at like the top level before I do all this? How do I identify which companies I should go after, like, you mentioned Amex business, but my audience might not be a fit for them. Right?
Jessica Chinyelu 17:18
I love that you asked this question. And this is where it, it's so important to survey your audience. When you think about potential partnerships. The first thing that I do is I think about everything that I naturally use in my home. So I'm a small business owner. Things that I use on a daily basis are platforms like Asana, I host my course on teachable, I have these beautiful notebooks that I like or to do list that I purchased from TJ Maxx, I use my iPhone, I have all kinds of apps that I use for editing pictures, I use Google suite, I, I will I probably shouldn't say who I bank with, but I have a business business line of credit with Chase. And so when you think about all of those platforms, those are all different opportunities, or brands that you could potentially partner with until a really good story. Because here's the thing about partnerships. The best partnerships are those that have great stories attached to them. And so that's how you really begin to create or find those best fit brands. Now, when it comes to serving your audience, if you had a series that was coming up on your podcast, that maybe touched on business relationships, connections, you might think of asking your audience in a survey, how do you connect with other business owners? How do you network with other business owners? What resources are you using to connect with them? Are you using Instagram? Are you using Bumble? Are you using LinkedIn? And based on or even Facebook? Are you utilizing Facebook groups? Do you use slack? based off of their responses, you will now be able to tell that partner potential partner, hey, there's opportunity here. Because we see a lot of these big small business owners, they really don't know how to connect with people. And we want to use slack or Facebook as a way to teach them how they could better connect with other people who are just like them. Another opportunity and I'll give a real life example. So one of my clients when she surveyed her audience, we discovered that how is it that you have over 200 small business owners, some of them are full time business owners or full time entrepreneurs, but they don't have business banking. That's a problem because that means that all of the money that they're making is going into their personal bank accounts. So we now said all right, well, who do you bank with if you are using your personal checking? So many of them of course there was the chase the Bank of America, but we now use that as an opportunity to pitch and say, hey, look at this country. Community of African American women were over 60% of them are full time entrepreneurs, but they don't have business banking. That's a problem. How can we help fill this need or fill in this gap and teach them the right way to do it? You know how many Wells Fargo was like?
Alyson Lex 20:20
Jessica Chinyelu 20:20
let's do it. Let's get them over here to us. Because now what it does, and then if you think about it, take it more even further to their demographics, which some of them are moms, some of them have two plus children. So now we're thinking long term, this partnership could go beyond just these women setting up business checking accounts, but now their children could take out loans with them student loans, these when they buy their first home, if some of them aren't home owners, they cannot take out a mortgage with them. So that's where the serving your audience really comes into play. So you as the podcaster, you as the owner, you have to think about what would an ideal partnership look like? What is my audience using on a day to day basis? What resources could really help them? And how can we position this to be a successful partnership? By fully understanding that here's the need. And through this partnership, we're going to help these people meet this need for solving a problem.
Jennie Wright 21:21
There's too much in this this is I need to unpack this episode on a bunch of different levels. And I realized that as we've gone through this, Alison and I are now shifting our questions to be way more selfish, because you've piqued our interest so much that we're like, how how, how do we do this?
Alyson Lex 21:40
Jennie Wright 21:40
Like, can we do this in ourselves? So I'm just really, I'm just really excited about the opportunity here. I'm going to ask the question that is probably on the tip of the tongue of people listening, and especially ours as well, I want to talk a little bit about the money aspect. I don't want to be gauche about it, but I want to talk about it. So I want to actually look at you know, what is the expectation money wise that people can potentially make from this when they're first starting out? And or how do we negotiate these types of contracts? And you know, what's the expectation?
Jessica Chinyelu 22:12
That's an amazing question. And I think that should be something that you really think about. Here's the thing, I invited someone to come into my course, I always invite brands to come inside of my course to really talk about the two dues and not to dues when you're pitching them. We have someone from McAfee, and also someone from Ernst and Young, who was a decision maker. And she said, one of the things that really gets me is seeing people with great potential undersell themselves. And I think too many times, again, going back to those vanity metrics, we feel like because our audience size is not as large as the person with a million followers or 100,000. followers, we should give all of these assets away for $1,000 or $2,000, or $5,000. So you send out this partnership proposal with gold silver bronze packages. And she said, that's actually quite a turnoff. So yes, she said, we have actually told organizations No, because it was just like, well, that's too low, there's no way in the world that they're going to be able to achieve all of this at this price.
So before we talk about money, I want you to get it out of your head that you need to send sponsorship proposals with gold silver bronze packages, and that it has to be the 1020 $505,000 because you don't really have a large audience. You really want to focus on your impact and your data. And I will continue to stand by that impact. And data is everything. When you don't have data focus on the impact, and it works every time. Okay. Also, you need to think about what is it costing you to produce this. Think about the time that you're putting into it? Are you hiring people to make this partnership happen? d? Are you spending a lot of money with contractors to make it happen? Also, you have to factor in what resources and tools are you using? Are you using apps, all of that plays a part into how much you should charge in your partnership proposal. I've seen partnership proposals go out where you're partnering with other people, meaning you have a digital campaign. And that means that you're not just the influencer that's on the campaign, but you're bringing in on other influencers. So you have to factor that in to. So pricing. When you're going in and you're negotiating. The biggest thing for me is I actually never go in with a proposal, the first proposal that I send that has numbers in it. I actually don't even send a proposal by the time we're on the phone when we're on the phone. I give them the big grand idea. Usually there sold on the idea. And then before we get off that call there, the next question comes up, how much is all this going to cost? And my question back to them is, would you mind telling me for something like this? What do you guys typically pay? Or what's usually the budget for something like this? I've had more success with asking what budget is, or what have you guys paid for something like this in the past, versus going in with a large number, and then them saying, we can't do this. So real life example, I pitched a brand for a client, she has a decent sized audience. But it was late in the game when we pitch them. And I think in that proposal, we It was like a $30,000. Ask, they couldn't do it, because their fiscal year was closing. But she said, we're very interested in working with your client. How about we get together on this date, because by that time, our fiscal year has started to perfect, let's do that. And I said, by the way, was 30,000 okay with you guys? And she said, Oh, yeah, so in my mind, I knew if she didn't flinch at 30,000, I could easily send in a proposal with two partnership levels, one being 60,000. And another one being 100,000. What do you know, they actually went for it. Not only did they go for it, but then they came back and they said, Hey, we have some other opportunities. I would love to see if we can get your client or maybe some of your other clients to work on these projects. And I sent her a proposal for those additional projects that they want it and she said, that's a little too much for us. But how about we make it work for this amount, and we'll do it. And I'll just tell you, like, we ended up landing on a $50,000 contract with that client then came back and did another $25,000 contract, split amongst three people. So if you have a small following, usually you can get anywhere from four to five figures depending on what the deliverables are. But that's where I'm going to you because you're you guys are you ladies are podcasters. So if you're a podcaster, you can't just send in a pitch deck, that's going to have slots, like hey, you know, we're gonna do three episodes, and we're going to give you some commercial slots, that's not going to cut it. But if you pitch to series, and some Instagram lives, and or we're going to have you in our private Facebook community, and we're going to have one of your employees come in and speak so you guys are going to have speaking opportunities, and we're going to send out a newsletter, automatically, that's just shut up, the value of your partnership deck is just shut up. So you want to give multiple opportunities throw in, if you've got a newsletter, throw that in or you got an email list, throw that in, if even if you don't have a very large following on Instagram, throw that into pitch an Instagram Live series, or say we're going to do a podcast series, but we're also going to feed this out on Instagram, keep it on HGTV and let it live there. Or also put it on YouTube. That's where you increase that value. When it comes to negotiating. It's always Okay, if this doesn't work for you, what does work for you. And I tell this is what my attorney she tells me because I have an influencer attorney that I work with. And she said just you should always have a high, a mid and a low. If that brand is not willing to meet you at the high, the mid or the low, then that low should be your walkaway price. So if they can't meet it, or if they're going any event to a member anywhere beneath that walkaway price. So that low price, say no to it. And it's okay to say no, because you never want to seem desperate to a brand. There's plenty of money out there. There's over just in America alone in the United States alone, there's over 5.7 million businesses with five plus employees. So that means that's a lot of money to be made. That's a common, that's just businesses. That's not even including the nonprofits. That's not including the number of trade shows and conferences that are being hosted. So there's no reason for you to not be taking advantage of partnership opportunities.
Alyson Lex 29:23
I at one point forgot to take notes, because I was just sitting here watching you and listening. And I know that the amount of value that you have given in just this short time that we've been talking is huge. You mentioned that you have a program that walks people through this, I'm assuming even in more depth, which sounds crazy to me, because you've already given so much. How can we find out more about you your program, all that good stuff? Yes, yes, yes.
Jessica Chinyelu 29:55
Well, thank you. I'm so passionate about this. I mean, I really love helping People but if you want to learn more about sponsorships and partnerships and the five phase sales process that I use, in what I teach in my program, all you have to do is go to the sponsorship lady.com. But I'd love to provide all of you with a training. This is a very, it's a great training. It's about a 90 minute long training. It is free. But if you go to the sponsorship lady comm forward slash training, you can receive that training that I was talking about, and it's all about how to land for five and six figure corporate sponsorships. So again, that's the sponsorship lady comm forward slash training. And you can also follow me on Instagram at Jessica Chen Yang Lu.
Jennie Wright 30:46
And I am already following you on Instagram and I just have to say you had some vacation pictures that I was just gaga over, just FYI. So they're awesome. I was like, Oh my god, these are fantastic. So yeah, unless you have like a pro photographer following you which it looks like you do. But I know that you don't like somebody taking some Primo photographs. So definitely good content.
Jessica Chinyelu 31:09
Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. I'm starting to learn how to make great use of my iPhone instead of right photographer all the time. iPhones are the best. They really
Jennie Wright 31:19
are they super art and I can't wait i'm i've been holding off on upgrading mine to like upgrade. I just have the 10 but I can't wait to upgrade mine. And once I do, I'm going to be like ching ching ching ching ching with my camera because I know it's just going to be amazing. So I'm all over that. I just I have to take a second to say thank you so much for doing this with us. Jessica. You're fantastic. I have already gone to the website. I've already downloaded my copy. So head on over and make sure you go the sponsorship lady calm and it was Ford slash training, training slash training and grab that training right away. I actually even went to your right on your website, you have this really cool pop up that slides out from the left. Like I adore that thing, by the way. And your corporate sponsorship template was right there. I already grabbed that. So I'm all over your stuff, which is fantastic. Just want to take a second and say thank you so much for doing this. We really appreciate all the information that you shared. It was like a little mini masterclass on sponsorships.
Jessica Chinyelu 32:12
Thank you ladies so much for having me. I really enjoyed this like you two are awesome. And I really appreciate you having me on your show today.
Jennie Wright 32:21
This is absolutely right. Absolutely. And if you listen to this podcast and you're enjoying it, please take a second to make sure you hit that follow button wherever it is that you're listening and sharing it with friends. Friends, do good things for other friends and let them know of good things. So share this you know the System to THRIVE podcast and get your friends listening to this and get catching, capturing some of this content. Thanks so much, everybody. We really appreciate you being here and we'll be back again soon answering a another big question.