Michael Parrish DuDell is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business and Shark Tank Secrets to Success. He is listed as one of the most popular business authors on Amazon and listed as one of the top Millennial voices by IBM.
He shares advice on how he acquired sponsors like Forbes and Citrix for his web series The Next Crop and how you can build a brand that attracts sponsors for your podcast or web series.
1. Niche, Niche, Niche
One of the most important ways to stand out in the ever-growing list of podcasts is to know your audience. Who are they? What do they like? Where do they hang out online, and who do they follow? By knowing your audience, you can niche down more and more to find your targeted audience and build your brand.
Ways you can niche:
- Demographics – age, sex, political stance, spending habits, etc.
- Interests – Instagram influencers, television shows, brands, etc.
- Topics – thought leadership, business, entrepreneurship, etc.
These are broad niches listed above. In order to niche down to a very specific audience, you have to make choices. When someone asks, who is your podcast or web series for, you should be able to provide a specific answer.
My podcast/web series is for Millennials between the ages of 22-24 who are interested in building a personal brand around fashion who follow Sara Blakely.
You can see how this is very niched. It’s targeting a specific age group with a particular interest and follow a specific influencer. By doing this, you can narrow down topics and series you want to put out and even look for interests Blakey’s followers keep asking about to fill a need. Which brings me to the next point.
2. Do Your Research
There are two levels of research you need to conduct if you want sponsors for your podcast or web series. The first is research on your audience. The second is research about sponsors. Let’s dive in.
Research Your Audience
As a podcast or a web series, you have to add value. If you’re not adding value, you’re not going to gain an audience. Take the time to do your research.
Ask yourself questions:
- What’s trending with my target audience right now?
- Is there a burning question I could answer for them?
By anticipating the needs of your niche audience, you are leveraging your potential to add value. People share valuable content, and that’s how you gain an organic following.
Research Your Sponsors
Just like you need to add value to your audience, you need to provide value for your sponsors. Think about what brands are influenced by the SPANX brand:
- What need are you filling in that space?
- How do you plan to market to this audience?
- How will the sponsor benefit from being a part of your brand?
Before reaching out to sponsors you need to know how you can add value to another brand. Research is a huge part of learning about your target sponsors, their competitors, and what value your audience can bring them.
3. Be Prepared: Put Your Research to Good Use
Produce content that fits your research. You need to build out your content like an architect. Here are some important questions to consider as you flesh out your content:
- What is the purpose behind your content?
- Who is it for, and how can it help them?
- For sponsors, how is this content valuable to extending their brand?
The more laser-focused your content is, the easier it will be to provide value to your audience and sponsors. Timing can’t be controlled, but preparation is entirely within your control. By being prepared, you have valuable assets to deliver when the time comes.
4. Pitch, Pitch, Pitch
Once you know your value and you have valuable assets, it’s time to pitch to sponsors. It’s essential to think about how to sell your idea. You should be able to explain your vision and why you’re the best person to present it.
Again, sponsors are looking for value to them as investors, so it’s crucial that your messaging demonstrates research, describes their pain points in reaching your target audience, and how your content can bring your target audience to their brand.
If you have spent a good deal of time focused on steps one through three, your pitch should be solid due to the fact that you:
- Know your audience
- Can describe precisely how to reach them
- How the sponsor fits in with your audience
- How your audience can add value to their brand
After that, it’s selling your pitch which depending on your sales skills, may take time. To make an irresistible offer, you need to sell them on the idea and what the sponsor would lose if someone else got the same deal.
Prepare for Launch: Build Your Brand With These Tips
Using these tips, you can build a brand and get sponsorships for your podcast or web series. Follow the steps, work the plan, and when the time is right, you’ll be prepared.