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Podcast Sponsorships: How to Get Started {Insights from Growth Accelerator Program Call}

Podcast Sponsorships: How to Get Started {Insights from Growth Accelerator Program Call}



A little more than half of the podcasters we speak with are looking to secure podcast sponsorships. And while it’s a very exciting goal, it is almost always followed up with, “but I’m not sure how to get started or what brands to target to make it worthwhile.”


Monetization is one of our core focus areas inside of our Growth Accelerator Program (“GAP”), where we work with podcasters whose shows are meant to support their business growth goals. These hosts/business owners want to drive visibility, lead generation and new sales in their company. Sponsorships often play a role in this for many members.


The most important element in these conversations is understanding that the host wants to 1) align with brands that compliment their content and business topics and 2) are actually lucrative for them so they can, at minimum, cover their show costs (and then some!)


We recently met with one of our GAP members where we built out his system to get started with sponsorships, and want to share some of that context with you if this is one of your goals, too.



The Initial Pain Points:


  1. This particular member records his episodes, then reaches out to some of his current brand relationships to secure them on the episodes that are highly aligned with their brand before the episodes go live (generally a 45-60 day time between recording and go-live).
  2. The brands he contacted often weren’t on his same timeline and could not sponsor his desired episodes.
  3. The entire process felt slow, clunky, and unclear – people who were not the ultimate decision maker in the company were responding but not able to move anything forward or give him more info as to when it might happen.



The Action Plan


First, we recommended tweaking his timeline a bit – because he is recording episodes first then approaches the sponsors who would be a fit for the content, it creates a very short timeline for the potential sponsoring brand to say yes. If they can’t match that timeline, the conversation tends to end there.


Knowing that larger brands in this client’s industry will take more time, involve more people, and follow a longer process to “sign on the dotted line” for a sponsorship deal, we recommended:



  1. Create an ‘editorial calendar’ and note all major monthly initiatives that are relevant to his industry, major trade shows, etc.
  2. Then approach the brands with a bit more lead-up time, share that initiative and how it would benefit them to be aligned with it
  3. Secure the sponsorship, then create the episodes and content 



That is one foundational piece we recommended to be able to get started, and we also recommended:


  1. Create a sponsorship database, just like a sales pipeline/database in order to stay organized
  2. Create a recurring “power hour” 1-2x/week that is JUST focused on sponsor outreach and database management



Using the Calendar & Database


After creating the calendar and getting organized on the target brands for sponsorship, the outreach begins. Because we had this particular client session about midway through the year, we recommended starting with the remainder of 2023 for sponsor slots.


The goal is to get the sponsors to a yes or a no for 2023 initiatives. If they aren’t able to participate for 2023, pivot and reapproach with a 2024 slot. The key is to reapproach with creative solutions the brand has not already thought of.


As for that “power hour,” this is to ensure consistency. We know that many people hope there is a ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to sponsorships and while we celebrate and recognize that happy miracles can happen, securing lucrative sponsorships that become long-term relationships requires focus and dedication. There just isn’t a way around it.


If you have a team member who can assist with this, you can certainly involve them – the most important thing is to work the relationship ongoing (did you know that almost half of salespeople never follow up with their prospects after the first attempt? Selling a sponsorship slot is sales – and the follow up is what makes a difference).



Maximizing Existing Relationships


We also spent time talking about maximizing this client’s current relationships. Because this particular client is very active in his industry’s conferences and trade shows, he has some other partnerships with brands that aren’t necessarily tied to his podcast. For example, he is working with a brand to secure sponsorships for them for an upcoming event. He will also be speaking at the event.


We walked through how to integrate his show into that sponsorship package for more brand visibility and to sell more event tickets utilizing his audience. Not only will he receive commissions on the sales made, but he will also secure sponsorship dollars for his show.



Other Insights From the Call


There’s a reason we recommended the sponsor database – we uncovered a major brand who had actually sponsored this client’s podcast years ago, and who he feels he could easily reapproach for another sponsorship with success. It had just simply fallen to the wayside because of busy days, focus on new sponsors, some recent travel, and a lack of ongoing sponsor database – things that many podcasters/business owners can relate to.


If you hear us use the phrase “don’t forget about the gold in your backyard” – this is a perfect example!


We also talked about the various types of sponsorships to provide this client with creative solutions to approach the target brands with – including 90 day sponsorships, quarterly sponsorship, per-episode sponsorships and one of our favorite types “arena rights.” 


One of the best ways to obtain sponsorship dollars while preserving the integrity of your content is to offer an “Arena Rights” style sponsorship. You might be familiar with this concept in relation to sports or concert venues often sponsored by big brands such as The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre or the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Your studio becomes the arena for your audience and you can capture sponsor dollars by positioning your podcast to brands who want to power up your podcast with their name associated with your podcast. 



Here is how it works: 


  1. Claim your studio as a venue for your audience with confidence. Wherever you record is your studio. This applies whether or not you record virtually in your home or office or go to an actual recording studio. The success of marketing an arena rights sponsorship is based on your ability to explain that the brand is aligning with you and your show and is receiving premium placement within the context of being the headline sponsor of the podcast. 


  1. Create verbiage for the sponsor and provide the premium placement for them each time you record a new episode. For example, When you open your show say, “The Golden Age of Orthodontic podcast is powered by Dental Monitoring. You could also add more value by providing a brief tagline to complement the “Powered By” moniker such as, “Where Smarter Orthodontics starts with Dental Monitoring” 


  1. This type of sponsorship provides a high level of visibility to your sponsor as a stand-alone but you could also package it with other promotional opportunities like including the sponsor in your show notes, and newsletters and co-branding them in your graphics, reels, and other social media templates to give them an even bigger boost. This strategy works really well for those podcasts with smaller audiences as it takes the focus off of how many downloads the show has by including all of your bundled outreach numbers. 


  1. Remember, your arena is wherever you record your podcast. If you take your podcast on the road for special recording, host a live event where the content is being recorded, or even utilize a webinar recording where the content is associated with the content of your podcast you can provide “Powered By” exposure to your sponsor in all of these areas. This allows you to bulk up the value they receive in being connected to your niche audience across multiple platforms


To recap


So much of the information available to podcasters around sponsorships can be vague and not customized to their goals. And of course, every podcaster/business owner has their own unique goals and their sponsorship plan should reflect that. Insights from client calls where these things are actively being worked on right now can give a sense of comfort that there is, in fact, a process to follow.


Again, this particular client is looking to secure sponsorships on his podcast and can work with a number of industry brands and brands who run parallel to his industry as well.


We recommended:


  1. Create the ‘editorial calendar’ to approach brands with specific initiatives that would be in their interest to align with
  2. Organize a sponsorships database to maintain communication and follow up, giving structure to the time blocks spent on outreach and follow up
  3. (Due to timing of the call) align the 2023 sponsors first, then reapproach with 2024 slots for brands who are unable to move quickly enough to secure a ‘23 slot
  4. Design creative solutions and different types of sponsorships in order to open up the conversation more with brands to create more win-win scenarios
  5. Review current collaborations and relationships and create plan to maximize them further


Your sponsorship plan requires a personalized approach that will align to your goals for your business and your podcast. 


If you are looking for a growth strategy and actionable blueprint to follow along with high touch support and guidance from experts, send us a message today and ask about our Growth Accelerator options. We look forward to learning more about you, your show and your goals!



Produce Your Podcast is a premier podcast consulting, production & marketing agency. Our team of experts provides comprehensive, full service high quality solutions for B2B and B2C clients to incorporate podcasting into their overall marketing strategy. If you’re looking for a reliable partner to help launch or grow your business branded podcast and boost your sales and marketing goals, we’re here to help. 


Click here to schedule a conversation with our team today. Let’s work together to create a high quality podcast that takes your business to new heights!