The Profitable Podcaster

It’s Easier to Renew Former Sponsors Than to Do Cold Outreach

September 22, 2022 Joe Casabona Season 2 Episode 11
The Profitable Podcaster
It’s Easier to Renew Former Sponsors Than to Do Cold Outreach
Show Notes Transcript

They say it's easier to sell to current customers than to get new ones. It makes sense, right? Those customers have entered into a relationship with you, have shown they trust you, and have proved their open to giving you money.

The same thing can be said of sponsors. Many people forget that sponsorship is a relationship, and as the creator, you can help the brand. So when a campaign is over, don't assume the relationship is too. Most of my sponsors from the past year have been former sponsors that renewed.

Here's what I do to keep sponsors returning, and what you should do too.

Check out Justin Moore's Creator Wizard newsletter.

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I very, nearly lost one of my long time sponsors of my main show. How I built I kind of just assumed things were status quo. And I would reach out to them in November and say, Hey, you want to re up? At $15,000 for another year. And then. During the, towards the tail end of the pandemic. I did the same thing. And I got word that. Uh, they were re-evaluating their advertising budget. And. Honestly, my show was one of the. Lower performing ones, but still cost And instead of just saying, all right, well, I'll say lovey, I guess. I worked with them. I asked them what their goals were. I asked them what they have seen work for them. And I came up with a custom package. That included podcast, sponsorships, and a few other things to get their, their name out across my other channels. And I said, let's try this for a few months and then we'll see where we're at. Well, at the end of that campaign, they were very pleased with the results. And they re-upped for the rest of the year. And I'm telling you this because. There's an adage in business. In running a business. Now it's just like, like I just thought of that meme of the guy on roller blades in a business suit. That's like ha business, but there's an adage when you run a business. That it's easier to sell to current customers. Then to get new ones. And it's a bit of a problem that a lot of business owners focus. Solely. Or mostly. On getting new customers. The same thing. Can be said. In my estimation. Of sponsors. But. A lot of creators and podcasters assume that at the end of a campaign, If the brand wants to sponsor again, they'll ask you. That's not the case. So today I want to talk about. How to cultivate the relationship with your current sponsors, how to stay in touch and how to win them back for new campaigns. I'm also talking about this now, as I record this it's it's September and while it seems. Strange. Now is the best time. For you to do outreach. For the next year. So that's what we're going to talk about today on make money podcasting Here on make money podcasting. I thought about this because I was having a conversation for, again, my main podcast, how I built it. With my friend, Justin Moore, and, well, I hadn't intended on talking about this. We both kind of mentioned that. The sponsorships are a relationship by the way, if you don't know Justin. Uh, I highly recommend you check out his newsletter. Uh, Creator wizard. It's great. I'll link it in the show Uh, which you can find over at make money, 2 1, 1. But. We both talked about how. Sponsorships or our relationship. And this was a bit top of mind because this week I started reaching out to former sponsors in preparation for filling up the rest of the catalog this year. As well as booking sponsors for next year. And I came to this realization that the last four sponsor checks I got came from former sponsors. I stayed in touch with. And you shouldn't think about. The sponsorship as this ephemeral thing, right? Not don't just think that because the campaign is over. So it was the relationship. Right. You're not selling a one-off thing to sponsors. They're going to keep advertising as long as it keeps working for them. So you should follow up and ask how the campaign went, get feedback and see if they want to try it again. Justin said that following up is a win-win. You either get them to renew. Or you get helpful feedback. So here's my process or here's what I recommend for nurturing a sponsor relationship from the beginning. Through the end of the campaign first. Ask them, what makes the campaign a win and then help them win. Uh, again, I'm pulling from Justin's newsletter a lot But he talks about three ways. Three. Goals for brand campaigns. It's not always about conversions. It can be about. Awareness. I have one former sponsor. who wanted to raise awareness that they have a free version of their tool now. And so that was their goal. Yes. Signups are great. But their goal was to basically say like, Hey, this thing that used to be $99 a month, minimum has a free tier now. So ask them. What makes the campaign and win and then help them Start off on the right foot by making sure you have a good ad, read that their incentive, if they are looking for conversions is good that you have your links set up properly. And get off on the right foot. Then follow up 30 days after the first spot runs. So I have a minimum of four spots for how I You can't buy fewer than that. And so 30 days after the first one runs, I'll follow up and I'll ask them. Hey, it's been a month since the first ad spot ran. Did you see. What you were hoping to see. Uh, and then if there are more episodes and usually there are right. If it's a longer campaign, sometimes I'll have all of those episodes scheduled already, but. If there are more episodes that they're sponsoring, make small improvements based on feedback. One of the things that worked for all of my sponsors earlier this year. Was shortening the ad So what I was doing mostly because I, I saw this done on relay FM. Where they do live ad reads, like right in the show. Is, I was doing a two or three minute ad read where I was just talking about how much I liked the brand. The problem with that is most people will skip ads that long. And so they'll hear me talk about it for awhile and then they just want to get to the content. So they'll miss the call to action. So instead I shortened up all of my ad reads to 60 seconds. And my sponsors started seeing conversions after that. So. If you are working with a brand and you're 30 days in, and there's still more episodes to do. Work on the ad read, see, see what works and what doesn't. Experiment a little bit and make some small improvements based on that feedback. I'll also tweet a little bit more, especially if it's a first time sponsor, like I'll try to introduce To my audience and talk about why I'm excited. You. Via Twitter. Uh, and. Try to make this first campaign a win. Then 30 days after the end of the campaign. Right? So this is 30 days after the last episode ran. So all the stats are in, most of the downloads have probably happened at this point. Ask them how they feel it went. And say like, did you get the conversions you wanted? Are you happy with the results you saw to decree, buzz? Whatever it is that the call to action was. And be ready for feedback because your response to this answer. Is crucial. If it was good. Then ask them straight away if they want to do another run. Right. Sometimes I will offer a small discount for kind of re-upping right now. Right? Like, Hey, if you do this right now, I've got spots available. I'll give you a 10% discount. If it didn't go well. This is when you get creative. Right? I think a lot of people. Want sponsorship to be passive income. Or at least passive once they've gotten the sponsor. But it's not right. It is for some companies. Where they just do dynamic ad insert, but those, those podcasts, right? Those companies and those podcasts. Have millions of downloads and they can charge $20 CPM. And make thousands of dollars. Because people just want to get in front of their audience, but for smaller guys, smaller gals. Like you and me. We need to work a little bit if we want more than that $20 CPM because it's one $20 CPM. For most people is going to be $20. Or less for me, it's about a hundred bucks. I get a lot more than a hundred bucks for a sponsor spot. So you're forging this relationship. So if they say it didn't go well. I ask them how they wish it had gone better. And then get creative. And present them with a new package. Say, I totally understand that. I want this to be a win for you. Sometimes I have offered, make good episodes, right? Where, I'll give them an extra spot at no. Extra cost. But usually it's why don't we try a new campaign, maybe throw in a make good episode there. Where we also do this, where I also make a YouTube video. And then I point people to that YouTube video. So that they can see your product and action. Or if you have a big Instagram following. Instead of just mentioning you on Instagram, I will do a dedicated story with five. Slides or whatever the story. Screens are called. Uh, I'll do a reel, right? I'll post that reel on YouTube shorts, Instagram reels. And then take talk as well, get a little bit creative and, and see. Um, If you can, if you can win them back a little bit. Um, Both of these techniques, right? Where I just straight up ask if they want to do another run because it went well. Um, Or. Figuring out something that could work for them. Both of these have worked for me. Write the story at the beginning of the episode. She tells you as much. I've won back. Former sponsors. Um, because I've made adjustments. After you do that, follow up every six months. Or, or every quarter, right? Whenever you have inventory. Reach out and say, Hey. I've got some open spots as a former sponsor. I want to give you first right of refusal. Right? This is a term that I use that. Um, like publishers will use, right? Where if, if I publish a book with a company. They get first right of refusal. On any future books? Then I want to publish. Um, but you can, you can give it to these folks who, Hey, you, you sponsored before your sponsorship is I want to give you first right of refusal on this next batch of episodes. I know you're probably setting budgets for the next quarter. Let me know if this works for you. And then every September. I reach out to everyone who has sponsored my show, that I still think that I think it's still a good fit. This is the thing, right? If a campaign goes poorly twice, Maybe it's just a bad fit. And so I won't reach out to those folks again, I'll all kind of understand that it's a bad fit, right? Uh, but for any, any sponsor who I still think is a good fit. I'll reach out to them. About campaigns for the holiday season and then the next year, right? Because in September, October, they're probably setting budgets for especially bigger companies. Four. The next year. So, if you can get in right there, now they're allocating budget for you. Instead of saying, oh, well we've spent most of our advertising budget. So we got to see what we can do. It's going to be a lot easier to. Get in on the front end. And that's the other thing I want to talk about today. I sent an email about this to my newsletter at the beginning of the summer. Um, but one of the lessons that I learned the hard way is that bigger companies don't spend money like smaller companies or individuals where especially big money, right. If we're talking like 10, $20,000, right. That's big money to us. That's not big money to them, but like anything over a certain They probably need to allocate budget for. And so they have a process, the bigger companies do, they have red tape and they have a marketing calendar. Larger brands are already setting up their campaigns. For what's coming out for the next few weeks and they're looking at the next quarter or the next cycle, whether it's back to school. Um, like they're, they're thinking about back to school probably in June, right? They're thinking about black Friday. In July. And so you, you. Want to get them when they're planning their current campaign. And even if they're not quite ready to spend, you want to get on their radar. And you want to make sure to follow up, follow up is so important. And so sponsorship can be a little bit of a long game, right? So this is, this is why I'm telling you, like you have current sponsors. Stay in touch with them. Ask them, how things are going. And then ask them periodically if they want to re up, how did the last campaign go? Um, How did the last campaign go and what can we do better in the future? So. The last thing I'll tell you here, right? Is that. Most brands. Aren't going to spend money unprompted. They won't just renew. Unprompted, unless they just have a ton of money burning a hole in their pocket. Right. But. Big brands, big companies are probably working with other creators, other podcasters. And they, they. Probably don't have all the. Last episodes set. So it's up to you. To be like, Hey, just wanted to let you know your last episode. Is is out in two weeks. How has the campaign going? Uh, what can we do to make it better? That sort of You need to ask, if you are not asking current sponsors to renew or how you can be better next time or following up until they tell you to never con like I've had sponsors who were like, Look, it's just never going to work out for us ever And I noticed. Contacting them at least for a couple of years. Um, If you're not doing that. Then you are leaving money on the table. Because, let me tell you, you probably know this already. Warm outreach is way better than cold outreach. And that's what you're doing with most brands, your doing cold outreach. Um, and so. The current sponsors you already have. They're warm leads. They know what you're about. They know you're trying hard. And, and you want to. If you can keep giving them wins. They'll happily. Keep paying you for those wins. So that's it for today's episode of make money podcasting, the big takeaway. If you have current sponsors follow up with them, don't assume they're just going to want to renew some might. Right. So I might just be like, yeah, we still have money and we want to give you money. But. Most. Are probably not going to be aware of exactly when you're there podcast episodes run And most are not going to. Reach out to you again. Uh, most are going to wait for you to follow up because now it's something on their plate. Now it's work for them. We w we don't want to give them, we don't want them to give us money. To then give them work. We want them to give us money. So that they can reach our audience. That's the service we're providing. The easier we can make it for them. The better. So again, that's it for this episode of make money podcasting. I hope you liked it. You can get all the show notes. And a transcript of this episode over at make money, 2 1 1. If you liked this episode, leave me a rating and a review on apple podcasts. I really appreciate that. And from what I understand, It helps other apple podcasts users. Want to listen to the I've seen pretty good. I've seen, you know, Uh, incremental growth over the last few weeks, which is very exciting. So I'd like to keep that going. I'd love to get this podcast up to. Uh, maybe not the same numbers as my other one, because I have a broader audience for that one, but I'd love to reach more podcasters to help them make money. So. Make money, 11. And leave a rating and review in apple podcasts. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of make money podcasting and until next time i can't wait to see what you make