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So What? Strategies to Sell Sponsorships

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? we discuss the strategies for sponsorship, marketing, and how to sell sponsorships without making the typical mistakes. If you want to learn how to pitch yourself, we got you!

Catch the replay here:

So What? Strategies to Sell Sponsorships


In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • Why you need to map value to see if you can get sponsors
  • How to talk about the value of a sponsorship
  • What’s the most common pitch mistake and how to avoid it
  • What are current strategies to sell sponsorships

Upcoming Episodes:

  • TBD


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

Please note the following transcript is AI-generated and may not be entirely accurate:

Katie Robbert 0:22
Well, hey everyone, welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show. I am Katie joined by John. And let’s see if we can do the high five. Oops, I think we got it first try. That’s

John Wall 0:34
pretty good. That’s a good take it away.

Katie Robbert 0:38
Chris is currently being eaten by a dingo.

John Wall 0:43
I for some reason I thought you’d say well, I so I, which makes it a koala.

Katie Robbert 0:45
Chris has been in Australia this week, speaking at an event on using artificial intelligence for food chains and grocery stores, which is really useful. So I’m sure we’ll hear more about that when he’s back. This week. However, John and I are tackling strategies for securing sponsorships. This is something that regardless of what’s going on with generative AI, which seems to be the only thing people ever want to talk about, there’s still other things that need to be done, including securing sponsorships for your newsletters, for your podcasts, for other pieces of content for your webinars. And that’s still a human task. You can use generative AI to help put some of the stuff together, but it’s still a human task. So John, where the heck do we want to start with sponsorships? Yeah,

John Wall 1:38
where do we want to start? Well, there’s a whole bunch of places, you know, classic Soviet style, I have like this huge grocery list of stuff. And at least we have our key questions that we’ve promised to start with. So the big thing with this is just, you know, how does this business model work? Right? And, again, we can go back to five P’s like what’s the purpose of this thing. And it’s pretty straightforward. The idea is that you’ve got some kind of content. And we’ll talk today about events and podcasts and newsletters, which are all stuff that we’ve got going on our front. But, you know, how can you make this a viable business model? That’s really the question. And there’s a bunch of different approaches. Just as background, I started out my career at a tech event company where we were doing hundreds of events a year for the top 40 tech companies. And that was quite an adventure for a number of reasons. And from there, I kind of just like dive back into the normal software industry for a long time and did a bunch of events, though. So I was actually a buyer. So I was on the customer side, for about demand gen for trade shows, all that kind of stuff. And now backwoods Trust Insights, we have a bunch of properties that we do advertising on and sponsorship of, and of course, marketing over coffee has been running for over 15 years and has been profitable most of those years, not every year, but for at least a big chunk of those. And so all that said, though, still, I am not, you know, an expert in this space. I mean, there are people that at Dreamforce sell million dollar booths and do crazy stuff like that, which is a whole nother thing. But yeah, we’ve got enough stuff in front of us today to kick around. We had originally talked about we were talking about the media kit as a place to start just something that people could understand. So let me throw this out to the stage and could even be a little less. piker here and I could go to full screen so we can see the way that should really look.

Katie Robbert 3:31
Well. And as you’re pulling that up, I think that you started in a really interesting place with, you know, the five P’s and the five P’s are purpose people process, platform and performance. The first p being purpose. And I think that you need to be really clear about the purpose of bringing on a sponsor, because there can be a lot of strings attached to bringing on a sponsor. So, you know, at a high level, people are probably like, Oh, I just want, you know, extra income if I bring on a sponsor, so they’re going to pay to be featured on my thing. Yeah, that’s all well and good. But, you know, you have to think about what kinds of sponsors are appropriate. What’s the benefit to the sponsor? What’s the benefit to you? How much due diligence are you doing with vetting your sponsors? I mean, I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts. My husband really likes podcasts, like Conan O’Brien needs a friend, which are two different genres. And those are the types of podcasts that always have sponsors. I mean, we’re talking like, you know, sponsors are commercials if you watch TV commercials are technically sponsors, like, you have to think about who your audience is. And John, I know when you are vetting sponsors for marketing over coffee, sometimes you’ll talk to me and be like, What is this? Is this a legit thing? What do you think about this? Because it’s more than just Oh, great. Someone wants to give me money. Honey, you really have to think about the purpose of the sponsor. So you have the media kit for marketing over coffee. Do you want to walk through what even the heck of media kit is?

John Wall 5:11
Yeah, sure. I mean, you brought up some cool points that we want to hit on a little bit like one is credibility and authority, right? Like that is the value prop for a lot of sponsors, the fact that if they sponsor your show, there’s an implicit endorsement from the hosts, you know, or from the, you know, the company that’s supplying that. And so yeah, it is interesting, you have to worry about, and there’s different levels of that, like, some of the podcasts you’re talking about that have millions of downloads, then it’s just kind of understood, like it’s a TV commercial, you know, that people are just putting it on there. And that doesn’t really mean there’s much there. But as you go down the line and get into smaller and smaller verticals, that gets to be really important, you know, the fact that certain people choose not to work with certain types of sponsors, because it violates their mission or defends their audience. And there’s a bunch of different screening things that can go into that. So yeah, that’s a big part of it. But okay, so the media kit now this is an interesting thing, because on the surface, people think, well, this is just the sales thing. Like when somebody inquires about sponsoring, this is what gets thrown to them. Another word for it is brake card, you’ll hear that kicked around. And so this is the marketing of our coffee one. And like a lot of media kids, this is actually not publicly available, like most of the time, people have this stuff gated, and you need to talk to somebody or at least give up your email to get access to that. And there’s a couple reasons for that. I mean, obviously, it’s just the sales side of it is that it’s limited information, you know, it’s not out there, a lot of people who are already on board are not going to share it to their competitors, and competing events, or trade shows, or podcasts or whatever, there’s no reason to give them more data so that they can spreadsheet against you and undercut you or steal your good ideas, and all that stuff. So for the marketing of our coffee media kit, here, it’s a unique focus in that we’re at that lower end that I talked about where it’s more about credibility and authority and aligning with our audience. So you can see I mean, we have, you know, heroes shot up on the front here. And then the, that’s interesting, it doesn’t pull the full screen over. And let me and I’ve been let down by Adobe here. Alright, so we can at least go this route. Second page, this is the big deal, we give a quick overview of the show. And then of course, we’re stealing a little credibility from Dreamforce. They’re showing us there on the big floor, and then aligning ourselves with the rest of the audience. So these are the types of interviews that we have in the show there. And of course, these are cherry picked as the most popular past interviews over the past five or six years. Debbie Millman, champion and branding, probably the smartest person on branding alive, or dead, even she’s alive, but she knows more than even the dead people. Aaron Clifton, CMO of ways Simon Sinek start with why David Meerman Scott, of course, The New Rules of Marketing and PR, Seth Godin, legendary marketer, and Handley, from marketing profs who has a huge following in this Mar tech space, and we’ve done a bunch of stuff with them. So this is what we talked about credibility authority, it’s like, okay, if you are a sponsor marketing over coffee, you’re aligning yourself with this audience and these types of, of presenters, this is the kind of content that we’re offering. And that is another part of the, you know, the value proposition is that we can make content that they can’t create, like some small mid sized company is not going to be able to get Ann Handley, or somebody like that to go and do a webinar for them or do something if they’re not going to cough up a chunk of money. And, you know, rather than them paying, and to get in front of an audience they already own, you could actually get a little piece of hands knowledge in front of a whole new audience that you don’t have any access to. So it’s a more effective way to get your name out there and aligned with some of these folks.

Katie Robbert 8:55
What if you don’t so? Trust Insights, for example, we have the In-Ear Insights podcast. We don’t have high caliber guests on our podcast, it’s just myself and Chris. And so in that instance, you know, what are we? So this I can understand, because you’re borrowing, as you said, that credibility from some of your guests and from some of the events you’ve been at, what kind of credibility does a podcast that doesn’t have guests need to demonstrate?

John Wall 9:28
Yeah, to come on board? Well, I mean, don’t underplay, you know, that show because you’ve got Christopher Penn with, you know, 225,000 email addresses on his list, and you’ve got yourself as CEO of Trust Insights. So that is, that’s a big part of the branding there. Right. Like for that show, I would instantly be looking at MAE calm and add the women and analytics group and you know, some of these groups that you guys are already affiliated with, and have demonstrated that you’re leaders in the field there that gives you that same kind of credibility. But yeah, it’s a huge challenge. Um, and you know, especially with podcasting, as far as getting guests is just huge because it gives you additional content, it gives you access to their audiences, you get to access different kinds of fan bases. On the flip side of the coin, it’s a whole huge additional level of logistics and headache of trying to line these things up and working with people. And, you know, I’ve been chasing Malcolm Gladwell for like five years and have missed him like three times and that’s just, you know, I’m never gonna see a nickel or get any. Thanks for any of that, except for today. Damn it, but that

Katie Robbert 10:36
you’re listening. Maxwell Gladwell.

John Wall 10:39
Malcolm Gladwell.

Katie Robbert 10:40
I’m coming to Gladwell. I’m so good. I butchered your name. I’m so sorry.

John Wall 10:45
That’s all right. Malcolm. Malcolm is not worried about it. He’s laughing. He’s killer. But and Yeah, and so I do have, in fact, I’ve got Chris’s media kit and speaking kit, too, we can show that off a little bit, too, to go through some of that stuff. So you can see a different approach on that. But yeah, it’s, you know, you pretty much have to, you know, talk about the expertise of the audience and the followers they have. And then it’s, you can go over to the other side and just start talking about stats, you know, X number of listeners, and we’re in these verticals and listeners are these types of people. So there’s a bunch of different angles over there. That yeah, you know, having notable guests, and this is like, a total chicken and egg thing, too, right? It’s like, if you have never had any great guests, how do you get the first grade? Yes. And the, the the secret answer to that, we always say, for marketing over coffee won’t be in the show notes. But we’ll tell people who are listening today is these people all come out with books, right? Everybody that wants to be a speaker, they’ll come out with a book. So you need to find out when their book is coming out. Because in the six months up to their book going live, they will talk to anybody that has an audience that wants to help put the word out there and help their things sell. So that’s kind of the way to get to people that you normally would who normally would never take your call and kick you out of their office. You can you can skate through and get a little bit of extra attention at that time of year. Yeah. Oh, good.

Katie Robbert 12:11
I was gonna say so let’s say, and not to undersell, you know, my qualifications, but just to use me as an example. So let’s say, you know, I’m part of this package. I’m not someone who has a ton of social media followers, I don’t have my own personal email newsletter outside of the newsletter. So would someone like me, really, instead of saying like, and here’s my reach, and here’s my audience, I would really sort of lean in more to my expertise, expertise and the events that I’ve done.

John Wall 12:45
Yeah, so your value prop, you’ve got three points, right? It’s credibility and authority that we talked about, to audience that they don’t have access to if your unique audience, and then three is content they can’t make. So if you’re able to talk about stuff, and there’s also an interesting thing of companies are never trusted, talking about their own material, or, you know, nobody wants to read a white paper from the vendor. Right. And nobody is believing the president of a company when they’re talking about it. So third party validation, you can still be talking to, you know, you may know that, yeah, you know, there’s three people in the C suite that know this stuff, as well as I do. But you as a third party, independent individual are worth something to them, because you can talk and tell their story and even validate what they’re doing. So yeah, it’s all about, again, content they can’t make if you’re able to create stuff and tell a story that they for whatever reason, can’t tell, that’s unique value, and that’s people are willing to pay for that. Gotcha. You know, now there is no avoiding hitting the numbers at some point. And so on the third page of this we do we say 11,500 impressions per episode. And that is, you know, it doesn’t swing wildly, like it rarely goes down below 10,000. But for popular interviews that can go up over 20,000. And even, you know, we’ve had some interviews that have not been around for like five years. But that is a critical point to for podcasting, specifically, is this stuff has a huge long tail, like a lot of digital ad buyers don’t understand that, you know, they pay their 10,000 bucks for this month. And as of the 31st, when the 31st passed, that money is burned in a pile, and there’s never going to be anything that’s going to come of that. Whereas interviews can sit around for five, seven years, and still pull traffic and draw. I mean, we have an interview with Geoffrey Moore, right, the guy who created cross the chasm that still pulls in like three 400 a month every month like clockwork, and so the sponsors get those impressions for life. So that’s kind of an interesting value there. And then a big thing for us is pushing across all channels, right? We have an email newsletter, we have LinkedIn members, we have all these other things. And so yeah, and there’s a bunch of sales stuff we can dig into and talk about that I’ve stacked up here. But the idea is that you know when you’re selling this you really want to be appealing? Not to the lizard brain that’s looking at numbers and the facts? And you know, is this a risky thing or not? But to the higher brain of like, is this something we want to be associated with and creating a story that they want to come along with, and be a part of, you know, basically, it’s a, hey, we’re creating all this great content, we want you to be a part of this. And this is going to be great stuff. So, you know, we’re not going in deep, I’m not talking now, we do have the stats if, and this is again, another gating thing. If somebody gets this usually the next question I get is, can you share more demographics? You know, who’s the audience who, what are they doing? But this is the bellwether of okay, look, are you excited? Like, do you want to be part of this? Do you feel like this is a fit? Is this a match for you, because if they are willing to, you know, continue as of just getting this grand story, then you know, you’ve got odds to talk to him more, and you still haven’t like spilled all the beans, as far as you know who exactly the listeners are and where they come from, and what they do. You know, you’ve got more time to talk, and then it’s, for the rate card, it’s always rack rate that this is a great point to that doesn’t get mentioned, like, when you talk about rack rate, that’s the worst price, like they put this price out there. And they know that, you know, if somebody finds the paperwork that isn’t supposed to, if they pay this price, that’s fine, we’re not gonna lose any money on it. Like, we’re all good. And so if you’re a real customer that’s been around for years, like, you can definitely say, hey, well, I’ve got $10,000, what can we do? You know, or you can negotiate. That’s the bottom line, the rate card is usually always open to negotiation. And that’s one thing we’ve made no bones with everything, as far as podcasts, or newsletters or speaking things is that there’s a bunch of factors that go into pricing, like it’s just not fixed pricing, because if you want to buy stuff in October, or November, when there’s, you know, 12 marketing tech shows going on, and everybody’s trying to meet their q4 numbers, you’re, you may pay rack rate or worse, even depending on how things are going. And if it’s, you know, the middle of June, and everybody’s off for the summer, and we’ve got excess inventory. Well, you know, John’s crazy house of discounts is ready and willing to fire up the machine. And we can make stuff happen.

Katie Robbert 17:03
Well, so let’s talk a little bit about withholding some of the statistics, especially the demographics. So I’ve seen media kits that include all of that information. So here’s the, you know, breakdown of job titles, here’s the breakdown of genders or, you know, income or whatever, you know, the statistics statistic is. And, you know, I feel like this also falls into the category of that debate of, do you put pricing on your website or not, you know, how much publicly available information? Should there be when you’re thinking about your strategy for, you know, landing sponsorships to sell sponsorships? And so, you know, can you talk a little bit more about the pros and cons of withholding some of that information? Or where do you know, I guess this comes into thinking about your strategy? Like, where do you draw the line of, here’s how much information you can have up front. But you have to reach out to me for more.

John Wall 17:59
Yeah, it’s, so it’s a sliding scale. And it really depends on the size and who the buyers are. Okay, so because you really have, there’s usually in this space, and for this stuff, there’s three different types of buyers, you have at the bottom or demand gen people. So they’re spending money, and they’re hoping to see business return that quarter, you know, they want something that’s going to, they’re going to talk about their new thing, and they’re hoping that people want to buy it right now. And there’s usually a direct offer on that. The next level up is just straight advertising, where they’re doing it for awareness, but they’re not as concerned about the fact that like, hey, let’s get everybody to this website before the end of the month, it’s just, hey, we’re doing that work of like, we need to be in front of the right people eight times over the next two quarters, so that when they are ready to buy, they remember our name, they just know that we’re there and they can come through, and the top of the pile or the just branding people, you know, there’s orgs, that are just like, Yeah, we just need to be in front of 2.4 million people every quarter. And we know that that’s going to, you know, keep our pipeline of leads where it needs to be for us to meet our quarterly goals for the stock price. And so there’s an inverse in the amount of info that you share. So for the branding folks at the top, that’s those are the kind of people where you get these media kits that are like 35 pages, and it’s everything. It’s like, here’s the demographics of the buyers. Here’s the demographics of the show, here’s all the different stuff we sell. And you know, there’ll be a huge grocery list of like, trade shows, newsletters, and everything has its own way. It’s literally catalog. Those folks, you can just send them the whole thing and like let them do it because they’re just spreadsheets, you know, they’re gonna go through, and they’re just looking for the numbers that they want to look for. And then as you go down, there’s more value in dealing with everything in a conversation. You know, you you want to give them the stats that they want, but you wait on those stats until you’ve confirmed that Yes, they’ve actually got budget to do this. Yes, they have Signing Authority. Yes, it’s a match as far as what they want. And you know, the timing is there. So you can It’s not, there’s not, there’s really no value in holding back the info, but it’s just that it’s classic reciprocity. You know, this is like sales cycle stuff, by having a relationship where you’re going back and forth and talking with the person answering your questions as they go, you’re both getting more invested in having a successful outcome. You know, you’re not just shopping for the stats. And that the the other flip side of that, too, is there’s always services that are shopping stats, if you just throw all your numbers, they’re going to end up in a guide somewhere, you know, you’re gonna end up getting spreadsheet it. And that’s how that works. So, yeah, just to show off that, so you know, that it’s not all just kind of the exciting thing. Oh, no, that’s not the right, this is the right one. So this is our stats that will come around to I usually, you know, in follow up email, send this off, it’s like, okay, X number of downloads, 60%, male, female, male median, age 38, household income 115k breakdowns of their careers, what they do. And then really the big one, yeah, as we get down into that demand gen is, you know, our sponsors that market our coffee tend to see anywhere from eight to 17 sponsors a month, if they’re doing all four shows. And so that’s, you know, you have tons of sponsors that don’t care about the cost per 1000 of leads, because if I give them three leads a month, that more than pays for the whole program. And there will be you’ll have folks that are at the other end of the spectrum that are like, yeah, now I just need to get, you know, 450,000 impressions a month at 30 bucks, 1000. And meet that number. And that’s, you know, we always talked about that, where’s the marketing over coffee? Cost of impressions is over 100 bucks. I mean, it looks like it’s huge, and way out of skew. But then when you look at the fact that, okay, you know, these 12,000 people here on the sheet are all marketing and technology people like you could go, you know, pick the celebrity of your choice who has a million dollar million listeners, but you’re like, Okay, well, half those listeners don’t even know how to read, the other half don’t have a job, and you know, another half of that aren’t anywhere related to our product, or use our product. And so that $40 per 1000, you know, ends up being five or 600 per 1000, for people who actually can use your product or of any interest to you, you know, but again, it all depends on whether they’re, you know, are they looking to target for deals? Or is it just spray and pray for them? You know, they don’t really care.

Katie Robbert 22:26
This might be my own paranoia. But do you before you get into like, all of the details of all of your stats? So obviously, this is probably the more publicly available version of the media kit. And then you said like, the next step is to share the more detailed stats once they’ve demonstrated that they have some interest. Do you have do you share any sort of confidentiality agreement or NDA before sharing those stats? Or is it just widely accepted that they just have to show some interest like this is? Because I’m not on? I’m not deep into like the sponsorship and the sales side? I try to get a confidentiality agreement for everything. But I’m also like, super paranoid. So like, how, what like, what is it? What’s accepted? What is the sort of industry standard for sharing that kind of data? With or without confidentiality? Like is it just assumed that like, if, if you send the media kit into like, Great, can I have more information that they’ll take a look at it, but it’s not going to go beyond? Like their? Scope of people? Like is that just sort of assumed? Am I overthinking it, per usual?

John Wall 23:35
No, I, it’s, I think a big part of it is, like, we’re always dealing with known brands, right? Like, I’m never getting in sending out requests to some company I’ve never heard of at all or don’t know anything about. And so when you see that it’s a real brand. And it’s a you know, person who’s actually, you know, you verify who they are on LinkedIn, like they don’t have the time to share, like, who are they going to give this stuff to, you know, like, there’s nobody, they literally want to get this done and off their plate as fast as they can. So there, there’s no incentive for them. And then the other side of it is usually everything we talked about is stuff that they want us to brag about on the show, you know, it’s everything is public knowledge there. And yeah, you know, at the end of the day, it’s we want to sell as many sponsorships as we want. So yeah, there is some danger of of our info getting out there. But the reality is, you know, basically anybody that’s got a checkbook, we’re willing to give this info to it’s not the only thing where it could hurt you is basically like, are they comparison shopping? You know, are they going to take this and then go beat somebody else up on a rate for something else?

Katie Robbert 24:38
But you kind of have no control over though.

John Wall 24:41
it’s true. You have no control over and that’s the thing with that is you just need to be that’s a product fit thing, right? Like, like I can say with absolute certainty that like there’s no podcast like marketing over coffee. I mean, there’s bigger podcasts, and there’s ones that go in different focuses that cover better stuff, but it’s kind of like if you’re looking for every other week. Tactical review and crit, you know, Chris, who goes through 5000 articles a week and pulls the meat out. And then, you know, we have 10 years of authors, like there’s nobody else out there that can do that for us. So I’m not concerned because like we see this all the time, too. This is actually one of the threats is we have big companies who do have the ability to create the content that we talked about, you know, but then the thing that they never realized is about the unique audience, right? Like, if you’re one of these large enterprise software companies, yeah, you can produce a great podcast, you know, and start dropping 10 episodes. But the thing is, who are you going to market to, you’re gonna be marketing to the same people that you’re selling all your other stuff to every day, like, there’s no net new, you’re not getting exposure awareness outside. So it’s a different value prop for those guys. But ya know, the, and to be honest, we even go, this is an old trick that I had picked up with some consulting stuff is that we even go as far as not requiring an agreement, like a check, a completed check is considered agreement to the paperwork that’s been laid out there. So like, we’ll do an insertion order. And as long as we get paid on that, we assume that is done because we’ll have organizations where it’s like, yeah, I have $10,000, to blow this quarter. But if you send me a 10 page contract, it’s gonna take us six months to get that approved and reviewed. Whereas if we just send them an invoice, and they throw it on their Amex card, you know, we’re off to the races. And so that, that works for this kind of stuff. Obviously, it’s not going to be for, you know, trade shows and events where they’re doing $250,000 sponsorships, then you’re gonna have to go Yeah, and that is a no, you’re talking about a different life, trade shows and events. I mean, we would have 150 page documents of, you know, what happens, and it just goes all the way down into detail, it’s like, somebody’s going to be walking around the tradeshow floor where the noise meter, and you can’t be over 60 decibels. At any point, you can’t put anything up in your booth over seven feet high. And just a million things going on. And that was, you know, our show director had a huge 50 pound binder that would walk around and you know, basically be the sheriff to rein people in when they started doing ridiculous stuff. And, you know, we had customers that that ridiculous stuff was their stocking trade, like every year, it wasn’t a success, if they didn’t get the show manager to come over and tell them to shut something off or taken away or kick some of their employees out, you know, that’s all part of the circus that it is.

Katie Robbert 27:31
Well, and I guess that goes back to the five P’s of what is the reason to bring on a sponsor in the first place. And so then you go through the other four P’s of like, what kinds of sponsors? Who are the people that they’re bringing? Because they’re bringing their audience to not just your audience, but their audience? And so do you care if it’s the general population? Or does it still want to align with your specific niche audience? What is the process and this is where we get into the media kit, how in depth doesn’t need to be, you know, you and I have talked offline, John, I know that there’s different versions of media kits, depending on who or what you’re selling at the time. So there’s, like, you know, shorter, more abridged versions. And then there’s those 35 Page media kits, where again, if you’re going into like, events and trade shows, they need more information, you have your platforms. And so this is something I’m curious about. You know, so with media kits, I feel like it’s generally a PDF is generally a set of slides that they turn into a PDF, are there you know, to bigger companies have more interactive media kits and case studies and, you know, all that sort of stuff? Is it like very produced? Or is a media kit, essentially, a set of slides, it’s turned into a PDF?

John Wall 28:51
No, as you go up the dollar, you know, tree, they get more and more highly designed, it’s usually the slickest piece of the whole marketing package, you know, because that’s for a lot of events these are actually getting left behind in paper to like that’s a big thing at a live event is you actually do resign at the show where vendors come in and pick their space for next year and all that and so you present them with this stuff and it’s kind of a big deal but there was another point about that is first looking slick was one thing and then well, yeah, even we’ve got like I’ve got Chris’s here we have his speaking kit to kind of show you you know, a different approach to it, where it’s about places you’ve been testimonials, topics that he hits his and then his whole social and worldwide imprint and showing the the level of it, but And now remember, the one I was going to pull back was, yeah, PDF is pretty much coin of the realm because everybody knows that if they get a PDF, they’re not going to catch a virus Right? Like, gone are the days of people sending Sharing Google docs are sketchy links, there is at the top end document management solutions you can set you can take your PDF, have it loaded into a site. And then that’s totally, basically it’s spyware. Right? You can see where in the organization it goes in which pages people have looked at. And so then you have CRM alarms set up for your exhibit sales teams and your, your sponsor sales teams, so that they know when people are looking at documents. And, you know, it’s not so much the creep factor is, oh, hey, I saw you looking at these three pages yesterday, or five minutes ago, I just called to see what was going on. But it’s more if they have four platinum slots, and they can measure when the activity is hot and know when you know, certain people are looking at certain places. And they know when those deals are actually going to close. It’s a huge advantage for pricing and availability. You know, to try and get the deal going. So yeah, there is top and CRM stuff where people will track but otherwise PDF is the way to go.

Katie Robbert 30:55
Is there any value to having a clip reel? Or I guess it’s called a sizzle reel? Of so if you know if marketing over coffee is looking to attract high end sponsors? Do you have a you know, two minute, you know, set of clips of some of your best interviews? Is that something I know people who are trying to secure speaking gigs, we have to have basically our version of a sizzle reel, which is like demonstrating that we’ve been on stage and we are actually capable of stringing sentences together in front of a roomful of people. And you know, there’s we’ve talked about ways to do that, if you haven’t been on stage yet, but for a podcast, you know, do you? Do you recommend putting something like that together to attract sponsors? I guess? Because I’m thinking like one is it shows like the quality of the show like Do you have good audio equipment? Is it going to sound like you’ve recorded like in a tin can? or can people actually hear what’s happening? And to it probably demonstrates that you, as the host, have a skill set that allows you to keep the conversation moving that you’ve brought on those good guests like, is that something that people have asked you for? Is it something that you would recommend companies put together? If they’re looking to sell sponsorships?

John Wall 32:15
Yeah, that hasn’t, you know, we don’t get much call for that. Because it really they falls into two camps, right? It’s, if they’re ad buyers, they don’t believe any sizzle reel, right, they’re just gonna go look at the actual episodes and pull them down. And then at the lower end, it’s smaller companies that they are already aware of us, because they’re looking for awareness, and they’re looking for credibility. So they’ve heard so the for that type of use case that when we have a greatest hits page, we have the most popular interviews. And I can just say, it’s like, Hey, if you want to go listen to what the show is about, here’s some of the most popular shows go check that out. And again, that, you know, does the benefit of you know, hijacking off the guests. And, you know, it’s got the big names, because it’s the biggest shows that are over there. And then yeah, you know, none of the content is gated, right? I mean, they can go listen to anything, anytime. And that’s actually in some ways, I guess that’s a braver approach to it’s like, Hey, I’m not afraid of you to go listen to any episode, you know, just go ahead and go to the website, you can pull one down and see what’s over there. So yeah, that’s, we don’t see a lot of that. I think the only thing that could be useful for is if you’re so huge that you’re doing, you know, one of these orgs that goes to an upfront, you know, if there’s some week event, you’re going to where buyers can go around and shop 20 or 30 different shows. And yeah, if you want to warm them up with a sizzle reel, that could be a good idea. But yeah, for the market, we play and we don’t need. That’s one thing we don’t need. Thankfully,

Katie Robbert 33:41
I’m wondering if for a show, like In-Ear Insights, where it’s just myself and Chris, and we don’t have those, you know, high value guests, it might be an extra layer of demonstrating, because anybody can put on a piece of paper, here’s what I talk about. But to actually demonstrate that you can talk about it in an articulate way, I’m assuming is more high value. But again, are people just looking to say, Okay, this is the audience that they reach. These are the topics that they cover, that’s good enough.

John Wall 34:15
Yeah, it’s, again, that comes down to the buyer. Like if they’re looking for tonnage then yet that is good enough, you know, they’re ready to go. But if they’re looking for demand gen, then they’re gonna definitely want to dive in a lot further and, you know, see if your listeners are a match. Because, yeah, for In-Ear Insights, right, you’re talking about, I mean, it’s people that are analytics minded. It’s a narrow niche is marketing, tech and analytics, you’ve got all all those fronts. So then it’s a question of, okay, so what brands are looking for those kinds of buyers right. So you’ve got the whole array of marketing analytics tools is definitely an easy grab there. And yeah, it’s I don’t know. Well, this was a whole thing I didn’t. I had dedicated some time to So getting this stuff going, but there’s the whole challenge of prospecting with this, right? Like, it’s a huge problem in that, as you’re kill this, as you’re looking for people who could advertise, really, you know, the cold pitch, as far as sending out a sizzle reel or trying to get somebody interested in this, in the show undercuts you, because you’re kind of putting out there that, hey, we’re experts in the space, and we’re no know what’s going on. But you haven’t heard of our show. So, you know, where’s the mismatch mismatch with that. And so there’s a couple of ways around that. You know, one is looking for partnership distribution, or trying to come up with an angle so that you can welcome a sponsor in first just as a partner, because really, what you want to do is try and fill up the sponsor slots, even if it’s with trades, but the goal is to avoid remnant, you know, you don’t want to have shows that don’t have a slot in them already. And that’s training the listener so that they know that they’re going to lose a 32nd or 62nd spot. And that’s just part of the content, which is why they get it for free. And then the goal is to ladder up from there, right? You’d like you sell a couple spots. And then it gets easier when you’ve got some scarcity, you know, you can say, hey, you know, we’re not filled this week, but I do have opening, you know, a month from now or whatever. And yeah, so it’s a lot of times with smart cast, what we see as you do a media partnership, like you go to somebody and say, Look, do you want to sponsor this for six months, like you’re going to be the, the pioneer sponsor, or whatever you want to call it, and you can come up with a great name for it. Whereas, and even it’s not even a heavy spend. But it’s that they’ll agree to promote it also to their channels, or you’ll feature some of their content. I think for you guys, that’s an angle as far as you could talk about topics that a specific vendor covers, and you don’t even have to name the vendor, but it’s the, hey, here’s the five things you need to know when you’re in this space. And you know, oh, by the way, that vendor can say, Hey, these are the five things and we do these things great. And they can repurpose that content. That’s an angle to go for. But yeah, it’s a tough sell. You know, I mean, there’s a billion podcasts out there. And I don’t know listening habits have changed so much over the past year. So with Spotify making bigger jumps and got more audiobooks coming into the cycle. Yeah, it’s, it’s becoming kind of a full read, see, as far as, you know, churning and fighting over the years. But, but yeah, there’s still space there. If you’re, if you’re telling a unique story.

Katie Robbert 37:27
I think, again, this sort of goes back to where you started John of the five P’s and really understanding the purpose of bringing on a sponsor, but also a sponsor, who’s seeking out places to, you know, do their ad buys, really understanding what their goals are? So those goals need to align. So is it awareness for your show, and for the sponsor, is it leaves for the sponsor, but awareness for your show? That could be a mismatch, you know, just trying to figure out like, what that is, and you’re right, for a show like In-Ear Insights, I think that our best bet is going to be looking at those mahr Tech brands, because that’s like the nice intersection of our audience. And we can, we’ve never been like, and this is the tool that we use. And so we’re open to pretty much any martec brand, saying, hey, I want to sponsor your show. And we can do a few episodic episodes on the type of technology that they cover that they have, you know, for a few extra dollars, we will name them by name and say and endorse them. You know, but I think that that sort of the things that when you’re thinking about sponsorships, you have to be thinking about is that match that fit? Because it is kind of like dating in a way? You want to make sure that like, Okay, is it just one date, and then you’re never gonna see the person again, you don’t really care? Or is do you want this to be a long term relationship, where, you know, I know that John, you’ve had a major social media platform as one of your sponsors for a long time, for marketing over coffee, and you want to make sure that that platform has the right kind of audience, they do the right kind of promotion, but also they align with the values of marketing over coffee show because your long standing show you’re 1516 years into it now. And you want to make sure that you’re choosing partners that aren’t going to immediately sink that reputation that you’ve worked so long to build.

John Wall 39:26
Yeah, that is a huge part of it. And it’s, again, that goes into that finding the right niche, like it’s we’re always talking about marketing tech, so any tech vendor, you know, as long as there have not done something horrible, and they’re kind of in the general dismiss list, there are all right to sponsor the show and get access to the audience. And we can use them for content like that’s the I mean, you know, it’s it’s not that it’s paid for play, but it’s like okay, when we’re going to do our next episode on what’s going on in SEO this week. Well, there’s three sponsors that have you know, worked with the show in the past. I can go to all the As product teams, and we’re like, Hey, what are you guys working on? What’s the new thing? And, you know, we would be reporting on stuff from some tool vendor anyway. So it might as well be the people who underwrite the expense and provide this free content to our listeners, you know? Yeah, that’s part of the mix too, is that, again, you don’t cross the line of paper of play. But you know, when it comes time to write the stories, if they’re part of your community, then you can include them in the content.

Katie Robbert 40:30
I feel like you’ve given me a lot to think about.

John Wall 40:33
There’s a bunch of stuff. I guess that, I don’t know, maybe we can just do another whole episode. But there’s kind of a whole bunch of sales principles that I was hoping we have time to hit as far as, you know, the way you frame this stuff, a big part was I talked about the beginning of selling the story of being involved with the community and creating content, like that’s more compelling than just, Hey, throw me your money so we can make something happen. And there’s ways to do that, you know, like providing the service and eliminating all the work for the customers like, yeah, you could create this podcast yourself, but or you could, you know, sign off on the paperwork, and it’s just gonna get done in the background, and you’re free to work on the things that you do best.

Katie Robbert 41:11
Well, I think that sounds like a great part two for next week, because we’re almost out of time for this week’s show. But we can absolutely cover that on next week’s episode, if people want to learn more about the actual sales side of sponsorships. Oh, high five.

John Wall 41:25
Yes, high five for that.

Katie Robbert 41:29
So, all right, so you’ve started to tease a little bit about what we’re going to cover next week, any anything else on that or anything else to sort of wrap up for today?

John Wall 41:40
Now that’s it, you know, it’s this is All Adventure Land stuff. Like there’s no guarantees any of its going to work but throw some money at it and try and get your community involved and you know, sponsor some great content, and see what happens there’s, there’s no other way to do it, but to try. So you know, go and take a chance and see where it goes, you will always learn something. It may be that this was something you weren’t supposed to do, but at least now you know where to go and where the pitfalls are. And that’s at least something.

Katie Robbert 42:07
Well, and speaking of community, if you want to join the Trust Insights free Slack community, you can join us at trust For marketers, if you want to subscribe to the podcast, the In-Ear Insights podcast, you can go to trust podcast. If you’re so inclined, and are interested in learning more about sponsoring the In-Ear Insights podcast, you can go to trust And you will in fact, talk with Mr. John Wall here. And if you want to learn more about marketing over coffee, you go to Marketing over Any final thoughts, John?

John Wall 42:41
That’s it. You’ve got all the plugs in there. I’ll be live with cool in the gang June 7 to Tanglewood, Massachusetts, if you’re not just kidding.

Katie Robbert 42:48
That would be I was like, really? Oh, all right. Well, until next week when we talk part two.

Christopher Penn 43:00
Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at trust AI podcast, and a weekly email newsletter at trust Got questions about what you saw on today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at trust for marketers See you next time.

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