Creating a relationship with a third party isn’t just for
high-profile media types. Get some exposure by becoming
a promotional triple-threat.
BY EDWARD LEIGH, MA
“We’ve heard so much about your
work and want to book you for our next
It’s the “perfect-fit” phone call every
speaker dreams of receiving.
“But we don’t have very much money.”
Okay, now it becomes a dreaded
Like a recurring nightmare, it happens countless times—someone wants to hear what you
have to say but can’t afford to pay what you
charge or can’t pay at all. You listen, you ponder, perhaps negotiate. Sometimes you cave in
and sometimes you just have to pass. Before that
happens again, you might want to be ready with
a sponsor, a third party who’s ready and willing
to pay your fee.
No, you’re not dreaming again. While sponsors
are not fairy godmothers or genies who can conjure
up all the cash you want whenever and wherever
you want to speak, they can be great partners in a
win-win-win scenario that includes more bookings
for you, increased exposure for the sponsor and a
perfect program for your client’s audience.
Sponsorship vs. Traditional
Traditional client relationships involve two parties: you and the client. ABC Association hires
you to speak to its members and conference
attendees. Company XYZ pays you to train its
employees or provide the opening keynote at a
sales meeting. In a traditional relationship, clients
are interested directly in your program and what
it can do for their audiences.
When a sponsor is involved, three parties
make up the relationship: the speaker, the
client and the sponsor. From the sponsor’s
point of view, there is one more all-important
component: the audience. If Acme Corporation
sponsors your presentation to the Widget Association, it is not because it believes in your message and what it can do for your client’s
audience (that’s the client’s motivation).
Acme Corporation is interested in sponsoring
your program because it gives exposure to an
audience it considers important for marketing its
products and services. No matter how life changing or skill-building your message is, how superb
your platform skills are or how high your ratings
are, if the sponsor doesn’t perceive any marketing benefit from sponsoring the program, it is
unlikely it will provide funding.