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Don’t Short-Change Your Podcast’s Ad Inventory

To me, there is one simple way to sell sponsorships. And that is this: ask for as much as possible.

I’m not kidding. You don’t know what your ceiling is. If you go by CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and views, it really puts you in a tough spot. Why? Because views and impressions have commodified to such a level that you’ll never hit enough scale to match it. Most people are going to end up making $4 on their show if they go that route.

It’s the association that matters in the end. I don’t run ads on the #AskGaryVee Show, but if I did, I would expect pretty substantial bank. But that money wouldn’t be predicated on the 20,000 views I get per episode on YouTube, or the 50,000 impressions on Facebook. Not at all. The money would be predicated on the brand association. There is extra value in endorsing a product when you’ve never done it before.

So the thing you need to think about when considering sponsorship depends on what kind of show you have. If it’s a small business start-up, you need to negotiate. A price needs to be set, and you need to start high. I can tell you now that if you’re talking to a media buying agency, you’re already in a tough place because they are looking to buy scale. They are going to want to commodify your traffic. That won’t make sense for 99.9% of the people who have shows on YouTube or iTunes. Even if you have substantial viewership, those big agencies won’t make sense for you, for all the reasons stated above.

My advice for you is to go a different route when it comes to sponsorship. Don’t stay in the business of direct conversion, for one. What you want to be is in the brand association pricing. It’s about the fact that the brand chooses to be on the show, and that is what they want. The association. Not the conversions.

So: start high. Price high. Don’t ask for what you want. Double or triple it to leave room for negotiations. You can really miss out if you don’t do that. And be in it for the brand association, not conversion. Those are my big pieces of advice for getting sponsorship. Now, you just have to contact the sponsors. Start close to home, in your field; email every business that could have anything to do with your show’s subject matter. Every business. And ask. Bring value up front and don’t hesitate when you ask.

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