Photo from PinkyParadise.com
Last week I launched my planner for 2017. It is the first step for any cosplayer, or anyone in general for having a successful, organized year. Today, I want to discuss sponsors, and how to get them. More and more we see people wearing sponsored costumes, or recieving a free wig or pair of contacts for review. Have you always wondered how they do it? Let's find out!
Your first thought when you see someone post a photo of the new contacts they got, or posing with a new product, is probably "wow, I want free stuff." Am I right? I mean, your follow up thoughts are probably how, how, and wow; but your initial reaction is free + want.
Common Myths About Sponsorship
Followers is a huge part of it, but it's not the whole picture! Getting a sponsorship is more than about being found. You need to put yourself out there, and stand out from the crowd. In an ever growing sea of cosplayers, what makes you different?
The funny thing about sponsors is that they don't have to ask people anymore. People come to them! So should you. Consider companies you would like to sponsor. Then consider why. What do they offer that you want, and what do you offer that they want?
Come on, you're awesome. This should be easy!!
While you consider these questions, take the time to get familiar with the business. Look over their website and products. Check out the FAQ section and the site map at the bottom of the page. Sometimes they'll have specific guidelines for sponsors, or maybe a statement saying they don't accept sponsors at this time.
How un-professional would it seem to send off your pitch all willy-nilly just to find out they had a public statement about it already? You really want to impress them, so do your research!
This is an old call for sponsors by Darling Army. It is not a current promotion.
What to Include in Your Pitch
These are required for the sheer point of the business needs to know who they're potentially working with. But this isn't enough! You need to stand out in the crowd, let the holy lights shine on you and sing when they read your pitch.
What Else to Include in Your Pitch
These things will make the pitch less robotic, and more creative. Add your flair, share your personality. You want to pitch to them exactly how you would share the media after with your fans.
Pro Tip: Use the business name in your pitch, or specific products often so that it doesn't feel like a copy and pasted message. You want them to know how passionate you are and determined to work with them.
How to Make Your Pitch Stand Out Even More
Okay, now you have a wall of text and you're just not feeling like you stand out enough. Maybe you even added a little logo by your signature for an added boost. Know what would boost it even more? A media kit!
A media kit is a one page summary of everything a business could possibly want to know about you.
Important Things to Include on Your Media Kit
I made it super easy to understand with my media kit below! You should always keep it updated depending how fast your followers grow!
The best part of a media kit is how personal it can be. Design it to represent YOU. Include information that you think is relevant. Give yourself plenty of time to work on this. Or, consider buying a template! Etsy has a few workable templates.
You can even make your media kit in Paint. Yes, paint. Why not?! You can import images, drop text, and design a basic template that you can save and edit over whenever you need.
For a less crazy option, there's Microsoft Word. I'm actually Word illiterate, so that's all I can say on that subject.
If you have Adobe Creative Suite, you can use Photoshop, or my favorite, InDesign. Whichever you choose, you just need a program that can import multiple elements and block text!
If you're good at illustrating and have nice writing, you can try to design your media kit completely by hand! Now that would be out of the box!
Finding it hard to muster up the motivation? Consider this another cosplay project. Break it down and then see the end result in your mind.
Okay, Now What?
We've picked a company we want to work with; we know why we want to work with them and that they accept submissions; we've crafted a personal and custom pitch to the business; and finally designed the perfect media kit.
PUSH SEND!! It's always the scariest part; wondering if your nitpicking made it the perfect it could be or not. Trust your instincts and send it away.
This is an older promo for Arda Wigs. Keep watching their site for more current sponsorship opportunities.
The Waiting Game
Waiting for a response, especially your first response, is terrifying. What if they say no? What if they never reply? WHAT IF THEY SAY YES?!!
If they say yes, then high five, friend! You did it! But the work isn't over yet. You're entering a partnership and contract with this business so you must maintain professional and keep up your end of the promises. But go forth and conquer your first sponsorship!
If they say no, or don't ever respond, don't fret. Don't give up all hope. This is the time to evaluate the situation and consider the facts. Look at their followers on social media and how popular the brand is. It could be not enough research, or maybe they just truly don't have the resources at the time.
Try pitching a smaller company. Every pitch sent and reply received is more data to curate your best pitch. I emailed ten brands before I even got a response.
It was a no.
But then ten more later (I was over ambitious) I got a yes!
It can happen to anyone, you just need to push yourself and work hard! Need to keep track of emails you sent? There's a page in my planner for that.
I want to see your media kits! When you make your pretty page, send it to me, or link it in the comments! I hope you found this post hopeful and inspiring!