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How to find sponsors for your channel
In this article, we’ll cover:
WHAT IS A SPONSOR?
HOW TO ATTRACT SPONSORS?
WHAT TYPE OF SPONSOR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
HOW TO FIND SPONSORS?
HOW TO WRITE A PITCH LETTER TO SPONSORS?
CAN SMALL CHANNELS GET SPONSORED?
TOP SPONSORS FOR GAMING CHANNELS
HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN FROM SPONSORSHIP?
Intro – What is a sponsor
Streamers go about streaming not only for sharing great moments playing their favorite games with their viewers, but also for the possibility of earning money. When a streamer looks for ways to monetize their channel they typically look for ways how to get sponsored for gaming.
Any brand or company, no matter what product or service they offer, can participate in a streamer sponsorship if they feel the streamer offers value to their promotional efforts. In this guide we will show you how to become sponsored by a company with some helpful tips.
Step 1 – Grow your social following to gain more viewership
There are two factors that sponsors will check to see if a stream is worthwhile to sponsor.
- How many viewers does the stream receive?
- Does the streamer regularly engage with their following?
When learning how to get companies to sponsor you, it is important to keep in mind that they are going to look at your social media channels.Let’s say that you are a Fortnite Twitch streamer and you are wondering how to get sponsored playing Fortnite. Perhaps you are eyeing the Razer sponsorship or other gaming sponsorship opportunities.No matter the sponsorship program, any potential sponsor will first evaluate your social media presence to understand the value of your reach. Typically the most sponsorship-valued streamers have roughly 1000+ viewers per stream.How can anyone start watching your stream if they don’t know about your channel? That is when social media comes into play. To further grow your stream’s viewership through social it is important to keep the following in mind:
Engagements hold more weight than follows
Growing your social following by commenting on other posts, responding to other uses, and hosting special events, are some ways you can naturally grow your following.
Use your social accounts to promote your stream
Twitch and other streaming networks offer the ability to connect to social media and let your following know when you are live on the air. Try to customize social posts to keep things fresh.Collaborate with other streamers and help promote their channels as well. Joining streaming communities on social media is a great way to learn and grow.
Use social media management tools
Life can get in the way of social media strategy but that is alright.
Social media tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Crowdfire allow you to schedule social posts in advance. These platforms allow you to think more in-depth about your content strategy, by creating and scheduling posts throughout the week, month, or even year.
Social media management platforms also usually come equipped with insight data so you can double down on content that converts.
Host giveaways, tournaments, and special events
People enjoy being included in events and hosting your own can help establish your name in the streaming space. Use social media to hype up these events to help get people excited. If they enjoy the event then they will definitely be back for more.
Always keep talking and interacting with viewers
You were able to funnel viewers from your social channel to your stream, great job! Now you must keep them engaged in the stream.
Keep chatting during the stream to eliminate any quiet periods and give off positive energy. Calling a friend on Skype or playing a multiplayer game are a few ways to fight awkward silences.
When viewers join the stream welcome them! Talk to them and ask them questions so they will want to stick around. If they type any questions to you then be sure to answer them in a timely manner.
Building your following may take time but once you have an established following it will all be worth it!
Try to do:Make efforts to establish relationships with other streamers in real life. This can help with social efforts by taking pictures or videos at content creator meetups that you and your fellow streamers can share on social. Not only will you cement a more lasting relationship but you can gain even more impressions through several other streamer channels
Try to avoid:Today it is common to see accounts buy follows from fake accounts to appear as if they have an established following. Refrain from doing this at all costs. Most of these accounts have little to no engagements and usually get banned later on
Step 2 – Think about what sponsors wants you to feature
Before going forward and reaching out to companies it is critical to think about what products you feel would fit your channel. Keep in mind that even if they do not currently have any stream sponsors, they may wish to join the ever growing list of video game sponsors.
What products do you use every day? Do you use any of these products during the stream?
The more a product can sit well with your channel the more likely the brand will see the usefulness in the sponsorship deal.
When Gfuel sponsored some of the biggest names in gaming like Pewdiepie, Drdisrespect, and Keemstar, you probably would see pictures of them holding shaker bottles with their favorite flavor of the powdered energy drink.
An example to think about is if you are a Fortnite streamer then you probably would want to reach out to sponsors who are affiliated with the game. Some ideas may include:
- Fortnite related blogs or news sites
- Other up-in-coming battle royale based games (probably not Apex Legends or PUBG unless you are a streamer with a large audience)
- Companies that produce Fortnite related accessories or products, such as cell phone cases or t-shirts
- Any other reliable online gaming companies that appeal to a general gaming audience.
Prepare a list of the companies you’d like to reach out to, the more you have the better. This is due to the typical response rate for employees at these companies to often be rather slow. A larger list will also give you a higher chance to score more “yes” answers from sponsors.
See how you can incorporate the product(s) of sponsors you are looking to contact into your streams and provide detail to the company on how you would go about promoting it. If you are already an active user of the product then you should have a good amount of knowledge on why you love the product and how you use it every day.
Pro tip:when you are ready to contact a company provide as much detail into why you love their product. Show as much passion as you can. Companies want streamers who will enjoy using their products each day and telling their following why their products are great.
Step 3 – Do your research on potential sponsors
Not all sponsors that you encounter will be a well-known name. Doing research on the sponsor is important before getting involved.
Use the necessary tools to seek out sponsors that you’d want to get in touch with. Target specific keywords in online searches that a specific brand may use in their online promotion.
Following certain brands on Twitter and Instagram may help lead to suggested accounts of a similar product to appear on your account’s page.
Once you have located the sponsor that you wish to contact, do some research on them to see if they are a legit organization. See if they have the following:
- A confirmed website
- Social media accounts and how large their following is
- Reviews of their product. Are they positive or negative?
- The date when they were founded
- Team member profiles
- Founder(s) bios
If any of these cannot be found or appear “sketchy” in anyway then it might be best to first talk directly with a team member, or even the founder their self, regarding more information about the brand.
You can also use streamer sponsorships search websites such as Powerspike, Hellogamer, and Wehypeit. These websites will help you find brands that offer sponsorships to streamers, however it is still your duty to contact them directly.
It also doesn’t hurt to conduct outreach in the offline world. Attend meetups and conventions where you know brands that interest you are attending.
Carry business cards and approach them in a professional manner, making a brief intro and conducting a conversation to get them interested in your channel.
Preparing your stream
Before applying or seeking out sponsors, be sure that your stream appears professional.
- Have all panels under your stream filled out with relevant information
- Showcase on social media that your following does indeed like you. For example, pin a tweet that had the highest engagement on your Twitter profile that also shows how you engage with your following.
- Include graphic art that really catches the viewer’s eyes and communicates the tone of your channel. Learning any tricks with design, even just editing, can save you some money. However, if a designer is needed, sites like Fiverr can help you locate one quickly.
- Have an “offline” cover photo with your stream’s schedule and social handles.
- Include chat bots for your Twitch chat, or even in other community channels you may have, such as Discord. These are key to showcase that you place importance on maintaining a healthy, non-toxic community.
Having all these nailed down will help show your contacts that you are serious about growing your stream and helping them promote in the process.
Finding the right people to contact
Now that you have a list of sponsors you wish to contact you are probably wondering who to conduct outreach to.
The best way to begin is to first head over to LinkedIn and look up employees who work at the company you are hoping to get on as a sponsor. Look for individuals with an authoritative title, those with “manager” or a senior related role would be great to connect with.
If the company has a sponsorship and/or marketing department, then anyone with a senior role in that department would be key to connect with.
Once you have located someone with this seniority at the brand of your choice, send them a connection request. You may also want to include a short note along with the connection request to briefly introduce yourself.
If they accept your request then congratulations! You are ready for the next step.
Cementing a relationship
Now that you have connected with the targeted contact on LinkedIn you need to start establishing a relationship with them.
Why do we need to build up a relationship with them? Won’t this cost us a lot of time? Yes it will, but you will have a greater likelihood of getting the sponsorship.
Showing the brand manager what you have to offer while establishing a good relationship will help you land the sponsorship with no problem.
Start off by telling them what you like about their company. You may also want to discuss a current event that is happening for them.
Once the conversation is flowing well, mention about your stream’s growth. If they seem interested in learning more then mention to them that you think it would be awesome to work together.
The ball is now in their court, if they say that it sounds like a great idea then send them your pitch letter. Of course there is the possibility of rejection, if this does occur just say, “Thank you for your time”, and move on.
Try to do:Do you have a close friend who is a designer or artist? Contact them to see if they’d like to help design your channel. Sometimes working with someone you trust is better than freelancers you don’t know.
Step 4 – Work on your pitch
Data never lies, so including statistics regarding the growth of your social and streaming channel is key in helping to convince brands to sponsor you. Include charts that showcase the following:
- Impressions – the amount of times people have seen your posts on social
- Engagements – the amount of clicks, comments, likes, link clicks that a post received
- Viewers – people who stop and check out your stream
- Average viewership – the average amount of viewers who watch your stream for a prolonged period of time
Emphasize what you have to offer
Showing a brand what you can help them achieve is one big factor which they look for. Conveying to them why you love their brand is useful, however showing them how you will help them achieve their goals is critical. In order to outline what you can help them achieve do some research into the company.
- Do competitive analysis – Who are the companies competitors? How do they appear to rank against them?
- Is there any recent news? – Check into the latest business trends about the company. Are there any big stories that they are involved in?
- What are their challenges? – What appears to be some challenges they face today? Are there any that they were not aware of?
If you were able to uncover information regarding any of these factors, be sure to detail how your stream can help them in your pitch.
Construct your pitch letter
Any streamer who is serious about gaining a sponsorship must learn how to draw up a proposal for sponsorship.
This action is needed in order to appear professional in the eyes of the potential sponsor and to quickly grab their attention.
An example pitch letter can be viewed below.
Example of a pitch letter:
Dear GFuel Sponsorship Manager,
Greetings! My name is Name aka UniqueGamerTag and I am a League of Legends streamer on Twitch. I wanted to reach out to you because I am an everyday user of the GFuel product and was looking to see if there are any opportunities for us to work together.
As of right now my channel has experienced tremendous growth, with most recently obtaining 500 new unique views of my stream each week. I have researched your current list of sponsored streamer and realized you do not have any streamers who are bilingual in Hindi and English. I just so happen to run my streams in three languages due to having fluency in English, French, and Hindi. I believe that my streams have huge potential to reach viewers from several nations and bring the GFuel name to a larger international audience.
I would love to learn more on how to get sponsored by GFuel and have already filled out the GFuel sponsorship form. Feel free to view some clips from my stream and other analytical data that showcases my social media and Twitch stream impressions and engagements. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you soon.
Pro tip:When writing your outreach letter be sure to keep it professional but avoid sounding like a robot. Have your own distinct voice and communicate it throughout the letter.
Step 5 – Sponsorship for small channels: Affiliate Sponsorship
For small streamers it will definitely prove difficult to obtain sponsorships considering their channel’s lack reach.
Large companies will usually be open to streamers with a developed following to do business with, however this does not mean that you must go on without any sort of deals.
It is recommended that small streamers begin seeking “affiliate sponsorships”, which tend to be easy sponsorships for gaming personalities that are new on the scene to obtain.
An affiliate differs from a sponsor by that an affiliate typically assists in monetization of a brand’s products by promoting it on their stream. In return they will earn a commission off any purchases made with their unique “code” or url.
Sponsorship is usually an agreement between the brand and the streamer. An example can be a brand paying a streamer with a large following $500 a month to display their logo or banner on their stream’s overlay.
Usually before signing a contract, the streamer and the brand will go into negotiation, making most deals unique.
In the case of small streamers, it typically is good to start with affiliate gaming sponsorships for small streamers while your channel grows. The reason behind this is that you will get experience with working together with brands along with a taste of the outreach process.
You may even earn some commission off sales made through your referral codes with programs such as a gaming chair sponsorship. Having banners and logos of brands that you are affiliated with can also boost the interest in your stream for the long term.
Some great affiliate gaming sponsorships to get started with include:
- Astro Gaming
- Origin PC
- Phineas Coffee
- Blitz Energy
- DXRacer Gaming Chairs
- Mixt Energy
- Ironside Computers
A few small channels that are involved with affiliate sponsors for Twitch streamers are foreveryung2323 with Phineas Coffee and RPCommon with Blitz Energy.
If you are a Twitch streamer it is also a good idea to pursue the Twitch Affiliate status. This program allows your channel to earn on subscriptions and game sales, as well as opens up even more features on Twitch to enjoy.
In order to become a Twitch Affiliate you’ll need at least 50 followers and over a count of 30 days:
- 500 total broadcast minutes
- 7 unique broadcast days
- An average of 3 or more concurrent viewers
Pro tip:Twitch affiliate sponsors also have the chance to apply for a Twitch sponsorship known as the Twitch Partner Program as their channel grows to a larger scale. If you wish for your channel to become a more authoritative name on Twitch, the partner program may be for you.
Step 6 – Pursue big name sponsorships
If you are a streamer with over 1000 unique viewers and with a following that ranges in the ten thousands, then you are most likely ready for big sponsorship opportunities.
Even if you are not yet a streamer with a large following, reading over the applications for these sponsorships may serve you well by setting goals to achieve in the long term.
Major brands such as Gfuel, Razer, and Corsair, typically require you to fill out an application and provide details on how successful your stream is (statistics, social posts, clips from your stream, ect) to help influence their decision.
There usually are no set of requirements that are listed, but you can tell by their application questions that they are looking for dedicated professional streamers. These are just some of the most popular sponsorships out there for streamers.
Of course if you have a brand in mind that you believe would fit your stream better then be sure to use the tactics taught in the previous section to pursue sponsorship with them.
After filling out and submitting the application you will need to wait to hear if they will move forward to a negotiation stage or if you have been rejected. If you receive the good news that they would like for you to proceed then prepare to detail to them what you are looking for in the new partnership.
If everything appears good to you in the contract, then sign it and you are all set with your new sponsor!
Pro tip:Achieving a big named sponsorship can take a lot of time and each case is different. The sponsor ultimately will determine if they want to do business with you based off of what you present to them. Try talking to reachable teams or individuals who have been sponsored by your sought after brand and ask what they did in order to obtain sponsorship.
Try to avoid:Never enter into a deal that is not completely clear to you. There might be hidden terms that you never noticed and then you will have a problem. For any big deals make sure to have lawyers present.
Preparing your stream for sponsorship is one that will take time. You will need to gradually grow your channel through changing your strategies to continue appealing to your target audience and continue getting the proper engagement you need. Getting to the level you need to be ready to start reaching out to sponsors will take time, but you will learn plenty along the way.
If you are ready to help a streamer you know grow their channel and become sponsorship ready, then please be sure to share this article.