Today we had our first workshop for Mrs. Utah United States 2011 and I learned several things, but mostly: I say “I’m excited” a lot! But I truly am and I think that came out in the workshop. I believe in this pageant, I believe in the people behind the pageant who make it happen, and that’s why I was able to sit for nearly two hours and talk about what a great opportunity it is for us the directors, for you the contestant, and for our amazing sponsors who support us.
Today’s workshop focused on sponsorships and giving back. We streamed it live on Facebook via UStream so that the girls unable to attend in person could still watch it. There was a lot of valuable information about sponsorships and FAQ’s about the pageant in general. You can still go watch the video on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MrsUtah.
Here is a reminder of some of the things we talked about when getting sponsorships.
Sponsorships are about you and having someone, or a company, back you while you run for Mrs. Utah. They’re sponsoring you because they believe in you and your platform. And they’re doing it because it’s a wise decision for them, essentially, sponsoring you will help their business grow.
Before approaching a sponsor, you need to put in some homework first. Here is where I would start: What do YOU believe in? What is your platform basically? If I were running this year I would do something on helping children who are victims of sexual abuse. Then I would narrow that down: How am I going to help children who were abused? I would contact the local Children’s Justice Center and see how I am able to volunteer and help. What is already being done? What needs to be done? I would research my platform and find ways to help.
Then I would narrow it down to my one-sentence platform. How can I sum up in one sentence what I believe in? You’re going to need this later on anyway. I would then make a list of sponsors that make sense for my platform. Getting sponsors is also about creating awareness for your platform early on, so approach sponsors that make sense for you. I would contact counselors, psychiatrists, etc. But I wouldn’t stop there. Part of overcoming being a victim is getting back to a normal life. So what is a normal life? I would contact community centers, recreation guides, etc. Any program or companies that can help bring joy to a child who is suffering. The possibilities there are endless.
Then I would make a list of beauty and health companies, because after all, it is a pageant. Fitness centers, hair salons, tanning salons, etc. A place where women go to feel beautiful on the outside.
When getting sponsors, remember that you are getting sponsors for an entire year. So make a list of what you need and what your costs are going to be. There’s the pageant fee, the cocktail dress, swimsuit, heels, evening gown, new hairstyle or color, eyelash extension or fake eyelashes, tanning, fitness makeover, business suit for the private interview, nylons, and so on. Once you have a list and you know what you need, that is your target – times three. Not only do emergencies happen that you weren’t prepared for, but you are going into this to win. And if you win, you have very little turnaround time before nationals. You want your sponsors to sponsor you for the pageant, for nationals and for the entire year. Mrs. Utah will be reigning over the entire state, or country, for 12 months, so you need that support the entire time.
Now create your list of what you can give back to your sponsors (visit http://www.mrsutahus.com/sponsors/sponsorship-packages/ for some ideas). We aren’t in the business of asking for handouts. We give back more than we get.
You might be asking yourself, OK but I don’t own a business where I can do trade, but there is still so much you can because you are a person of value. Start right now with a blog or website that heavily promotes you and your platform and offer to write a blog about your sponsor. Give them an ad or put their logo on your blog. Create your Facebook and Twitter page or group for your platform and promote your sponsors there, as well. Offer to make an appearance at their grand opening, etc. We’ve also made it really easy for you to sell advertising in the program and receive 50% commission (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how).
Sponsors are like preliminary judges. If you walk in and ask them to sponsor you for a pageant but you don’t know what your platform is or why it is important to you, they are going to see right through that. Get involved and they will rally behind you if they believe in your cause.
And when you do acquire your sponsors, immediately send a hand-written thank you. And don’t forget to follow up with them when the pageant is over. They will want to know how you did, and they most likely will still be able to find a way to keep you as a spokesperson. And remember to go above and beyond. Whatever you promised to do for your sponsor, go a little extra. It will make you feel good, and you are likely to keep them for the entire year, and next year if you want to run again, or need a sponsor for your cause!