Pitching to a company is probably a lot easier than you might imagine. Sometimes I think we over-analyze something simply because we're not sure of a company's expectations. The last thing you want to do is sell something you really don't have. The most important thing companies are looking for (at least reputable companies), is honesty. Just be honest.
If you have never heard of their company or product before, let them know! Tell them your curiosity is piqued and you are interested in knowing more about them. Work to build a partnership before asking for a sponsorship, if possible.
What to pitch
Include the following elements in your pitch:
- who you are and where you blog (name and url)
- your interest in their company (why did you choose them to pitch to and why you would be a good fit)
- some background information on the conference, (include a link to the site)
- demographics of the conference (conference type, people group, number of people, etc)
- what you specifically want to offer them (ad space, blog posts, giveaway, social media coverage, etc. and how much)
Not only will these elements help guide you in your pitch, they will also guide you in your company selection. Don't just pitch to anyone.
It's vital when you write your pitch to write it with confidence. Don't be overly formal. Instead, be casual and keep your tone light.
Many companies are more interested in why you would be a good fit for them rather than what your stats are. If your reasons are authentic, your partnering with them will speak for itself. Do not tell them what you don't have. Tell them what you do have.
Where to pitch
Always pitch in an email, unless you know the company well enough to make a phone call. I strongly advise against any type of pitching on Facebook or Twitter (or Google Plus, etc). These forms of media are not the place for a sponsorship pitch. Go ahead and create relationships through these avenues with companies, but do not pitch there.
It's a good idea to have a page on your blog listing your sponsorship opportunity, but don't just let it sit there. Get it out there! Most likely, companies won't see it unless you send it to them.
Change your mindset from "needing a sponsor" to "offering a sponsorship opportunity". Many companies consider it a privilege and delight to sponsor someone. The last thing you want to do is sound desperate. Your goal is to partner with a company, not merely "get a free ride". So do not pitch as a desperate money grubber because you're not a desperate money grubber. You are a blogger with something to offer. So offer it! :)
You could break your sponsorship into different packages, offering the most promotion to your top sponsor, and less promotion for companies who sponsor a lesser package.
Sell yourself. This might be hard for some of you, and I totally get that. Be confident in who God has made you to be. Don't be prideful. Be confident. You know yourself and what you're capable of. Simply exhibit it through your pitch.