Have you considered getting a sponsor for your podcast? As we continue this month’s series on monetization, we’ll be focusing on podcast sponsorships in today’s episode. Listen in as I share what it can look like to work with a sponsor, what you should consider before pitching, along with my own thoughts on podcast sponsorships.

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

What is Considered an Advertisement? (0:55)   

Sponsorships (1:23)

Partnerships (2:13)

Payment for Advertisements (2:58)

Run Your Own Tests (4:05)

Bad Ad Pitches (7:12)

Think Before You Pitch (9:02)

Reevaluate Your Goals (9:21)

Check out the other episodes in this series:
Episode 039: Ways to Monetize Your Podcast
Episode 040: How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Podcast
Episode 042: Using Your Podcast for Marketing Your Business

Review the Transcript:

Advertising.. it’s a love/hate relationship in most scenarios. On podcasts, you have a portion of listeners who are influenced by them and another portion who skip over them. In today’s episode, I’m sharing what it can look like to work with a sponsor, what you should consider before pitching, along with my own thoughts on podcast sponsors.

Hey y’all welcome to the clocking in podcast the podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals making their way in the working world i’m your host Haylee Gaffin this podcast is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com plus you’ll also find resources show notes and more for the clocking in podcast so let’s clock in and get to work.

What’s considered an advertisement? Well for the sake of today’s episode, we’re going to lump partnerships and sponsorships under the overarching umbrella of an advertisement.

With partnerships and sponsorships, you’re allowing other brands to promote their product on your show in exchange for compensation or some type of agreement. In this episode, we’ll explore the difference between these two and how you can navigate what your agreement looks like.

So I look at sponsorships as the more traditional route of advertising. This could typically mean you’re placing an ad on your show in exchange for monetary compensation. Later we’ll talk about pricing, but essentially, these ads have little or nothing to do with your actual topic of conversation (unless strategically planned).

Think of some of the biggest podcasts in the podcast space… they all have sponsors of some kind unless they’re produced on behalf of a business and are simply used for marketing the company.

I also want you to think of how often you take action based on those ads.. For myself, I hear ads and am either introduced to a new company OR it pushes me to take the action. 

But truthfully, ads aren’t the only way you can earn sponsorships on your podcast.. 

Another way is through a partnership. This could look different in any partnership based on the needs of each party, but it could be an exchange of goods or services, it could be a long-term content plan partnership, or maybe something else.

In some way, a partnership is beneficial to both you and the partner. For example, a partnership for me could be that I exchange my services with a client of mine in exchange for them to promote my services, products, or course on their podcast.

Another way you could approach a partnership is to do an audience trade, where you and another host come on each other’s shows to sell your products.

There are tons of ways you can do this that will either directly bring you money, or will grow you business in other ways.

Now, I do want to get into something I’ve talked about on the show one other time.. it’s not the best news… but let’s see what we can do to change it in 2022.

The payment for advertisements.

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that the industry standard for podcast advertising rates is $20 per 1,000 downloads. For big name podcasts, that’s amazing, but for smaller podcasts like this one, it’s not worth putting another brand on my show for such a small amount of money. I’ll be completely transparent with you, my show is not where near 1,000 downloads per episode. Not even close. Essentially, I’d barely make $20 per episode IF I ran with this rate.

What I’d love to see happen in the industry is a shift. A shift in the podcast hosts understanding the quality of their listeners, the conversion rates of their listeners, and more. 

While bigger podcasts can get away with only charging $20 per 1,000 downloads, and rightfully so, I think there is also room for the little podcasts as well.

Here’s what I recommend you do to navigate this almost “unfair” standard. Run your own tests. Know what your listenership is, your conversion rates, etc.

Know what you want to make per episode of your podcast.. ideally, this will start with covering your time and costs in producing your show.

When you’re approaching advertisers have these numbers available to pull from. Know the costs associated with the product of the company you’re pitching, and put yourself in their shoes.

If they’re spending X per episode, for X listeners, with an expectation of getting a conversion rate of x, totaling X conversions… What does that look like for them?

How much are they spending per conversion?

How much does their project cost?

Is it worth it for them?

Thankfully, many brands are looking at the Lifetime value of a customer, so think brands like Hello Fresh…. One person isn’t just spending $45 on their first box, they’re usually going to have a longer lifespan with the subscription to a weekly box.

After you think through those number, I want you to think through what types of deals you could create with the brands you’re pitching. 

Could you offer a package deal where they get a discount on multiple episodes? Could you partner with them to bring someone on to talk more about the product, then the next few episodes will include an ad?

There are tons to consider with sponsors, advertising, and monetizing in this way.

Now, I want to talk about another thing you may run into… ad pitches…. BAD ad pitches, more specifically.. 

We get a pitch in our inbox and it’s exciting, but what happens when it’s not a good deal?

I got a pitch the other day from a jewelry company that clearly didn’t know my podcast… first red flag.

Then they said they wanted to offer my listeners a discount… but didn’t mention compensation.. second red flag.

When I pushed back, the full details included me purchasing my own products from them, getting a discount code for my audience, then making a commission on the sales. 

It’s very similar to an affiliate program, but this company reached out to me. Maybe it would be the right fit for someone, but to know if I liked the brand, I would have had to purchase from them, and who knows how much I would have had to sell in order to make up my purchase.

Now if I was a lifestyle podcast, I could have taken this as a test to see how my podcast could perform with ads and used it as a case study for future advertisers.

To me, I’d rather promote my own products and services.

My last and final advice around this topic is to think before you pitch. Look at the relationships you have, the long-term plans for your business and podcast, etc.

You don’t have to chase a few dollars here and there for advertisements if you can create a better long-term plan with partners in your business and on your podcast.

Now that you’ve heard this episode, I want you to re-evaluate your podcast goal. Does sponsorship add value to your goals or does it muddy the vision of your goal?

In the time I’m currently in, advertisements would muddy the water for the goal of my podcast, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t consider it one day.

Thank you for listening to another episode of Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin. Come tune in next week as I highlight the number one way I use my podcast by selling and marketing my own products and services. Plus, I’ll even be lightly covering how you can create a paid membership for your listeners to monetize that way.

I’m so thankful for your listenership and truly hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family! I’ll be taking the next week and a half off work to spend time with mine and just reflect on what the last year has brought me. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, friends!

This has been another episode of The clocking in podcast. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at Gaffincreative.com. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. If you love this episode, I’d be so honored if you leave me a review in Apple podcast app. Until next time, I’m your host Haylee Gaffin, clocking out.