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5 Tips for Understanding Podcast Sponsorships

5 Tips for Understanding Podcast Sponsorships

5 Tips for Understanding Podcast Sponsorships

  • Jun 11, 2024

In this week’s episode of the Podcasting Secrets show, I sat down with Chloe Thomas, a seasoned podcaster and e-commerce marketing expert. Chloe has authored five books about e-commerce and has managed a marketing agency for more than a decade. Since 2015, she has hosted the E-commerce Master Plan podcast, and since 2020, she has also hosted the Keep Optimizing podcast, which has allowed her to become a full-time podcaster.

Throughout the episode, Chloe shares her insights on the world of podcasting, focusing on podcast sponsorships. She discusses the strategies that have allowed her to become successful in the industry and offers valuable tips for both seasoned podcasters and those just starting out. In this blog post, we'll dive into the five concepts of sponsorships from Chloe's experience, helping you understand how to effectively work with podcast sponsorships.

1. Don't Assume the Sponsor Understands Podcasting Sponsorship

Not all sponsors fully grasp the concept of podcast sponsorship. Many sponsors, especially those new to the medium, may not understand the intricacies of how podcast sponsorships work or even what they are.

As a podcaster, it's essential to take the time to walk them through the steps. This includes helping them craft effective ad briefs, providing guidance on what metrics to expect, and assisting them in tracking the response to their sponsorships. By taking a hands-on approach and guiding sponsors through the process, you can help ensure their success and increase the likelihood of them returning for future sponsorships.

A sponsor's lack of understanding isn't necessarily a bad thing. It presents an opportunity for you to build a stronger relationship with them by offering your expertise and support. By helping your sponsors succeed, you're ultimately setting yourself up for long-term success in the world of podcast sponsorships.

2. Not Everything Needs to Be Sponsored

While it may be tempting to fill every available slot with a sponsor, Chloe emphasizes the importance of being selective when it comes to sponsorships. Not every episode or every available ad spot needs to be sponsored.

Sponsorships are a perishable product. Once an episode is released, its sponsorship potential decreases significantly within a short period. While you can still sell sponsorships for older episodes, they won't be worth nearly as much as a new, freshly released episode.

Rather than devaluing your brand by desperately trying to fill last-minute sponsorship slots at a discounted rate, consider using affiliate advertising or promoting your own products or services instead. By being strategic and selective with your sponsorships, you can maintain the integrity of your brand and ensure that you're providing value to both your listeners and your sponsors.

3. Don't Devalue Your Product

Building upon the idea of not filling every available slot, Chloe stresses the significance of not devaluing your product. In the world of podcast sponsorships, it can be easy to fall into the trap of offering discounts or making last-minute deals to secure sponsors.

However, this approach can ultimately harm your brand and set a dangerous precedent for future sponsorships. If you consistently offer discounted rates or make last-minute deals, sponsors may begin to expect these lower prices and wait for these opportunities rather than committing to full-price sponsorships.

Instead, focus on maintaining the value of your podcast and your sponsorships. Be confident in the rates you set and the value you provide to your sponsors. By holding firm to your prices and not being afraid to let the occasional episode go unsponsored, you'll be able to establish a stronger, more sustainable foundation for your podcast sponsorships in the long run.

4. What to Avoid

When it comes to podcast sponsorships, Chloe recommends avoiding a few key things. One of the biggest mistakes podcasters can make is overselling their sponsorships. It's important to be honest about your podcast's impact and reach, as overselling can lead to disappointed sponsors and damage your reputation.

Another pitfall to avoid is not having clear sponsorship packages. If you are new to podcasting, this is not the best practice. But as you grow in audience, credibility, and outreach it might be something to consider. By creating tiered sponsorship packages with different levels of benefits and exposure, you can provide sponsors with options that fit their budgets and goals. This not only makes it easier for sponsors to choose a package that works for them but also helps to demonstrate the value of your higher-tier packages.

Finally, be cautious of accepting sponsorships from companies or products that aren't a good fit for your podcast or your audience. While it may be tempting to accept any sponsorship that comes your way, promoting irrelevant or controversial products can hurt your credibility and turn off your listeners. Be selective and only work with sponsors that align with your brand and values.

5. Be Organized

Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice Chloe offers for podcasters looking to succeed with sponsorships is to be organized. While many people assume that podcasting is all about creativity and spontaneity, the reality is that organization plays a vital role in the success of any podcast.

From managing guest bookings and preparing for interviews to coordinating with sponsors and ensuring that episodes are released on time, there are countless moving parts involved in running a successful podcast. Without a strong foundation of organization, it's easy for things to fall through the cracks and for the quality of your podcast to suffer.

Implementing systems and processes to keep your podcast running smoothly will better equip you to handle the demands of working with sponsors and delivering value to your listeners. Whether it's using project management tools, creating templates for guest communications, or establishing a clear production schedule, finding ways to stay organized can make all the difference in your podcasting journey.

Don’t Sweat it! 

Working with podcast sponsorships can be a game-changer for podcasters looking to take their show to the next level and build a sustainable income stream. By following the six pieces of advice shared by Chloe Thomas in her Podcasting Secrets episode, you can set yourself up for success in the world of podcast sponsorships.

Remember to:

  1. Help your sponsors understand the podcast sponsorship process
  2. Be selective and strategic with your sponsorships
  3. Maintain the value of your podcast and your sponsorships
  4. Avoid common pitfalls like overselling and accepting irrelevant sponsors
  5. Prioritize organization in every aspect of your podcast without sacrificing quality

By implementing these strategies and continually learning from the experiences of seasoned podcasters like Chloe, you'll be well on your way to unlocking the secrets to podcast sponsorship success. So, start today and start exploring how sponsorships can help you grow your podcast and achieve your podcasting goals.

Key Takeaways:

1. It took Chloe 3 years to start selling sponsorships on her podcast because she wanted to hold out for rates that made it worthwhile. 

2. Know your niche audience value - Chloe charges way above general market rates because her highly targeted, high-value audience is worth more to sponsors.

3. Let sponsor slots go unsold rather than at a discount - sponsorships are perishable, so it's better not to devalue by panic discounting at the last minute.

4. Have clear sponsorship packages and pricing tiers - this signals value and makes basic packages seem more attractive. 

5. Guest management is very labor intensive - be ultra-organized with systems, plan for frequent cancellations, and book very far in advance.  

8. The key to podcast success is being ruthlessly organized - creativity is secondary to planning.

7. You must constantly work to own your audience by capturing emails and moving them off platforms, just like in e-commerce.

If you're looking for a great all-in-one podcasting platform with 35 integrated modules, you can get a free trial at 

Thanks for joining us for this episode. I wish you success as you seek out sponsorship for your podcast.

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