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Matt_Whitman

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Ok. Not to beg but how and where would I find a sponsor for a cross country trip on the Trans America Trail. I'm VA disabled but that goes towards the rent/bills and daily living expenses for my family.
 
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Raul B

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Ok. Not to beg but how and where would I find a sponsor for a cross country trip on the Trans America Trail. I'm VA disabled but that goes towards the rent/bills and daily living expenses for my family.
You would need a proposal first of what you could offer the sponsor. Will you have a blog or social media dedicated for this trip?
 
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Matt_Whitman

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Yup. I would blog and video document the trip. Is also would like to have a few other people going along also. I'm thinking kind of along the lines of a group of folks who home built their rigs on a budget and can prove as capable and reliable as the high dollar equipment.
 

mylilpwny

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Pathfinder I

one thing I did when I used to road race was go to local companies. Anything that looks like it might fit either your expedition or even just your style, even down to a local bike shop. i got quite a few small sponsors that way but it was usual enough to pay for entree fees and fuel, which in turn allowed me to go more often. I have always had a simple motto of it cant hurt the worst thing they can say is "no thanks". if you come up with a decent proposal and just start asking around you never know what you will get. heck i got a clothing sponsor just from talking to a guy while at the gas station. You never know what opportunity lies around the corner unless you try.
 
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Travis Barker

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San Antonio
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Matt, me and a few of mine friends want to do that run on TAT. We put a cause behind ours. Raise awareness and money for it. But never thought about sponsors for it. We also want to hit other trails and parks. make it a long going thing. I am also a Vet. But would love to work together if you interested.
 

Matt_Whitman

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Wow. I'd be very happy to put something together. I've all but given up on it because I have severe migraines from a head injury and sometimes it really beats me down. Anyway I don't want to bum anyone out with my issues. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with. You guys are all awesome.
 

Neil Q Smith

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Sandnes, Norway
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I have had experienced reasonable success with sponsorship over the years.

The last 2 Arctic Trucks expeditions I have taken from Norway to Iceland have included "Sponsors" and "Supporters"

"Sponsors" gave us something useful (tools, equipment, clothing, food, money, etc.)
"Supporters" liked our ideas, philosophy and plans, but could not give us anything (for various reasons) - however, they did offer logo stickers and their "company support", which we proudly advertised.

Check out our old (www.ice2015.no) and new (www.ice2017.no) websites / blogs.
There is a lot of info about our Sponsors and Supporters.

This is a full time task - its not easy - be patient - keep trying.
You will have to ask a lot, be prepared for a lot of rejections, and keep working until you start to get a few.
Keep a spreadsheet of who you asked, when, for what, your result (rejection / sponsorship item) it usually comes in useful later.

Aim for the "local" angle first.
If you can get a few relatively well know companies or organizations to Sponsor or Support you at the beginning, then you are off to a good start.
The local angle / story is easier to pitch, and has a much higher success rate.

A personal meeting / pitch is much more probable to succeed.
Much better to put face-to-name-to-cause, then an email or letter.

Once you have a few Sponsors and Supporters, others will join.
Its like gravity, when you have none, its had to attract any.
When you have a few, a few more come along.
When you have more and more, then it gets easier to convince potential new Sponsors / Supporters to join in.

Then start working on the National / International companies.
These all have numerous sponsors requests per day / week, so you have to demonstrate the win-win factor for them.
Already having lots of local Sponsors and Supporters makes them look into your request, rather than immediately rejecting it.
Once they read your request, you then have a fighting chance........

I have a background in Sales & Business Development, which really helps - tailoring the sales pitch to each company individually.
The main point is to always offer a win-win solution for them, where they feel that they will receive a lot of positive marketing exposure, for very little outlay.

If you take a look at our latest website (www.ice2017.no) and view the "Full Blog History" you will see many articles about each Sponsor and Supporter.
Also, later blog articles about the use of the sponsored kit whilst on the expedition.
Lots of positive exposure for the Sponsors, and you get to keep the kit afterwards....

The key is to get started, get your first handfull of Sponsors and Supporters ASAP.
Then proactively publicise this information, to start building a profile.
You need everyone in your network, and more, to know what you are about to do.
Spread the word........

The most important platform you need to enhance your possibilities, is to have a professional looking, clean, website / blog.
Here, you can start your expedition plans, dreams, wishes, philosophy, etc.

Have a "Acknowledgements" Page to thank absolutely everyone who has helped (in whatever form)
Here you can list / link to your Sponsors and Supporters
Also consider having Sponsor & Supporter Logo Sliders on your "Home Page" so that everyone who visits the site, see your Sponsors / Supporters.
This is seen as a positive win-win for potential Sponsors / Supporters.

Consider having a few cool Expedition T-shirts / clothing made to advertise yourself / your expedition or trip.
Wear them when you can, and point out the website address to everyone you discuss your trip plans with.
Make the website domain address easy to remember !!!

Make a "Shopping List" or "Wish List" of what you would like to receive from Sponsors (see our websites)
Then you can refer to this during conversations.

Baseball hats, T-shirts, Pens, Stationary, etc. are relatively cheap giveaways that most companies have.
Try to get some - each donation (even 1 T-shirt) makes them a Sponsor - Invaluable for building your profile...
Start small, build you profile

I must have written hundreds of emails to potential sponsors and potential supporters
I have received hundreds of rejections
Its all part of the process
But keep focus, and dont give up
Some companies that initially said no, later considered my later request (with more Sponsors in place) and then said yes !!!

Always remember to say Please and Thank You.
Sounds simple - but far too many miss this simple step, and consequently loose out

Polite, positive, professional requests are considered preferentially.

Hope this quick advice was useful in some small way.
Good Luck and let me know how you are getting along.

Cheers
Neil :)
 

Matt_Whitman

Rank V
Member

Advocate II

2,093
Claremont Nh
Member #

0936

I have had experienced reasonable success with sponsorship over the years.

The last 2 Arctic Trucks expeditions I have taken from Norway to Iceland have included "Sponsors" and "Supporters"

"Sponsors" gave us something useful (tools, equipment, clothing, food, money, etc.)
"Supporters" liked our ideas, philosophy and plans, but could not give us anything (for various reasons) - however, they did offer logo stickers and their "company support", which we proudly advertised.

Check out our old (www.ice2015.no) and new (www.ice2017.no) websites / blogs.
There is a lot of info about our Sponsors and Supporters.

This is a full time task - its not easy - be patient - keep trying.
You will have to ask a lot, be prepared for a lot of rejections, and keep working until you start to get a few.
Keep a spreadsheet of who you asked, when, for what, your result (rejection / sponsorship item) it usually comes in useful later.

Aim for the "local" angle first.
If you can get a few relatively well know companies or organizations to Sponsor or Support you at the beginning, then you are off to a good start.
The local angle / story is easier to pitch, and has a much higher success rate.

A personal meeting / pitch is much more probable to succeed.
Much better to put face-to-name-to-cause, then an email or letter.

Once you have a few Sponsors and Supporters, others will join.
Its like gravity, when you have none, its had to attract any.
When you have a few, a few more come along.
When you have more and more, then it gets easier to convince potential new Sponsors / Supporters to join in.

Then start working on the National / International companies.
These all have numerous sponsors requests per day / week, so you have to demonstrate the win-win factor for them.
Already having lots of local Sponsors and Supporters makes them look into your request, rather than immediately rejecting it.
Once they read your request, you then have a fighting chance........

I have a background in Sales & Business Development, which really helps - tailoring the sales pitch to each company individually.
The main point is to always offer a win-win solution for them, where they feel that they will receive a lot of positive marketing exposure, for very little outlay.

If you take a look at our latest website (www.ice2017.no) and view the "Full Blog History" you will see many articles about each Sponsor and Supporter.
Also, later blog articles about the use of the sponsored kit whilst on the expedition.
Lots of positive exposure for the Sponsors, and you get to keep the kit afterwards....

The key is to get started, get your first handfull of Sponsors and Supporters ASAP.
Then proactively publicise this information, to start building a profile.
You need everyone in your network, and more, to know what you are about to do.
Spread the word........

The most important platform you need to enhance your possibilities, is to have a professional looking, clean, website / blog.
Here, you can start your expedition plans, dreams, wishes, philosophy, etc.

Have a "Acknowledgements" Page to thank absolutely everyone who has helped (in whatever form)
Here you can list / link to your Sponsors and Supporters
Also consider having Sponsor & Supporter Logo Sliders on your "Home Page" so that everyone who visits the site, see your Sponsors / Supporters.
This is seen as a positive win-win for potential Sponsors / Supporters.

Consider having a few cool Expedition T-shirts / clothing made to advertise yourself / your expedition or trip.
Wear them when you can, and point out the website address to everyone you discuss your trip plans with.
Make the website domain address easy to remember !!!

Make a "Shopping List" or "Wish List" of what you would like to receive from Sponsors (see our websites)
Then you can refer to this during conversations.

Baseball hats, T-shirts, Pens, Stationary, etc. are relatively cheap giveaways that most companies have.
Try to get some - each donation (even 1 T-shirt) makes them a Sponsor - Invaluable for building your profile...
Start small, build you profile

I must have written hundreds of emails to potential sponsors and potential supporters
I have received hundreds of rejections
Its all part of the process
But keep focus, and dont give up
Some companies that initially said no, later considered my later request (with more Sponsors in place) and then said yes !!!

Always remember to say Please and Thank You.
Sounds simple - but far too many miss this simple step, and consequently loose out

Polite, positive, professional requests are considered preferentially.

Hope this quick advice was useful in some small way.
Good Luck and let me know how you are getting along.

Cheers
Neil :)
Awesome info! It is appreciated. Thank you. I’m just about done putting my truck together and should have it re registered soon then I hope to start the process. I’m thinking of putting a small local adventure together for next spring/summer to get some experience with blogging an adventure so I don’t look like an idiot when I try to do something bigger. Thanks again. I’m also somewhat of an introvert so I’d probably want someone a bit more outgoing to be on camera joining me.
 

Neil Q Smith

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Member

Advocate II

2,049
Sandnes, Norway
Member #

6113

Awesome info! It is appreciated. Thank you. I’m just about done putting my truck together and should have it re registered soon then I hope to start the process. I’m thinking of putting a small local adventure together for next spring/summer to get some experience with blogging an adventure so I don’t look like an idiot when I try to do something bigger. Thanks again. I’m also somewhat of an introvert so I’d probably want someone a bit more outgoing to be on camera joining me.
No worries - glad I could help.

My suggestion:

Make the website / blog ASAP
Make it professional & clean - no adverts, no gimmicks, no action music - just professional presentation
Send me the link when its live
I can provide feedback if you wish - I have a critical eye........

Populate it with milestone event articles + photos & links (about your rig work over, etc.)
This will provide historic backdrop information and a cool story line to call upon later, as well as for future Sponsors to read and admire.

Put together a "First Plan" showing the overall aim and objectives of the project / trip, and its route
Share this via your website /blog, then spread it out via Facebook, etc.

Generate some short, sharp text blocks on different subjects covering your project, e.g.
Aim & Objectives
Strategy
Sponsorship & Support
Expedition Team
Expedition Route
Expedition Vehicles
etc.
etc.

All these will become key pages / articles on your website.

Start now, read and edit, refine and build.

You already have a lot more material to start with - more than you generally think.

Choose your team carefully, especially for long-term expeditions.
A good team can really work great together, and produce exceptional results.
A bad team damages....

Look forward following your project
Good Luck
Cheers
Neil :)
 

Raul B

Rank VI
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Influencer II

4,521
simi valley
First Name
Raul
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Banuelos
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@Matt_Whitman, thanks for asking this question.

@Neil Q Smith, thanks for the great answers

I have another question in regards to this topic, what's the trick to increasing your followers on social media. Because supporters and sponsors will want their products to be seen by as many people as possible.
I get at least 2 people a week asking me to sponsor them... here is my take on this....

Most people just want free stuff... it is very rare for me to come across someone that is genuine and is a good story teller...
Most sponsors will not pay any attention to you until you have around 5-10k followers... How do you get more followers? if your not a hot chick its going to be hard lol.... You need to pick your "nitch" and then do research for your competition. Use the correct hashtags for your nitch.

It is ALOT of work. just staying active on social media is going to take up a lot of your time... I'm at just over 6k followers and don't really post that often anymore because I just don't have the time to do it. My main focus now is just running and expanding my business and spending more time with my kids and my wife.

If your not a Hot chick your going to have to get good at taken great images, be a good story teller and have a great looking rig.

hope this helps

-Raul
 

HudsonZRoamer

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Pathfinder I

2,055
Washington, USA
First Name
Harley
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W
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I get at least 2 people a week asking me to sponsor them... here is my take on this....

Most people just want free stuff... it is very rare for me to come across someone that is genuine and is a good story teller...
Most sponsors will not pay any attention to you until you have around 5-10k followers... How do you get more followers? if your not a hot chick its going to be hard lol.... You need to pick your "nitch" and then do research for your competition. Use the correct hashtags for your nitch.

It is ALOT of work. just staying active on social media is going to take up a lot of your time... I'm at just over 6k followers and don't really post that often anymore because I just don't have the time to do it. My main focus now is just running and expanding my business and spending more time with my kids and my wife.

If your not a Hot chick your going to have to get good at taken great images, be a good story teller and have a great looking rig.

hope this helps

-Raul
I can chime in here a bit as well. I totally agree that its another full time job but if you love doing it and it fuels your passion to be outdoors, then do it! I am sponsored by a lot of companies and have slowly networked and met amazing people along the way. I only work with companies that fit my demographic and are quality products I would buy regardless. A lot of people begin to look to you for advice in regards to gear, vehicle mods, and travel destinations. Not only is it social media promotion but its also a lot of face to face encounters. I went to a lot of events and met a lot of people this way. For me, its not about getting free stuff as it once was. I am lucky to have been doing this for long enough to learn the ins and outs of the outdoors and camping industry. I would say the four things that have helped me succeed in the last few years are having a unique build, having great content, timing (aka luck), and simply staying humble. nobody wants to work with an asshole and word travels fast! Being nice and adaptable will get you far in this industry as its a really small one. I made many connections because one company referred me to another or were able to provide a good reference for future relationships.

Im starting to lean towards starting a content company and working with companies creating advertising, story telling, and media. Its a natural progression for me and I have had a lot of work pop up in the last month or so once word got out I was creating content for companies. I am going to keep the Fozroamer thing going as a side project and will use it as a networking tool when trying to work on new projects. I hope this gave you a little insight into how I do things. There are many ways to do what I do just be yourself and you will find your nitch and demographic.
 

Neil Q Smith

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Member

Advocate II

2,049
Sandnes, Norway
Member #

6113

I get at least 2 people a week asking me to sponsor them... here is my take on this....

Most people just want free stuff... it is very rare for me to come across someone that is genuine and is a good story teller...
Most sponsors will not pay any attention to you until you have around 5-10k followers... How do you get more followers? if your not a hot chick its going to be hard lol.... You need to pick your "nitch" and then do research for your competition. Use the correct hashtags for your nitch.

It is ALOT of work. just staying active on social media is going to take up a lot of your time... I'm at just over 6k followers and don't really post that often anymore because I just don't have the time to do it. My main focus now is just running and expanding my business and spending more time with my kids and my wife.

If your not a Hot chick your going to have to get good at taken great images, be a good story teller and have a great looking rig.

hope this helps

-Raul

I agree with Raul

Potential sponsors want to hear a good story, that interests and excites, and offers a win-win scenario that they find attractive.


As for increasing Social Media coverage:

The trick is to "Sell Yourself" (and your project) via all your own social network connections first.
This can be done via Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. etc.

The point here is to get the ball rolling....

Proactively ask them to follow your project, provide feedback, and to request them to forward the link to their friends / family / associates that may also be interested.
Ask them to help you find Sponsorship options.
Ask them to donate something towards the event (simple useful items, etc.)
Ask them to get involved.
Add their name / company to your website / blog Acknowledgements Page - once they do help, then send them the link, so that they can see it... (feel good factor)

Once you start to publish material, ensure that you have a good professional layout.
Ensure that the text is clear, well written, and without basic silly errors..........use spell check, and don't publish without taking a few minutes rest, before final editorial read, approval & publication.
Generate a professionally well organized feel

Once you start to gain sponsors, also get them involved in the social media story
Get them to publish something themselves, on their own internet or intranet sites, about their involvement with you.
Offer to help them write the basic text of the article for them, so they have little work to complete this task.

If at all possible, gain the support of a local or national icon or celebrity - they can seriously boost your coverage.

Add the website / blog / Facebook address / logo to your vehicle (both sides and rear) - large font, readable from distance
You will be surprised how many take a look after seeing your vehicle
We have gained quite a few followers and helpers for our expeditions via this route alone.
I still have folks contacting me via this channel.

When you do start to receive goods from Sponsors, make a big deal out of it.
Write a dedicated blog article, with photo of the kit provided, and add many key links to these items via the Sponsor company website,
so followers can see and read the spec and details of the goods published by the company
The more linkage provided, the better the website / blog.

Additionally, you can involve your local radio and newspapers, to write a short article about your trip, with the website address.

Key is to keep proactively "selloing yourself" (and your project).
The audience and numbers will grow, especially if they like what the see and read (quality not quantity)

Always keep a win-win focus

Good Luck :)
 
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Neil Q Smith

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Sandnes, Norway
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My next question is can you point me in the direction of where to learn how to start a web page/blog?
If you are not an IT savvy person, I suggest you consider purchasing a ready made template.

We got ours (www.ice2017.no) from WordPress.
They have a great selection, and the prices are very reasonable, with a lot of quality support thereafter.
I suggest taking a little time and spending a little more cash on this - this will be you "shop window" to the world, so you need to get it right.
Take a good look at WordPress to start with
https://wordpress.com/

If you anticipate having problems installing and hosting the site, ask around and get a friend to help who is IT savvy.
If you have to, pay someone to get it all right
Again, make sure you get this right, because all your hard work later, hangs on these early decisions.

We bought a domain name to add value to our expedition
we called our expeditions ICE2015 and ICE2017 (www.ice2015.no and www.ice2017.no )
The ICE stood for Iceland Circumnavigation Expedition, so the "ice" part had a double meaning (Ice for Iceland and ICE for Iceland Circumnavigation Expedition)
Circumnavigators is our common domain name

Think of a cool domain name
Keep it easy to remember - you want as many folks to remember it as possible
Don't add complication here.

Editing and publishing material on websites / blogs is much simpler now than it used to be.
A lot of it is drag drop, edit, publish - easy

Suggest you get started ASAP
Invest some time and cash at this point - get it right - you will not regret it

There is a lot of web tutorials about website / blog design, build, edit and publish
You will be fine after watching a few of these........

Good Luck :)
 
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