Recently, I received an e-mail from a contestant who was having trouble getting her sponsor fees and wondered if I had any advice for her. Well, I have competed in OVER 30 pageants in my day...and believe me - many of their entry fees were MUCH higher then National American Miss's -were talking in the thousands! So, as a former contestant - I wanted to share with you the top 5 sponsor fee raising ideas that worked for me!!
-Think of sponsor fees like girl scout cookies.
Remember all those people that purchased those cookies from you - your grandma, aunts, uncles, teachers, hairdressers, doctors, dentists, nail ladies, mom's friends at work, dad's boss, sister's boyfriend, your best friend's family....ask them to contribute to something much BIGGER than cookies!! Let them know that you have a GOAL - to become the next National American Miss and you know that they want to support you!
- "Keep it real"
Picking up a phone, calling local business and asking them to sponsor you, will get you NOWHERE. It is imperative to visit these businesses face to face. Here are some important things to remember:
- first visit places that you and your family frequently visit(ie-grocery stores, banks,hair salons, etc) - let them know that you frequent these locations -this will enable you to make these businesses feel like they are appreciated by their loyal customers....WHAT A COMPLIMENT!! You are already off to a good start - no manager/owner/etc is going to say NO to someone who is a loyal customer
- think of this like a job interview - be professional and dress for success
- ask to speak to the manager or whoever is in charge
- bring NAM paperwork and sponsor info with you - they will want to see literature
- shake their hand, look them in the eye, and smile!
- introduce yourself and DONT ASK....TELL THEM -that you KNOW they WANT to sponsor you in your journey to achieving your goal
- make sure you let them know a little bit about pageant weekend and all the wonderful skills you will gain by participating
- Tell them that their company will be featured in the state program book and their contribution is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!!!!!!
-"The Fear Factor"
What if they say no????
I got told NO All the time!!! YOU are not going to walk away and give up. Instead - do what I did, ask them to sponsor you in a different way - by dedicating their time and helping you practice your interview skills for the pageant by interviewing you!!! THEY WONT SAY NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First, you will gain valuable practice for the pageant interview competition. These people have just gotten to know you a little bit better and they WILL be impressed with you - chances are they will change their mind and decide to sponsor you....this happened to me NUMEROUS times. Or - now that you have already had the interview, you dressed for success, there was a hiring sign on the door - you just got a JOB. THIS IS HOW I GOT MY FIRST JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-"Trash to Treasure" (treasure meaning your NAM experience)
Have all your close friends and family donate things they dont want or need anymore. Then pick a sunny saturday, ask your friends to help, and set up shop!!! This is a SUPER fun way to get sponsors and includes ALL your best girlfriends. They can help make GARAGE SALE SIGNS, pass out flyers at school,set up tables, and hang out with you during the sale. You can probably even recruit your cute(even though you think he's dorky) little brother to sell lemonade and soda's to passer -byers and shoppers. My girlfriends and I had to BEST time with this!!!!!
-Whats on Your Birthday List??!!
When there is something that I REALLY REALLY want, but dont quite have the money for - I ask my mom and dad if they would get it for me for my birthday, as an early bday present....even though my birthday is 7 months away!!!! Maybe this can be something YOUR whole family can give you - by all chipping in. Instead of a wii or new boots on your birthday list - put down NAM sponsor fee. Now - you may not get that wii or those great boots for your birthday, but chances are you'll still get them for christmas!!!!!!
These are just a few to get you started, but there are DOZENS more great sponsor fee raising ideas out there!!! BE CREATIVE and MAKE THIS FUN!!!! I PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE - its WAY easy!!!!!
AND...dont forget to send your sponsors a THANK YOU note/letter/card!!!
-Best of Luck!, Bre