I was driving to a breakfast today not far from home. It’s Saturday and normally I wouldn’t be going out, especially not early in the morning – it’s my day for relaxing at home but this breakfast was special because I was a sponsor for the event.
Sponsorship is often an overlooked opportunity for gaining exposure for your business. Whenever people hear that word they immediately think $$ – lots of it – and dismiss the idea but it really is one worth considering. Not all sponsorships require lots of dollars and some accept payment in kind or in time.
As VAs many of us are well placed to use our skills and abilities to contribute to local events, as well as events online. The recent OIVAC had a steering committee (all voluntary) and a list of volunteers from around the world all pulling together for a common cause. On a local level it gives you the opportunity to get in front of local business people and others for a short time – enough for them to notice that you exist.
Today the audience was mainly church based, with only a handful of business people, however many sought the opportunity to come and speak with me and all got a copy of my brochure in their packs and my business card as they went out the door at the end of the event. Some wanted to know how I service clients and I was able to explain that in more detail to them. I also offered a give away – a book called The Business Mom Guide Book and the man who won it knew of someone who would benefit from the book. He specifically asked me if I was in the book and I was able to show him the listing at the back as I am one of the contributing authors.
Further I was able to renew old acquaintances with some people I hadn’t seen in a long time and make new acquaintances – particularly with some key people in my community. Now they know who I am! I wasn’t looking to get business immediately – I was simply looking to get my business name into their minds so that next time they, or someone they know, has a need, my name is what comes to mind for them as the solution.
Whilst by nature the name of our industry indicates that our work is virtual, it certainly should not dismiss or shove aside the opportunities that surround us on a local level which gets our face in front of others and for a short time, exposure for our businesses that doesn’t have to cost the earth. So, next time you hear of a community event that is coming up why not look to see if there are sponsorships available, or even offer a helping hand – it will be very much appreciated by the organisers and they will come back to you again and again when seeking support. I know, because today’s event I’ve been sponsoring for the past 3 years! KMT