It’s awkward, it’s confusing, and it’s often discouraging. What am I talking about? GETTING SPONSORSHIPS.
Yup, we’re going there. What do you do when you need funding for an event or business venture? Who do you call? What do you even say? Well, For serial entrepreneur Brandice Daniel, “no” is not the end of the negotiations, it’s only the beginning…
Today, as CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row and co-founder of the Great Girlfriends podcast, Brandice brings that same passion and determination to her businesses as she strives each day to connect people to their own passions and purpose. Brandice has secured over $2 million dollars for events. She has been featured in NY Times, Forbes, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, NY Cut and more.
Harlem Fashion Row has partnered with Verizon, Prudential, Pandora Jewelry, Target, Smartwater, Covergirl, Nissan, Macy’s, and more, and today, Brandice is going to teach us how we can secure sponsorships of our own!
HARLEM FASHION ROW:
In this episode, we hear a story of a woman thriving in her career, but just missing “something”. To put it simply, she loved her job at the time, but didn’t feel like she was fulfilling her purpose. And all of a sudden, it hit her. Her calling was to bring multicultural designers a place to showcase their work… “I knew it was bigger than a fashion show, I knew it was bigger than Brandice…” “I don’t understand what this is, but I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so passionate about something in my entire life and if you feel really called to something, you don’t have to the full picture, but you’re not meant to… you just have to follow it”
Now how did this one-woman show start a fashion show from the ground up? Here’s a secret: she didn’t! Brandice was quick to say that she couldn’t do it alone…. but how did she build a team out of thin air? Brandice mentioned that, “You can feel what you are supposed to be doing, and you don’t hold back or try to censor that, people will come along with you. Bring your passion with you to make connections.” Brandice spoke up about a “team” she made up of complete strangers that had aligned with her mission, and they built it from the ground up. When they had a question, they improvised, they reached out, they problem solved— and they did it. They built a grassroots fashion show event for multicultural designers, and Brandice described it as “standing in the middle of a miracle”
“I don’t think there is anything in life that you can have success in without going the extra mile and that is especially true in sponsorships.” Brandice spoke to trying to get the attention of someone she knew would be a great partnership by catering breakfast to their office! While eggs and toast may not be your method, it is a great example of going the extra mile to ensure that your mission is seen and heard!
When you are just starting, it can be so tempting to take money from anyone who offers it, but you have to be choosy with who will fund you. You have to be forward thinking: what will this brand do for my business, does it align with my mission, will it serve us down the line? “You can make one bad decision and that can effect how people view your brand and your mission”
BRANDICE’S QUICK STEPS TO GAINING SPONSORSHIP:
1) Be bold in reaching out
2) Consider an ad agency
3) Know your stuff (your needed cost, your audience, your demographic)
4) Be very clear about your WHY
5) Be YOU. People will buy into you and your passion! Be authentic
6) At some point, ditch the data and bring personality!
7) You have to connect with them on a personal level before money even crosses their mind
8) BONUS! Read these books Brandice recommends!
- Launch by Jess Walker
- In The Pit With a Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michel E. Gerber
HOW TO MOVE FORWARD:
The groundwork is important, every year, your connections will multiply. Soon sponsorships will feel less like a “pitch” and more like a conversation since they will already be familiar with you. “It’s been quite a journey to get here, and now it’s time to share this knowledge with others”