Pageant Sponsorship Do's and Don'ts

I encourage all my students to make every effort to get sponsors to help support their pageantry goals. Whether you are looking for cash or free or discounted services, here are some DO's and DONT'S to help you on your quest for sponsors.

DO start with people and businesses you know! Most sponsors will invest in you for YOU! They just want to see you succeed. Businesses that you or your parents frequent are a great place to start. 

DON'T approach a business without researching their company first. Tell the sponsor what you like about their business and why you think you are a good fit for their company.

DO use your program book ads to thank sponsors. You can purchase a full page ad and list all sponsors. You can even have levels of sponsorship i.e. Silver, Gold, Diamond etc. 

DON'T forget to proofread. I receive a lot of inquiries from teenagers chock full of misspelled words and text abbreviations. The letter needs to be professionally written. This is not the time for using "texting language." Save that for your friends!

DO utilize social media to thank your sponsors! Tweet a shout of thanks. Share links to the sponsor's website or recent promotions. Not all posts should be about you. Contestants who can shine a light back on those who help them are the most successful. Be gracious.

DON'T forget to write a personal hand written thank you note to all sponsors. The social media shout outs are not enough! You must personally thank those who support you with a personalized thank you note. It may seem like a dying art, but it will be so appreciated if you make the extra effort. These little details will influence the possibility of that sponsor supporting you in the future. 

DO offer to make an appearance for your sponsor's business. Visit a local elementary school on their behalf or spend an afternoon greeting customers at their business. This is a great way to build relationships with sponsors and show that you can give back in return. 

DON'T use the same generic letter for each sponsor. You can have a template or general content that remains the same, but be sure to personalize the letter to suite the individual or business you are approaching. Be sure to share your goals and explain the benefits you are gaining through the process of pageantry i.e. scholarship, personal development, self-confidence etc. 

DO understand that potential sponsors have a right to say no. They can't support every person or organization in one calendar year. If you get a no, apply elsewhere and never criticize them for their decision. Be respectful. 

DON'T make assumptions. If a sponsor supports you this year, but next year needs to cut back, respect their decision and don't pass judgement. 

DO remember that garnering support is all about building relationships. Conduct yourself in a manner that would make that sponsor proud and keep in touch with updates on your progress. Deliver on your promises to promote that sponsor on ad pages and social media. If you've promised an appearance, make sure you set it up in a timely manner and follow through with what you promised to do. 

Always remember, those young women who can promote themselves while still remaining humble and giving are the most successful. The modern age of pageantry requires that you promote yourself on social media and build your brand. Be sure to do it in a tasteful manner. Give of yourself and shine a light on those around you. This shows that you have an altruistic spirit and genuine desire to build relationships. For me, this is the most important thing.

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