TOP 10 TIPS FOR EARNING SPONSORSHIP
1) TALK TO PEOPLE YOUR KNOW: Friends, family physicians, youth leaders, dance teachers, interior decorators, anyone that you have personal relations with! The people who love you are always willing to support you and help you reach your goals. They can offer sponsorship or help you brainstorm ways to raise money.
2) IF YOU HAVE A TITLE, USE IT: This is a big one for state titleholders and local titleholders with American Coed Pageants. If you were a Hostess or Runner Up that attended nationals, take advantage of this as money making opportunity! Let your prosepective sponsors know that you are a top contender for the title!
3) START SMALL: Begin asking people you have close relationships with for help (i.e. family, friends), then move on to friendly/professional relationships (i.e. manager/boss, family physician, hair stylist), and finally, make contacts with local businesses (it's best to try a place where you are familiar with their products/services AND enjoy them!)
4) MAKE YOUR OWN CONTACTS: Write your own letters on a nice, personal letterhead, send an autograph print/photo business card, and make the phone call yourself. The inquiry letter should be typed and follow the standard business letter format, most word processors should be able to show you how to do this. Sponsors love having pictures of the girls they help, so this is where your headshot/crown and banner print comes into play. Create autograph prints or photo business card at a local print shop such as Kinko's Copies. Be sure that your prints are high quality and professional looking. When making the appointment to meet with a prospective sponsor, be sure you know the name of the manager whom you are speaking to. If you do not know the name of the manager, be sure to get it and use it during your conversation with them. This makes everything seem more personal and friendly. If you are over age 12, make sure that YOU make the phone call, and show maturity during your conversation.
5) GET A P.O. BOX: If you plan to make contacts with people that you have not met personally and plan to send pictures, get a P.O. Box, just to be safe.
6) ALWAYS HAVE A FOLLOW UP AFTER MEETING WITH A SPONSOR: Whether or not the individual or business offers you sponsorship, always thank them for their time. Send a thank you card.
7) BE PROFESSIONAL: When you have business meetings with a sponsor, you are asking for financial help, and when people are deciding whether or not to sponsor you, your professionalism will be taken into consideration. If you have never met the general manager of the business you are making contacts with, think of this appointment as an interview. Carry an attache with the state program, brochures, your personal busness card/composite card, resumes, etc.
8) LOOK LIKE A WINNER AND TALK LIKE A WINNER: It's true... what you see is what you get, when meeting with prospective sponsors, you are also asking permission to represent them as a local business owner at the pageant. When you speak to them show off those qualities that make you their "It Girl." Dress appropriate for a job interview: conservative, age appropriate, and classy. Be mature and know your material well; you should be able to answer any questions they have from whom to write the check to the judging criteria of the pageant.
9) GET CREATIVE: There are many different ways to get sponsors other than sending out letters and making appointments. The state and national queens I have spoken with have found many fun, creative, and sometimes relatively simple ways to earn extra cash: auctioning outgrown, gently worn pageant wear on E-bay, organizing a crab/spaghetti feed, putting together a pancake breakfast, babysitting, doing odd jobs, having a car wash or garage sale, and more.
10) REMEMBER, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS: Every cent you receive will get you closer to your goals, make sure you express gratitude and thanks to the people who help you get there. Take advantage of all of the opportunities that cross your path, and you may be able to have some extra cash to spend on wardrobe, training, or pageant weekend!
Pageant Tips Page 3