How to Get Sponsored in 2023: A Musician's Guide
But just how do you go about gaining sponsorship as an independent musician in 2023? Our guide is here to break things down for you and help give you the best chance of making money from your music.
What is music sponsorship?
Music sponsorship involves partnering with a brand or company that shares your values and goals, offering support for your music in exchange for exposure that you can provide the brand. This could mean sharing a review of a new microphone via your social media accounts or by using the latest drum kit on stage at a summer festival slot.
There are so many opportunities for musicians to partner with different brands in 2023, with collaborative posts becoming increasingly popular on TikTok and Instagram. A recent example of this is Caity Baser's partnership with Taco Bell.
Caity's fanbase and TikTok following made her a perfect candidate for sponsorship from the company, which helped them reach a wider audience and attract new fans through influencer marketing. We've listed out some steps below to help you also stand out from the crowd and try to secure a sponsorship deal of your own.
Develop your music’s brand and audience
Before you can start approaching potential sponsors, you need to have a clear music brand image as well as a growing audience - especially on social media.
Start creating a brand identity that showcases your unique style and look, and focus on building your music fan base. Use your Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts to promote your music and engage with your audience wherever possible. All of this should go without saying, but developing your online brand goes hand in hand with achieving success as an independent musician in 2023.
Identify potential sponsors
Once you’ve built up your artist brand and audience, it's time to start looking for potential sponsors. The obvious brands will come to mind, but it’s important to consider smaller - and more achievable - sponsorship opportunities and brands that align with your artist values and music’s genre.
If you’re a hip-hop artist, you might want to reach out to sportswear or fashion brands that target a similar demographic and audience. You might not land a Nike deal right away, but check out similar brands that have sponsored other musicians and look for any opportunities to also partner with them.
Create your sponsorship proposal
After you've identified some potential sponsors, it's time to create your sponsorship proposal. This should be a professional document that showcases your brand and outlines the benefits of partnering with you. This is where having a well-crafted EPK and artist bio - just like Tash Sultana's below - can really help you stand out from the crowd.
Include full details about your music, your audience, and the social media exposure you can offer in exchange for any sponsorship, making sure to give yourself due credit.
Include all of this information in an easy-to-digest music one sheet. A one sheet is an important document that includes all relevant info about your act, your music, and all of your contact details. Having a strong one sheet ready to send out to potential sponsors can really make or break your proposal. Here's what you need to include:
- Your band or artist name
- A link to your latest release
- Your artist marketing strategy
- Any upcoming release dates
- Artwork assets
- A description of your music and brand
- What media coverage you have already received
- Any upcoming performance dates & locations
- Your social media links
TIP: We'd recommend sending our your one sheet as a PDF to prevent issues on different devices.
Reach out to potential sponsors
Once you have your proposal ready, you can start firing them out to potential sponsors. Make sure to send personalised emails to the correct contact at each brand, introducing yourself and your music, and clearly outlining the benefits of partnering with you.
As with your other artist documents, you’ll want to come across professional as well as concise and to the point.
List out your strengths
To make your sponsorship proposal stand out, you’ll need to outline the unique and creative aspects that you can bring to the table. Would you be able to perform at a promotional event or launch party? Or wear some of the brand’s clothing in your latest music video? Indie-pop band Blossoms played a series of intimate gigs for beer brand Goose Island a few years back, helping sell limited edition specially designed cans as well as other exclusive products.
Sponsorship opportunities aren't always clear and in your face. Try to think outside of the box and provide suggestions to the company - this may well be the difference to gaining sponsorship or not.
Just link applying for crowdfunding, getting sponsored as a musician can be a long process. You might even receive a few rejections before finding the right deal. But don’t let this dishearten you - the right opportunity will be out there for you.
Be persistent and keep reaching out to companies. Take their feedback onboard and work it into your future applications.
Getting sponsored as a musician is a great way to fund your music career and grow your audience at the same time. The benefits can be amazing, but you’ll need to put in hard work beforehand, carefully building your music brand and fan base, as well as taking the time to identify suitable companies to approach and creating a well-written sponsorship proposal.
It’s also key to highlight your skills and achievements - this deal needs to appeal to both sides of the party.
Although there’ll be strong competition for most if not all music sponsorship opportunities, by following these tips and techniques, you'll no doubt significantly increase your chances of landing sponsorship and achieving more success through your music.