Murtaza Bambot: from David Good. Which is, how do you get businesses to sponsor you and what do you offer for sponsorship to make it a good return on their money?
And the follow up question from Kevin was just, any tools in tech that help enable those sponsorship opportunities too?
Sophie Bujold: Yeah, so I think the sponsorship can really vary based on your industry and your membership, and you can get really creative here. For instance, in this example what he was hearing a lot from his partners that started the conversations around partnerships, first of all, they all came to him and said, can we help?
And how can we get in front of your students? So he started deepening the conversation around trying to understand. Where the value was for them in getting in front of those students. And what he found is that this, they saw an opportunity in getting in early in helping those students understand the value of their product or their service or their approach to healthcare.
So when he structured his content or his sponsorship packages, he started with both what's in it for the sponsor, but also what does my community need the most? And what he was finding that the community needed the most was just, I mean in this case it was students, so they're like, we need to know everything.
But more specifically for him as a practitioner, he knew that just putting any kind of. Healthcare product in front of a patient was not the right way to go. So he said, let's start helping them think critically about what they ask these partners when they come to their clinic. And we're going to start by getting our sponsors to deliver that info straight into our community.
He knew that his students loved. Visuals. He also knew that they were times strapped. And, but that they were hungry for information, especially as he basically knew that he would have to be the guide through the content to help students start seeing it through the eyes of an experienced practitioner.
So he said, okay. I'm going to go to the plant and do a virtual live tour of it, and I'm going to prepare questions and we're going to talk about your product, but also how you do your quality assurance and what people need to know about the benefits and the drawbacks and all the questions that a more experienced practitioner would be asking.
He was doing live at that point, so he said, let's test that first. Then let's also give you an opportunity to come in front of the students and answer some of their questions as well, because they have more beginner level questions. So then he started offering in his package something else. So it's really, I would say, when you're deciding what to put in your sponsorship a lot of people tend to app approach a sponsorship package as.
What can I get the most money for? And I would say approach it from the side of what is the value the sponsor is looking for. I. And what do my community members need? Because if that's not in balance, and I approach community building in that way in so many areas, but if you don't balance the two, one of the two is going to get irritated with your approach and they're going to leave.
So there's not a one size fits all here in the sense that it really is personal to your community. I would say the conversations that I would have with sponsors if they're not coming to you already is really starting to approach some people who might be a good fit for a partnership, not in the framework or the mindset of how can I get you to give me money, but more in the mindset of how can we talk about mutual collaboration here that might be useful.
And then once you have those conversations coming up with two or three ideas of what you could offer them, that is also beneficial to your member.
Murtaza Bambot: One thing that I'll, I also wanna like really touch on that Sophie mentioned was this notion of a lot of the times, one of the biggest things that you're offering is not just access, but facilitated access.
Because they can go out and customize their Google ads and figure out how to get access to these people, but it's costly, it's expensive, and you as a community leader have so much credibility every time you show up in front of your members. Anytime you run an event, anytime you put something together, so when you bring a partner on the stage, the likelihood that your members are gonna accept them goes way through the roof when you are the one kind of handholding and doing a lot of that access.
Yeah, and so even what we've seen across like different heartbeat communities is like mental health communities that make partnerships with apps like Headspace or Calm. Rather than just, blasting ads about Calm and Headspace all the time, they do like co-marketing events where, you know, people from the calm team will actually come on talk about the strategies, how they've built, how they've designed some of the stuff that they're doing.
So it's that kind of, you know, working together to give really facilitated and handheld access. That tends to be that 10 x differentiator. That's the stuff you can't just buy on Google ads, you can't just buy on Facebook ads. So those are the things that tend to make really great partnerships.
Another really great example that we've seen is we have a black venture capitalists community. Anybody that knows about. Finance knows that a lot of underrepresented groups are very underrepresented in finance. And so that's a community that's been able to get sponsorships from organizations like Sequoia Capital when they were still around, like Silicon Valley Bank, things like that.
So there are like a lot of, ways that you can figure out, hey, I've got this really great curated set of people that have expertise in A, B, and C or hard to reach because of X, Y, Z. How can I build some really handheld access that feels authentic to the community, but give something that's a little bit 10 x to the potential sponsors that are out there.
Sophie Bujold: Yeah, and that's a really great point because that's where you build value for both sides, right? It's really about, I think your community members need to feel that you're not just letting anyone through the door, that you're actually filtering for their best interest, and the partners need to feel that you're doing your best to show their audience.
Why or their, your community members, why they're a good partner and why they're a good fit. And the more you can do that and the more intentional you are behind that the more likely your partners are to stick around for a long time because this might not be as expansive. Like in this case, it was a very niche community, so the partnership wasn't like, A mass market play.
It was a highly targeted audience play for that partner. And I think this community leader in particular did not expect that partners would come so quickly. He had it earmarked for later, but as soon as he started talking about it with. Some of the industry partners he already had, everyone started jumping on board.
So he had really done a good job of selling them on that value first, and it's something that they had been wanting for a long time. So he capitalized on that. So I would say partnerships definitely, if you're just getting started at started, if there are some obvious. Low hanging fruit for you based on your niche.
Like the example of a meditation partner in a kind of health and wellbeing community is a very easy match. If you get that interest early, you can start very early with that. Otherwise, it tends to be like a more, maybe after a year of your community you start going, okay, we have a solid membership base.
Now let's talk to some partners who might be interested.