Looking for companies that sponsor individuals (such as yourself)? I have some experience with this, and will show you some of what's possible.
Have you ever wanted to score free sponsored swag just for being alive, like reality television stars or Beyoncé?
You know, where companies send you free, lucrative products just because you're so cool and they'll hope you spread the word about it?
I've had a small glimpse into this world just because I'm a blogger and companies want me to review their products.
Every so often I take them up on the offer and score things like “free” luxury pillows (“free” in quotations because it takes my time to write a review), free books, free tickets, free movie pre-screenings, free cowboy boots, etc.
Each time I score a cool sponsor, I've wondered, “yeah but, how can my readers enjoy some cool swag like this without owning a blog?”
In other words, are there companies that sponsor individuals?
That's the intent behind this post.
I've uncovered 5 opportunities for you to gain sponsors + swag for your awesome life (without having to blog).
Individual Sponsorship Opportunity #1: Host a Party
Parties are the engine of Word-of-Mouth marketing, so it makes sense to have companies willing to sponsor events by providing free swag to you + your guests.
My sister, a non-blog owner, has scored some pretty sweet swag for hosting a party themed around a particular product. She got to have guests come over and enjoy themselves, plus everyone went home with free stuff, including things like individual servings of dog food (like, 20 of them!) plus doggie plates to give out and coupons for almost-free products t hand out.
Source free swag for your party through companies willing to sponsor events:
- HouseParty.com: You get to apply for various Party Packs from sponsors like Oreo, Kikkoman, and Burt's Bees. You invite your friends over, post some photos of the shindig on social media, and everyone leaves having had a good time + with some free party favors.
- MomsMeet.com: Get sent free samples of products to use at playdates or other Mom meetups!
- MomSelect.com: Same deal here, you can get free samples of products to share with other Moms when you meet up with them.
Individual Sponsorship Opportunity #2: Put a Banner On It
Have you ever seen a car at the red light that had an advertisement on it? Perhaps as a magnetic banner?
Besides people like Mary Kay consultants, there are actual companies who will pay you to turn your morning and afternoon commutes into a commercial.
And who are “people like you”? Well, you need to have things like a driver's license, a clean driving record, and probably commute a lot of miles in high-traffic areas.
I mean, what a cool way to get your gas bill paid for you! Or how about money towards your car payment? I'd totally sign up…but they probably don't want my rust bucket of a beater car representing their brand (I'm up to 218,000 miles now!).
Word of Caution: This industry is rife with scams; in fact I played a vehicle wrap scam out in order to write about it a few years ago. So make sure that you check and see if the company is with the Better Business Bureau, as well as do not pay anything up front just for information.
Individual Sponsorship Opportunity #3: Write a Review
It turns out that you willing to write a review means you could score lots of free swag.It turns out that you willing to write a review means you could score lots of free swag. Click To Tweet
There are companies out there that exist solely to find people to get a product and leave a review about it. Many of them are tied to Amazon.com, so it's helpful if you're a Prime member so that you can receive free shipping instead of having to pay for it.
Here are two sites to get you started:
Psst: these kinds of sites really make you think about all those Amazon reviews you see! However, I know from personal experience that with Snagshout at least, you have to put a disclaimer in your review saying that you received the product for free or at a discount in exchange for a review.
Individual Sponsorship Opportunity #4: Become a Panel Member
There are opportunities for you to become a panel member for companies − such as the L'oréal Consumer Participation Program and McCormick Consumer Testing − that will send you products to test out and give your opinion on.
A good way to do this is to use Swagbucks to search for “a product or company you're in love with” + “Consumer Panel “.
Individual Sponsorship Opportunity #5: Be a Social Media Butterfly
The last opportunity I'd like to show you today is for you social media butterflies. If you're on Facebook or twitter, or other places where people hang out, then you're in the position to score some free products.
BzzAgent is probably the best known site for this, where you get products in exchange for leaving reviews on your social media accounts. You'll need to complete surveys in order to determine if you're the right demographic for the product, fyi.
Another company to check out is Influenster.com.
Have you tried out a company and they're offering a drool-worthy stream of free swag? Do share in the comments below so we all can enjoy!