We have some very exciting titleholders coming for you in the future and I am sure you are all anxious to find out who they are, but this week we have decided to switch gears and give you a tip on sponsorships! This is something I'm sure a lot of girls struggle with getting and even as a director I have had to learn how to get better with getting sponsorships. The main thing about sponsorships is it's a learning process and you will more than likely receive a lot of "no's", but trust me the "yes's" will be worth it!
So who better than to talk to about sponsorships than our very first sponsor, Sarah Kelsey, the owner of Rhinestone Lipgloss! This company is one that I am truly in awe of and I'm so thankful Sarah has been with us as our pageant grew and we got to watch her company grow as well. I'm telling you this is woman you want to see for earrings. I had the privilege of finally getting to meet Sarah in OKC after talking to her multiple times on Facebook. She is one of the most humble and genuine people you will ever meet in your life. She has been determined to make her dreams happen and she is such an inspiration to most. Keep reading as Sarah talks about her company as well as sponsorships and how to obtain them!
Photo by: Sierra Clausen Editorials
For those who don't know you or about Rhinestone Lipgloss, can you tell us a little about yourself and what Rhinestone Lipgloss is and how you got started in the business?
Sarah Kelsey graduated from The Ohio State University in 2011 with a degree in Mandarin Chinese. In the fall of 2014, she began exploring leather tooling and jewelry design; creating a Facebook page and setting up a small table at various craft shows and rodeos. After working as a translator in the Tool and Die industry, she left her corporate life at the suggestion of her husband, Roger, to pursue her hobby of jewelry design and leather tooling in February of 2015- and the rest is history. Since early 2015, she has placed work in 12 countries, countless rodeo queens, Miss America contestants, World Champion Barrel Racers, Horse Show Winners and hundreds of other gorgeous women.
Rhinestone Lipgloss has become a movement of motivation- proof that if you want it bad enough, you can make a living doing what you love, and never 'work' another day in your life. We hope you enjoy our story - and remember that every time you put on a pair of our earrings, you're holding tangible proof that you too can follow whatever sets your soul on fire.
What is the importance of shopping with a company before getting a sponsorship from them and even afterwards?
You need to have actual experience with a product before you endorse it; should it be a sub par product and you unknowingly sing its praises, your word will be less valuable- you were wrong on such and such a product so why should anyone believe you when you rave about the next one?
Photo by: Jemma-D
What do businesses look for when selecting someone to sponsor?
I am sure my criteria will be different from other businesses, but maybe not lol! So here goes:
For me, the ENTIRE purpose of sponsorship someone is ADVERTISEMENT for my company. I think this is true for anyone, however for us I don't care how much you have won/accomplished. In fact, as far as barrel racers go, I tend to like the 3/4 D girls because they are still hustling- sometimes when these girls get to the top they get complacent, and I don't like that. I want someone who it still humble and hungry. Note- Notice I said SOMETIMES. I don’t want someone getting their feelings hurt because they are in the 1D but still hustling- I know it takes works to say there. I’m just generalizing. Relax.
Check out their social media before offering them a spot- what kinds of things do they post? Are you comfortable with the brand you have worked SO hard to build being associated with their feed? Do they consistently tag other businesses who support them? You don’t want to have to babysit them and make sure they tag you, you want to know that they are going to take care of that on their own. You’re a business owner, not a babysitter
I know this sounds crazy, but when they contacted you (email, social media, whatever) did they take the time to proofread their message? If they aren’t committed enough to making a good impression with you, do you really think they will follow through with promoting your brand after like week three when the new wears off? Just something I have noticed.
I don't need a six page cited autobiography. Whereas I appreciate they took the time to be thorough, I don't have time in my day to read them. This brings me to the point of being concise- which I think is very important. Can they CONCISELY tell you their accomplishments? If so, chances are they can CONCISELY and EFFECTIVELY tell someone about your brand when they ask. No one wants to hear a drawn out infomercial on your sponsors, so its important to be able to communicate effectively.
As a general rule, if someone doesn't HAVE to do something they won’t, and by the same token, how can they do what you expect if you don't tell them? What do you expect of them? Three posts a month? Just one? Tagging three people a month in your post? Figure that out, and present that to them upfront, so if they aren’t comfortable with it, they can excuse themselves from your offer and no ones time is wasted.
What are YOU offering?
Free product? Discounted cost? A percentage off based on the number of referrals they give you? This one is my favorite- it takes a little work on your end, buts its the best indicator of who is hustling for you and who isn’t and you can choose to reward them extra if you like. This is how our girls earn their patches. Our patches are custom made, not just a circle or oval cut out, so they are pretty expensive- about $400 each time we order, so we cant afford to just ‘pass them out’, the girls have to refer THREE people who ACTUALLY PLACE AN ORDER to earn their patches. We aren’t like a lot of companies who just hand stuff out.
How do rodeo queen contestants know who to ask for a sponsorship?
The owner of the company is best; products that are beneficial to you and your title on a regular basis are the best to contact.
What is the best time to ask for a sponsorship?
With as much notice as possible. Keep away from October-December, as most western brands (including us) are preparing for NFR.
What is your number one tip for people who are looking for sponsorships?
The quality of their social media account. That's the main thing we look at when considering sponsorships-how will this person and their social media benefit my company?
Rhinestone Lipgloss is a very inspirational company to all of us and so are you because you are so determined to make your dreams happen and they are. What would you tell all of the girls who are looking to compete in pageants, that don't believe they can ever win the title or go on to the next level?
If you believe you are going to suck, you probably are. However, the reverse is true- so be mindful of that. If you dont love the process, the journey, you need to find something else. There is no end destination, and you won’t be a queen forever, so you need to step back and decide how the skills your acquiring during your pageant journey will help you in life after the crown.
Thank you Sarah so much for taking the time out your very busy schedule to do this interview with us! I hope many current and future and contestants can take away from this! Sponsorships are important for our organizations, but so is taking care of our sponsors! Support their business because they support you! Check out her website www.rhinestonelipgloss.com and her Facebook: Rhinestone Lipgloss
You can also use code: Norris10 for free shipping on your first order!
Until next time,
Miss ORA Pageant
Photos courtesy of: Rhinestone Lipgloss Facebook page