10 Practical Tips on How to Handle Your First Advertising Sale

[tentblogger-vimeo 18271139]

[This is a part of the “Getting Started with Blog Advertising” blog series.]

I can remember with vivid clarity the first time I fielded an inquiry for an advertising slot on my blog: I was stoked! I can remember literally getting up and doing some sort of weird dance. It was so exciting!

I didn’t know it at the time that I’d eventually do this as a full time job but I did know that it was a big first step! I’ll admit that I didn’t handle this first inquiry perfectly and I definitely have lost a few opportunities after this one but luckily my success rate has increased since then!

I’ve learned a few things a long the way and for the most part I believe that the majority of you will be able to manage these inquiries well so hopefully this will serve as a healthy reminder as well as bring up some key points that you might want to mention so as to have the best experience possible!

Not like this.

Here’s a few pointers:

  1. Be gracious – An expression of gratitude works every time, and it’s true, right? Be thankful that someone is considering your blog worthy enough to present their products and/or services!
  2. Be clear – Be as clear as possible your terms of advertising, your disclosure policy, pricing, contracts, and everything else related to the actual transaction. Establishing this cadence will work for you every time!
  3. Set a deadline – Set a clear deadline as to when you need a final word on whether or not this relationship is going to move forward. Generally-speaking most people appreciate this and it helps to move things forward.
  4. Be available – Some will want to talk on the phone so you should be available to do this if you can.
  5. Be strategically flexible but not in pricing – You will want to be a little flexible with all of your terms but not pricing. Since the one area that most people choose to be flexible is their pricing I really want to counsel you to be a bit more “hard and fast” with it – I typically guard my pricing and make it unmovable only because I’ve already done my research and I know what the value is for these existing spots. I can give more value in other ways too.
  6. Be timely – Give responses quickly, concisely, and fully. Over communicate if you feel it’s necessary.
  7. Be ok with it not working out – Most people will literally give their arm (and leg) for that first sale but it’s ok if it passes and you can’t come to mutual terms. You must be ok with this! This is a valuable lesson to learn and one that you’ll need to continue practicing.
  8. Don’t compromise – Remember this post here about the Guiding Principles to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to advertisers and sponsors!
  9. Community first – This goes along with the previous bullet point but you want to consider your community first and not your pocket, that is, your financial gain in the relationship.
  10. Think (and talk) long-term – You’ll want to think long-term with all of your sponsors and relationships. Bring this up and see how the respond. If you can get some life-long financial relationships in order then you’re on your way!

Hopefully these are good reminders of how to best proceed with that first advertising inquiry! Be excited, because it is exciting, but calm enough to execute and communicate well.

Good luck!

[This is a part of the “Getting Started with Blog Advertising” blog series.]