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8 Proven Ways to Find Podcast Sponsorship

Your podcast is missing one thing: sponsors. You know you need ‘em, but you have no idea how to find them. What are some proven methods you can follow to nab more sponsors? 

Here are 8 of my top methods for finding podcast sponsors:

  • Look into podcast advertising networks
  • Network, network, network
  • Check your competitors 
  • Look locally
  • Contact past sponsors
  • Get on social media
  • Ask your contacts
  • Use audience data

Finding podcast sponsors doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. Ahead, I’ll expound on the 8 methods I recommended so you can track down some sponsors and help your podcast grow!

1. Look into Podcast Advertising Networks

Your first option for finding podcast sponsorship is a podcast advertising network. 

These networks are associated with podcast advertising agencies. Essentially, you join a podcast advertising network, which is headed by an agency. A sponsor, advertiser, or any other type of partner looking for a podcast to pair up with would work with an agency.

After describing what the sponsor wants, the agency would match them up with the podcast that best aligns with their goals and needs. 

Examples of podcast advertising networks include Acast, Art19, Midroll, Earwolf, Wondery, PodcastOne, Gimlet, and Radiotopia. 

A podcast advertising network is hands-off, as the agency connects you to a sponsor based on information like the subject matter and audience of your podcast. That frees up your time, as you don’t have to search for sponsors yourself.

It sounds great, right? A podcast advertising network can certainly be a viable method for finding podcast sponsorship, but it comes with some catches.

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For one, the vaster the network you choose to align yourself with, the harder it will be for you to get matches. You’re one of thousands or tens of thousands of podcasts, so your show must really stand out for an agency to recommend you to a sponsor over your competitors.

That and a podcast advertising network isn’t free, at least not usually.

The agency will get its share, but it can go about doing that in several ways.

One method is ad revenue sharing. For every ad on your podcast, the agency gets either 70/30 or a 30 percent commission. They can also get their cut per downloads of your podcast, such as every 1,000 or 5,000 downloads. 

You might have to cross-promote other podcasts within the network on your show without the guarantee that the other show would do the same. 

If you don’t mind those terms, then go ahead, check out a podcast advertising network.

However, if you’d rather not spend the money right now, you have plenty of other ways to find podcast sponsorship, as I’ve not even begun to scratch the surface!

2. Network, Network, Network

Do you attend podcast industry events, whether in-person or online? At the very least, do you sign up for webinars?

If not, you’ll want to change that. Although time-consuming, networking can be a fantastic avenue for connecting with potential sponsors

At the very least, you can meet someone who could connect you with a sponsor, and at the very, very least, you could end up shaking hands with your next great podcast guest, producer, editor, or cohost. You never know!

So go ahead and print up some business cards, rub elbows with others, and be a bit sociable. You’re not trying to be too salesy, but you do want to have a short elevator pitch prepared.

In that 20 or 30 seconds, you should be able to rattle off what your podcast is about and who listens to it. That’s enough information to help those you meet to make up their mind about whether they can help you, and if so, how.

Make sure to hand out business cards or otherwise share your contact information so that if someone wants to reach out to you, they can.

3. Check Your Competitors 

In business, you always have to pay attention to what your competitors are up to.

Your podcast is indeed a business, even if it’s still just a passion project you’re not yet making a cent from. That time will come, and sponsorship can help you get there.

In your quest for sponsorship, your competitors can do more than indicate to you what’s working in your niche and what isn’t. They can also point you in the direction of sponsors…well, at least indirectly. 

I never recommend directly copying what your competitors do. You wouldn’t do that in any other aspect of business, copying their exact ads or marketing, so why do it in sponsorship?

Instead, you can use their sponsors as inspiration and a guide to tell you which kinds of industries and niches a similar target audience reacts well to.

Of course, a target audience isn’t your exact audience. They might have different preferences than your competitor’s audience, which is another reason I don’t suggest you just lift the list of sponsors directly from a competitor’s website or podcast listing.

For each sponsor your competitors have, try to come up with one to two similar brands. Before you know it, you’ll have at least two dozen potential prospects.

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Before you begin emailing a storm or sitting on the phone for hours, you have to use your audience as a litmus test for each possible sponsor.

It’s fine to toss some aside and others into a “maybe” pile. Just keep the list of names somewhere to potentially come back to someday, but not right now. 

4. Look Locally

Casting a broad net may bring in a lot of fish, but it’s a broad catch. If you only wanted halibut and you ended up with a dozen other fish species, they’re not really worth that much to you, right?

You might wonder why I’m talking about fishing right now, but that’s because it’s all relative. If you have a very well-defined local audience, why would you want a sponsor on the other side of the country? Why would you even prospect that far out?

It’s a waste of your time. If you’re only doing podcasts part-time right now (with the hope of making it a full-time venture once you get enough sponsorship), you only have so much time to record episodes as it is. 

Each minute counts, so don’t waste time. 

Cast a much smaller net, securing local sponsors that will resonate with your audience. 

Even if you don’t have a hyperlocal audience, I’d still suggest sticking with a local sponsor for your first few sponsorship relationships. 

It’s a lot easier to connect with local sponsors since you have the community in common. Your audience and their target audience usually overlap, which is the key to getting any type of sponsorship, podcast sponsorship or otherwise.

5. Contact Past Sponsors 

Do you know what the easiest way is to find a sponsor? Work with a past sponsor again.

Ideally, you want to keep the working relationship going before they become a “past sponsor.” The reason I say that is because once you and a sponsor part ways, they will take on other projects and spend their sponsorship budget on other partners.

By the time you come back into the fold, there’s nothing this past sponsor can do for you because it’s bye-bye budget, the money is all gone. Even if your sponsor wishes they could help, they can’t. They have someone over them who pulls the shots.

If you enjoy working with a sponsor, let them know. Express your interest in extending the deal early so a situation like the above doesn’t get a chance to play out.

Working with the same sponsor in the podcast space is so advantageous. 

You already know what to expect from them, so you can continue to enjoy that consistency on your podcast for months to come (or even longer). That makes it easier to plan each episode of your podcast as you define your show format. 

You can also save time. You don’t have to prospect for as many new sponsors if enough current sponsors agree to stick with your show. You’ll also spend less money on sponsorship, so it’s a win-win every way you spin in. 

You may wonder – won’t it get boring for your audience if you always have the same sponsor? Not really! Even if you retain some sponsors, others will be in and out, so it’s not like your show will always be supported by the exact same companies.

Listeners can still get exposed to new brands from enjoying your podcast, don’t you worry.

6. Get on Social Media

As a podcast host, I’m assuming you have a carefully curated social media presence. If so, use it to do more than post about your upcoming podcast guest or the topic of next week’s episode. Find sponsors!

I recently published an ultra-informative guide about finding sponsors via social media. A lot of the tips I covered apply to podcast hosts like yourself. 

For instance, you can reach out to your vast social network and ask if anyone knows anyone who could become a potential sponsor for your show. You can make a public post and let anyone respond or ask parties via DM if you want to keep things on the down low. 

You can use social media to dig into your competitors and learn more about the sponsors they have. You can also learn more about your audience through social media, discovering the kinds of brands they engage with. Those brands could become your next sponsor. 

If you have a few prospects you’re considering for your show, you can also use social media to learn more about them, especially how they interact with their audiences. 

After all, most podcast sponsors want more than a shoutout of their name during a commercial. They wish for something more interactive, so it helps to know how they engage with their audience in case your audience becomes theirs.

7. Ask Your Contacts

Your next option for finding podcast sponsorship is to open up your virtual Rolodex and begin making some calls. 

This is just like networking, only on a more personal scale, and without the business cards. Hold an informal meeting with your current podcast staff and ask if they know anyone who could be a possible sponsor for your show.

Send messages or emails (or make some phone calls) to past show guests, especially those you have a good rapport. 

Don’t be afraid to ask past sponsors for help too. If you two have a great working relationship, they’ll want to help you. If your sponsor is unavailable because they have other obligations, the next best thing they can do is provide a list of names for you to look into.

If your network doesn’t directly have anyone to suggest, ask if they know someone who knows someone. You don’t want to play “seven degrees of sponsorship” here, but it’s okay to widen your search one level beyond your direct contacts.

Hopefully, this effort will be fruitful. When you make that initial contact with the sponsorship prospect, mention who you two both know. 

This doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a response, let alone a sponsorship deal, but most people are willing to give you a chance once they know you’re friendly with someone in their circle. 

Whether or not this effort yields anything, you still had a bunch of professional contacts take time out of their busy schedules to give you a hand. Make sure you extend the favor any chance you get.

8. Use Audience Data 

That brings us to the last option for finding podcast sponsorship, and yes, I did intentionally save the best for last. If you try only one method on this list, let it be this one. 

You must know your audience inside and out as a podcast host. If you don’t, it’s impossible to gauge if they’ll like your sponsors, guests, and other media partners. You’re flying blind, and that’s just as dangerous as it sounds. 

You must issue surveys to your audience. I’d recommend you do it twice a year as a podcast host, as audience preferences can change fast, and you need to know what they are. 

Once you have this data, you can create a prospects list that’s 50 or 60 potential sponsors deep. That’s right, I said 50 to 60!

How in the world do you do that, you ask? It’s easy. In your survey, ask about all the brands your audience consumes and uses. Keep track of the brands your audience mentions the most frequently and the least frequently, then organize them by popularity. 

Next, look into each brand and see what kinds of companies advertise to that brand’s target audience. Those brands all go on your prospects list.

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After that, determine which brands should market to your audience based on the brand research you’ve already done. Finally, research the direct competitors of every brand on your list, and you’ll easily get to 60 or more prospects.

This method gives you a nice, meaty list of podcast sponsorship prospects to pursue, and all based on what your audience has told you. You shouldn’t have to worry about pleasing your audience with any of these prospects since they all stem from your audience’s insights.

That said, as you get into competitors and brands that should market to your audience, it’s okay to be choosier about who gets on the prospects list. Above all else, you need a solid link between your audience and the prospect. 


While podcast sponsorship will rarely drop into your lap, finding optimal opportunities to work with a sponsor doesn’t have to be too challenging, either. The 8 measures we looked at today are proven to help you find that next great partner who can take your podcast to a new level. 


Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.

After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.

Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.