Whether you’re new to the promo industry or not, it helps to have someone on your side advocating for you. Mentors can help guide and coach you, but sponsors can help open doors to new opportunities.

While mentoring relationships require back-and-forth communication, a big part of sponsorship happens behind the scenes. When you have a sponsor, this person may put in a good word for you, bring your name up when opportunities arise and help make your work more visible.

How do you go about finding a sponsor? Vinita Bansal, founder of techtello.com, has a few ideas. We share her guidance in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Be strategic. Don’t just randomly choose someone. Your sponsor should know you well and feel comfortable vouching for your work. If you’re new in the workplace, Bansal recommends strategically building relationships with people you respect. Talk about promo, but also show interest in their life outside of work. Remember, it’s all about connections.


  1. Don’t be a complainer. No one wants to be around a Negative Nelly. Instead of complaining, look for solutions and try approaching problems from a new angle. When you do so, you can increase your chances of getting sponsored. Bansal suggests working on your self-talk to become more positive. For example, instead of saying, “I can’t” or “I have to,” try saying “I will” and “I choose to.”


  1. Seek opportunities. If you usually wait around to be assigned something, try taking the lead. This can naturally expand your opportunities because you’re not relying on someone else to decide what work or projects are best for you. And keep in mind, Bansal says, that good sponsors may exist outside your specific team. Always look for ways to expand your circle of influence.


  1. Be proactive. Sponsorship doesn’t happen by chance, Bansal says. It’s up to you to make an effort to find someone who can lift you up in the promo world. She recommends looking for ways to get in front of them. Introduce yourself at meetings and industry events. You never know who can help you get your next job or recommend you for a new role.


It’s great to work with a mentor, but don’t overlook the benefits of working with a sponsor. A great sponsor can be anywhere, so keep your eyes open at your company, in your community and at promo industry events.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Vinita Bansal is an author and the founder of techtello.com.