Get 75% of potential sponsors

(5 min read) Chenell Basilio's tactics for getting inbound sponsors and closing 75% of them. Featuring ConvertKit, Lasso, Keyboard Maestro, and TweetHunter.

Chenell Basilio

I'm trying not to price people out on day one.

Chenell Basilio deconstructs the growth tactics of successful Creators through her newsletter, Growth in Reverse, and has amassed an audience of 27,600 email subscribers - mostly Creators - as a result.

She’s leveraged this high-value niche audience to sell the email sponsorships, coaching sessions, and affiliate products that have enabled her to go full-time as a Creator.

Let’s get into it!



22% of Creators have worked with a brand partner's competitors after receiving a late payment, and 34% have stopped working with a brand completely - regardless of compensation. 

Automation can help.

42% of Creators say payment automation would make them more likely to work with a brand.

Check out our sponsor Tipalti's Creative Challenges report to learn more about the consequences of poor payment practices and the benefits of implementing payment automation.

The Business



I've been doing newsletter audits, where people can pay a flat fee, and I will essentially record a Loom video, go through their socials, their newsletter, and give them advice from what I see.

About 15% of Chenell’s revenue comes from coaching newsletter writers, with another 5% coming from doing audits for newsletters. Her audience is willing to pay for her knowledge because she deep dives so many successful newsletters for Growth in Reverse.

People keep asking for more high touch things, like having an actual coaching call, walking through certain things.

I decided to give it a shot and kind of combine coaching with the audits into a monthly program.

Lots of Creators see coaching / consulting as something to do early on and then phase out, because it’s trading time for money - time is limited, so the money’s limited too (i.e. it doesn’t scale the way views x ads do).

Chenell sees it very differently:

Coaching is more me learning about my audience…like getting some market research in there, getting more in touch with people and seeing what they really need.

It’s making sure that I'm still staying relevant and making sure I understand other business models.

As an educational content Creator, Chenell needs to stay on top of how the market is changing and what her audience is currently concerned about - otherwise, she risks her content getting stale and, worse, losing its value.

By charging to give advice and feedback to willing members of her audience, she’s able to provide them with value and generate revenue while doing research that would otherwise be a time-cost to her business.

Two keys, one lock!

Sponsorships generate the bulk of Chenell’s revenue, but she’s never done any direct outreach to brands. Instead, she borrowed from Josh Spector’s playbook to drum up interested sponsors - as early as when she had 1500 subscribers:

He messaged his audience and said, “Hey, if I put sponsors in my newsletter, would you be interested?”

And he had, “Click here for yes”, “Click here for no”, and “Click here for ‘I'd potentially be a sponsor’”.

And so I did the same thing. I just copied the playbook, and I got really good results. I ended up with 15 people who said that they would potentially want to sponsor, so I just reached out.

I’ve been struggling with pricing sponsorships for my own newsletter, so I was curious how she prices hers.

It's just a flat fee, and I kind of test the waters to see: if I raise my price, do I get no's? If yes, maybe I should back it down a little bit. But every few months I'll increase the price, just because the subscriber count's growing pretty quickly, and people get good results.

Chenell currently quotes $1250 for a spot, with 27,600 readers, a 48% open rate, and discounts for longer-term buys.

If you’re a YouTuber or TikTok Creator, that might seem like a lot, but newsletters average $20 CPMs (cost per thousand opens), and for very niche topics with high-value audiences (like Creators! We’re high value!), CPMs can rise to $100+.

…I have a feeling I'm pricing it too low, because when a lot of people hear the price, they are like, “Yeah, let’s do it, let's jump in.”

Doing the math:

27,600 readers * 48% open rate

= 13,248 opens / 1000

= 13.248 thousand opens

$1250 / 13.248 thousand opens

= $94.35 per thousand opens (CPM)

That’s below the $100 CPM that many niche newsletters like hers demand.

Even though Chenell doesn’t think about CPMs while quoting, she’s selling her ad spots with pricing that’s consistent with the market (or even a little below it).

I'm trying not to price people out on day one.

I want to build those relationships and have longer term sponsors, because I feel like A) that’s a lot easier to manage, and B) you could do more cool things.

Her close rate?

I’d say 75%.

The Stack

Website - Wordpress

Email - ConvertKit

Chenell’s strategy is to drive readers from her email newsletter, which teases her breakdowns, to her website, where she hosts the full-length articles.

Here’s why:

My articles are…4,000 to 5,000 words long and I knew they would get cut off and you'd have to click “Read Online” anyway, so I just figured I might as well put them on a website instead of in an email.

While many email newsletter platforms will let you have a blog that your newsletter links to, Chenell uses different platforms for her emails and her website.

The biggest reason for this is convenience:

If you want to switch [platforms], it's kind of a pain in the butt. If you're on beehiiv and every page has a specific URL and you want to switch to WordPress or a different site, it could be a little challenging to do so.

As for how she picked Wordpress and ConvertKit…


I've been building websites since 2013, so it's just something I've known and used and been very familiar with since then.


I've followed so many Creators, from 2015 on, who are using ConvertKit, because that's when Nathan started the whole thing and it started growing fast.

Storefront - Email

Payment Processing - Stripe + QuickBooks

For coaching, it’s just email. They're like, “Okay, let's do it.” And then I send them a Stripe link. It's still super new.

Screen Recording - Loom

Scheduling - Book Like a Boss + Chron

Link in Bio - N/A

I'm actually someone who would highly recommend not using a link in bio because I feel like your clickthrough rates are so much lower.

I'm a huge fan of just sending them right to your website or your newsletter immediately. Just get them on your email list, and then you can send them elsewhere.

I know that doesn't work super well if you're, like, a podcaster and you just want people to listen to your podcast, but I feel like if you have a newsletter and you have a website, just go there and have all your links on that page.

Affiliates - Lasso + 1Password

I have yet to include affiliate links in Creator Logic because managing all of them seems like a pain. Chenell has a solution…though it probably won’t work for me, since I use beehiiv…

I use a tool called Lasso. It's a WordPress tool, so you probably can't use it on beehiiv. Actually, I know you can't use it on beehiiv, which is one of the sticking points for me…

You can put your affiliate link in for a product and create a short link. So it's “growth in reverse dot com slash tweet hunter”, and I can just put that in every time. It makes it a lot easier.

She also uses 1Password to manage the logins for all the many websites where she has an affiliate account.

Project Management - Notion

Automation - Keyboard Maestro

You can set up shortcuts on your keyboard so it'll open up specific websites or it'll bring up different tasks that you need to do. You could even do something like, if you plug in your headphones, it'll automatically mute all your distractions and do all the things so that you're ready for a podcast. That kind of thing.

Banking + Credit Cards - Chase + Live Oak Bank

Accounting - QuickBooks

Content Production / Distribution - TweetHunter + Taplio


You can compose threads sequentially and then have them post at specific times, and then you can also have it do the auto-retweet thing, as well as plug your newsletter after it gets 50 likes or something…so instead of putting a link in the first tweet, and not getting any reach, you can do it later.

Operations - Solo

Chenell is currently a solopreneur but is considering hiring in 2024.

I think the first thing might be either sponsorships or help with aggregating research, because I spend so much time listening to podcasts and doing the research.

It'd be nice if someone would come in and be like, “Here's a list of 20 podcasts you should listen to and these 10 seem like they're going to be the most fruitful.”

I think that would be nice, to remove that heavy lifting up front.

My LinkedIn Roundup

I write about the Creator Economy on LinkedIn through the lens of my 15 years as a Creator, agent, manager, marketer, producer, and executive at companies like Patreon, Wheelhouse, and WME.

Here are a few highlights from the last week!

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