When bloggers decide it’s time to reach out to brands, they typically write an email and ask for something--money, samples, a guest post or items for a giveaway. This email is a crucial starting point. It’s probably the first time the person will introduce their brand to this new company. This first impression should be strategically thought out. You’ll want to make sure your blog is ready for the brand to see, and you’ll want to have a fantastic, informative, visually pleasing media kit.
A media kit is a document that tells a brand all about your blog. It's the introduction to your brand. Think of it as the preview of a movie. You watch some of the coolest parts of the movie all compiled together, and if you like it, you'll probably make more of an effort to see the whole thing. Your aim is to make your media kit compelling enough that the brand’s interest will be peaked, and they’ll check out your site, social media, fulfill your requests, or add you to their press list.
There are many reasons why you might need a media kit, including:
Landing a sponsorship
Getting your product into a store
Appearing on a podcast
Pitching an ambassadorship
Going to a conference
Sharing at a meetup
Applying for a guest post
Sending in as a featured guest
Working with another blogger
Sending in for a media statement
Hosting an event
Asking for a press pass
The Brand’s Point of View
Brands are getting pitched by bloggers left and right. In order to break through the noise and stand out, you've got to give them something that will catch their eye and make them insist on finding out more about you. When I started making my media kit back in the day, I remember reading articles that didn’t put importance on the look of a media kit. But after a few years of research (and plenty of trial and error), I’ve realized that presentation is everything. I've heard people say, "Oh, I just threw my stats and my website on a Word doc and sent it in". My first thought was, "huh?" You want to create a document that's so chic, so compelling, so interesting that the brand has to learn more. Show your best self! Creating a media kit that is thoughtfully put together, that shows effort, and is consistent with your branding--that’s a great media kit.
I’ve seen media kits that were one page and perfectly laid out. I’ve also seen one pager’s that were so crammed with info and colors and pictures that I could barely get through it. My rule of thumb? Make your kit as long as it needs to be to share the information that makes you stand out.
Your media kit is made of several components that give a general overview of your blog. You’ll want to be very strategic about what you share. Make sure that everything puts you in the best light possible. If you have a high bounce rate, don't share it. If you have low traffic, play up your great content.
You’ll want to definitely include the following (Feel free to download a handy checklist here):
Your Blog’s Name
Mission Statement and/or Personal Biography
Pageviews per Month/Quarter/Year
Visitors per Month/Quarter/Year
Social Media Links and Stats
And these are optional:
Ad Rates and Sponsor Opportunities
How to make your media kit
There are several ways that you can make a media kit. Many people choose to use Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, others use Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. I’m a big fan of using the cloud, so I teach people how to create media kits with free web based platforms, using Google Docs and Canva. I even created a web-based media kit on a subdomain (cool concept, but it has its pros and cons). I’ve included a few design ideas in the media kit crash course.
Go the extra mile to stand out
After you’ve made your media kit, it might seem like you’re done with the process. But if you want to stand out and catch the PR person’s eye, do something that will will surprise them. I use my media kit for several different purposes, including pitching for samples, forming new relationships, or even as an attachment for a proposal when I want to speak at a conference. The more difficult or high value the request, the more editing I do to my kit for that specific occurrence.
For instance, when I want to speak somewhere, I include more images of me speaking, and I might emphasize past speaking gigs in my pitch, and share links to the host’s website to establish my credibility. If I were to pitch a company for an article of clothing, I’d swap out some images from my general media kit, and I’d replace them with images of me wearing the brand’s clothing (and I’d point it out in my email pitch).
Now that you’ve got your shiny new media kit, it’s time to send it out there to those dream collaborators. Draft your pitch, make sure it’s error free, and send that baby out. Here’s a quick, bare bones overview of the process:
First, you should introduce yourself and your blog. You should then tell a little bit about your blog. Make sure you explain what makes you different, and why working with you is a value to the company. Next, you should do “the ask”, and be specific about what your request is. After that, tell the brand exactly what you’ll do for them in return. (Never, ever forget W.I.I.F.M- What’s in it for me?) Be sure to place a link to your media kit and an attachment in the email. Make it as easy as possible for them to find out about you.
If your request doesn’t work out, do not give up. You’ve taken the first step to a brand new relationship. You can pitch again, this time with a different request, or possibly you’ve got something new to share. Put yourself in the brand’s shoes, and go another angle. Either way, you’ve got a brand new media kit, and your blogging and small business opportunities are endless!