Clients often ask me about producing a media kit for them. Actually, usually the first question is: ‘what is a media kit and do I need one?’ Nine times out of ten the answer is YES. Why? Because over the last few years, media kits have moved from the more traditional worlds of print magazines and corporations to become a key sales and marketing tool for bloggers and small businesses.
If you’re not familiar with a media kit, it’s basically a document that businesses use to promote themselves and sell their services to potential clients. Whilst magazines use media kits to sell spots to advertisers, bloggers and entrepreneurs use media kits to sell themselves as well as advertising on their sites, sponsored posts and brand collaborations. Service-based businesses, such as photographers, use media kits to promote their packages.
On the surface a media kit may seem a little fancy, tricky or open-ended but that’s part of their appeal. There is no set formula. A media kit can promote whatever a business owner feels is their key selling point. They can also be presented in whatever way you wish – as a simple pdf document, a landing page on your website or a fully designed digital flipbook.
As for what to include in your media kit, here are the most common items:
- An introduction to yourself and your business
This is your chance to explain who you are, what you do and for whom. It’s your chance to demonstrate what purpose your business serves. Whilst you should know this stuff intimately, it is often the hardest part to write about. Writing about and promoting ourselves can be really difficult – we’re often just too close to it to make it read well. Hint: Don’t get caught up wasting time on this step. Hire a copywriter to bang out your professional bio; an outsider can view you objectively and highlight your magic without that layer of self-consciousness. It will be money well spent.
- Your mission
Sometimes known as a ‘manifesto’, this is your way of differentiating your business from the competition and explaining what it stands for. This step is imperative. Unless you have developed something that is absolutely rare, you need to make yourself stand out from the myriad other choices that customers have. There are a squillion coaches, designers, nutritionists, chiropractors, financial advisors, real estate agents etc etc, so what makes YOU so special? You need to cut through the clutter here. Unique is great – don’t be afraid to be different!
Testimonials are an excellent way to let people know how wonderful you are without sounding full of yourself! Use other people’s words. Regardless of whether they’re from clients, suppliers, partners or subscribers, testimonials add a sense of credibility to your business. They also give potential clients a sense of comfort that someone else has invested in you previously and received great results. People want to feel safe and justified in their choices, and testimonials help them do that.
- Frequently asked questions
If you are repeatedly asked the same questions about what you do or how, stop and take note! By including a FAQ section in your media kit you will greatly reduce the upfront email banter that comes with new enquiries.
- List of notable clients
As with testimonials, a list of notable clients can help the Nervous-Nellies feel comfortable that you know what you’re doing. Some of your potential clients may have never worked with someone in your industry before so they want to be sure they’re making a sound decision.
- Services offered
Highlight all of the services you offer, with particular emphasis on the things you really LOVE to do. It’s even better if these things are not run-of-the-mill – you’ll pique interest more quickly that way.
- Packages and rates
If you’re not great at talking about money, clearly listing your services with base-level pricing (‘starting at’ or ‘from’) can be an excellent way to help people understand what the ballpark investment is to work with you. Be clear about what they receive for that price and what else is on offer as ‘add-ons’. Don’t surprise people when it comes to money – don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of your pricing either. If you can say it out loud in the mirror, and believe in the value you deliver, then you can put it on paper.
If you offer a service where stats (read: traffic to your website, social media engagement, advertiser results etc) are important, then include these in the media kit.
If you have some kind of process you follow when you engage with a client include this. It can help demonstrate the value you offer and the reason you get consistent outcomes. By giving potential customers a glimpse into this behind-the-scenes world, you are helping them understand the work you do and perhaps also helping to justify your rates!
- Contact information
This is absolutely imperative. Offer all the different ways someone can get in touch with you: social media handles; email address; website address; phone number. Make it as easy as possible to book you!
- Recent Press publications/articles
Copies of recent press coverage are highly appropriate for a media kit. This may include article reprints, online and offline press, interview transcripts and audio or video files of speeches/performances/interviews.
- A sample news story
This is your chance to guide the media or your reader. Some editors will even print it verbatim; a ready-to-print article is an easy way to fill up space with little effort.
- Other items may include:
- Nonprofit and community-service involvement
- Logo artwork
- White papers
- Schedules of upcoming promotions and events
- Significant statistics specific to your industry, demographics and target audiences
- Samples or examples
- Giveaway information
- An order form
The Key Ingredients to Being Noticed
If your intention is to be published in a popular publication, you need to really make your media kit stand out. Busy editors may sort through piles of media kits each day! So, to get some action on your kit, by either an editor or your target audience, you’ll need to package your materials in a unique and professional way.
Follow up is also critical to being noticed. You’d be surprised how many media kits get sent out and then nothing is done afterwards. First up, you need to be sure your recipient actually received your media kit. A follow-up call also provides the perfect opportunity to answer any questions or schedule a meeting. Use this opportunity to build relationships with your intended audience – it should be considered part of your marketing strategy.
The challenge is always just to get started. Do yourself a favour though and don’t reinvent the wheel. You probably have most of this content already written in various places – your website, your quotations, your proposals, your social media accounts – so just collate it and give it a polish.
Typically, the media kit doesn’t have to be as fancy as people think. Those requesting media kits just want information–not necessarily glitz.
If you would like a hand putting together your media kit, you know where I am!