Where’s the money?
As a creative entrepreneur—graphic designer, blogger, photographer—you’re always searching for ways to earn more revenue with your talents. To attract more sponsors, try creating a media kit.
“The media kit is a great tool because it essentially gives [brands] all the information they could possibly need in one easy-to-navigate document while often cutting our correspondence time in half because it’s already answered most of their questions,” writes Shauna Haider, a creative director, entrepreneur, and blogger.
Be proactive about making more money. Tell brands and sponsors you exist with an impressive media kit. Here are five things you should include.
1. Who Are You
Similar to starting any new relationship, it’s important to tell people who you are. Giving potential brands a brief introduction makes a good first impression.
But what should you say? You can tell brands how you got started as a creative entrepreneur or what people and things inspire your passion.
Depending on your industry, make an effort to get personal. You might want to mention your family values or your latest backpacking trip.
State the why behind your business to sponsors. Why do you photograph in nature? Or why do you only write children’s novels?
Tell those stories that can’t be found in a press release or bio. These unique qualities will differentiate you from competitors and sparks people’s curiosity to learn more about you.
In the image below, Dani Ryan from Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine talks about her story from a corporate job to becoming a stay-at-home mom. She also highlights her purpose and hopes for the future.
This section of your media kit centers around making a human connection with brand executives. You want them to feel comfortable picking up the phone to talk to you.
2. What You Do
Now, that you’ve grabbed the sponsors’ attention. It’s time to hook them with more details about what you actually do.
For some creative entrepreneurs, this section is a challenge. It’s easy to just say: I write or I paint. However, that’s not enough information for brands to invest in your work.
Explain your process for developing your craft. How long does it take to create your artwork? Or what precious metals do you use when making jewelry? All these details give sponsors an inside perspective around your profession and your dedication.
Also you need to persuade brands to do business with you. This is where you will focus on coupling your talent with value.
“Your media kit is something you use to sell your product or service. So it’s crucial that you can convince a client that you have something useful or relevant to their brand. Your primary goal is to lead them to the realization that they’ll become a better brand with your help,” says Pauline Cabrera, a web designer and social media manager.
There are millions of creative entrepreneurs doing what you do. By expressing your unique value, you can separate yourself from the crowd.
3. Services & Rates
After laying out what you do, let’s move to packaging your services and stating your rates.
This is where some anxiety may flare up. Most creative entrepreneurs never intend to turn their talent into a business. So they are confused (and sometimes frightened) to add a monetary value to their work.
And that’s very noble of you. But working for free isn’t going to help you thrive as an entrepreneur. You will need to charge for your work.
For starters, decide what type of services you will offer sponsors. Are you willing to give up space on your blog for advertisements? Will you welcome sponsors at your next art exhibition?
Provide a list of specific services that will appeal to brands. They will want to know the demographics of your audience, the number of people you influence, and the return on investment for their companies.
Then, take the time to price each service appropriately. Consider the current asking rate in the market and the value of your creative business. Avoid underpricing your work.
Here’s an example from The Sweet Spot Blog. The blogger explicitly states the price for all available ad space. You’ll also notice the types of payment accepted.
4. Social Proof
It’s not enough to say you’re worth certain rates. To back up your value, you must show brands social proof that will encourage them to collaborate with you.
Social proof gives external validation that your business attracts people’s attention and motivates an audience to participate.
So what type of social proof will impress sponsors? An effective strategy is to do research on what brands want from partnerships.
Some companies may want to team up with you to become their spokesperson. Therefore, they may desire a creative entrepreneur with lots of national press in Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company.
Other brands may seek a business with a large, loyal fan base. They will be interested in learning the data behind your site traffic and email list.
“It’s important to demonstrate that your company is relevant and trendsetting. The best way to convey that is to show them your buzz. If you secure reprint rights, you can include digital copies of your media coverage—if not, provide links to the relevant webpages,” writes Suzanne Kearns, a full-time freelance writer for 20 years.
Social proof also alleviates a sponsor’s potential risk of associating with your business. Hesitant brands will feel more comfortable if you’re already doing deals with other major companies.
5. Call to Action
By now, you’ve dished out some pertinent information to your potential sponsor. They know who you are, what you do, and your rates—all solidified with social proof.
Some creative entrepreneurs will stop at this point. They think the sponsors are well-informed to make their decision.
While this may seem true, there’s one last thing you must include in your media kit. And that’s your call to action.
Yes, you need to ask or tell the brand to purchase your services. Don’t assume the brand executive will know what to do next.
Just like a sales funnel for your customers, you must move the potential sponsor down an advertising journey. So give clear instructions on what you want them to do after reading your media kit.
A call to action may include asking them to contact you during your office hours. Or you can direct them to an online scheduling tool like Calendly to set up an appointment.
Take a few pointers from the call to action below from Carrie This Home. Be open to learning more about brands and give them an opportunity to communicate with you.
Whatever you choose as a call to action, make sure you follow up with the brand in a timely manner. Waiting too long to connect may cause them to lose interest in your business.
Attracting Brands With Media Kits
In the world of business, your creativity is only one part of achieving success as an entrepreneur. To bring in sponsors, you must develop a media kit that speaks to their needs.
From stating your purpose to adding a call to action, convey a compelling reason for brands to partner with you. So use your talents to create a worthwhile media kit to attract more sponsors.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.