Good grief! Do you ever set out with a great plan for doing something only to be foiled at seemingly every turn? That’s how I’ve felt at times with my blog… Don’t get me wrong, I love it! I mean really LOVE it! But somehow life kept getting in the way. Granted this has been a zany year for me. I’ve had a lot of drama in my personal life – new baby, marriage separation, moving – twice! plus the challenges of owning my own business. There are days when I wonder how it will all work out but then my faith kicks in and I remember that that is God’s job, not mine!
I’m praying that the worst of the drama is behind me now and I can get down to doing what I really and truly love. So here I sit on the cusp of a new chapter in my life. From here I plan on focusing the vast majority of my time – aka: when I’m not chasing after my adorable little one – on my blog and my online magazine. I am continuing to keep up with my Jennifer Carroll Designs paper orders and my etsy shop but the lion’s share of my attention for the immediate future will be right here. I’m looking at it almost as a science experiment. I love this. Cooking, decorating, crafting, styling and sharing it all with you is just the coolest job I can possibly think of. Is there a living to be made here? I guess we’ll see…
So after that long introduction I want to wrap up the series I began too many weeks ago to count. I apologize that this has not been the weekly series I had originally imagined… but I do hope that you have been able to glean a good idea or two from part 1 or part 2 and if not then perhaps there will be a tidbit for you in this last installment.
Let’s have a quick review: in Part One you picked your preferred magazines, in Part Two you selected the editors you want to target. Now it’s time to put together your Media Packet and send it off. There are lots of different ways to approach this many of which you find with a simple Google search but here are my suggestions.
:: Step One ::
Gather your best samples – whether products or photographs – and put on your creative thinking hat! Editors get pitches from people all day long so making yours stand out is priority Numero Uno! You are unique, your packet should be too.
• Consider lining your box or folder with bright & fun scrapbook paper
• Maybe even have a custom Rubber stamp made to embellish the outside with a sweet message like “From the imagination of…”
Inside the package:
• Include a personal greeting to the editor with a couple of sentences about why you think you or your product are a good fit for their magazine. This should be about more than just “because I’m a fan!” Editors are looking for material, we want to make it easy for them to select you. For example if you are targeting Southern Living’s made by Southern Hands column, talk about why you love operating your business in the south and why you think your product is unique.
• Also include a brief bio of you and your business and a profile of your product or services.
• Keep it brief. Editors are busy, they don’t have a lot of time. You need to hook them from the get-go. Have a friend help you edit your letter if necessary. Remember be brief but powerful.
• Include all of your contact information.
• If you’ve received any kind of media attention or awards for your product be sure to mention that in here!
Note that you may never see these items again so make peace with that before you send it. Many magazines will send things back but not all – just a heads up.
:: Step Two ::
Package your samples up and mail them out and now… wait. Yes, here’s the not so fun part. The waiting game… Sometimes you don’t wait long but more often than not you do. Now it’s not all just sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting – you do need to do some following up. A brief, and I do encourage you to be brief, email to the editor confirming they received your package is ok but do not pester them.
If you haven’t heard anything for a couple of months consider sending a lovely card (again we’re trying to make a good impression here!) with a brief “Thank you for considering me. I hope to be able to work with you on a project one day!” type of message. I also encourage you to send cards at the Holidays too. In business we all tend to work with people we know and like so consider this relationship building an investment in your future!
That’s it! Simple yet also hard. Mostly because of the emotional toll of possible rejection that we all dread. But remember not everyone will like you but if you don’t give up and target the correct publications and editors you are very likely to achieve your goal. So don’t give up!!
Thanks again for joining me on my blog. As I said at the beginning, I love sharing tips, recipes, decor ideas & more with you and I’m really looking forward to doing even more of it!