When you’re starting out as a small brand, it’s important you get your brand in front of as many people as possible. Aside from bombarding your friends with requests to like your social pages, one of the most effective ways to gain some free exposure for your brand is to contact the media and try to get reviewed or written about. The key to accessing that exposure is making yourself stand out amongst all the other brands hustling for that same attention.
In terms of the t-shirt industry, there are a lot of awesome bloggers out there who dedicate their time and energy to promoting new brands and spreading all kinds of tee love. These range from the big name blogs of I Am The Trend and Hide Your Arms, to smaller blogs fashionisters have set up in your local city. These are the guys and girls you want to get in contact with. These are the people who can literally bring swarms of people to your site and really give your brand the leverage it needs to start making a name for itself.
What you have to keep in mind however, is that bloggers are inundated with requests daily by people wanting their label spoken about. That’s why it’s crucial that you make yourself memorable. After all, you need your label to stand out in a seriously big sea of other indie brands.
Blogs are awesome. But you should also think about extending your reach. Have a hard think about your target market and try to identify the media they are interested in and start compiling a list of people to contact. For example, if you are another MMA inspired label then you might want to look up MMA magazines, blogs and websites and target them as potential spokespeople.
Once you have identified the media you want to contact, it’s time to start working on a way to stand out from the rest. Sure, it’s all well and good to have an awesome Press Release written up, but the worst thing you can do for your chances of being spoken about is CC that release to a whole bunch of writers. Think about it this way – you’re asking someone to take the time and effort to help promote your label, and most of these guys do it for free. So the least you could do is try and make it personal. [Adam Hendle over at IATT did a great video on how to go about contacting bloggers. You should definitely check it out - here]
Now let’s take things to the next level. There’s a way you can put your label accross as a really tight, professional package – design a kick ass press kit. This is a great way to show writers they should take your brand seriously and make them want to write about you.
The idea of sending out a press kit is nothing new. I’m just surprised that when I starting asking people about them that a lot of brand owners had never made one. To me this is a really simple way of showing off your brand and selling your story.
Tips on how to make a press kit:
- Remember that the point of the kit is to provide the targeted writer with access to all of your brand information in one easy package. The easier you make it for them to do their job, the more likely they are to write you up.
- Vital things to include are; the name of your brand, your brand story, images of your designs on real people, a press release and contact information. I also think it’s a good idea to include hi-res images that the writer can use for their write ups – again, making their life as easy as possible.
- Your branding needs to be consistent. Design your Press Kit following the colours, fonts and style you have used for all of your other media. That way when they click on your website, they’ll see consistency.
- Use your Press Kit as another way to sell the lifestyle of your brand. You’re not trying to convince a writer to buy your tees, but sell your brand for you. That’s why you need to go beyond just throwing in a few images of your mocked-up designs. If you have a Look Book, try using images from that.
- Be passionate about your brand, not over-selly. Desperation can be sensed and it’s not appealing. You don’t want to beg or come across as too pushy. But you should be genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about your brand – let that shine through. It’s much easier to be hyped about something when you can feel the energy and love that’s gone into it.
Pictures do speak louder than words, so I have included a copy of my Press Kit for you to look at and get an idea of what I’m talking about. I’m in no way saying mine is perfect – rather just hoping it might help inspire you to make your own.
I hope you found this article useful and will consider taking the time to make your own PK because it’s a great way to stand out and sell your brand in a really positive way.