Using a media kit to get more freelance business, better referrals, and more publicity

[img] media kit
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Traditionally a press kit, or media kit, is a pre-packaged set of promotional materials of a person or company that can be distributed to members of the media for promotional use. As a designer this might seem like something you would be more likely to design for a client than need for yourself.

I have to admit it’s not common. In fact, it’s something I’ve never even heard other designers talk about.

Since the idea first came to me, I have had some opportunities, when a press kit would have been a huge time saver for me.

First: lets have a look at why you need a media kit.

The thought first struck me when I started writing for this blog Graphic Design Blender. After I had accepted the position, the next step was to get Preston my information. He requested a photo and a bio. I had neither.

As I was gathering up the info to send over to him I thought, “It would be really nice to have this in all in one place I could just fire off in an email whenever I needed to.”

Over the past few months I have had that exact same thought over and over. While applying for design contests, submitting artwork to a local art show, landing a new client from another province who I have never and likely will never meet, and interacting with local media.

I could have saved so much time, by having a press kit, right from the beginning.

What the heck should I put in it?

We want this to be a versatile package that will cover all sorts of information requests. Think of it as part portfolio part resume and part personal biography.

A good start would be:

• A photo of yourself.

• A couple sample photos of the work you are most proud of. (this is a good place to include a link to where they can find more)

• Your biography in the form of a simple text document.

• Some nice high-res images of your personal branding or logo if you have one. ( Imagine the horror of getting featured somewhere only for the publication to use a pixelated version of your logo they found online. No one wants to hire a designer with a fuzzy logo!)

• A usage guide outlining what people can and cannot do with the provided materials.

• Your social media links, web address and contact information.

Label everything properly and zip it up to send off to anyone who needs information about you and your business.

What’s the benefit?

If the possibility of saving a bit of time isn’t enough to motivate you here’s a few of the upsides of having a media kit.

Publicity. The easier it is for people to feature you, write about you etc. the more likely it is too happen. If someone has to scrounge around for materials or work with the tiny picture and half sentence bio you send to them, they are a lot less likely to write about you.

Referrals. We talk a lot about referrals here; that’s because they’re important! Send your press kit to your favorite clients and ask them to forward it to a couple of friends who might need design work. Rather than have to figure out what to say about you, or what to send as a referral, all they have to do is hit send and let your press kit do the work. It’s win win.

Do you have a press kit?

Let me know in the comments if you have, or plan on putting together a press kit! Is it online, in print, zipped as a compressed folder, etc? What’s in your press kit? What have we left out of this post?

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About Ben Brush

Ben Brush is a graphic designer working and living in Nova Scotia. You can view his work on his website. Find more posts by Ben on his graphic design blog Design Puffin or connect with him on twitter.

Comments

  1. I don’t have a press kit, which is ridiculous because I design them for a living! I also don’t have a logo… or up-to-date business cards… But I’m awesome at making that stuff for other people!

    • It’s hard to spend the time on yourself to get stuff like that done when you could be working on client work. However, I think the extra time it would take would pay for itself quickly.

      Spoil yourself a little Lix! haha

  2. Great Article! We’ve used intro letters for potential clients with images of work related to the potential clients. I like the idea of sending them a much more detailed package so I standout to them.

  3. You mention including your biography, I’ve often wondered what should be included in a biography? I’m not sure how much is too much information or too little. Any thoughts?

    • I don’t think it has to be a lot. Just think about what you would want to know about people you will potentially be working with,

      A little background on where you live and work, where you studied and and major defining moments in your life or career.

  4. It’s funny… I just sent a digital portfolio to a potential client yesterday, but I had to sift through several versions to find the latest one because I”ve failed to keep it up to date. Plus it was too big to just email. I have to get this stuff together!

  5. What a wonderful idea! Thank you for the great suggestion.

  6. great article. im a solorpreneur / considering taking a full time gig again designer, and this is right in line with my prep these past few weeks towards that endeavor. i have most of the elements online or in progress to be there shortly, but i love print design… so now i think ill have some printed and mail them out to any number of destinations that could yield income and opportunity… good call ben. i think i just needed a little help with what all to include, so thanks much.

    ps. the idea of putting the press kit in hands of current clients for referral purposes is great too.

    • Thanks so much Nissa.

      I’m really glad people like this idea. When it came to me I had a brief “am I just crazy?”moment, but it looks like lots of others feel the same way.

      I’d love to see what you come up with!

      Good luck on your endeavors!

  7. Very helpful read. Question about the format: would an interactive pdf work best or are there any other ways to present a media kit in digital or print? Is there a standard?

  8. Man I already had so much stuff do! Now this is added to my list because it’s a freaking fantastic idea.

  9. The truth is that having an organized design and media kit helps adarse known professionally. I loved the article.

  10. melissa chernow says:

    Would it be possible to change your font color? The soft gray against the teal is hard to see on my monitor.

    • Melissa, I know what you mean, I have a computer at home that has a monitor that makes this site almost impossible to see.

      I’ll pass your concerns along to Preston.

  11. I don’t have a printed media kit, but I have a media room on my Website. I’m interviewed all the time and they’ve never asked me for anything printed. My media room has links to the items you’ve mentioned, videos, previous media, etc.

    • Good call Peggy.

      I think the media room serves the exact same purpose.

      I think printed matter is more relevant in some cases than others. As designers printed mater is a chance to show off our print design skills. This makes it part portfolio as well.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  12. Samantha says:

    Great idea! I never would have thought of doing that for myself as a designer. I think it would be great to have this if you are entering contests, being featured for news articles etc.

    However, I don’t think it’s necessary to package a press kit to get referrals right? Wouldn’t it be better to have a business/services kit to pass along instead?

    • That’s a good point Samantha.

      My thinking was that it could be consolidated into one package with a ton of applications. That way it can be sent along at almost any request, That being said, having a couple packages with different purposes could be a better route if you don’t mind putting them together.

      Thanks for your comment.

  13. Wow, I didn’t even realize I’d need one. You bet I’m making one as soon as I can. Thanks for telling us this!

  14. I have been looking for something like this idea for a while. I’m going to be joining a business organization in hope of getting more clients so this is perfect. Also I’m finishing up a rebrand for a company that has the potential for some good exposure in my market. Guess its time to do trade for work with my buddy who does freelance PR to help me get this done.

    It amazes me as designers how a lot of use are great at marketing and designing other clients’ things but have a terrible time promoting ourselves.

  15. Ben,

    Love the idea of sending to your best clients and asking them to forward to a few of their contacts.

    So simple for them to do, and several of my clients would be very willing.

    Thanks!

    April

Trackbacks

  1. […] Using a media kit to get more free­lance busi­ness, bet­ter refer­rals, and more pub­lic­ity “Over the past few months I have had that exact same thought over and over. While apply­ing for design con­tests, sub­mit­ting art­work to a local art show, land­ing a new client from another province who I have never and likely will never meet, and … […]

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