Andreea Ayers has taken her success and experience with her own brands and turned it into a consulting business, Launch, Grow, Joy, where she helps others to replicate her success, sharing everything she knows about getting products in the media and increasing online exposure and sales. She joined us in the Aeolidia Facebook group for a Q&A about holiday gift guides. Creative product-based businesses, come join us! There will be more of these.
We’ve tidied up the Facebook back and forth into something readable so we won’t lose this great info, and you can see Andreea’s thoughts here. It’s getting late to contact editors about getting into this year’s holiday gift guides now, but these tips apply to your business all year long! All quoted text below is from Andreea, and all bold text is from our Facebook community.
Hi everyone! So happy to be here today and to answer your questions about holiday gift guides!
What is the best way to pitch your work to editors?
The best thing to do is to find out the theme of that magazine’s holiday gift guide and pitch according to that theme. For example, Gifts Under $50, Handmade Gifts, etc. Usually magazines will do the same theme year after year. For example, Real Simple always does 50 gifts under $50 and you can easily look at past gift guides on their website.
Are supplies ok to pitch to DIY type guides even though they aren’t a finished product persay. We sell handspun yarn and I’m trying to break out of just the craft lists.
It depends on whether or not the magazine is looking for supplies as gifts… but I think that if they are doing a gift guide for their readers who are into supplies, then absolutely!
Is it okay to pitch to a lot of publications at once – I read that you should pick 1-or-2 but what if they are swamped and don’t pick you up. How do you find the right person to pitch especially for magazines when turn over does happen year to year?
Absolutely, as long as you personalize it to each one! If you call and ask who the holiday gift guide editor is at a certain magazine, often times they will tell you!
Do you recommend emailing high quality photos or sending an actual sample (when possible)?
I recommend sending a low res photo and if the editor is interested they will request a high res photo and samples. I don’t recommend sending samples in the mail without them requesting it first.
If you pitch via email and don’t get a response, how long do you leave it before trying again? And how many times is polite to try before stopping (due to lack of response)?
You should give it a week and only follow up once! If you don’t hear back from your followup email, you can pitch a different idea. For example, you can pitch handmade gifts one week, follow up the next week and if you don’t hear back pitch for gifts that give back, etc.
What are things you shouldn’t do when it comes to pitching for a holiday gift guide? Any one mistake that you frequently see and should be avoided?
One of the biggest mistakes is an email pitch that is TOO LONG and WITHOUT PHOTOS!
Do editors expect to keep samples sent to them for consideration or for photographing? We tend to include a mailing label so that they can send it back to us.
If you need your samples back it’s a good idea to set that up ahead of time before you send the sample. Most editors will be happy to return them. However, bloggers and local publications will expect to keep your samples.
Do you select one item to send photos of or would you send a small collection of your work?
Great question! You should try to select one item or a small collection instead of pitching EVERYTHING you have available. If the first item/collection doesn’t get picked up, you can pitch a different item a week later!
I have a new company, (swimwear for children) we have as all marketing budget. What is the first thing I should do tomorrow?
Congrats on your new company! The first thing you should do when it comes to Holiday gift guides is to make a list of 10 magazines that you’d like to approach. And then google to see their past holiday gift guides and to see what themes they are working on… after that you can call each magazine to ask who their holiday gift guide editor is and then pitch them.
How can you make your message stand out?
One of the best ways to make your message stand out is to make your subject line stand out! Make sure to mention “Holiday Gift Guide” in your subject line so they know what you are pitching about! If you are wondering what to say when you pitch, check this out where I’m sharing pitches that have worked for me (enter your name and email and you’ll be able to download it instantly). You can also read more here: http://www.launchgrowjoy.com/holiday-gift-guide/
My question is how do you pitch your products for example: soap, when I don’t package my product is boxes and like them to be bare?
If you don’t have any packaging at all, you can take photos against really colorful backgrounds!
When pitching product images, is it better they’re on plain/white backgrounds or styled with props?
It depends on who you are pitching and what the image looks like. If you want to post examples, I’m happy to give you my feedback!
Meet Andreea: As the founder of Launch Grow Joy and, most recently, Soaps to Live By, Andreea loves to inspire and share! She loves to help other entrepreneurs succeed, whether it’s through online courses, speaking at events across the country, leading webinars or writing guest articles. Her mission at Launch Grow Joy is to help you launch your product line and grow it with joy! Whether you want to get your products in the media, in stores or sell more on your online store, she’s ready to be with you every step of the way!
Who are you pitching to?
It’s hard to pitch successfully when you don’t know who your target customer is. Download our dream customer exercise below! Print out & fill out, to create your own customer profile of your dream girl or guy. The more specific you get, the more helpful it will be in the long run. Have fun, and dream big!