When time rolled around to start issue two, I had a lot of inspiration and a good idea of who the layout, the cover, and who I wanted to interview. This issue was my favourite and had a great outcome. Through this issue, I had received great feedback and had a University lecturer wanting to use my magazine as material for her Journalism classes. With each issue, my skill was progressing and my magazine was being noticed by many. Yet one thing was still a mystery to me. How were magazines getting party invites and contacts of brands to work with? It had been almost six months and I had not yet seen anything that resembles what other magazines claimed to receive.
One very important lesson I learnt on my journey of starting my own magazine was that nothing is going to come to you. You can not simply sit around and expect to receive contacts, party invites, free gifts or anything else in life. You must make things happen for yourself. After much deliberation of what tactic I should use to get an ‘in’ with brands, I decided to just sit down and write a professional email about who I was and why they should work with me. I compiled a list of brands I wanted to work with and started sending out emails, not expecting to get anything back. Contrary to my first thought, I received a good amount of emails in reply to my request within a few days. I had the ‘in’ I was looking for! I had successfully gotten myself on the list of press contacts of a few brands. With my success, I was encouraged to contact more and more. Within a matter of a few weeks, I had brand deals and parcels being sent to my door, multiple each day.
With this new found work there was even more pressure to get the magazine done in time. A flexible release date has now turned into a deadline. Brand reviews had to be done each week on the website and then there were magazine reviews also. At first, the constant flow of parcels felt like Christmas every day, yet as the workload became impossible to keep up with on top of university work and my 9-5 job, I started to dread the job and resorted to giving away the products I had received to friends and family and have them report back to me. Yet this could not be a sustainable long-term plan so I had to cut down the brands I take on and become more selective. I was sad to do so, yet having to turn down a lot of smaller brands, opened up opportunities for bigger and more sustainable brand deals such as a bicycle company, that’s right, I received a bike for doing what I love most, writing!
This brings us to now. I recently published my third issue, collaborating with some great brands, and even meeting one in person (most brand deals are done over email, believe it or not) and making new friends!
I have learnt a lot along the way and am learning more each issue I publish! Here are a few tips that I have learnt that no one tells you… P.s I still have not been invited to any parties (Haha!)
- It is a lot harder than it looks. Magazine editors make it out to be so glamorous, and it can be, but it is also a lot of hard work and time!
- Don’t trust that just because a brand says you have a deal, that you actually have one. A lot of the time they will never talk to you again after that first email.
- A lot of brands expect you to work for free. Don’t devalue yourself and your work. For a guide on how much to charge, check out my media kit -kbsmagazine.com
- If using InDesign, use your grids! Printers will cut off edges of your pages and you will lose text if you don’t!
- If you are still building up your subscriber base, check out magcloud.com for printing options.
- Always use high res photos!
- You will find yourself googling terms that are thrown at you by brands, please google before responding so you don’t look unprofessional for asking, this is a lifesaver!
Thank you for reading, If you would like more, check back every month, or you can find me on Instagram – @naakaree