In this week’s IG Live chat, we spoke to the lovely Emily from Mollie Makes, a multi-craft monthly lifestyle magazine for those who live creatively! Emily talked us through how to structure a press release, how to get commissioned by Mollie Makes and the best ways to promote your business for FREE!
Emily publicises all sizes of brands, from one-man-bands to the likes of Hobbycraft. She looks at editorial coverage and helps businesses develop and grow.
After our recent chat with PR Dispatch, we learnt that we don’t need to pay to get listed in magazines like Mollie Makes – exposure can be free. You can find more information on PR here: What really is PR? and The Importance of PR in 2020.
We asked Emily some of our burning questions. Read her top tips:
What’s the best way to publicise my business?
Lots of people want to get featured in Mollie Makes – and it’s FREE! Many stallholders, crafters and small business owners write in to Mollie Makes, and we’ll feature their products for free. It’s great publicity for you and your brand.
There are other magazines that offer features for free too. Do some research, make a list of editors and their contact details. Perhaps put aside an hour or two each week to contact people regarding editorials – you don’t need to spend lots of time personalising these emails, but it’s a good idea to create some emails out to publicise yourself.
If you operate across different markets, such as making children’s toys and selling to both parents and shops, you may want to change the tone of your email slightly – but you don’t need to spend lots of time tailoring every email.
You can find a whole host of Mollie Makes’ top business tips on their blog page.
How do I make sure I get noticed?
Try and pick up on trends which are likely to be featured in magazines. Mint is a really popular colour right now, as is pale pink, so if you have products in these colours they would be good the highlight.
Magazines usually prepare their editorials around 2-3 months in advance, so try and think in advance of the seasons. For example, highlight your Halloween products in summer and perhaps focus on promoting your Easter products just after Christmas and so on.
You could even schedule emails out to magazines and editors, and time them to send at set points throughout the year.
What products appeal to Mollie Makes?
Literally ANYTHING! We are a multi-craft magazine, so whether it’s candle making, knitting, wooden toys or embroidery, we love it all! Mollie Makes love diversity, and are passionate about supporting independent designers. We are always looking for a diverse range of contributors, so please write in!
Where will I be featured in the magazine?
You could be featured anywhere within the Mollie Makes magazine, but aside from our commissions pieces and press releases, Mollie Makes often feature sections on ‘At Home With’ and ‘Tea & Chat’, which offer personal interviews and behind-the-scenes workshop images of makers.
How do people structure an email to Mollie Makes – what works?
Keep it fun, brief & ensure your image quality is spot on – this is vital!
The Mollie Makes editorial team see thousands of images each day so it’s important to stand out and make sure your images are easy for them to use.
In terms of content, keep the text within the body of an email so it’s short and sweet. A couple of paragraphs is ideal – just give a brief introduction of your business, then summarise your product or the range you’re including.
Make sure your email has a catchy strapline. A title of ‘my new products’ won’t sell anything, whereas ‘funky cat products’ or similar might catch the Mollie Makes team’s eye.
Attach up to 5 pictures of your work – no more than this. If you are just highlighting one product, send 2-3 pictures of it (one lifestyle shot, one of the product against a white background, and one of the product in amongst some of your other products). If you’re highlighting a range of your products, send up to 5 pictures in.
If you can provide cut-out images, that makes it easy for the editors to splice into the mag, so it may make you likelier to get featured.
Mollie Makes is a monthly magazine. Email in once a month – don’t bombard them with multiple applications. If you don’t have new products from month to month, perhaps email them bi-monthly to highlight what you do. Don’t just send them old stuff, or bombard them with repeats!
It’s unlikely you’ll be told if your article goes to print – so just keep an eye out! The Mollie Makes team are far too busy to notify everyone who sends information in, so just look out.
Sending a Press Release / how to get commissioned by Mollie Makes
Firstly, put something about commissions or being commissioned as part of your email strapline.
In the body of the email, add more about you and your background, and talk about how you came into doing what you do.
Send examples of previous commissions if you have them, be it a magazine, website etc – showcase your portfolio and ensure they know that you’re capable of producing the kind of images they want featuring in their magazine. Build some trust in your brand, that you can provide top-quality images and products.
Step-by-step images of the maker’s process and what you’re doing are great too, and give an insight into your business.
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back – focus on building your list of contacts. There are so many magazines out there – find out who the editors are and build yourself a mailing list to give you maximum exposure. If you email out once a month to all these people you’re bound to get noticed eventually!
Email Mollie Makes – [email protected]