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A media kit is critical for your side hustle & personal brand: Here's how to make it stand out

A media kit is critical for your side hustle & personal brand: Here's how to make it stand out

If you’re new to the world of self promotion, there might be an important tool missing from your personal branding arsenal: a media kit.

A media kit, also called a press kit, is a document that gives people the TL;DR about why they should want to feature or collaborate with you—almost like a personal brand resume. Influencers and content creators use them when pitching brand collaborations. Thought leaders and founders use them when trying to get press or speaking engagements.

It works alongside a personal website: While your website should have information about all of your accomplishments and offerings (big and small), a media kit should be tailored with the most enticing information for the audience you’re speaking to.

We chatted with several PR experts to understand how to make a media kit that stands out.

What goes into a personal brand media kit?

There are a few basics that every media kit should have: Your name, photo, bio, links to social profiles and your website, and contact information.

From there, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure depending on the type of opportunities you’re trying to land. Here are some things you might include, plus some media kit examples to show them in action.

Speaking topics or pitch ideas

If you’re using your media kit to try and land podcast interviews, speaking engagements, or press features, it’s a good idea to include a list of expertise or stories you have to share. Publicist and podcast PR expert Michelle Glogovac emphasized the importance of specificity.

“When someone says, ‘I can talk about being an entrepreneur,’ that doesn’t make them stand out at all. Make sure that your topics are not generic in any sense.”

Michelle Glogovac shares specific topics she can speak to in her media kit example.

Past features or partners

Include any proof that you’re good at the thing you’re pitching yourself for: Past press features, conferences you’ve spoken at, or impressive brands you’ve partnered with. Keep this skimmable by using logos as much as possible.

“You can use the logo of the media outlet or the podcast cover art, and then hyperlink them to the actual interviews that you’ve done,” shared Michelle as a way to provide additional context without cluttering your media kit.

On his personal brand media kit website, Joshua Lisec uses logos and embeds to share some of his past features.

Relevant statistics

Influencers will often include audience statistics like size and demographic breakdown when pitching brand partners, but anyone creating a media kit should think if there’s data that will demonstrate their expertise.

“You need to be concrete about what kind of success you’ve had in the field that you’re trying to become a thought leader in,” explained Fairlane Raymundo, founder and CEO of Rayco Media, a PR company for small businesses and personal brands.

Marketing coach and blogger Rachel K. Belkin packs everything, including some relevant stats, into her one-page media kit example.

Testimonials, awards, or other social proof

In the absence of data, testimonials, such as quotes from past conference organizers or partners, and even awards can be powerful ways to demonstrate that you’re a true expert in your field.

Jacqueline Shaulis shared testimonials that highlight her speaking skills and hyperlinked all her awards for additional context in her media kit example.

Ways to collaborate

It can be helpful to lay out the ways people can collaborate with you. For instance, thought leaders will often specify the types of speaking engagements they’re open to (including whether they’ll travel). Influencers will sometimes detail different brand partnership packages.

Tori Dunlap outlines her offerings on a “book me” page on her personal website, which also links to her full influencer media kit.

Rate card

Some people include the rates for any paid partnership opportunities (such as speaking gigs or brand deals) directly in their media kit. It’s up to you if you’d rather focus on building trust and expertise first, and then chat money, or put the prices up front to weed out anyone who can’t afford you.

Alessandra Wheeler of Decafe Digital shares collaboration opportunities and rates as part of her media kit for influencers.

How to make a media kit for your personal brand

“You don’t have to be a designer to design a good media kit,” said Candice Smith of French Press PR, adding that there are plenty of media kit templates on sites like Canva and Adobe Express.

While media kits are traditionally PDF documents, Cadice shared that they don’t have to be. “I’ve seen them as anything from Notion pages to PowerPoint presentations to Google documents with a bunch of links inside.”

“Whichever way that you decide you’re going to do it, just make sure that it’s not boring. Because if it looks boring to you—if it looks like a lot of text—people will not care."

She likes to include multiple versions of a media kit in emails (e.g., a PDF version, a text version, and a link to a web version) to appeal to different preferences.

“Whichever way that you decide you’re going to do it, just make sure that it’s not boring. Because if it looks boring to you—if it looks like a lot of text—people will not care,” she said.

Pro tips for your personal brand media kit

Finally, there are a few things to consider if you want to take your media kit from good to great.

Don’t try to include everything

A mistake many people make with their media kit is trying to cram too much information in. “A media kit should be starting a conversation, it shouldn’t be the entire conversation,” explained Candice, sharing that the information should be bite-sized and easy to skim.

When making a media kit, she likes to ask two key questions:

  • What’s the context that this person needs to know that they don’t currently know?
  • How can I get that information to them as quickly as possible?

Fairlane likes to use a three-second rule with her clients’ media kits. “The cover or the headline should be enough to convince people you are the right one for their brand or their message. They shouldn’t have to read through a novel to know who you are,” she explained, meaning it’s worth organizing your media kit so the most relevant and impressive information is first. “It’s better to create several media kits aimed at delivering specific messages than having one media kit that’s all over the place,” she added.

“The main question that you will always have to ask yourself is: What do they need that I can provide?”

Be specific about what makes you unique

“There are many people that are just as interesting, if not more interesting, than you are,” Fairlane said. That’s why she works hard to make sure her media kits show what makes her clients rare or special. That can mean having a controversial take on something, having a unique vision for the future, or just offering more substance than most. 

Always consider your audience

While it may seem like a media kit is about promoting yourself, it’s actually about explaining how you can support the work of someone else, be it a journalist looking for a helpful source, a conference organizer looking for a powerful speaker, or a brand in need of a great influencer.

“The main question that you will always have to ask yourself is: What do they need that I can provide?” said Fairlane. Root your media kit in that, and you’ll be landing more personal branding opportunities in no time.