Welcome

A NOTE ABOUT THIS GUIDE

I'm so excited to be working with you and can’t wait for your magazine to come to life! It’s normal to feel a little lost and confused before you jump in. This guide will give you clarity around the steps you need to take to make your vision a reality!

I'm a big fan of magazines for a few reasons. First, they allow you to reach people that you otherwise wouldn't have reached. It takes time to build a community, but collaborations are the quickest, most effective way to do it. It can serve as a calling card - something that you can put onto your resumé or into your portfolio, and it's great leverage for your brand.

Ready? Let's do this!!

There's no doubt about it - building a magazine takes time and hard work. But your passion for your mission will carry you through. That's why your brand foundations are so important!

Step 1. Find your why. What impact are you looking to make in this world? 
For The Letter Magazine, our mission was to form a community and empower women. We kept that in mind as we created everything and it was so helpful!

Step 2.
Select 3-4 themes that you'll cover in your magazine. Make a few "content buckets" that cover everything you'll be talking about. Example: inspiration, home & lifestyle, food & florals, etc.

Step 3.
Narrow down your audience. What are ten things you know for sure about the person who is going to flip through your magazine.

Step 4. And finally... a name. Choose something short and memorable. One or two words is great. Then, check name availability on social media and domains.

Mini Guide

The visual portion of building out a magazine is fun, but it can also be overwhelming. A great first step is to brain dump everything you need to do (in no particular order), so you have a starting point that can be organized.

Let's dig in to Design 101
(I promise it's easier than you think!)

getting started

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Aesthetics

keep it consistent

Jot down 2-3 adjectives that describe the way you'd like your brand to feel.

Then, let loose on Pinterest! Save everything that brings up that makes you feel how you want your brand to feel...whether it's quotes, designs, outfits, weddings - anything!

Take a look at your Pinterest the next day and you'll see that a theme has emerged. You can use that as the foundation for your visuals.

TEMPLATES

best place to start

If you're not a designer but want to DIY, check out your magazine template in your downloads or Creative Market for jaw-dropping magazine templates. This will also give you a really good idea of which fonts & colors you want to use throughout your brand!

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style guide

colorful leaves and snuggling close

Now comes the fun part! Create a document that summarizes your color palette, favourite fonts, patterns, and tone of voice. This will help you keep everything cohesive and polished across the board.

When in doubt, keep it simple.

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TIPS fOR SOURCING AND PITCHING VENDORS

Building your network and getting to know people is often glossed over in the creative industry, but it's a game changer!

I didn't create The Letter magazine to make a quick buck. It was passion project and an art piece that got me where I wanted to go. I poured so much heart and soul into the magazine, and it showed.

Because of The Letter, I was able to get into contact with brands that I never otherwise would have reached out to. It opened the door to work with some big influencers and helped me land a lot of interviews. I was considered press, and that allowed me to cover big events like BeautyCon. It was SO exciting and it was all thanks to this project.


Vendor Team

SOURCING AND PITCHING A TEAM OF VENDORS

Whatever you are working on, you have to be crazy passionate about what you are creating. Enthusiasm is contagious, even if it's about something as silly as toilet covers! Yes, toilet covers.

That is what's going to get you the "yes!"

People want to be a part of things that are bigger than themselves. They want to connect.
You are selling passion, exposure, and experience.

Effective pitching

STEP one

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People will donate more than you expect, in exchange for brand recognition and experience.

But it is crucial to make sure your offer is a win-win. You'll put them in a magazine, you'll shout them out on social, etc. Put yourself in their shoes!

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the WIN WIN

STEP two

The first and most obvious step in sourcing vendors is to do call-outs on your own social media.

Honeybook and LinkedIn are excellent sources for collaboration opportunities. Search for food photographer, florist, or whatever you're looking for... track down their emails and don't be shy!

You can also post on college boards, internship websites (ie Handshake), or pay for ads on websites like The Every Girl. Reach out personally to podcasts or blogs and have them share what you're looking for.

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sourcing a
team of vendors

STEP THREE

Here's an example of a pitch and a breakdown of how to make your own:

1. Introduce yourself ! 
"My name is Lauren Taylor and I'm the Founder of (Publication Name)". I use my publication to connect with my community through fashion, lifestyle, friendship, and more. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to grow a close-knit community that’s invested in my following along! "

2. Share your ideas! Why you love the brand, and how your ideas can contribute to it. 
"I have so many content ideas, like XYZ." 

3. Share what you hope in collaborating and reiterate how you can be beneficial to their brand. 
"I want to help grow your community by introducing them to XYZ"

4. End on positive note and use your charm to draw them in one final time!
"Please let me know if you'd be interested in discussing a partnership as we embark on this adventure. Thank you for your consideration! I’m so excited to hear from you."

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crafting
your pitch

STEP FOUR

Managing Your Team

Create an editorial calendar. It is so important! This way, you can ensure that your entire team is on the same page, making it easier to manage task lists and deadlines. Stay organized and have put a system in place to avoid overwhelm and keep a handle on all of the moving pieces.

Marketing

your magazine

This is where the magic of collaborating really shines! Your community will be built around people that are featured in your magazine. I love to work with a mixture of people... large & noteworthy audiences paired with everyday women. Having that diversity in your audience means that there's a constant buzz around your magazine.

Rather than telling your team that they have to spread awareness about the magazine, create tools that make it easy for them to share!

Provide shareable graphics that'll help them tell their readers they were featured in your magazine, and shout them on your social media so you can share your audiences. You're the hype...embrace it!

You've covered all of the steps you need to create your own magazine - from the basics of building out your brand, creating a team, allll the way to magazine distribution.

I can't wait for you to to get your work in millions of hands. You are a rockstar! Have more questions or want to share your amazing publication with me? DM me @laurenwtaylor OR email me: hello@laurenwtaylor.com


You did it!