Wondering how to have your work featured on Style Me Pretty?
Hi There! My name is Nicole and I am the former editor of a feature-based wedding publication. I now work one on one with wedding pros to write, optimize and manage their blogs. And many of my clients are after that brass ring, a feature on their choice of a top publication. For some, it’s a national publication like Style Me Pretty. For others, it may be a more niche or local publication. Whichever publication you have your eye on, here’s what you need to know in order to scoop up that coveted feature!
For most wedding pros, getting featured in their dream publication, like Style Me Pretty, is a major feather in their cap. It’s a great accomplishment that builds brand recognition. Additionally, it helps you gain visibility. And of course, supplies you with some of those dreamy backlinks to help you gain domain authority!
But many times, it’s not just about the feature. It can be about the actual creation of the work you are preparing to submit. Styled shoots have entered the chat! Working on styled shoots for wedding pros is such their bread and butter, don’t you think? It provides them with fresh content to submit to publications. And, it’s a fun way to network while flexing their creative muscle. Styled shoots have been known to contribute to the birth of many trends in the wedding industry. Lastly, styled shoots are a great way to gain the attention of new potential clients if you find your business model shifting. For some wedding pros, it’s helped them make the climb into the luxury market, for others, the adventure or destination market.
So you hope to get featured on Style Me Pretty, but have you familiarized yourself with their submission guidelines? Or the guidelines of any other publication you hope to be featured on someday? Furthermore, how familiar are you with the content they feature on their publication? Yes, check out their content and social media to see what they are most likely to feature on their publication. BUT but but… here’s where I need you to pay attention! How closely does the publication’s mission align with that of your own brands? Is your work a close cousin to the work they consistently feature? Secondly, does the publication tend to lean toward featuring their vendor members only or more frequently than their non-vendor members? Or is there content a mix of vendor members and fab wedding pros who don’t invest in the publications’ marketing & advertising?
The other thing you need to look for when browsing their content, has the publication already featured something closely resembling or emulating the shoot or couple you’d like to submit? Does your work feature a specific dreamy venue? How frequently, if at all, has the venue been featured on the publication? Lastly, is the publication exclusive, partially exclusive, or non-exclusive? If it’s exclusive and you get picked up for a feature that means you won’t be able to submit that particular piece of work to another publication. If it’s partially exclusive, the publication will provide you with a date or period of time (usually up to 90 days) that needs to lapse before you can submit your work elsewhere. For a non-exclusive publication, you’ll be able to submit your work to other non-exclusive publications pretty much immediately.
You can easily Google the submission guidelines for getting featured on Style Me Pretty or any other publication. In fact, the guidelines for Style Me Pretty can be found right here. But, what I cannot stress enough as a former editor is that submission guidelines will vary from one publication to another. So knowing exactly what they need from you before you hit submit is so crucial to not only having your work looked at more than once but receiving that yes you’re hoping for! And yes, the guidelines really do matter that much. Editors don’t want to reward those that have flouted the rules with a feature. More importantly, they want to know that you have closely researched their publication before submitting and that you are very familiar with what they need from you.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of submissions I’ve had to turn down because there was literally zero information included with the photos submitted. Editors want more information about the couple or styled shoot you are submitting. What’s the story? What about the inspiration behind the shoot? Did you include a very complete in-depth list of the other wedding pros whose work is depicted in the submission as well? Are there enough photos in the submission for the editor to choose from? Typically, publications will requirest around 100 photos or so in their submission guidelines. This allows them to choose the ones they feel will create the best story for their audience while highlighting your work.
Bigger publications plan their content calendars way out in advance. If you have a piece of work that features a specific season, holiday, or upcoming trend (remember the Barbie movie marketing explosion??) you want to submit it to the publication anywhere from 6 months to the quarter before that would most align with a feature date.
Usually, with publications, if you don’t hear back, it’s a no. That no might mean no to the work you submitted, or it might mean no, not right now. If it’s your absolute dream publication and you followed their guidelines to a T by submitting work that closely matches the publication’s brand, then absolutely keep submitting more of your work until you get your yes.
As the editor of a smaller publication (a one-woman show I might add), I received hundreds of submissions. And I was a total small fry. Can you imagine how many thousands of submissions a larger-sized publication receives, weekly? So they don’t always necessarily have the time to send a message to each and every “no”. But that’s not to be taken personally. However, if you find that you felt total confidence when you submitted your work; then I can tell you it’s definitely worth trying again in the future. Or even reaching out to another publication!
So you followed all the guidelines to the letter including researching the publication in depth. In fact, you scrolled all the way through their social media to do the proper amount of lurking. You felt confident when you clicked submit. But, for some reason, your submission didn’t get picked up for a feature. I know it’s a major bummer. You might be feeling down about it, like your work wasn’t “good enough”. Or that it somehow didn’t meet the standards of the publication. I’m here to tell you, I highly doubt it. There are a vast number of reasons that submissions do not get picked to be featured.
The publication could already have something similar on its content calendar that has yet to be featured, but you’d have no way of knowing that. It could be that they are so overloaded with submissions (and yes, this does happen!) that they didn’t have time to review it within the amount of time stated in their guidelines, and you could still have a “yes” coming your way. Take heart, and keep trying. Even if you did hear a solid “thank you but we’ll pass” this time around, you can still submit that work to another publication until you’re ready to try a new piece of work with your dream publication.
Awesome! If it’s your first time being featured on a publication, congratulations, that is so exciting! Depending on the level of exclusivity of the publication (which we discussed above) you can start submitting that same piece of work to other publications, once your window of time has elapsed. If you went with an exclusive publication, the last stop for that particular piece of work will be on your own blog with a backlink to your published feature.
And yes, you definitely want to blog your own work and backlink it to the publication feature! This is great social proof for your audience and potential clients. Once you receive a feature date, the publication should either supply you with or direct you to where you can grab their “as featured on” badge. These are perfect to nestle in the footer of your website with a backlink to the publication. Again, more social proof that ties to the quality of your work. The last thing to do, which is totally optional, is to share the link to your feature in your newsletter or on social media.