One of my favorite people of all time is Kern Carter. Not only is he an amazing friend, but he’s also the kind of writer that wants to lift up as many other creatives as he can, while he is on his own journey. He’s a very special soul and today he held a workshop on how to build with brands.

I thought I would share the information here for two reasons. I want you to know how to build your own brand too, and I want as many people as possible to be successful so when I learn, I share what I learn so others have the info.

All of this information was compiled by Kern Carter so he deserves all the credit, all I did was take copious notes.

To understand how Kern got his start, you have to understand that everything he does is about promotion and connection. Not necessarily in that order.

Step One: Have a specific audience in mind

This is as old as time and the reason that it works is that when you know who your audience you can speak directly to them. My audience is mostly made up of teens 15-19 and young women between the ages of 25-45. Sprinkled into that audience is a small group of men between the ages of 35-45.

I know this because I’ve taken the time to get to know my audience. I speak to y’all on social media all the time, at events when I dare leave my house, and through constant communication, I’ve learned to start understanding that my audience has the same questions about the world that I have.

Know the size of your audience

My audience size is about 5,000 people between all my social media outlets and this blog. That being said, Kern says you don’t have to have a huge audience to make connections with brands. The best suggestion I have based on what Kern taught us today is to start local with your own community and branch out from there.

Know what your brand will get out of your audience?

Do you want people to show up to events? Do you want them to buy the product? What do you want your brand to ask of your audience, and know the answer.

Come Up With A Collaboration Idea

For models, it would obviously be some kind of photographic event, for writers, it might be a book launch, but come up with an idea that balances your brand with the brand(s) you want to work with.

Research, Research, Research

Kern was very clear on this, spend hours or days if you have to research potential partners. Look at what they do, and who they are, you’re going to need this information later. Make sure that you’re looking for partners whose brands align with yours. Yes, you want money, but more importantly than that, you need to think about the long game. So it might align today but will it align with you tomorrow?

Create A Pitch Deck

Your pitch deck can and should include everything about you, your idea, your plan, and how you and the brand you’re looking to connect to, can work together. It should have it all and I can’t stress this enough, you can create it in Canva or on Google Docs, but rather than including the actual deck in an email have a quick link so people can go to see your pitch deck.

Your pitch deck should include the following:

  • What is your idea
  • Why does your idea matter
  • Who does it benefit and how?
  • How will your idea be executed?

It should answer the following questions

  • Why does this collaboration make sense
  • What are brands after?
  • How are you going to introduce your brand to your audience?
  • Does your brand align with others?
  • Can you execute your idea?
  • What do you need to execute your idea?

You want to make sure you leave 0 surprises so that when brands decide they want to work with you, they know what they are getting and how. They don’t want to do the work so you have to be ready, able, and willing to do it yourself.

Write a Killer Email

  • Introduction
  • Qualify your experience and your abilities
  • Describe the problem
  • Describe how your idea can add value
  • link your pitch deck and ask for a meeting
  • Be brief and on point
  • Link PDF Pitch Deck

Being brief and on point is the most important part of this. They won’t spend hours researching you unless they have already decided to work with you, so you want to make sure that you are as concise as possible but interesting!

I really loved Kern’s workshop the way I love all of his workshops. If you’d like to learn more from Kern check out his website here at KernCarter.Com and sign up for his writer’s workshop Write to Be Heard.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

If you have thoughts you’d like to add about this post, please leave a message, and let’s talk about them

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