So, you have decided that it’s time you ventured out on your own… in public relations, that is. In September, I embarked on my solo journey. Although, it wasn't necessarily on the terms I expected, it is something I always dreamed of: Being my own boss.
When the opportunity did arise, I was beyond excited to take on the challenges that would be coming my way. It's been eight months, so how do I feel now? Invigorated.
When I first started out late last year, I had a TON of nerves. Would I be able to make it? Where would my clients end up coming from? Am I going to fail?
I think we all have that feeling that we may fail. But, every day that I go at this journey, I become more and more confident that I will succeed. The great thing is for all the other newbies like me: You are not alone. (Please don’t cue up the old Michael Jackson song of the same name)
We, as solo PR pros, know that being on your own is, much like agency life, a ton of sacrifice and hard work. I don’t think we’d have it any other way really. We are also lucky to have a great #solopr community for advice and guidance.
I’m glad to offer some advice to you on what I keep in mind as I go about my day.
- Clients aren't going to fall into your lap. Maybe you have two or three “smaller” clients to start. That is great. But, if you think your name will just get business, you are wrong. I learned that some old-fashioned door-to-door visits work wonders.
- Don't be afraid to hear “NO!”- How many times have I been hung up on or told a business isn't interested. More than a few. It's not because you aren't good at what you do. It is all about timing and money. Sometimes it's just not a fit.
- Be prepared for an adjustment period. I can't stress this enough because I'm still adjusting to being my own “boss.” If you think you can just jump into being on your own, you can't. Understanding the financial side of your business is as much work as pitching yourself to a potential client.
- You have to want it… badly. If you don't like your job and think that being on your own will solve everything, you are going about it wrong. I'm loving running my own business, BUT there's been plenty of frustration and bumps. If you just go halfway, you are halfway to failing.
The solo PR journey is rewarding. But, it’s not all blue and sunny skies. Be prepared for the storms; it will make your job more enjoyable.
Jason Mollica is the president of JRM Comm, a public relations and social media marketing consultancy. A former TV and radio anchor/reporter/producer, he has blended both careers to help maximize client growth and success. To learn more, visit JRMComms.com, or his blog at One Guy’s Journey.