Are You Diminishing Your Professionalism?

Living the Life

Are You Diminishing Your Professionalism?

May 9, 2023 | Living the Life

Are You Diminishing Your Professionalism?

May 9, 2023 | Living the Life

Today WFH (work from home) is mainstream, but pre-pandemic Solo PR pros untethered from an office worked hard to prove they were as professional as their in-office colleagues. Business standards have become more relaxed. We have moved from suit and tie to athleisure, from bland offices to personalized home offices. However, professionalism has not gone out of style.

On this week’s episode of “That Solo Life,” we discussed public relations people that bend the rules of professionalism into unrecognizable shapes. In this post, we look at ways that you may be unintentionally diminishing your professionalism.

Maintaining professionalism is crucial for success as a Solo PR Pro. However, there are certain behaviors and habits that can sneakily undermine your professionalism and hinder your business. Below are three ways you may be sabotaging your professionalism:

Your rates are too low. At a minimum, your rates should cover the cost to deliver services plus a profit margin that allows you to pay yourself, invest in the business, and set aside a cushion. Beyond the math, there is an art to setting rates. Rates that are too high or too low can have a negative impact on your client’s perception of value. You have to price your rates high enough to convey quality but not so high that you price yourself completely out of the market.  

However, in the decade that we have been running Solo PR, we have never encountered a single professional with rates too high. 

You treat your client like your employer. The client relationship is a B2B relationship, not an employer-employee relationship. Your clients are hiring you for your expertise, so you need to be comfortable delivering it with confidence. You are not asking for permission to do your job. Your communications, written and verbal, should convey confidence in your ability to do your job. So shove impostor syndrome to the side and remember that they hired you because they trust you as the expert.

You run away from failure. A pitch falls flat, or you miss a goal. It happens to everyone and is not a blemish on your career. Professionals are comfortable with failure as a normal part of the process. As a Solo PR Pro, don’t hide from the things that don’t go as planned. It is important to communicate with your client whether the news is good or bad. Own the failure and present a way forward. Your client will respect you for owning the failure and leading the way to a better result.

Do not let these common behaviors derail your professionalism. You have worked too hard to build your reputation and business to unintentionally sabotage your success. 

Photo: Credit:Iryna Drozd via iStock by Getty Images

Written By Karen Swim
Karen Swim is the President of Solo PR and Founder of public relations agency, Words For Hire.