During the #solopr Twitter chat this week, consultants in PR and social media offered tips on a wide-range of topics, addressing the following questions:
1. How often during the year do you work on the administration and branding of your business? Do you ever center a week or two on it?
2. What start up costs are required when going solo?
3. What's the biggest investment you make in your business? What do you spend the most money on?
4. Are you a member of a national PR association (or another industry body)? Why or why not?
5. What do you do when a client doesn't pay?
Download the transcript in PDF for insights on these key topics. What do you think — any points to add to the discussion?
The #solopr chat – held each Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. Eastern – is a weekly ritual for some of the most savvy Solo PR Pros on Twitter. Anyone with a Twitter account is welcome to participate – see Join Us for the #solopr Chat on Twitter to find out how!
Missed the chat this week, so here's my take:
1. There's weekly time set aside for that, every week. Once a quarter I do a one-day review and planning session with myself and once a year I go someplace comfy and non-distracting (like a nice hotel in a distant city) and plot out goals and objectives for the year ahead over a 2-3 day period.
2. The biggest cost is a hidden one: Learning how to sell. Most people simply don't know how or do so with such irregularity that it's ineffective — and that costs them a lot of money up front in terms of lost time and lost business. Nearly every solo I know could have had a much, much more successful first year if they'd spent a little bit up front (whether it's books or classes or whatever) learning how to sell.
3. Marketing and biz-dev related expenses are consistently the largest outlays, but they'e also the most flexible. There's a $4,000/mo marketing strategy and a $200/mo strategy — and you can get both to work.
4. No. Because (and I say this without any hyperbole at all) I see no value in them. PRSA is particularly value-free, in my opinion.
5. The only clients who aren't required to pay in advance are government clients — and the government, whatever its other faults, honors its contracts.