In 2020 our lives have been upended multiple times. The practice of public relations has not changed, but it is time to update the Solo PR Pro tool kit for our “now normal”.
- Get serious about signatures. Be meticulous about having signed agreements before you start work. The “now normal” requires clear terms in writing. Include a mutual 30-day out.
- Add a plus to your solo life. If you have not jumped on the solo plus train yet, it’s time to head to the station. At the least, you should have back-up support in case of an emergency. You can start now by identifying one or two people that you have worked with and trust. If possible, try to identify someone that lives in a different part of the country to hedge against everyone being impacted by things like weather events at the same time.
- Think ahead. Create a detailed plan of what you need to continue operations in the worst of worst cases. We do this for our clients, but it is time to use those skills for your own business. This plan should include things like connectivity, digital tools, client files, and more.
- Get squirrely about money. We all know the value of having a financial cushion to help smooth out the ups and downs. However, this year has taught us that anything can happen, and then anything else can happen too. The old cushion may have you feeling less than comfortable these days, so make like a squirrel and stow away extra cash for the proverbial rainy day (or year).
- Improve your flexibility. The pandemic has many companies shy about entering into long-term commitments. Be flexible with your contracts and make it easy for clients to terminate services should the need arise. Many clients may only want to commit to three to six months at one time.
- The ability to pivot. Suppose you are in a highly specialized industry or in a sector that was particularly hard hit this year. In that case, you understand the need to sidestep or two-step to the left to keep work going. The best defense is a good offense, so begin to think about other ways to use your expertise. Are there other industries that you can serve? Are there other services, such as workshops or training that you can offer? Be ready in advance in case you need to adjust.
- A pause button. We solo types tend to lean hard into work, sometimes neglecting having hobbies or taking the time to take care of ourselves. But in times like this, we understand why it is crucial to keep our own cups filled.
- Forgiveness. Many things this year were out of our control. It takes a lot mentally, physically, and emotionally to manage all the changes and continue to navigate being in business for yourself. If you don’t check all of the boxes, make a mistake, or drop the ball, forgive yourself. It is ok not to be ok. Be kind and forgiving to yourself and get reinforcement from your community. Even if you feel that all in all, you are pretty fortunate this year, none of us is untouched by this wild ride of 2020.
We would love to hear from you. What practices have you added or changed this year? Please share in the comments below or chat us up on social media using #solopr. If you are solo, check out Solo PR Pro! We would love to welcome you and support you in your career.