Just because you’re a solo PR pro doesn’t mean you’re in this alone. There’s a whole community of like minded people you can lean on.
In this monthly series, we ask five Solo PR Pro members to share their best tips, tricks and resources for managing their solo business.
What to do when business is slow, according to 5 solo PR pros
This month, we asked our panel of solo PR pros to tell us what they do when business is slow.
Read on for their helpful tips.
1. Amanda Dudley, Principal, Amanda Dudley Communications
When business is slow, I focus on networking. Reconnecting with old contacts and reaching out to new ones. Finding a new contact via LinkedIn or a business group is always a great place to start. I find that people are always happy to talk and help make connections, all you have to do is ask.
Of course, there will be people who do not respond, but don’t get discouraged. I have had people call me back months later wanting to connect, and even met with a person who hired me a year later!
2. Bernadette Adams Davis, Founder, Bernadette Davis Communications
Be compassionate with yourself. The slow period is temporary, and it takes time to land new business. Don't waste that time being too hard on yourself.
Think through how you connect with your network and then be proactive in reaching out to contacts, including solo practitioners who may need help on client work and qualified potential clients you've met to see if they are ready to hire you. You can also focus on making better use of your professional association memberships.
When we are busy, we often don't have time to attend learning and networking events. When things are slow, prioritize those events and apply what you learn to current work and new business development. It will help prepare you for the next opportunity.
3. Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, Fellow PRSA, Falcon Valley Group
Put your PR house in order. Is your website completely updated? How about your social media accounts? Is your LinkedIn profile current? Office completely organized? It’s hard to find time to keep your files and equipment in order when you’re busy with clients.
Consider taking a break. We rarely get enough time off as solopreneurs. While it may feel counterintuitive, filling your own cup back up will refresh and put you in a positive frame of mind for the hard work ahead. If you must do something, take that outdoor yoga class you didn’t have time for before. Prep the garden for spring. Paint the kitchen. You’ll clear your head and feel accomplished, too.
4. Lindsay Woods, Founder and Chief Creative, Cascade Creative Group
During slow times, I try to focus on all the things that get shoved to the side when things are busy. Do a deep dive with the team on our systems and processes, make sure the ones we are using still are serving everyone’s needs. It’s a great time to audit media outlets. We always have the ongoing exercise of 5×5 — following 5 contacts who would be good targets and sharing 5 pieces of their content with clients, if there is extra time this can be extended. There are always new things to learn and of course if there is any downtime that is always a good thing to do. And of course, be on the lookout for that ideal client – take the time to do the research and see where your opening might be.
The last two weeks of December were slow because normally we are ramping up for CES. Personally, I took this time to learn the ins and out of Clubhouse for our clients and wrote a complete guide on the app and worked to educate others.
5. Jennifer Hudson, President, ThinkBeyond Public Relations
One of the best ways to take advantage of down time is to invest in your own growth and knowledge — and that could be personal or professional.
I spent a lot of time in 2020 working with experts who could help me up my game. I even took a poetry course online! It all served to get my mind clear and to help me prepare for a great 2021. The investment in all of that “me” time is already paying off in the form of new business and speaking opportunities!
We want to hear from you! What do you do when business is slow? Leave your response in the comments section below or tag us on social media using #solopr.