If you’re reading this post, you probably know that Public Relations (PR) plays a critical role in building a successful, sustainable and impactful business.
PR builds credibility, influence and brand awareness – everything a solopreneur needs to boost their profile as a sought-after industry expert.
But the importance of PR often takes a backseat to more “urgent” day-to-day activities – something that can hurt your business over the long-term.
Here are 7 surefire signs you need to take stock and shift your focus back on PR:
1. Your competitors are getting more attention than you
No one wants to feel like “baby in the corner” – obscured from view and completely overlooked. But rather than wait for a Patrick Swayze-style journalist to sweep you off your feet with the offer of free publicity, you need to stand up and proactively seek out the attention your business deserves. Look at where your competitors are being featured and how you can add your own unique point of view to the conversation.
2. You’ve stopped making new connections
Posting to social media is one thing, but engaging with people and forging meaningful relationships with influencers is something else entirely. Today’s digital age makes it possible to connect directly with journalists, potential collaborators, mentors and other movers and shakers in your industry, yet many solopreneurs don’t actually make this a priority. Your virtual “rolodex” is one of your most valuable business assets, so it needs to be nurtured.
3. You want to make more money
Boom. Now, I know you have a purpose that runs deeper than your bottom line, but creating positive change in people’s lives and running a thriving business go hand in hand. PR brings all-star credibility to your work, which, in turn, enables you to charge premium prices. Best of all, you still get to help those who can’t afford your services by sharing your expertise freely in the media.
4. Your friends and family don’t understand what you do
Clear and consistent brand messaging is an essential part of PR. While your friends and family may not be your ideal clients, they are who you spend most of your time with – so if they don’t understand what you do, you’re probably not communicating it clearly. Your brand message should be so simple your 12-year-old nephew nods knowingly when he hears it. Remember, when it comes to selling your services, clarity beats creativity every time.
5. You don’t have a content plan or publicity calendar
Successful PR depends on your ability to plan ahead and prepare pitches and press releases ahead of time so you never miss a deadline. If you haven’t mapped out key content dates or set up a dedicated publicity calendar 6 to 12 months in advance, then your chance of actually being ready to jump on media opportunities when they come up is pretty much zero. As Marie Forleo says, “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real”.
6. You feel stuck in a rut
Business growth is all about forward momentum – amplifying, expanding, upleveling – so if the wheels stop turning, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. A popular guest post or piece of media coverage is the perfect way to fire up your engine and get things moving again. Not only will you instantly widen your audience, the thrill of getting featured will inspire and energise you to keep the going.
7. You’ve forgotten what rejection feels like
Ok, so no one wants to put themselves in a situation where they might get rejected, but PR is all about stretching yourself beyond the borders of your comfort zone. If you’re putting yourself out there as much as every solopreneur should, then you’re bound to get a few pitches rejected or emails that go unanswered. The butterflies in your tummy after pitching for an opportunity that seems out of reach, or the sting of rejection when your PR efforts don’t always come off as planned, are both signs you’re pushing your limits. And that’s a job well done.
If any of these telltale signs ring true for you, then it’s time to focus more on PR for your business. Of course, that’s easier said than done – particularly if you have no idea where to start!
PR Coaching can help you strategise and prioritise your PR so you actually get it done and start seeing results.
To find out more information about my Purposeful PR Coaching package and book your free, no-obligation intro session, click here.