So you went to school somewhere, majored in something, and more importantly you’ve put in countless hours at ABC, XYZ, and LMNOP Companies over the past (enter sentence length here) years doing all of the grunt work, but never getting due deference and dinero you deserve- right?
If this is you, and you’re ready to strike out on your own, let me share a few things I’ve learned through the years.
1. Ditch your Dad’s Rolodex – While I’m a fan of the retro business card roulette wheel there are some serious limitations to old school networking. Unless you have an unlimited Starbucks budget for the “let’s meet for coffee so I can tell you what I’m up to meeting” and one fat rolodex, you may run out of contacts and/or coffee money quickly. Instead, opt for participating in virtual communities like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I won’t mention them all; suffice to say the aforementioned are the PB&J of the new media space. When I was “really active” online I would receive 2 -6 inquiries per week from folks I don’t know who wanted my feedback, input, and collaboration on projects. Projecting yourself as a thought leader in your space is critical as you’re essentially leveraging the power of the web to cast a larger net and connect with exponentially more people virtually in a day than you could in a week using traditional networking.
2. Play Monopoly – If you’ve played more than once you know how important it is to own as much real estate as possible. The same goes for the real world-especially online. Now more than ever your web presence is your first chance at a good first impression. Your website will be your communication hub for all your social media outposts. Make sure you have engaging content and have a clear call to action.
3. Practice what you preach – If your personal trainer looked like the next “Biggest Loser”contestant, or your potential realtor was living in their car, would you want to hire them? The same goes for you and your agency. Your first client is you, and don’t forget it. Too often we focus on the client that’s paying us today and fail to do our own PR and marketing, which only ensures we may not have the next client.
About the Author
Charles Lauller is the CMO of SnapPages, the website builder for the rest of us. He is one of the pioneers in utilizing social media as a marketing weapon. You can follow him on Twitter via @chasl.
- 5 Ways to Build a Successful, Profitable PR Agency
- X Marks The Spot Where A Generation Is Stuck In The Middle
- Top 5 Ways PR Agencies Can Keep Talented Employees