Any freelance career starts with both what you know and who you know. The ‘what’ because, naturally, you have to be good at what you do to take the leap into freelance life. The ‘who’ because it massively helps if you already have contacts around you when you’re ready to take the jump into a freelance PR career.
Let’s jump into how you can get your PR career started as a standalone consultant, freelancer or remote PR professional.
When I say invest heavily I don’t necessarily mean spending money going to tons of events. What I mean is that you need to grow both your personal brand and your network so that you have enough contacts to immediately obtain work from when you switch to freelancing.
So, what does this mean? I’m talking about growing your network by:
It sounds like a lot, but if you’re not already freelancing you need some form of network to rely on prior to launching your consultancy. The more you can do networking both in-person and online prior to going freelance, the more relevant people actually know about you and the services you’re providing.
This is another really important part, and I want to stress this because it could take you months to rank for keywords like ‘freelance PR consultant’. IN fact, you’re actually looking more like 1 year+ in some areas e.g. if your competitors already have a website and a solid SEO strategy. Luckily for you, you can utiise your own PR to land features in quality websites and boost your rankings via backlinks. This is also a huge aspect of digital PR which you might want to look into.
The sooner you have an SEO and marketing strategy in place for your site, the sooner you can capture leads or enquiries outside of your immediate network.
This approach is often referred to as ‘white label’. Essentially, another freelancer or agency will hire you on a flexible contract to complete work for their clients. This works well because, although you often can’t share the work due to NDA, you often don’t have to talk to clients and can just get on with the work. How good is that!?
You might also be surprised at the number of larger PR agencies in particular who are crying out for help from quality freelancers. Simply Google ‘PR Agency + Location’ and get sending some messages!
By giving advice you can very quickly establish yourself as a PR expert. This works well on freelancing groups on sites like Facebook. In my freelancing career, I’ve found this works really well.
For example, someone looking to get their press release out to a specific publication or journalist. If you can help them, you’ve immediately shown you know what you’re doing. And, more often than not, the person asking will want you to do it for them (and pay you) because they see how much actually goes into the task.
Podcasts are amazing for loads of reasons, but when it comes to growing your freelancing career, they help massively because:
Sounds like a bit of an obvious one, but if you’re planning on starting your freelance PR career completely alone then you need to know that it’/s okay to reach out to other freelancers. Whether as a way to find work, bounce ideas off other freelancers or simply get a second opinion on a strategy, speaking to people with exactly the same career as you is a great way to grow.
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