What services should I offer? How much should I charge? How do I deal with a problem client?
For the last two years, I’ve been working toward starting my own PR business, which I’m proud to say is up and running. Having never worked in an agency, where so many independents begin, these questions and many more tripped me up big time along the way. Truthfully I still have questions about certain things, and I suspect I always will. Enter Solo PR Pro.
My friend Gayle Falkenthal introduced me to the Solo PR Pro Linkedin Group not long after we met at a PRSA conference in San Diego a few years ago. Since meeting, she has been my go-to person for insight and answers. Gayle is just spectacular and exemplary of so many of the professionals you can interact with in the group. She has the heart of a teacher and above all, she’s honest.
After several months on the group, I got curious about who was behind it. If you don’t know, indie PR pro Kellye Crane is the one pulling the levers. As you’ll read below, Kellye voluntarily took the lead and created the Solo PR Pro blog for one reason – to help others. You gotta love it.
Here’s my e-chat with Kellye about how’s it changed over the years, how’s it helped independent pros and her vision for it.
1. What compelled you to start Solo PR Pro?
I’ve been an independent PR consultant since 1995, so colleagues have always asked me for advice about starting a PR business, and how to stay successful long-term once you’ve “taken the leap.” When friends kept asking for blog recommendations to read on this topic – and there really weren’t any – I realized it was time for me to start Solo PR Pro
2. How has it changed since it began?
Since the blog was launched in 2008, a true community has developed across social networks, including the weekly #solopr Twitter chats (held each Wednesday, 1-2pm ET), a Facebook page, and a thriving LinkedIn Group. This free-flowing exchange of ideas is an important part of the success, since all solo PR professionals have different experiences and something to add to the conversation.
It’s all about offering your content on multiple platforms, so participants can access and interact with it in the ways that are the most convenient to them.
3. Has it turned into the community you envisioned or something else?
I always encouraged a community atmosphere, but the reality is even better than I imagined. For that reason, though I founded the blog independently, I’ve never considered the Solo PR Pro community “mine.” I may be the leader/instigator, but the participants provide so much of the value.
4. Do you have a vision for it or do you prefer it to grow and change naturally?
Moving forward, I plan to offer some paid options, such as ebooks and coaching, which will provide me with the resources and time to do more for the community. But the quality of the free info will never change, and I’ll always be receptive to the suggestions and requests of those who participate. My mission is to raise the visibility and esteem for those working as independent PR consultants, and to help those pursuing this path surpass their goals – it’s something I enjoy and take very seriously.
5. Is there anything about Solo PR Pro that you believe is undervalued or underutilized?
Good question! I think some people have had bad experiences with LinkedIn Groups, and hesitate to join another one. But the Solo PR Pros group on LinkedIn is an amazing treasure trove of information.
6. Are there any Solo PR Pro “success stories” you can share involving someone applying a tip or leveraging a relationship?
I’m happy to say that we have hundreds of success stories! In one specific example, someone recently direct messaged me to say that our constant drumbeat of “charge what you’re worth” made a huge difference to her. She raised her rates 50%, and her next two new business proposals were accepted within 24 hours! Not bad, huh?
7. Where’s your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love anywhere beachy – we usually change up the actual location, but it almost always involves sand and surf. To truly relax, I have to sit and do absolutely nothing. So, there’s nothing better than the sound of the waves to make the chill out process complete!
Have you taken advantage of Solo PR Pro? Did it help? Do you have a Solo PR Pro success story? Share below!
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