In business, there are different strokes for different folks. In PR, some will argue that all you need is a laptop and a phone to get started. While this is true, living in the digital world makes things a little bit easier when it comes to sending out emails, handling social media, etc. Here are 4 Must Have Tools For Every PR Girl.
1) Right Inbox- This FREE Google Chrome is Extension makes pitching SO MUCH BETTER! It allows you to schedule emails ahead of time. You can set them for 1 hour, 4 hours, tomorrow morning and a specific time. So if you are headed on a secret vacation but still need to crank out work for clients, Right Inbox is your BFF. You can schedule them when you want to and your work for the day is half done. We definitely recommend this tool.
2) Later.com- Our FAVORITE Instagram tool!! With Later.com, all you have to do is go to the website, login with your Instagram credentials, and start scheduling content. You can schedule it on BOTH the mobile app as well as your computer so no matter where you are, posting to Instagram is super convenient. This is FREE up to 30 posts per month! We love Later.com.
3) Canva.com- Canva is BAE, hands down. Whether you use the FREE service or Canva for work, their templates will have you designing like a pro in no time! From flyers to facebook banners and book covers, Canva is your go to for creating graphics on the go, especially when you consistently need to create content and can’t afford a graphic designer. It is DIY friendly and super fun to play around with and see your designs come to life. Get in to it!
4) Zoom.com- Bye Bye Google Hangout! This is the perfect alternative! Zoom is FREE up to 50 attendees and their paid option starts at $14.99 per month. You can meet with clients, staff and host webinars! What’s not to love?
Don’t see your favorite tool listed? Comment down below!
As a publicist, the goal is always to service clients with excellence! Even though you provide PR services to clients and make sure that their business is in front of the masses, you cannot forget that YOUR BUSINESS IS A BRAND. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in client projects that we forget about our own. Here are 4 ways you can build a profitable brand:
2. Get Visible- We’ve talked about this before, but TO EXPAND YOUR BRAND, YOU MUST BECOME A THOUGHT LEADER! People do business with people that they like and trust. In order for them to trust you, they have to get to know you, what you do, and how you can help them. Become a contributing writer for blogs such as Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, Forbes,etc. Pitch yourself to do interviews and features, share your story about your life and business.
3. Remain Consistent- For service based businesses, it can be hard to juggle your branding activities and handle client accounts, but you must make it a priority! Whether you decide to blog every Monday, host a Twitter Chat each Friday or get on Periscope daily, you must have a system in place and STICK TO IT! This is how you build a solid fan base, this is how people grow to love you and want to pay you for whatever it is you are selling. Figure out your schedule, make sure you are putting out amazing content and be consistent! People are counting on you to give them what they need to succeed in their businesses and lives. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
4. Say Goodbye To Your Competition- The number one mistake that you can make when building your brand and creating a profit, is comparing yourself to other people. It doesn’t matter what you see on Instagram or other social media platforms, everything that glitters is not gold. When you compare yourself to other people, it takes away from your greatness and potential. Entrepreneurship is not easy, no matter who runs the business. Your journey is yours and yours alone. Everyone has their own time, season and place for getting to the next level! It’s up to you to enjoy the journey and trust the process! Your gifts will make room for you!!
So you bought your domain, got a logo and business cards created, along with filed your LLC. You officially own a PR firm, now all you need is the clients! Landing your first client can be stressful, especially if you are running your business full time. Here’s how you can land your first 3 clients, get paid and start running the town with PR Campaigns, events, etc.
3. Expand Your Expertise- You need to get more visible in the marketplace. Submit a guest post on your favorite blog that will capture the attention of your ideal client. Secure an interview for yourself on a business podcast where you can give tips and tools on PR and Marketing. Put yourself in a position to create your own opportunities
4. Create A Client Wishlist- You have not because you ask not. Take time out and think about who you really want to serve and why. Then create your ideal client wishlist. Be sure to add their website, email, social media handles, etc. Check to see if they currently have representation and if not, begin to pitch your life a way! You should land your first client in the next 30 Days
5. Host An Event- People need to know that you exist and see what you’re made of. What better way to showcase your skills than to coordinate an event full of potential clients, influencers, media and more? Make this a FREE event. Research and partner with a venue that will allow you to utilize their space for low-to no cost. Have a well known blogger host the event, invite potential clients, businesses that are apart of the industry you want to work in, etc. Make it a night to remember with networking, food, and a great panel.
What inspired you to start your agency? When did you decide that the PR industry was for you?
I started my first business in 2011. It's a non-profit ran in Biloxi, Ms; however everyone knows me from iGN PR & Co. What inspired me to start iGN PR was my passion to work in the PR industry. I received my undergraduate degree in Mass Communications and my Master's in Business, so running a PR firm gives me best of both worlds. Being an entrepreneur is a great idea, it’s a wonderful thought. But you never know how it really is until you do it. I have days where I think “Okay, is this for me or is it not for me?” And then I remember why I started. But the quality of your work goes into that. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you’re paying people under the table. You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you aren’t paying people. So my inspiration came from me wanting to be that "right" Entrepreneur who will give people opportunities to grow their own dream. Whether they are employee or client of iGN PR, everyone is treated like an Entrepreneur.
Give us a glimpse of your day to day life as a publicist?
Every day is different in PR land. My days start early! At around 6 am. I start off with prayer, meditation and a good work out. A health mind a spirit is important when you work in a field like mine. Around 8:00 my work day begins. I am answering emails, meeting with clients and of course: pitching, pitching, pitching. Throughout the day or at night my duties include: escorting clients to their appearances, conducting interviews or managing events. I handle each client personally, unless I am called to be two places at once. As the owner of iGN PR & Co, often times, I have speaking engagements and appearances of my own. Oh and I can't forget that somewhere in the day I find time to spend quality time with my dog, Alpha and finance' Carlton McFall.
What is some of the best advice you have been given?
I didn't get a lot of advice when I started off; which is a sad thing. This is one of the reason why I strive to be a great mentor. But if I could go back in time,
I would tell my younger self to slow down and enjoy the process. Growing companies for other people are fun, so it should be fun to grow my own, right? I did not notice that when I was a young Entrepreneur. I tell my clients and team daily, You are your first client and first priority. If you cannot handle you own business how can you serve a customer or handle a client? Many people rush into entrepreneurship without fully appreciating what they can offer to the world. Entrepreneurship is not only about being your own boss but it’s about creating a healthy, loving life for yourself and for others. To do this you must love, focus and appreciate you. When you love yourself you tend to prioritize yourself. When you appreciate where you are in your journey, you tend to not settle for less. When you remain focus on your goals, you tend to knock them out of the park. So do not forget the reason you became your own boss. If you are unorganized, struggling to keep a steady revenue flow and you’re stressed out; then you might as well go back to having a corporate job because you will not have the loving and healthy life that you admire. Instead you will live by direct deposit to direct deposit.
Name your top 3 PR campaigns to date?
I brag about having amazing clients all the time. A lot of my work feels like fun but I believe it's because I work inside of my passion. My best work up to date would be the launch of MomPremier Eye Institute Practice out of Desoto, Texas. iGN created the brand from top to bottom. Also MC Lyte's WEALTH Experience 2017 in Miami Florida. Lastly the current work I'm doing with Mimi Faust from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.
Words every publicist should live by?
I write original quotes daily, however right now my favorite quote is
"I do enough. I give enough. I have enough. I AM ENOUGH!" by Jason Wrobel. This is a small and simple quote but I say it daily and it has been so impactful to my daily meditation rituals.
Dear aspiring Entrepreneurs, please understand that everyone started from the bottom. Do not compare your current to someone else's because everyone's journey is different. Yes, we do have overnight successes, but that does not happen every day. So don't wait for a hand out. Use your abilities to create a plan to make your dream happen! You will appreciate life so much more, knowing you built your own opportunities. - RA