How to Invest the Right $ in Your Small Business PR Strategy
Raise your hand if you’ve ever overwatered a house plant. (Since you can’t see me, know my hand is raised.) Depending on the type of plant and your familiarity with caring for them, it’s an easy mistake to make.
The same care and attention needs to be paid to your small business as it grows. What’s right for a corporation isn’t necessarily the right decision for you and your budget. I do believe, though, that PR can benefit every business at each stage of development.
The key to not “overwatering” is knowing how much to invest at each stage. There is a point as a small business owner when you will grow enough to hire a PR firm. My budget-friendly DIY PR workshop and resources are for the in-between phase when you are still growing and don’t necessarily want to pay a costly monthly retainer.
So if you aren’t sure what a PR budget looks like, should be, or if you have the resources to make it happen, here are a few tips for your consideration.
Start with freelancers and solopreneurs
As a small business owner, you know that one person is capable of doing a lot! Finding the right freelance publicist can save you time and money. They don’t charge a big overhead like most firms and you simplify the process by having just one point person.
A good way to find a solopreneur is searching Facebook groups and LinkedIn. Many cities and towns have local groups you can easily post a description of what you’re looking for in. In Austin, we have Austin Freelancers, which I’ve used for my own business.
There are also plenty of sites used to connect freelancers to small businesses. The more feelers you put out there, the more likely you’ll find the right fit.
Find a PR firm that works with similar small businesses
There are a variety of firms out there that work with a wide range of clients. Before you make your decision, check out their website to see what kinds of clients they’ve worked with before. Often times this will give you a good sense of what markets they’re familiar with.
For example, if you’re an organic soap-making company, you may want to go with a firm that already works with natural beauty-focused publications. The partnership will be even stronger if they already have an in with your target demographic.
Be wary of PR firms that overpromise & oversell
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to dream big! In order to grow, you always have to be envisioning the next step as a business owner. That being said, a PR firm can’t wave a magic wand and get you there overnight—no matter how much you pay them.
Some firms will try to make big promises in the beginning if they see you’re new to the PR game. One of the great things about PR is you never know where the right pitch or placement might lead. But if a firm is telling you they will get you in the New York Times tomorrow, it’s time to be critical.
Manage your expectations and make sure they’re giving it to you straight. The right firm will give you realistic outcomes and earn your trust along the way.
If you’re still not sure where your business falls on the growth scale, check out my website for more personalized small business services.