5 PR tricks to help you fake it 'til you make it

5 PR tricks to help you fake it 'til you make it

Whether you’re trying to make it in PR or you’re determined to become the next thought-leader in your industry -- there is nothing worse than that overwhelming feeling that you’re not quite good enough, when getting started.

We’ve all been there and we’ve all felt this way. Take me for example -- when I got started in PR, I had absolutely no PR or journalism background. I had a psych degree with a minor in business. So how did I get to be Director of PR at Onboardly?

I took a little bit of advice from my mentor: “You’ve got to fake it, 'til you make it.” Here’s how you can do the same.

1. Accept that you ARE an expert. The first trick to faking it? Accepting that you’re not faking it as much as you think you are. Everyone has knowledge, insight, and experience to bring to the table. Whether it’s your first year in business or your first day on the job. You have already learned something valuable and sharing knowledge, builds credibility.

The trick is to identify what you can offer and where. Podcasts are a great way to extend brand awareness, but many hosts require you to have a certain level of credibility before they will sign you up to be a guest. Start by identifying several niche or new podcasts. Next, identify a few topics that you KNOW you can speak to and pitch yourself as a guest.

If you can secure a few smaller opportunities to link to when pitching the big guys -- you’re well on your way.

2. Share your words with everyone you can. Positioning yourself as a thought-leader is key to expanding your reach in your industry and while you may think that you don’t have the chops to be a thought-leader just yet -- guess what! You already are in some respect.

Everybody wants to contribute content in their name but if you don’t have any sample writing or links to content you’ve published on third party blogs to offer up, you may find it hard to get your name out there.

Hard, but not impossible.

Apply the same rules as pitching podcasts -- start small. Reach out to bloggers looking to swap content -- it’s win-win. You get your words out there and in return, you have one less post to write for your own blog. Once you’ve built a list of great contributed content, you’re one step closer to contributing to outlets you’ve always had your eyes on.

3. Know your best numbers. When you’re starting out, whether you’re a PR consultant looking to get new business or a startup founder hoping to impress the media or some potential investors -- people will want numbers. So what if yours aren’t where you’d like them to be just yet?

Totally OK!

Focus on your to-date numbers. If you’re looking to demonstrate growth, showcase how many users or companies you’ve worked with so far. For PR professionals, you can boast how many media placements you’ve secured to-date. The great thing about these numbers? They can only go up and they will never go down.

4. Build a network not unlike yourself. The most powerful PR pros have their all mighty Rolodex, but even they started with a blank page. It will take time and energy to build your network and faking it won’t help you when you’re asked to reach out to a contact you don’t actually have.

But you can still fake the size and the strength of your network by building one that’s just as good as having an in with the most elite editors. How? By getting to know those journalists not unlike yourself.

Every outlet has their newest journalists, interns, and contributors. These are the promising, young writers you want to get to know. They’re pitched less and are not quite as jaded as those that have been in the industry forever. Find these journalists at each outlet and get to know them. Together, you’re all on your way to making it.

5. Market yourself for anything. The sky's your limit and let’s face it - with technology today, we could even go as far as saying the universe is your limit. The key to faking it till you make it, is to not be afraid to market yourself for anything.

If you want to book your first speaking gig -- build a badass media kit for yourself. Want to attend that fancy conference but think you’re still too new to be there? Pffft. Go anyway and make like the rockstar you are.

Beyonce’s publicist didn’t get to be Beyonce’s publicist overnight, but she did know a thing or two about the power of confidence. That’s the real trick to making it.

Have confidence and success will follow.

What is your trick to faking it? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Crystal Richard is the Director of PR at Onboardly where she helps her clients share their story with the world. An avid writer and media enthusiast, Crystal is a born storyteller. A proud East Coaster, she is rarely caught without her iPhone in one hand and a Starbucks latte in the other. You can follow her on Twitter @crystalcrichard.

Photo: Confident businessman via Shutterstock

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