4 more must-have qualities to be a successful freelance PR consultant
If you read part one of my piece a few weeks ago about what it takes to be a successful freelance PR consultant, you’ve hopefully been waiting for part two -- well, wait no longer.
Here’s the rest of the list.
1. Coping with uncertainty
While there is no such thing any longer as job security in any profession, when you work for yourself you have to be OK with the ups and downs of finding clients. Just like the economy fluctuates, so can your client load.
Freelancing requires a sense of calm, even if you hit a rough patch.
Don’t panic. The wise solopreneur knows there will be ups and downs and plans for those times by socking away some reserves when the work is flowing.
Be open to taking smaller projects or hourly work during these periods. And, ALWAYS be networking—even when you’re busy. You need to make time to get out to that industry organization’s luncheon or that local Meetup group’s cocktail hour. Stay in touch with your colleagues and the clients you’ve worked with. While it may seem inconvenient at times, you’ll thank yourself when those lean months come along.
Staying top of mind is vital when you’re your own boss.
2. A love of learning
Professional development is important!
When you work for yourself, there’s no one footing the bill for that big conference you look forward to attending every year. So, what can a freelancer do?
Look for opportunities that are lower cost or even free like webinars on hot topics or a professional organization’s luncheon with a panel of reporters talking about how they prefer to be pitched. Twitter chats can be a great way to learn and stay on trend. Online courses like Lynda offers can also help you delve deeper into topics of interest.
And here’s a bonus tip: ask if your favorite industry conferences accept volunteers to help out. Some offer a discount or even a free pass to the conference in exchange for your time, saving you hundreds of dollars.
3. The ability to multi-task
When you’re a solopreneur, you do it all — you land the clients, you do the work, you bill for the work, you promote your business —you wear ALL the hats.
Of course, you can hire help for some of these tasks, which I recommend, but at the end of the day, the buck stops with you. If you’re not OK with that, flying solo may not be a fit.
4. A love of independence and freedom
Many PR consultants I know are grateful every day that they get to work on their own, and they appreciate that they set their own schedule. You can have YOUR music, YOUR coffee, YOUR baby, YOUR pet.
Enjoy working in a home office? Great! Or do you need a space where you work that’s separate from your home? Also fine. There are many options now for consultants to rent an office in a co-working space. There are alternatives for just about any scenario.
So, that’s my list — what would you add, successful solo PR pros?
You'll find Michelle Messenger Garrett at the intersection of PR, content marketing and social media. As a public relations consultant, content creator, blogger, speaker and award-winning writer, Michelle’s articles and advice have been featured in Entrepreneur, Muck Rack, Ragan’s PR Daily, Meltwater, Spin Sucks, Freelancers Union and others. She was named a Top 100 PR Influencer by Onalytica. Michelle was also recently appointed to the board of Women in PR USA.
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