Written by Tim Ferguson, writer and editor of Marketing Digest
Self-promotion is every freelancer’s worst fear, but you can’t sustain your business for long without it.
As a PR freelancer, marketing your services is a need more than a choice to break through the noise and get recurring clients. The industry is growing, and given how all businesses can use PR services, there’s steady work in the market—work you can get if you show up in front of the right people at the right time.
We’re giving you a rundown on promoting yourself as a PR freelancer so you can build a consistent client base and set yourself up for success.
Working and marketing your services to find new work must go hand-in-hand if you want to avoid feast or famine situations as a freelancer. Here are some tips to help you with this.
1. Create a stunning portfolio website
The simplest way to market your PR business is to create a portfolio website. Here you should include your best PR campaigns; writing samples like press releases, social media posts, blogs; and client testimonials.
Besides telling potential clients about your services, a portfolio shows them the results you achieved in the past and the value you bring to the table.
You can even describe all your projects briefly—talk about the work you did, the processes you used, and the success your clients saw. This way, potential clients can assess your work style and see if you’re a good fit for them.
PR professional Maggie Stanton’s portfolio is an excellent example of this.
If building a portfolio website like this seems daunting, you can use a customizable portfolio template to get started. With the design part sorted, all you’ll have to do is put in your information and hit publish!
2. Ask for referrals
84% of B2B buyers start buying after a referral—this shows the power of referrals and why you should leverage them.
After a job well done, feel free to ask your existing or past clients to refer you to someone looking for similar services. This will get you quality leads and save time hunting for more clients. Moreover, being aware of your past client’s experience, referred clients can be easier to close because you come highly recommended by a trusted middle person.
The industry is growing, and given how all businesses can use PR services, there’s steady work in the market—work you can get if you show up in front of the right people at the right time.
3. Build a solid social media presence
As a PR freelancer, social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook should be your go-to places to build your personal brand and get the word around about your business. Not only are they good for being discovered online, but also make you a known PR expert.
Here’s how you can start on these platforms:
- Complete your profile from head to toe and optimize it with keywords.
- Connect with your target audience. These are individuals or industry-specific brands you want to work with and fellow freelancers you can set a referral system with. For instance, Wendy Vazquez here specializes in PR services for fashion, beauty, and food brands—this is her target audience.
- Be active on these platforms and create valuable content that can help your ideal clients and establish you as an expert, like PR Couture’s own Crosby Noricks here.
- Join community groups and participate in industry-related conversations. The idea is to gain visibility, showcase your expertise, and help prospects discover you.
Besides this, you can also use social media to look for openings by searching for “looking for PR freelancers.”
4. Attend networking events
Being a successful PR professional has a lot to do with your network. And PR conferences, conventions, and events are great ways to build that network and meet potential clients.
These events give you a chance to interact with people from your industry and those who might need your services.
Moreover, the value you’ll get from such sessions can also help you improve your skills and provide better services to your existing clients. It’s a win for you either way!
Pro tip: Always keep your business card handy at offline events, and virtual cards at online events.
5. Actively begin outreach and pitching
It can seem scary to reach out to clients yourself, but pitching is an excellent way to promote your business and land high-quality work.
Start with this simple process:
- Make a list of individuals or companies you want to work with.
- Research them—go through their website, socials, and read about their recent PR campaigns.
- Identify gaps in their work that you can solve with your services.
- Write your pitch—introduce yourself briefly and elaborate on how your services can benefit them. Make sure to personalize your pitch for every prospect.
- Message these prospects on LinkedIn or Twitter, or use tools like Hunter or Snov to find their emails.
In your pitch, strike the right balance between showcasing your skills and expertise while making the pitch about them and not you—and you’ll hit the bull’s eye.
To quote Shreya Pattar, a freelancer and agency owner, “Freelancing is 5% about the skills you possess, and 95% about self-promotion, finding clients, upskilling, upselling, creating new offers.”
The PR industry is no exception—you need to market your services to stay in the game.
Use these tips to promote yourself as a PR freelancer. Work on them one day at a time, and you’ll build a solid career for yourself!
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He helps marketing agencies with SEO, link building, content marketing, online reputation management, and blogger outreach. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.