A new year has begun, and if you plan to take your PR agency to the next level, chances are you are in for a very exciting time. While the market is highly competitive, it is also brimming with opportunities for those who are ready to adapt to the prevailing trends and what customers need. By capitalizing on these, you can scale your firm.
Here are five ways to help you accomplish that.
#1: Build partnerships and collaborations with other agencies worldwide
Having a wide network of partners can be a critical asset to maintaining high-quality standards for every aspect of your service. By leveraging your partners’ expertise, you can focus on your core competencies, while also ensuring you meet your clients’ needs which might be broader.
While there are various types of partnerships you can build, I suggest you focus on two main avenues.
First, go-to-market partners, as they can be extremely helpful when your customers need services in a region that is out of your geographic scope. As an example, we at Mindset specialize in media relations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking markets in Europe. However, sometimes our clients have hyper-localized PR requests in countries like France. In these cases, we cater to them through our partners. Similarly, if their customers have a need that concerns the US, they deliver the service through us. At the end of the day, we all win.
A second type of alliance that can be very beneficial is partnering with companies that offer complementary products or services, which are those that can be sold together with yours. For example, a PR firm can collaborate with marketing agencies and design studios that can provide services like website creation, SEO promotion, and more. This enhances your positioning in the market, increases your appeal to prospective clients, and allows you to learn about new lines of work, which in the future can help you diversify.
#2: Hire local freelancers for specific, targeted tasks
Occasionally, you might be asked to perform a very specific service that falls outside your sphere. We experienced this when one of our clients asked us to secure an interview and additional mentions in Saudi Arabian media outlets.
Because this was a one-time occurrence, as opposed to a long-term need, we did not consider it relevant to hire a separate full-time agency or to invest in exploring the market by ourselves. Instead, what we did was hire a local freelancer as a project manager. Our search led us to a professional who follows work principles we admire and has a similar mindset. He has, indeed, played the role of an internal team member maintaining our corporate culture and values, and our partnership has been very fruitful.
Such an approach always saves us time and also increases our effectiveness, because the person is well-versed in the local ecosystem and can tackle this faster. On top of it, this helps us expand our network and have a trusted local colleague on the ground if we have a similar requirement in the future.
#3: Diversify your product and service lineup
Have you ever done an inventory of all the products and services you can offer without investing in hiring new specialists or providing additional training to your team? If so, were all of those products and services already in your existing lineup?
In most cases, from my experience, the answer is no. Yet, this can add enormous value to your agency. For example, at Mindset, we leverage our extensive experience working with VCs and startup founders to provide pitch-deck consulting. Additionally, because of our wide network, we can help companies with PR executive search. This makes our service roster more robust and boosts our image.
#4: Create an educational product to generate a passive income stream
In today’s economy, diversification is a must. While we previously talked about products and services that require active delivery, it also helps to talk about those that can serve a dual purpose, generating income and at the same time promoting your service portfolio.
Think about all the knowledge that you have accumulated, and how this can be monetized. Ways of commercializing this expertise include recording online courses or webinars, creating templates like “100 sales scripts for LinkedIn,” or compiling a guide on how to write a press release for tech media. Sure, the initial effort might be intense, but in the long run, you will be able to reap substantial rewards. Besides distributing your educational product for a fee, it will also bolster your presence in the market and serve as a marketing tool for your main service.
To promote this and build your sales funnel, webinars are a great tool, since they can be automated and quickly reach a wide audience. To maximize the chances that your sales will skyrocket, make sure to include a call to action at the end of the webinar.
#5: Conduct strategy sessions or workshops
Right now, many founders and entrepreneurs face severe budgetary constraints. This means that before committing to an investment, they will thoroughly analyze metrics to determine whether it is worth it. Because PR is one of those sectors where ROI is complicated to quantify, creating workshops, media trainings, or offering strategy sessions to potential customers is a creative way to demonstrate your value while still generating revenue.
When doing this, make sure you focus on educating the customer and addressing their particular problem. Do not fall for the trap of making these sessions a sales pitch. Once your prospects see what you can do for them, you have higher odds of signing them up as clients.
The bottom line
Scaling a PR firm is not an easy feat, given the service-centered aspect of the business and the high value that personal relationships bring to the table. However, by thinking out of the box and building strategic partnerships, as well as by diversifying your product and service lineup based on the present market trends, you can develop tools that can help you considerably grow your company, while simultaneously cementing your reputation as a powerful and key ally for your clients.