How This Mom of Two Broke Free From the Solopreneur Cycle and Became a Thriving & Confident Agency OwnerOct 11, 2022
“By building a team, I’ve been able to get my work-life integration under control — it’s a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning now and be excited about what lies ahead for the workday.”
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live a life you love running a PR agency and working with your dream clients? Our PR Pro Spotlight Series interviews our students and community members who have made the leap into PR and found huge success!
We’ll be covering all the juicy insider details, from their biggest challenges and favorite parts of the job to their best advice for aspiring PR pros.
Today, we’re sitting down with the amazing Reena S. Goodwin, Founder of FACTEUR PR! Reena is a former music marketing pro (she’s worked with Beyoncé!) turned beauty, home, & lifestyle PR pro. Her story of learning to trust and invest in yourself and step into your power as a PR pro is super powerful and inspiring.
Tell us a little about your business and niche!
At FACTEUR PR, we represent clients across the beauty, home, wellness, and lifestyle niches. I’ve always had an interest in beauty and home design specifically, and have expanded into the wellness and lifestyle spaces, too. We really love working with clients who seek to make true change in the lives of their customers and their own partners, like us.
I actually started FACTEUR PR as a side hustle back in 2016, right around the time I decided to grow my family. Now, I’m a proud business owner and a proud mom of two beautiful little babes named Simone and Élodie.
What were you doing before you became a PR pro?
Before becoming a PR pro, I was working full-time in marketing! My career actually started while I was still studying journalism in college.
I began at Sony Music in 2004 and scored a job at Columbia Records in NYC right after graduation. And I really loved it! Honestly, it was a dreamy gig — my first clients were literal rock stars like Beyoncé and the Jonas Brothers.
But unfortunately, I lost my job in the 2008 recession. So after that, I moved back to my home state of Ohio and began my PR career at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.
Can you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a PR pro?
Overcoming people-pleasing has been one of the biggest challenges for sure. It’s really ingrained in me as part of my culture — I come from a Middle Eastern background and being very giving towards others (you’ll always leave my family’s home with a full belly!) was how I was raised to show love.
And this plays into my stress levels, too. PR is such a demanding industry without a lot of guarantees, so navigating communication and boundary-setting amidst people-pleasing is very challenging at times.
For me, a lot of the solution comes down to systems. If the issue is client-related, I focus on communicating boundaries and setting expectations early on in the relationship. It feels really icky sometimes to set those boundaries, but feels even ickier when you let yourself break them.
How did you find the Profitable PR Pros community, and how long have you been a member?
I actually found the Profitable PR Pros community after joining The Agency Accelerator! I’ve been a member for about two years now.
What’s your favorite part about being a member of the Profitable PR Pros community?
I love the trainings, of course, but the community is by far my favorite part. There are so many unique challenges that come with life as a PR pro, and having such a strong, connected community (with an incredible mentor like Jen at the helm) to rely on is a blessing.
I’ve learned so much from the Profitable PR Pros community and feel so grateful to have this space to connect with others like me. And in The Pitch Lab, our calls are incredible — everyone is so sharing, open, and giving.
Joining these programs is really an investment in your business, and the community support (along with the trainings, programs, and resources) has helped me take my agency to the next level.
What inspired you to join our programs?
I officially joined The Agency Accelerator in 2020 and am part of The Pitch Lab, too. In 2020, I had reached a fork in the road where I could either keep my agency small and do it all myself, or I could accelerate my business and reach new heights. You already know what I chose to do!
I knew that making this major investment into my business would result in having less on my plate in the future…which is super important to me as a mom of two! The generous mentorship from Jen and the strong community of PR pros was just the icing on the cake. I was ready to level up my business and do it with Jen’s guidance.
Have our programs helped you experience positive transformations?
Of course! The main one is the mindset shift. Through these programs, I realized that I can only do so much and that I needed to put a team in place to build an agency, not just a freelance career.
The Agency Accelerator helped me plan out how to hire my team. I view what we do not just as a service, but as an investment that pays dividends to our clients, and the resources and education inside The Agency Accelerator reflect that. I’m of course still learning how to manage a team, but bringing them on has been the best thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve been able to put some distance between myself and the day-to-day of my agency (though I love PR too much to fully step back), which has definitely helped me get my work-life integration under control. My stress levels have gone way down, too. It’s a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning and be excited about what lies ahead for the workday.
What do you love MOST about the work you do and the clients you work with?
Given my agency’s niches and how I’m so drawn to all of those spaces, I’m a huge fan of all of my clients! It’s vital to LOVE the types of people or brands you represent as a PR pro.
Working with clients who are committed to making change is absolutely a part of this. By supporting their missions, I feel like my team and I are truly doing our part to help bring change to people’s lives, too.
What are some outlets you’ve secured features in for yourself and your clients?
I’ve secured features for my clients in Allure, Apartment Therapy, Cosmopolitan, ELLE Decor, Forbes, The Spruce, Vogue, The Washington Post, and more!
As for myself, I’ve been recognized by Career Contessa, Carnegie Mellon University, Crain’s Business, Inc.com, and Modern CLE, to name a few.
What advice would you give to aspiring PR pros?
Honestly, I’d start off with a bit of a harsh reality check: this industry is not for the faint of heart! PR is stressful and can be very challenging at times. Be prepared to put in the work and surround yourself with people who inspire you to keep going, whether that’s mentors (like Jen!), teachers, family & friends, or even your clients.
And to any other people-pleasers out there, my advice would be to bring on a team and delegate. Your clients are trusting you with a huge responsibility — now trust yourself to give some of that work away to your super capable team!
As women, we’re taught to think that we only deserve good things and things that help us once we’ve already done the task and accomplished it by ourselves. But you’re deserving of it right now! Things that benefit your agency aren’t rewards for a job well done — they’re just good business decisions.
Invest in yourself, see the fruits of your labor, and get your return on investment on the other side. Building your confidence is a major factor in this; The Agency Accelerator has really helped me grow my confidence in my agency owner journey. If you don’t take the first step, no one else will do it for you.
We’re so grateful that Reena decided to share her story with us! We can all learn a lot from her journey to overcoming her people-pleasing tendencies by hiring a team, trusting herself to delegate, and seeing major returns on that investment in herself.