5 Things You Need to Think About Before Starting a PR Agency

Dec 17, 2019

Are you tired of working your 9 - 5 job? Looking for something that is more fulfilling? Or maybe you work at an agency and you want to start your own agency. 

I left my good job as a lawyer and started my own PR agency. 

I’ve built my business to allow myself to have flexibility and freedom in my life. My business earns me a great income and gives me the freedom to work with who I want to work with and when.

Here are 5 things to consider before starting a PR agency.

1. Know Your Zone Of Genius   

When you work in your zone of genius in your business, you will love your work.

Every agency has several areas that need to be taken care of, like accounting, finances, business development, administration, building a team and leading a team and more.

You don’t have to be great at all those things. You can hire people to work in the areas that you aren’t as good at (or don’t like to do!). 

My personal zone of genius is strategy and sales. And I’m good at it! I’ve hired team members who work in every other area that isn’t my zone of genius. 

2. Set a Good Pricing Strategy

One of the biggest areas of business I see fledgling PR owners struggle with is setting their prices.

This might be hard to believe, but the higher you charge, the higher the caliber of clients you attract. 

We attracted billion-dollar brands when we started charging multiple five-figure monthly retainers. The more you charge, the more you're taken seriously. If I only charged five grand a month, those brands would not take me seriously.

Know Your Worth 

If you don’t know your worth and the value you’re bringing to clients, you’ll have a hard time charging higher prices. What you bring to a client are results. If you work in a specific industry, like I do, you will be able to fast track results for a client. That’s the value you bring.

A lot of startup agency owners struggle with knowing their worth. But it’s crucial to succeeding and scaling your business. 

Expenses and How to Grow Your Wealth

When you first start your business, you have to calculate all the expenses you’ll have and how much it will cost to execute your services. 

Your number one expense will be your contractors or employees. Then you take off the amount you need to pay for your taxes. After other expenses you may have in your business, you will end up with a net amount. 

But this net amount is not what you live on monthly. 

I teach my students to grow their wealth by creating an asset that earns compound interest. This will become your consistent investment strategy. 

This type of agency isn’t one you can sell in the future, so you want to save and invest in order to retire with a good income. 

How to Charge For Your Services

It’s important to never charge an hourly rate. It’s impossible to scale when you do.

Focus and calculate the value and results you provide for clients. From there, you build packages or retainers for your clients.

Never consider what the client can pay. That is not your concern. If a client says they can’t afford your rates, then offer to take some tasks off your retainer to make it affordable for them. Don’t lower your rates.

3. Building a Team

To grow a profitable business, you’ll need to hire a team for most of your tasks.

These include pitching, copywriting, social media management, graphic design, web design and more. You need to build a team so you can outsource this work and focus on your zone of genius. 

Save Money Outsourcing

The team will allow you to leverage your time because a lot of these tasks are not worth your time. After you calculate how much you want to make in a year and how much time you want to work, you will arrive at an hourly value you put on your time. 

Let’s say you need to make $500 an hour to reach your goals. Then you look at a certain task, like creating graphics for social media. Or any other task. Ask yourself if that certain task is worth $500/hr. If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Outsource that task to someone who will get it done in half the time for a tenth of the cost. You then make a profit from that person’s time. 

Related: Finding Talented Freelancers: 12 Websites Worth Searching

That's how you leverage your time and grow and scale your profitable agency. 

You Don’t Have to Feel Ready 

Consider growing a team before you feel you’re ready. 

Hire a freelancer for five hours which frees up 5 hours of your time. And you’ll be paying them much less than $500/hr. 

The amount of money that you are able to save by hiring someone will allow you to exponentially grow your revenue. When I brought in a team, even though I felt I wasn't ready, I had an experience of quantum growth where we doubled our revenue and were making close to six figures in the first year. 

Related: Expert Advice That Will Change Your Business (and Life) Forever

4. Pick a Niche

You need a solid specific niche in order to succeed in PR. You need to be known for something. 

Lots of people struggle with this because they feel drilling down limits their opportunities. But instead, you’ll attract a better caliber of clients.

You leverage the results you get to attract more clients by showing them what you can do for them. If you are just all over the place, nobody is ever going to see that you’re the agency they need to go to in order to get the best results possible for them. 

Don’t spread yourself too thin by not niching down. You can niche down in either the industry or the services you provide. Or it can be just one service you provide for a specific industry. 

5. Get Comfortable Saying No 

Saying no to some client work has to be one of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to learn.

But you need to say no to opportunities that don’t align with your vision and goals. Stay true to the vision you created and bring on clients that align with your goals. They will ultimately bring you more success. 

You can say no without feeling guilty because you're really saying yes to yourself, your vision, your values and what's important to you in your company. 

When I started my business I didn’t have any courses or coaches to help me along the way. The entire thing was figured out through expensive trial and error. If I would've had the framework that I teach, I could've fast-tracked my results. That is why I love to teach — so that nobody else goes through the struggle I did.