12 Steps You Need to Take to Build a Successful PR Agency

Feb 07, 2022

Creating a successful PR agency that aligns with the vision you have for your life seems more complicated than it is. You just need to be strategic and intentional about how you build your business. After all, you want to run an agency that doesn’t run you! 

How Do You Build a Successful PR Agency? 

There are 12 major steps you need to take to build your successful PR agency. These are just the basics, but they’re a strong framework to build off of so you can grow your agency and land your dream clients!

Step #1: Mindset Shift 

This first step is so critical! If you want to grow a successful PR agency, you need to cultivate a success mindset and gain clarity on what you want for your business. 

Doubt, fear, and imposter syndrome can strike so quickly. You’ve got to be confident and step into your new role as an agency owner and CEO! 

Step #2: Nail Your Niche

Niching down is one of the most important foundational steps you can take when growing an agency. You need to pick a niche you love to love your business! 

Honing in on a niche can feel a little overwhelming and scary. It may seem like you’re limiting your opportunities for revenue, but it’s actually the opposite.

Niching down is the key to being seen as an industry expert, and will result in an increase in referrals: your ideal clients will come to you! 

Related: How to Be More Selective and Start Saying No to Clients

Step #3: Know Your Numbers 

You can’t possibly have a profitable PR agency if you don’t know your numbers inside and out. 

You need to know what it will cost for you to deliver excellent service, what you need to charge to be profitable, and how to maximize your profit. 

Even if numbers scare you, you need to get a handle on these specific pieces of the financial puzzle. Doing so will help you set better goals and push you towards strategic growth. 

Related: How to Set Your Prices (and Stick to Them!)

Step #4: Prosperous Pipeline 

The next step of building the PR agency of your dreams is to have a consistent pipeline of prospective clients. You can tap into this pipeline whenever you want to increase your client roster. 

You never want to be in a position where you’re scrambling for work, or where losing a single client is devastating for your business. But on the other hand, you don’t want to work with clients who aren’t a good fit

Building a prospective client pipeline is essential to finding this balance while working with clients that truly inspire you. 

Step #5: Promising Prospects

Once you’ve tapped into your pipeline of dream clients, the next step is to seal the deal and turn a prospect into a paying client. 

You need to vet your prospects and host amazing discovery calls! Know the red flags and learn when to walk away from a prospective client. 

Being able to recognize when a client isn’t the right fit is the key to working with brands you love as you scale your PR agency. 

Step #6: Powerful Proposals 

After you meet with a prospective client, you need to build out a detailed proposal that addresses every question or concern on your client’s mind. Think about what they’re looking for with PR, and showcase your previous results to give them confidence that you can deliver. 

The proposal is an amazing opportunity to connect with your client, show your expertise and professionalism, and land the deal. But don’t share your full strategy! Save that for after you’ve landed the client. 

Step #7: Onboarding and Kickoffs

An amazing onboarding experience is the key to starting off on the right foot with every single new client. You want them to feel like they’ve just made the best decision ever to work with you! 

Having impeccable onboarding and service delivery throughout the length of your retainer is crucial. It’s the best way to make sure your clients have a great first impression of you and remain happy and satisfied with your partnership. 

Client dissatisfaction always stems from expectations not aligning with what’s reasonable or realistic. Make sure they know what to expect from you and when. A happy client is one that will continue to invest in your services long-term! 

Step #8: Deliver and Dazzle 

Once you onboard a client, the next step to building your successful PR agency is to get into the nitty-gritty of providing them with an incredible service experience. 

This is the time to follow through on the expectations you set during the onboarding process. You’ll have to really put your expertise to work and start generating results. Put together a strategy that aligns with the goals they discussed in the discovery call and show them that you are the best person for the job.

Related: 3 Steps to Create an Effective Press Plan for 2022

Step #9: Retain and Maintain

It’s not just about constantly bringing new clients into your agency. To truly have a successful PR agency, you need to keep your clients on board so you have a strong foundation to build upon. 

Retaining your clients for the long haul is a massive part of growing a profitable business. The last thing you want is to have a revolving door of clients who start working with you only to move on a few months later. 

What’s the best way to keep a client happy? Deliver results that work towards your client’s goals. Think about what success looks like for them, and give them results that align with those expectations.

Step #10: Leverage Your Results

As you start to generate press features and results for your clients, you should feel awesome about all that you’ve been able to accomplish! But the next step is to land larger clients and, if you want to do that, you’ll need to leverage your results. 

You have to use your results as a magnet to attract bigger clients and show them what you can do for them. Be sure to leverage the relationships that you’ve built as well! 

Leveraging results will also help you increase your rates, bringing massive growth to your agency.

Step #11: Build Your Dream Team 

Part of being an agency owner (and a successful agency owner at that!) is building a team. You need to hire people to support you and take care of the day-to-day services so you can focus on the most impactful work. 

Honestly, hiring a team is how you scale your agency. Taking care of the everyday tasks will not be the best use of your time as the owner of a successful PR agency. Bring on a team to handle the little things so you can focus on what’s most important. 

Step #12: Find Your Flow 

You’re at the last step of the process! It’s finally time to get into a flow state and truly step into your role as the visionary CEO of your agency. It’s time to thrive! 

Now that you’ve built a successful PR agency, you can elevate your role to scale your agency and achieve amazing success. Hire team members with different strengths so that you can focus on what you’re best at and what you love most. 

Related: What Is It Like to Be a PR Agency Owner?

After You’ve Built Your Successful PR Agency  

These 12 steps aren’t just a one-time process. As you uplevel your business, you’ll need to revisit every single step of this process to continue to evolve and grow your agency. 

When you start to land larger clients (even billion-dollar clients!), take the opportunity to circle back to these steps again. Reevaluate yourself and your agency based on where you are now.

Re-center your mindset, adjust your rates, update your processes, and hire new team members. Keeping up with these 12 steps is the best way to keep growing your agency. 

It takes time, but with these 12 steps, you can build a successful PR agency and live a life you’ve always dreamed of!