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Why I Launched a PR Agency & When it’s the Right Time to Outsource – Podcast Transcript

Why I Launched a PR Agency & When it’s the Right Time to Outsource – Podcast Transcrip 

Lexie Smith 

Hello, hello. So this is a pretty dang personal episode today. And one that had you asked me three years ago, I would not have forecasted or predicted that I would be recording in all honesty. Also three years ago, however, who could have seen a lot of things coming like I don’t know the world shutting down a global pandemic last times change. And anyways, while I might not have predicted this, I’m super, super excited for today’s episode, because I’m going to share with you some really, really big news and talk you through a few things that went into this news behind the scenes and hopefully it becomes helpful for you wherever you are at in life or business. So if you follow me on social media, you are probably aware of this or if you’re on my newsletter, if not, and you just listen to the podcast. First off, go follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn and sign up for my newsletter. But you here I will tell you now that the PR bar Inc has officially launched a done for you PR agency and it is a boutique PR agency with a twist. And we are going to be offering we are offering actively PR services to a very select group of aligned corporate clients in the tech, lifestyle and hospitality sectors, which is very in alignment with my diverse background. To support these efforts I have on boarded my first in house full time team member. Her name is Megan. She is located in Washington DC, which I guess technically makes the PR bar officially bicoastal. So I now have Megan, I also have Kaylee, who is the podcast manager and producer of this show. She’s also my assistant, I have some other support systems set up in my business like bookkeepers and what have you. But Meghan is a really big deal because she is someone who I hired a PR professional. And it was really really nerve wracking, but also exciting for me to be able to open up this position and invite another PR pro into into my world. So that being said, Why am I doing this? Why did I decide to launch the PR agency. So there are many, many reasons but one that felt the most relevant to share today is this. While I did launch the Pierburg Inc, as an online coaching brand and resource hub originally, which by the way, it will very much continue to be I have always been pro agency when the time is right for a given business. And you guys, the time is right both for me for my business and some of my clients who I’ve coached and helped grow through my platform. So this being said, I want to take a pause right here and talk through my very honest opinion of how I have seen, or I believe it’s best to engage with PR in different seasons of your business. Some listening might not have any opinions and listening might disagree. But But here’s where I stand. I believe that when you are just starting out, you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, that it is to your benefit, to start to learn elements of PR and dabble in the route of D I Y to it yourself. There’s a variety of reasons here. But one of the mistakes I see when people just go straight to outsourcing an agency is they don’t fully understand what PR is all that entails and there ends up being a really big disconnect between them and whoever they hire. It’s really not great for either either sides of the coin. There’s also a lot of foundational work and messaging and owning your story that I think it’s really important for a founder to control and be a part of so when you’re just starting out, I think it’s really great to either do it yourself or do it with someone, that’s where a coach, you know, I am a coach, there’s other coaches or enlisting a mentor or going through the DIY process with direction or guidance can be really, really helpful. In fact, I would say that’s probably the better route to go than totally just trying to DIY. But feel free to shop the market. So step one, doing it yourself as the founder, or at least learning PR, if you don’t want to do it yourself understand what you’re about to get into. Then the next stage or the next way, or phase that I suggest people engage with PR, is to hire someone in house, or it can be a contractor that they’re going to be working with as an extension of their in house team that is dedicated to doing or overseeing, or being in charge of the PR process. So this could be a virtual assistant, this could be a PR specific assistant. Depending on budget, you could go ahead and hire someone full time, you could hire a PR manager, but someone really in house who has 100% of the time dedicated to doing PR being part of your PR. Now, beyond that, phase three is when I think it makes a whole lot of sense to bring on an agency for extended support. And here’s why I suggest the agency and phase three, I suggest the agency and phase three, because I can promise you, if an agency has a client that knows PR and has someone dedicated in house, that relationship is going to be so much smoother, so much more effective. So many of the classic grapes people have with hiring PR agencies will be avoided, because all parties will understand what they’re getting into. So again, I generally there’s exceptions to this. But I say start with being involved yourself as a business owner in the PR process, whether that’s DIY, or you onboard a coach or go through a program. Next, see if there’s some sort of internal support you can bring onto your team can be VA or formal hire, and then really look to a agency when you’re ready to outsource and ramp up efforts on a larger scale, and you have more funding, and you’re really, really prepared to be responsive and provide the resources a PR agency might need in order to be successful. Now, that was really advice for business owners. If you are a publicist, or an agency owner listening to this, here’s what I want to know, have you think about? I want you to ask yourself the same question. When is the right time for someone to engage with you and your services? Seriously, I want you to answer that very honestly. Because it can be easy to want to accept any and every client that comes your way, especially when things might feel financially tight. I get it. I’ve been there, I’ve made that mistake, but I promise you for the health of your business, your financial health and for your mental health, that saying no to the wrong clients can be a powerful tool. So really get clear who would be the right type of client to work with you. Are you really wanting to work with a solopreneur? Who has no idea what PR is, or it really doesn’t have any additional budget set aside or photography captured? If that is up your alley, by all means, then you have you are you do you? Right? But if not start to put together some discovery questions that you can really look to when you’re going through a discovery or sales process to help identify if a client is truly a fit. Now, if you are sitting here and you’re going okay, great, I’d really really love for a business to come to me when they’re fully funded. And you know, the pricing thing isn’t an issue and they’re at this stage, but Lexie, that’s really not who’s coming to me. Look, I get that. And if you feel called to expand how many people you’re able to service, then this might be an opportunity for you to explore adding on an additional service or revenue stream to service more people, just like I have, right? So I have an agency which services a very specific stage of business but I also have coaching services and I have DIY services. So I’ve done this very intentionally to be Be able to service people at different seasons of business. So if you’re looking to really expand and service more people, maybe it’s not trying to get a nother client to sign on to your six month retainer, maybe it’s considering altering or adding a new way you can serve people, just a little food for thought there. So to again, kind of, you know, call it back to what I’m doing, here’s what I’m doing. So whether you’re looking for resources to help you DIY, an expert coach, hi, I still need to guide you and develop a PR strategy with you or a team to do PR for accompanies the half on a company’s behalf. Now, my PR bar menu, my services showcases a tasteful selections of offerings that is curated to meet a client and their current season of business. So for DIY, I have a ton of free resources on my website, I have this podcast which I really, really try to make super, super valuable to everyone. I also have a hybrid self paced course that integrates some one on one coaching, but really is meant for the DIY buyer. I then have my my core signature offerings, my done with QPR, I have two signature coaching offerings. So again, that is servicing a very specific type of client at a very specific stage of their business. And now so that’s done with you now I have the done for you arm that I just launched now for my agency, I’m only working with a few select clients per year. And there are qualifying as up and coming disruptors in the lifestyle, hospitality and tech industries, with exceptional products and services and really involved in newsworthy founders. Now, that is very intentional and specific. And this has also meant that since launching, I have already been sending out quite a few noes to people who have excitedly been coming to me hearing now offer done for you. But with those noes, I’ve done my best to send them to other agencies, and consultants who I think could be a fit for them. Again, I’m very pro, there’s enough room for us all. And I’m really trying to hone in the concept of practicing what I preach here. And I have full faith knowing that even if I’m saying no to a client, who would have been willing to pay me that I’m truly serving all those I meet with integrity. Okay. So there’s another thing I want to share on today’s minisode before we wrap things up. So just a quick recap, if I feel like I’m on a soapbox here, the things that do want you to hear our way when or what type of services makes sense for a business to engage with regarding PR. And you can hear that from the business owner perspective and the service provider perspective, I’ve given you an example of how I’m doing it in my business. If that lands awesome, there’s a great free roadmap for you, if not totally fine, too. Hopefully, it inspires some ideas. Now, I put this announcement out into the world. This has been a decision that has been a long time coming, but I formally announced it in early November. And when I did, I received a ton of really supportive and kind messages. And I’m just going to read some of them. I mean, they’re really really generous one. So excited. Felix, you’re such a badass while you’re crushing it so much. Wow, Lex, you’re such an inspiration. Congratulations. I don’t know how you do at all. I’m going to pause. The reason I’m sharing this is not to say Oh, cool. I am so awesome. But as I was reading these messages posted me making that announcement, anyone could have been a fly in the wall in my house, they would have seen me trying to care for a very sick baby girl, you would have seen a very overwhelmed mom, who is just trying to do her best to show up for everyone 110% from my family, my partners, my clients, my team, my friends, and really feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. And I wanted to take a moment to share that throughout my career. I’ve never seen a single company or entrepreneur who crushes I’m gonna quote this crushes it effortlessly. 100% of the time. We are all human. myself very much included. Some days Hell yeah,


Lexie Smith 

I am crushing it. Others I am not. And that’s okay. So for those of you who are listening to this, or who saw that announcement, and I just wanted to share some some real moments behind the scenes that even though this is a really exciting moment in my business, there’s still stuff going on in my life. Things aren’t always flawless and perfect. But I thank you guys for your continued support and know that I am I’m sending love and well wishes for whatever season of business or whatever season of life that you’re currently in. Until next time, cheers. Hey guys, if you are enjoying the pitching and sipping podcast, please do me a huge favor and leave a review wherever you are listening. If you want to connect with me to learn more about the PR bar Inc. You can do so on Instagram Act, the PR bar underscore inc or you can check out my website at the PR bar Cheers


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