Are you looking to escape the humdrum of corporate life, or are you perhaps keen to make some cash on the side? Then freelance PR may be the career path for you! 

Freelancing can help you to take charge of your own life, build a business of your own and reap the rewards of being your own boss.

The benefits of this line of work include:
  • working with clients that interest you 
  • more flexible hours, and 
  • more control over your workload. 
Despite the perks, getting started can be challenging as you need to cement a solid client base, manage your own social media and manage your money accordingly. 

Here, media update's Taylor Goodman gives four tips for starting out your career as a freelance PR consultant.

Let's dive in:

1. Determine your unique selling point 

If you want to be successful in the freelancing biz, you need to stand out. You can do this by determining your unique selling point (USP). This is essentially a niche or an area of expertise of yours

Zeroing in on your speciality when you're starting your freelance career is recommended because it enables you to build up a portfolio around work you know you can be proud of. 

For example, if you're a PR pro that specialises in crisis management, you should mould your freelancing career around this. You should "build out materials, case studies and pricing that support your new focus," according to PRCouture

Playing to your strengths (or your USP) will help you avoid being a 'jack of all trades and a master of none'. Additionally, specialising in a specific area of PR will help clients easily identify you, which will help you make a name for yourself as the go-to person in this specific niche.     

However, it is important to note that you aren't limited to this box for your entire freelancing career. Rather, this is just a starting block to launch you into a pool of opportunity. Once you build up a client base and a reputation, you can branch out into other areas of expertise. Speaking of clients

2. Get networking

You've likely heard that you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs — this applies to your career in freelance PR as well! 

How so? Well, starting out as a freelancer means you're building a brand from the ground up. You'll have to reach out to former clients and let them know about your new venture, as well as pour a lot of time into networking. 

Luckily, we live in the digital age and marketing yourself or your services has never been easier. Indy suggests using platforms like LinkedIn to "market [your] services and connect with people you know in the industry."

But don't stop there — look at using other platforms to network, such as Twitter or Facebook. Both platforms are great places for promotion and engaging with your peers. This will help you to nurture connections and build lasting relationships. 

Moreover, you could use freelancing platforms, like Upwork, to further build your network and build your client base. 

3. Be picky

So you've done your fair share of networking and have built a solid base of potential clients. You now probably feel like a kid in a candy store — spoilt for choice. However, it's important to remember that you can't take on every client. 

This is actually a crucial time to be picky as it is key that you work with clients that align with what you want to achieve through your new venture. Put together your dream client list and consider why you want to work with them. 

For example, if you love a brand that's heavily involved in community outreach projects, then you know that this is something you value in the companies you work with. 

So, when you start out meeting clients, make sure you get into the nitty-gritty. Find out what they're really about and what their business stands for. After all, what's the point of venturing out on your own if it just leads to you working with difficult clients that just make your job harder. 

Remember to stay true to your values and work with clients that both honour them and respect you and your time. 

4. Stay on top of industry trends and news

Remember what we said about standing out from the crowd? Well, another effective way to do this is by being an expert in your industry. 

By making an effort to stay clued in on the latest trends and news in the public relations industry, you'll stay abreast with how things are constantly changing. This will help you to adapt your techniques or business practices accordingly. 

Additionally, the more you know, the easier it will be to assert yourself as a thought leader in PR and further cement yourself as the go-to person on all things PR. People are going to be lining up to work with you! 

What tips do you have for a PR professional who is looking to start a career as a freelancer? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Want to up your PR game? Then be sure to check out these Five soft skills every PR pro must have.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash