FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
Diving headfirst into PR can definitely be intimidating. I know. The fear around making the first phone call or sending the first pitch email is REAL! However, it passes and the rewards will totally surpass any of your anxiety at putting yourself out there. Rewind though. There is fear around many aspects of promoting your business; let's break it down.
1. Is my brand good enough? Put quite simply, if you don't have complete faith in your brand, then no one else will. You need to be confident in what you've created and confident in how you communicate this. Then you will be able to take people on the ride with you. It is all about convincing those that are new to your brand to 'buy into' it. A journalist will be hearing from tens, if not hundreds, of other brands and PRs in a similar industry to you, so you need to have faith that you are delivering something that can stand above and beyond those others and be the one that a journalist will latch onto. There are aspects of your brand and business that you can hone and improve (there is always room!) in order to help your confidence in promoting it by giving the journalist what they are looking for. These include aspects such as your website, imagery and back-story. Look at it this way, you have to have faith in your brand to be taking this journey, why not have the confidence to instil it in others 2. I'm scared of being the 'face' of my brand! I've worked with clients from all ends of the spectrum when it comes to being a face of their brand. I'm not talking being the 'model' for your products, I'm talking about being the spokesperson, being pictured in interviews and speaking as the voice of your brand. Some clients it came as second nature to. Others would do interviews and reluctantly share a photo to accompany it or pose for a magazine photographer if needed. Others would flat out refuse for personal or security reasons. The beauty of doing your own PR however, if that you can dictate your comfort zone. The reason why PR agencies will find and create opportunities that put you at the forefront is because the exposure can be invaluable. Putting a face to the brand makes it instantly more relatable and accessible to readers. However, if you would prefer not to be seen but still to be heard, you will find opportunities to do this and to put your brand front and centre. The understanding just needs to be that 'next level' coverage opportunities may only be available to those that will be their own front person. 3. I don't know what I'm talking about though! Let's knock this one on the head. All PR asks of you is for you to talk about your specialist subjects; yourself, your business and your industry. I'm guessing you pretty much live and breathe you business. So, who knows more about it than you do? No one! As much as a PR agency can learn about a client, there always seems to be answers they can't provide for some questions. It is quite simply your experience and your story to share with the media. Learn the lingo around PR (sign up for access to my Free Resources Hub below and download the A-Z of PR) and you will have all the knowledge you need to make sure you know what you're talking about. 4. What if I can't cope with demand? The chances of a Kate Middleton style product sell out with press coverage is quite rare. Not out of the question, but definitely not the norm. So, you needn't fear it. For the most part, as long as you have a back up in place for a 'pre-order' system, you will not be overwhelmed by PR results. The aim of PR is to increase website traffic, add to sales revenue, give you exposure for your brand by putting it in front of fresh eyes, increasing brand familiarity with those who already know of you… You get the idea. It is not a quick fix to sell out and piggy back on that success. 5. There are too many hurdles along the way! The answer to this question is simple and is possibly the most important piece of the puzzle: You have already overcome the biggest hurdle - starting your business! You have already braved the risk of judgement from family, friends and peers. You have taken the bold step to ignore any negativity and doubt in order to make this journey. You obviously have confidence in yourself to have been able to take this leap of faith. Don't doubt yourself at what is simply a stepping stone rather than a hurdle.
I'm not saying 'don't be afraid', I'm saying harness the fear. Fear is the driver that propels us forward. Fear of failure, fear of not realising our potential, fear of missing out. Turn the fear into the positive that takes your business to the next level. Jump the hurdle and see how your business flourishes as a result. That voice inside your head telling you that you can't do it is a liar!