Professional development doesn’t have to stop once you go independent. From 75+ independents I’ve talked with the past several years, 99% do not attend traditional PR conferences or events. The reason? The content isn’t teaching these experienced pro’s things they don’t know already. It’s not worth the high ticket price or the day away from the office.
This is where Radix Collective Independent PR Summit steps away from the (boring) traditional pack. The PR Summit programming was informed directly by independents and the topics that matter the most to them in terms of running their business.
Most of us don’t need to learn how to pitch media, set up social profiles, or track our time. We’re all working to figure out how to define the business we want, who we want to work with, how we want to work with them, and what resources can we tap?
It’s time to stop thinking like a PR person and put on your business hats and dig deep where you need to grow your business.
1. Meet Fellow Independents
Feedback on this conference has been largely positive but it has circulated back that some view this as a competitive event. Why would an independent want to hang with their “competition?” This is flawed logic. If you’re committed to being an independent, networking and partnering with fellow independents is the surest path to controlled growth of your business. With five years testing the model of partnering vertical-specific independents to capture business, I can tell you, it works. But, it requires an extensive independent network across a range of verticals and specialties.
2. Be Inspired
Having worked with fellow practitioners for almost 20 years, I can say with confidence, that we continually need to be inspired. We give, give, give to our clients and those around us but often neglect our own inspirational well that needs filling. Working solo often means spending a lot of time alone which dampens our creativity and points of inspiration. I see it time and time again. Independents who are so busy keeping the plates spinning that suddenly find they’re stuck in a rut. Formulaic pitches, not feeling creatively challenged (which shows), and lacking in the benefit of the daily team environment we all left behind. This one-day conference will get you back in touch with what you love about this business, what you personally want to accomplish, and inspiration from peers.
3. Become Like the Executives You Represent
We spend a lot of time building other people’s businesses but don’t spend enough time focusing on our own. It means changing the way we think about what we’re doing. Many independents became so because they knew they didn’t want to go back to agency or corporate. They have a network to bring in some leads (though often not enough) and greatly enjoy the freedom and control (yes, co-existing) that being an independent brings. BUT, many independents are at the mercy of what comes their way. Many have committed to pursuing this path but few have clearly identified what they want to be. Do you only want a few clients all to yourself? Would you like to be able to take on more but need support? Do you want to test the waters in a new vertical and move away from what you’re doing? What kinds of contracts do you want? How should you work with established agencies? What brand image do you want to project – and how?
Not enough independents spend time asking these questions but once you do, you’ve given yourself a roadmap, just like we advise our clients to have. From the roadmap comes direction and growth, whatever shape that takes for you. Start treating your business, like a business.
4. Professional Development
As mentioned in the intro, professional development does not stop once you leave a “structured” environment. No matter your longevity in the industry there are always areas to push yourself, to learn more. Be a better communicator, or pickup online marketing skills. Maybe it’s creative writing to inspire the way you communicate your clients. But most independents put this crucial tool on the back burner. And it’s understandable but it needs to be resurrected as a a personal priority. The PR Summit is a comfortable environment to learn from peers about topics you’re most in need of advice and insight. It will challenge you to define what you want out of your business and what you’ll need to achieve it.
5. It Will Be Fun
It’s hard to pull yourself away from clients, which is why the format is compacted in to one full-day event. It’s energizing to be surrounded by a group of people who are in pursuit of the same thing. It will be casual and engaging though – introverts, do not fear – you can participate if you want or observe and absorb. Afternoon sessions allow you to pick your agenda. Attend sessions covering your priority topics. And, we’ve left it flexible. If you think there’s a topic missing people want to discuss, we can add it on the fly.
If you have any questions, please send a note to hello(at)radixcollective(dot)com. We look forward to seeing you there.
** P.S. It’s tax deductible.