Simple, Yet Effective PR Strategies For Personal Stylists
Public relations (PR) is an important tool when it comes to establishing your reputation as a personal stylist and attracting new clients to your business, but hiring a PR consultant or company can be costly, and probably not in your start-up budget. The good news is that there are some simple, yet effective PR strategies that you can use without the need for an expensive consultant that will help build your reputation and grab the attention of potential new clients. Before we take a look at some of the strategies that you can use for your personal styling business, let me explain briefly what PR is and why it can be beneficial for you and your business.
What is PR?
In simplified terms, public relations (PR) is exactly what the name suggests, it's a way to build and manage relationships with the public. The goal of PR is to establish a good reputation for an individual, business, or organization, and maintain that relationship in a positive light. Many different strategies can be used to help develop and maintain a positive image and reputation, but traditional PR focuses on 'earned' coverage rather than purchased coverage.
Why do personal stylists need PR?
There is a misconception that PR is a strategy that is only used by celebrities, public figures, or large organizations and that its main job is to fix perceptions during times of scandal or crisis. But the truth is that PR is a daily activity that is used by businesses large and small, and even by solopreneurs like personal stylists and image consultants. In fact, you are probably already doing your own PR and you just don't realize it! Do you post on social media sharing your expertise as a personal stylist and sharing your story to connect with potential clients? That's PR! Do you write a blog or have or share advice on a podcast? Guess what? That's PR!
All your social media posts, blogs, and videos are PR activities. Their goal is to build your reputation as a personal stylist and style expert and start creating positive connections with your target clients. While these are all things that will help you build your reputation, if you want to take your personal styling business to the next level you'll need to start thinking bigger and looking at other ways to earn media coverage and build effective relationships that will help you grow your business.
Public relation strategies for personal stylists
Formally Launch Your Business
One thing that I see often is that personal stylists don't actually formally launch their personal styling business. They hit publish on their website and post to social media and that's how they let people know they're open for business. But by skipping a formal launch they are missing out on an important earned media opportunity and a way to start building important community relations. If you don't have the means to have an actual launch party within the community where you will be providing services then you could have an online event to share information about yourself and your business.
Whichever way you decide to launch your business the most important thing is to let your local media outlets know about it in a press release. Local newspapers are still a source of information for many people and are often looking for local events and stories to publish. Send them a press release about your launch AND invite them to your launch event. A story in your local newspaper or an online community forum is great PR for your business and a great opportunity to find new clients.
Is your business already up and running? Then consider a relaunch if you didn't do it the first time around, or send a press release about how you're celebrating your anniversary or some other business milestone. Build a relationship with your local community media outlet and let them know whenever there's something going on of interest in your business. Your local reporter could be your best PR friend!
Share your style expertise in the press
Have you ever seen those articles online with the heading, "A personal stylist shares their expert advice on how to dress for Fall", or "The best way to style oversized blazers according to 3 personal stylists"? You may think that these stylists paid a PR consultant to get their name in the press, and while some do, you can get your name in the press for free and be the next style expert to share their tips with the Daily Mail or Huffington Post. How? It's all thanks to a platform called HARO.
HARO is also known as Help a Reporter Out. It's a platform where journalists submit requests for expert help with articles they are writing on specific topics, and anyone who meets their specific requirements can submit a response to be considered for use in the article. Depending on what the journalist is looking for responses can be used for complete articles or you could be quoted in a larger piece. But it's your name in print with a link to your business and a great way to build your reputation. HARO offers a free version to use but be sure to read the instructions carefully on how to format responses, etc.
Make a guest appearance as a style expert
Think of a topic and there's a podcast about it! Want to learn how to grow plants, there's a podcast for that! Want to get insider info on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? There's a podcast for that! And of course, there are many different podcasts that cover personal style and fashion in some context. As a style and image expert, there are lots of opportunities in the podcasting world for you to share your knowledge, build your reputation, and gain free publicity and exposure as a guest. If think this could be a good PR strategy for you then start by adding your name to online podcast guest directories such as podcastguest.com or send a one-sheet and submit it directly to the podcasts you feel align with you and your business.
If you really want to use all the incredible PR that a podcast has to offer then why not start your own? All you need is your phone or computer and a free account with Spotify for podcasters and you can start creating episodes to share your knowledge and start building your reputation as a style expert.
Make philanthropy part of your personal styling business
I'm a big believer in charity work and giving back for no other purpose than to help others, but I also recognize the bonus positive impact that my philanthropic activities can have on my business. Being involved with a local charity, hosting or sponsoring an event, or donating your time and services is a great way to build a positive reputation within your local community and your virtual communities. Think about the charities and causes that you have a deep connection with and that align with your values and get involved. But be sure that your philanthropic efforts truly come from a place of good intention not solely from a place of self-promotion.
Reputation is so important when it comes to building a successful styling business, so be sure to add PR activities to your to-do list and take the steps now to start building yours and establish your credibility as a personal stylist and business owner.
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