This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

It’s been a long while since I’ve written a blog post about business or marketing. Most of you who visit the site will know that my “blogs” are all about client news. Which is great, but sometimes you just want to hear from the people who run the business. So here’s my first of hopefully many more business-related blog posts in 2012.

2011 has been the most successful year for my company. I won’t disclose actual numbers, but let’s say that sales increased by 377%. By a lot. And while I didn’t really change a lot about myself or the work that I do, I sure as hell looked for better opportunities than the situations that I found myself in compared to 2010 and in previous years. It’s really important to take what work you can get when you start out, but when you’re more experienced in my opinion, and a bit more successful, you can start going after what you want rather than wait around for big things to happen.

One thing that changed the game for me was sending emails. Thanks to my 6-month mentor Cathy Kuzel, I learned that if you’re going to send out a cold sales email, wording is of extreme importance. The other thing was being flexible. But later on in the year I started to learn that it was almost better to be firm than to be flexible, because if you’re TOO flexible, there’s a big chance you can take advantage of. On a few occasions I found myself charging the same rates I did three years before when I was starting out freelancing.

Which brings me to the point of my blog post – after four years of doing business in Vancouver on my own (which I LOVE, by the way) I’ve learned that people here are just too nice. This could very well include me, but I found that people were just too shy to tell me what their PR or Marketing budgets were, or what they needed help with. And this makes the business process run much slower. When we’re talking million dollar budgets, of course you want to do due diligence and call your lawyer before you close a deal. And when you’re searching for a marketer, of course you want to take your time, shop around, and make sure you’re paying for the service you want. But I’m talking about the ones who are just too NICE to say no. I had a 15 minute call with a potential client just a few weeks ago where we went back and forth on some ideas, and she said my ideas were great and might fit with a new product that will be launched in Spring, but that it made no sense to move forward now. I loved this call. 15 minutes of our time, and we re-book the discussion into the Spring. No time wasted.

Then there are others who I prepared a lengthy proposal for, which was a surprise to them because my rates were way far off from what their budget was, so I revise and send back, and wait, and wait some more. And then they say they aren’t ready because my services cost too much, and they decided to hold off on PR anyway. I would have rather had them ask for my rate, say it was too much, and let me get on with my business and them with theirs.

Fit is everything. At the end of 2011 I made a few changes to my website that I hope reflect better what my company about and encourage those who are a fit to work with me to reach out, tell me their story, and get down to business. And I hope everyone else is doing the same, because it’s a new year and we just can’t waste any time being too nice, too scared, or too unprepared. Even if you have no idea what you might need and if I can help you, it’s important to just ask those questions. PR folks like me are great with referring to others who are a better fit. I even dish out 5% cash for successful referrals. I like to think that I’m a nice person – actually, a great person – to do business with, but in the end it’s not about being nice. It’s about making money and reaching our goals. So here’s to more of that for us both in 2012!

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