As a solo PR pro, you know that trying to juggle everything, all the time, is not easy.
There are emails to answer, phone calls to make, meetings to attend, strategy sessions with yourself, and most importantly, sales to make.
Where do you find the time to cram all that in (and still have some semblance of a personal life) when you are flying solo?
We are always trying to find time to fit in things we should be doing for our business—and for ourselves—sometimes, not so successfully.
So, why not take advantage of the downtime during the holidays to put elements in place which will relax, refresh, re-energize, and help you hit the ground running in 2018.
In that spirit, here are a few ideas to consider:
Solo PR Pro Tip #1—Learn a New Skill
This is the time of year when many of your clients are out of the office, making it the perfect time to learn a new skill.
Do you want to work on your writing or visual storytelling skills?
Luckily, there is a Skillshare or Udemy class to help you bone up on these skills.
Have you been dying to try out the latest and greatest PR measurement tool?
Then go ahead and spend some time checking out that free demo to see if you find it useful in your work with clients.
Solo PR Pro Tip #2—Catch Up on Your Reading
How many times do you bookmark articles or buy books only to never return to them?
Wouldn’t you love to spend more time reading?
Rather than skimming through all that reading material you saved for later, take time to sit down and read it thoroughly.
Make it a priority to set aside a few hours during the holidays to catch up on your reading.
And then make it a point to schedule reading time each week in the coming year.
By doing this, you’ll stay on top of the trends, allow yourself to relax and enjoy a book or two, and maybe even spark a few creative ideas for your business.
Solo PR Pro Tip #3—Meet New People
Enjoy this festive time of year even more by getting out there and meeting new people.
Every December, there are more get-togethers and parties than during any other time of the year.
As solo PR pros, we sometimes neglect the social aspect of running a business.
This holiday season, accept all opportunities to network and socialize with others who may need your services in the future.
You never know, someone you meet at a holiday gathering may turn into a client or referral source next year, or even better, the love of your life!
So get out there and spread some cheer (and your business cards)!
Solo PR Pro Tip #4—Follow-up with Business Contacts
Follow-up with prospects and previous clients to see if they might need your help in the New Year.
I have been hearing from clients I have worked with in the past who are making plans for 2018 and want to factor in my services.
Instead of waiting for this to happen, be proactive and contact them.
Make a list of those you have worked with the past few years and send them an email—or even a nice holiday card—with a personalized note wishing them well.
You do not need to add a sales pitch.
The simple act of touching base can be enough to jog their memory and remind them to get in touch with you when they require your services.
Solo PR Pro Tip #5—Get Yourself Organized
If you’re anything like me, you have become mired in the day-to-day slog—and allow things to become a bit disorganized.
Use this holiday downtime to get yourself, and your office organized.
Try out a tool such as Slack or Trello to help you manage projects or client communications.
Or download a new app that can help you manage your calendar and appointments.
Perhaps you can set up your office in a different configuration to help you be more productive.
An organized life is a happy and prosperous one, especially when it comes to your business.
Solo PR Pro Tip #6—Plan a Budget for Your Business
Take the time to sit down and figure out a budget that best fits your business for 2018.
How much do you want to set aside to market yourself?
What professional development conferences do you want to attend?
How much will you need to put toward that effort?
Book an afternoon on your calendar during the holidays and come up with a plan you can afford. Your accountant will thank you.
Solo PR Pro Tip #7—Get Some Much-needed Rest
The holidays are a very busy time not only work-wise but personally as well.
There are parties and events to attend, gifts to buy, cards to send, holiday dinners to attend, and the list goes on.
Whew! That is enough to tire out even the most energetic elf.
So why not take advantage of the week after Christmas to rest and relax a little.
Allow yourself to sleep in or take naps. YOU DESERVE IT!
Solo PR Pro Tip #8—Do Something You Truly Enjoy
Take a day off and do something you really enjoy but do not get to do often enough.
Don’t worry; no one will know (or even care) because everyone else is doing the same thing!
Visit an art gallery for inspiration, have a snowball fight with your kids, pretend you’re a contestant on a baking competition show, enjoy a long, leisurely lunch with old friends, or treat yourself to a spa visit.
Give yourself the gift of a day to yourself.
Who knows? It may inspire you to even greater goals in the new year.
You worked hard all year, and you have earned a break.
So allow yourself the luxury of guilt-free time to rest and recharge during the holidays.
What do you want to focus on to get ready for 2018? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wishing all my solo PR pro friends a happy, healthy, and productive New Year!
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