Welcome to our Saturday small business chat.This Saturday we’re meeting Ruth Badley of Ruth Badley PR. I “met” Ruth via a retweet she kindly did of one of my tweets about a blog post. We got chatting online and I discovered she’s a writer as well as PR person, so once I’d checked out her references, etc., she could be someone I could recommend work on to. Just how do you become a freelance PR, anyway? Like proofreading and editing, I suspect, it’s something people think you can do at the drop of a hat but actually requires bags of experience!
Let’s find out what it takes to be a freelance PR.
What’s your business called? When did you set it up?
I set up as Ruth Badley PR in January 2011. I offer affordable PR consultancy services to businesses and I am also a freelance writer and journalist.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
It dawned on me that I could work for myself – and it was about time I took the plunge!
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
I was working for a small PR agency and before that I was a senior features writer for a newspaper group. I had the experience, the skills and the contacts to hit the ground running. I just needed to believe I could make it happen.
Had you run your own business before?
No, but I had worked alongside a small business owner and that was a huge learning opportunity.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
I worked as a freelance PR for another agency for one day a week, whilst I was still in my main employment, so that gave me a taste for what it might be like to be my own boss – all the time.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
Don’t worry. You will be fine!
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
Where have you been hiding all these years?
What do you wish you’d done differently?
I regret not getting a website in place by now, although it hasn’t held me back.
What are you glad you did?
Gave up time to be a judge on two national food awards which has led to other opportunities and greater professional credibility.
What’s your top business tip?
You are the PR for your own business. Make sure you are always a pleasure to work with and you won’t go far wrong.
How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
Grown, most definitely but not in a straight line. I have clients that have been with me from day one and others that just need help for a project and may come and go.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
I would like to be busy with the existing clients I have, whilst still working on creating new business opportunities. I find this a difficult balance to achieve.
Sometimes it’s just that little bit of extra confidence you need to get started, isn’t it, which grows as your business grows. I’d like to ask my newly entrepreneurial self where she’d been hiding all these years, too! Ruth did a very sensible thing in working part time as a freelancer to try it out, and this is always a good place to start. I’d like to see her have a website of her own – maybe she will have by next year! And here’s where she was in 2013.
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more freelancer chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured.