What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My pricing system is completely contingent on what you need and how much you plan on doing yourself. Some business owners hire me to manage all of their social media daily and update their website once a week. Some hire me to set up all the platforms and then train them how to do it for a week or two. Others just want a website and an SEO set up and they update and manage on their own afterwards. Each demand requires a different, very catered budget. I am willing to try and work with anyone within reasonable means.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I work for a university, so any chance I have to take a communications or design class (I get free tuition for up to 2 classes a semester) or attend a seminar, I jump at the chance.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have somehow been involved in PR and marketing in one way or another for most of my adult life. I started out as a writer and editor, and I always got involved with the writing organizations on my college campus. I ended up working for several throughout my academic career, and there was always a press release that needed to be written, or an event that needed to be planned.
When I graduated with my BA in writing, I decided to go back for my MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing, which led to my work with small press publishing. As an assistant editor of a literary journal, I found that there was more to the job than accepting poetry and fiction submissions. I was raising money for publications and events, editing galleys, sending out advertisements for the next writing competition, and budgeting.
As a professor, I thought I would just be teaching others how to write and read critically. It turned out I was also a grant writer for the department and became the PR coordinator and event organizer for a nationally know writer's series. I also did fundraising and event organizing for the city-wide writing competition sponsored by the department. I managed the web content for the department as well.
So I still teach and I still write, but I help others realize their goals as well within my own firm. I now have a small regular client base (businesses I manage daily or monthly, with a contract) and I have great foot traffic for collegiate success (applying to college or editing a thesis, for example) and many resume/cover letter jobs (I offer workshops and one-on-one services).
What types of customers have you worked with?
I do a lot of web design and content, SEO and SMM services, and event planning for fund raising. I also do a lot of college admission essay editing for students applying for college (I get a rush in November and December, especially). I do a lot of resume/cover writing and design as well.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I am currently in the middle of a fundraiser for a wonderful community-based non-profit organization and I found a wonderful, well-respected restaurant to hold the event and front the cost of all food and catering for a donation reciept. The organization will get 100% of its donations because I took the time to convince the owner that his contributions mattered.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Be confident in your idea/business/product and know that it can be successful with the right approach. Find a firm that is ethical and caring.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
A lot of people see marketing and public relations as an evil force in our system. Using sex to sell a product or trying to repair a politicians bad behavior is an unfortunate side effect of high-profile, unethical marketing strategies in the profession. Some do not want to work with marketing because of that, and I comepletely understand their trepidation.
Clients may be relieved that there are plenty of ethical firms that put in a lot of training and hard work to make sure their client is a success. When marketing or PR is done correctly, people are exposed to a business or product that makes their lives better and helps their business and other businesses succeed. One doesn't have to be sneaky to want to be recognized.