Female Entrepreneur: Paula Gardner
Company: Do Your Own PR
Age range: 40s
What motivated you to start your business?
I was working in PR, but getting more excited about new and growing entrepreneurs than working with large corporates. They were often coming to me for advice, but couldn’t afford a PR retainer, so I decided to create Do Your Own PR for them.
Tell us about your business…
I show, help and guide small businesses in how to raise their profile through PR, i.e. getting in the press. This can be both traditional press – newspapers, magazines, trade publications etc, as well as websites and blogs nowadays.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I take a while to get and prefer to “warm up” with answering emails etc. By mid morning I am fired up and often coach my PR clients at this time. Afternoons are spent writing and getting material out to the press. That said, every day is different, and I could just as easily be working onsite for a client, conducting a one day face to face consultation, or having lunch with a client and attending a networking event. I like variety so I try and include a little of everything in my week.
Friday is my day off. I often work in the evenings so Friday is my time to pamper myself, go for a long swim, and meet friends. I might do some admin and accounts in the afternoon, just to keep on top of things.
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
The recession has been a bit tricky as many of my clients have suffered and there is not as much optimism around as there used to be.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I try and stay optimistic and support clients through it. My coaching is very practical, i.e. I will actually show people how to set up a press list step by step, but clients often have emotional issues around PR…such as picking up the phone, and I work on these with them as much as the how-to stuff.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
Contacts, referrals, raising profile and PR!
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Look at who you know and how they can help you (and how you can help them at the same time).
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
To do lists!
What’s your favourite quote?
“Better to have loved and lost than not have loved at all.”
It looks as though it has nothing to do with business but I do think better to have tried than not bothered through fear.
Who inspires you?
Madonna. JK Rowling, my grannies, lots of my friends who have just got on with it.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Enjoy what you do. If you don’t, find something else.
Get in touch…