21 tips for declaring your independence in PR

As July 4th approaches, some PR pros are considering what independence really means—and are considering striking out on their own. Here are some tips for the aspirational solo pro.

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If you haven’t already gone out on your own, you’ve definitely thought about it.

Maybe you recognized a relentless compulsion to always deliver the goods, whatever it takes. Or you have realized you’re the toughest boss you could ever have.

Those things can’t be taught, but other important things can. Here are some important lessons for anyone considering a solo PR career:

1.  If you’re leaving an agency, don’t take any clients with you. Clients come and go, and none are worth sacrificing relationships with team members who fought alongside you in the trenches. Do the right thing, and those former colleagues might even refer work to you.

2.  Give yourself years of runway. Don’t give it a year and see how it goes. Have the mindset that you won’t let this fail. Assume you’re in it for life, take the long view and know it can take years to hit your stride.

3.  Have a separate office that is not your home. Preferably, find shared space in a major city. This gives you skin in the game, a place to go every day and access to the best young talent when you need it. You’re in the perception business. Clients perceive that an agency in the heart of the action has a finger on the pulse.

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