In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.
After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!
This is the second post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers.
This week, I interviewed Zackery Moore, a unique PR freelancer, because he is also a student.
Zackery describes freelance PR as, "working solo with your clients." He is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The first thing Zackery did when deciding to pursue PR was to find a mentor.
Zackery mentions that it's sometimes difficult to balance PR, schoolwork, and holding a job to make ends meet, but it's something that he is determined to do.
As for charging clients, Zackery says, "Pricing is the biggest hurdle. Of course, I charge less than someone with a degree. And when I graduate next December, I'll raise my fees." Zackery uses an Adobe AIR application called FEAT that helps him to determine prices for projects.
Unlike most freelancers, who carefully plan their foray into the freelancing world, Zackery stumbled upon it. He did research, read blogs, and later constructed a business plan . He mentions that he, "became consumed with the freelance lifestyle."
So, how does Zackery get his clients? Many different ways. He makes cold-calls, networks as much as possible and uses personal marketing. However, his most successful tactic is networking. He explains that he often just asks how he can help a potential client, and sometimes does work for free, before finding paying clients.
Zackery's favorite aspect of freelancing is the freedom that comes with creating your own hours and being your own boss. His least favorite aspect, however, is finding new clients. "I've never really been great at sales, but I love the creative part of it. I think that's the case for a lot of freelancers. We love our "art," but often times aren't great at the sales part," he said.
As for his plans post-graduation, Zackery said that he would like to continue freelancing, find a job at an agency, and eventually open his own firm.
To stay active in the business, Zackery relies on social media and networking. He likes to read industry blogs and social media blogs to stay current.