Becky Myers, co-owner of MyHart Communications, has lived the ups and downs of running her own business. A communicator with over twenty years experience, she began her career on the journalism side before becoming a public relations professional. In a recent livestream, she shared insights and tips on building a successful business and what other communications professionals need to know to do the same.
Get Expert Help to Set Up Your Business
She stresses the importance of ensuring you set up your business properly. “Make sure you have an attorney and a CPA before you start up [to ensure] you file the right paperwork.”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can cut corners. “It will save you so much hassle and heartache if you do that up front.”
Have a Financial Cushion
Some of the best advice she received before going out on her own was financial. “Save for a rainy day. Take a percentage of each check, save money for taxes, and then save money for yourself,” she says. “Save a little money before you get started. But you also don't have to save that much, just have enough to get you rolling and have a client to start with is always very helpful.”
Learn From Others
She also recommends learning from others. “Talk to a bunch of people like us who've been through it and we can give you some really good tips on what are the things you need to think about.”
This includes things like “know[ing] what kind of business do you want to go after? Who are your ideal clients? I think what's important is to think about what you know how to do, what are your ideal skills, are you a good writer, are you a good interviewer? Are you really good [at] thinking about the social media posts? Are you good at crisis communications? … Maybe you're really good at that back-end digital marketing.”
In other words, build a business around your strengths.
Serve Clients By Asking the Right Questions
Becky says she and her partner Suzy Hartrove start by “getting to know the entity that you're working with, the organization and the people, first. We ask a lot of questions and we read about them. We find out what's out there. And we get to know them, what they've already accomplished and what they're trying to do, and within that we do a lot of digging.”
She keeps going until she finds the magical something she knows will resonate with audiences. “I like to dig and sort of find the little nuggets, the things that might really get somebody's emotional heartstrings going and get your attention. And I think whether that has to do with a really happy story and somebody's super successful…or there's something maybe that has happened and we're trying to affect a change, you have to really build off of what the emotions are as much as you can in order to get people's attention.”
Make Your Own Business a Priority
One area Becky admitted she hasn’t always consistently applied her skills is in the marketing of her own business. “We deserve to treat our own business better, all of us do, because it's what helps us grow,” she says.
Last year she finally decided to treat her business as a client, using storytelling to promote her own work and gain greater visibility. She joined Zoetica Media founder Kami Huyse’s Smart Social Mastery membership program and saw an immediate payoff.
“I needed the structure of how you approach your teaching in this course and it's very simple, it's two hours a week plus maybe an extra hour,” she explains. “Not only the structure is helpful…but what I like is it's really gotten me to think again about who are the ideal clients, who are the ideal partnerships.”
“The other thing that you have [in the program] is that dedicated time to pull together content,” she praises. “That content generator, honestly, one of the best tools ever….It’s been very helpful to help me create growth in my brain and my heart and figure out what are some good themes we can leverage.”
Becky says she initially came up with all sorts of excuses for not joining the Smart Social Mastery program, convincing herself “I don't have the time or I can't do this.” Now she says, “I'm so glad I'm in it, my confidence is so much better and higher.”
She encourages others to join as well: “I think what's in it for you is you will build your skills and your confidence that will help you build your business and also build the community around you, and I think it's just fun, and just come on and do it!”
To learn how YOU can boost your own online visibility, reserve your spot in Kami’s free Instant Authority Workshop taking place online on September 13th and 15th at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Central. This workshop is only offered a few times each year, so sign up now and plan out your strategic authority content for the rest of the year and beyond!