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The agency help shortage

Karen Swim of Solo PR Pro and Chip Griffin of SAGA discuss the shortage of available help for small agencies and solos alike.

It has perhaps never been more difficult to find employees or contractors — and that creates both challenges and opportunities for small agencies and solos.

Karen and Chip explore how to be better prepared when the time comes to hire help, as well as what small agencies and solos can do to position themselves to provide help as a business growth strategy.

Key takeaways

  • Karen Swim: “I think it’s a good time for people in this industry. I truly believe that we barely scratch the surface of what’s possible, and I feel like small agencies and solos sit in the best seat right now because there is still an appetite for the work that we do at the budget that we can do it at.”
  • Chip Griffin: “It’s sort of like playing pool. The best shot is not always the direct one. Sometimes you want to bank it and that may be the same thing when you’re trying to figure out how to solve your own resourcing issues.”
  • Karen Swim: “When you work with other agencies, what I have personally found different from working with individual contractors, there’s a different level of commitment. We all understand what it takes to get and retain a client.”
  • Chip Griffin: “When you’re thinking about finding help for your agency, whether it’s employees, your contractors, or other agencies to work with, you need to be thinking in terms of pipeline. And agencies and solos think about their pipeline in terms of just business development. You need to think about the pipeline from a resources perspective as well.”

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Small Agency Talk Show. I’m your host, Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance. Delighted to have with me Karen Swim of Solo PR Pro, a regular panelist, a good friend, and we’re just gonna have a lot of fun for the next 30 minutes.

Karen Swim: We are. Hey Chip, thanks so much for having me on.

Chip Griffin: It is great to have you and, you know, I feel like I need some help. I just, I’m struggling. I need help. I can’t get it all done by myself. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. We’re gonna talk about how you as an agency or a solo can get the help that you need in order to do whatever it is, whether we’re talking about business development, client service.

I don’t know, mowing the lawn. All sorts of things that we need, right?

Karen Swim: We do. And you know what, I love that you threw in mowing the lawn, because I think sometimes solos forget that hiring help doesn’t always have to be working and participating in your business. It could be hiring help to, to help you in the other parts of your life so that you free up time to be able to focus on the strategy of your business and to focus on higher value things. We forget that and, and we kind of feel guilty like, Well, I’m home. I could mow the lawn. You could, or you could hire somebody to do it and reclaim that time.

Chip Griffin: Right. And I think that’s a, that’s a critical thing that that agency owners and solos really need to be thinking about is, you know, take a look at, at all of the time you’re spending on different tasks throughout the course of a week and, and figure out those things that you don’t want to have anything to do with.

For whatever reason, whether it’s too low a value, whether it’s you just don’t enjoy it and, and try to figure out how you can find the help to get those things done. And, and as you’ve pointed out, it can be in your personal life. It doesn’t have to be just work related because it’s the sum total of things that helps you build the business that you’re actually happy to have.

And, and we all know that I’m a big proponent of that, that the business should work for you, not the other way around.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. Although I have to say this has gotta be one of the hardest markets to find good help in every area. And you know, we’ve had 29 months of, of jobs growth. We’ve recouped all of the jobs that were lost to the pandemic plus some.

We have a low unemployment rate. It’s a competitive marketplace out there. And you also have a huge surge in the growth of people working on their own. So it,, it’s tough, because people have a lot of choices and although even though people are getting a little, you know, skittish and we’re hearing about layoffs, we still have jobs to fill.

So there still are openings and I don’t think that the economy is really gonna impact that that much, to be honest, because there’s so many job openings.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. I mean, finding help, it was, it was tough a few years ago. It’s only tougher today. Yeah. And it, it, on some levels, it’s hard for me to figure out how this is possible, right?

I mean, how do we, how are we in this situation where it just keeps getting tougher and tougher despite all the news that’s out there? But it, I mean, it certainly is, I, I know a lot of my clients are out there trying to hire people, trying to find contractors to do things. A lot of agencies and solos contract out work. I’m working with one right now who was just told by one of the agencies that they subcontract to that they’re not gonna be willing to take that work on anymore because the projects aren’t big enough. They’re increasing the minimums for the work that they’re doing and so now that agency has to go find additional help somewhere else.

And that’s not uncommon. Right. We’re seeing a lot of solos are increasing their minimums too, and saying, Hey, I’m, you know, I’m not gonna do this piecemeal project stuff. We’re gonna have to be at at least X amount per month if you wanna work with me.

Karen Swim: I have to agree. And I was one of those agencies in that camp this year where we rate, we’ve always had a minimum, but we had to raise it, for so many reasons.

And it’s still reasonable in my opinion, but you should be looking at that all the time. You should be looking at it at least on an annual basis. Does your pricing still make sense? How busy are you? It’s because it’s top and I personally can say that the cost of doing business has definitely increased this year.

You know, you keep getting notices about everything going up. All of the tools that we need for our business are going up. You can’t always absorb all those costs, nor should you have to. So you’ve got to pass that on, particularly if you haven’t done a rate increase in a while, or better, if you’re looking at budgets for next year.

And it’s time to build in those increases and for new clients for sure. So there have been some, you know, projects that we might have taken a couple of years ago that we’ve said we’re sorry. We just can’t. I mean, and PR has gotten a little more labor intensive too, particularly if you do media relations, so you have to account for that time.

So yeah, it’s an odd time. It’s, I think it’s a good time for people in this industry. I truly believe that we barely scratch the surface of what’s possible, and I feel like small agencies and solos sit in the best seat right now because there is still an appetite for the work that we do at the budget that we can do it at.

Chip Griffin: Well, and, so that’s a, that’s a perfect segue. So, you know, we agree that, that finding help is a real problem. We agree that people need help. Yeah. So it, it, so how can we look at this as an opportunity for solos for small agencies and, you know, how do you, how do you take advantage of this environment without necessarily taking advantage of the, the people that you work with?

Karen Swim: Yeah. My favorite way to find help is to team up with other solos and agencies. And I think when you remove that element of competitiveness, obviously there’s got to be a level of trust. There’s got to be an alignment in your work styles, because, you know, it has to be seamless for your client. And there should be written agreements in place before you start work and a clear scope of work.

But when you work with other agencies, what I have personally found different from working with just individual contractors that may just be starting with you, there’s a different level of commitment. We all understand what it takes to get and retain a client. And so you’ll find that other agency owners are like-minded in how they’re gonna treat the business and the commitment that they’re going to make to it.

And they’re not going to over commit to something that they can’t do. So you’ll find them to be responsible about deadlines. Not to say that every agency is great, so I would work on something small together first and test the waters. But teaming up with other people who are doing exactly what you do is a great way to find qualified help that understands the business.

Somebody that you don’t have to train. And understand your own work style and your quirks. You know, there are things that, that I’ve learned about myself over the past couple of years. I absolutely detest long emails. If you use too many words, it’s gonna drive me over the edge, it’s just my pet peeve.

Which is probably surprising because I talk a lot, but I, you know, in emails, I want you to get to it. I do not want the whole book life story. I just – give me the facts because you get a lot of ’em. I just need to skim through it. Just get to the bottom line. I can’t think for you. I could, but if I’m gonna think for you, then what do I need you for?

So, you know, be honest about what your needs really are beyond just the scope of work and the type of person that you’re looking for so that you can find your perfect match.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and I, I think those are great points. I think it’s also important that you be flexible and adaptable. It’s, it’s one of the reasons why folks like working with solos and small agencies.

Yeah. Because they can be flexible and adaptable. But you actually need to, to live that if you’re, if you want to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you. Yeah. And so, you know, I, I love the idea that you suggest of starting with small projects with people that you’re working with.

And that goes for both sides, right? If, if I’m hiring out help from a contractor or a subcontractor, I would like to do a small project to just make sure we work well together, to test the quality of the work and those kinds of things. But it should be the other way too. You know? I mean, and a lot of times we get really excited and we start talking with perhaps another agency and they talk about a big project and we, we want to jump in with both feet.

We might be disappointed at what we find and, and so there are advantages to, to dipping your toe in the water and, and really figuring out how things work and, and figuring out if you truly can adapt to their style of working.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. I, Yeah, because it could be a great budget and perfect client in your view, and it’s like, this is right in our wheelhouse, and then your work styles are polar opposite and, and it ends up being a lot more work for you than you had anticipated.

So, I mean, you have to ask the questions. You know what I always say? It’s business. It’s definitely not personal. So you’ve gotta take your emotions out of it and be able to look at things through a very clear lens and be able to talk about things up front, talk about everything, and make sure that you and the person that you’re contracting with are on the same page.

And if you’re not, walk away, it’s ok. No hurt feelings because it, it, it has to be a win. This is where it really does have to be a win for both of you. There’s not, you know, somebody that has the upper hand. This has to be mutually beneficial, and if your styles don’t match or you have different ideas about how you’re gonna approach it that will not mesh, then just don’t work together.

It’s okay.

Chip Griffin: And it’s not all about the dollar amount either, which I, which is one of the biggest mistakes that I see on both sides of the equation, right? If you’re sending work out the door, I wanna get it as cheap as possible, so I have a good margin. If you’re taking money in the door, you want to get as much money as possible because it boosts your revenue.

First of all, that’s, that’s not always accurate. Secondly, it’s important to keep in mind what a former business partner of mine always used to like to call the, the pain per dollar ratio. And, and if you get the pain per dollar ratio right on either side, you’re gonna be in better shape. So if I’m sending work out the door, maybe the, the cheapest alternative is not the best one because I have to manage them and they’re slow and I’ve gotta deal with complaints and all that kind of stuff.

At the same time, if I’m taking work in, you know, every contract that’s worth the same amount is not, doesn’t feel the same way to me. There are clients who are a pain in a you know what to deal with. Yeah. We’ve, we’ve all dealt with them, of course. And so if you’re helping out another agency and they’re the kind of agency that views everything as a crisis, maybe because they don’t plan well, maybe because they just kind of get worked up about stuff, or they wanna be super responsive to their own clients, that can be a problem.

And so the pain per dollar ratio may not be good, which will drive down both your financial profit, but also you know what I would call the emotional profit because you should enjoy what you’re doing. There’s no reason to do this if you hate it. Find something else.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I mean, I, there is no perfect client, right?

And even the best client can sometimes, you know, ease over into that pain column. That’s okay. But you know, and you have to know what your tolerance is. Sometimes it’s just, you know, bump in the road. It’s a season where it’s annoying, but you really still love and enjoy the work. That’s a whole different scenario.

But I agree with you, we shouldn’t be miserable every day. So, you know, I would also say that there’s, there’s more than one way to slice and dice your work to find help. So look at, you know, maybe you don’t need a person to support you with, let’s say, media relations. Maybe you need to take some other things off your plate, particularly if you are really strong at media relations and you enjoy it.

If you’re strong at it and you enjoy it, maybe you need somebody to come in that can do reports. Somebody that can handle, you know, the tracking and the metrics and the scheduling. And maybe that doesn’t even have to be somebody that is a PR person that could be a strong VA. And so you can look at your work a different way because you do sort of have to be a little creative these days to figure out how to get the help that you need.

Because a lot of PR people are like all of us. They’re busy and they don’t have bandwidth. And so you may not be able to immediately find that type of help, but take a look and at your business in a creative way and say, Okay, well, hmm, maybe it’s not that, that I need, Maybe I could actually do well with this type of help, and you may have a better chance of securing someone.

Chip Griffin: Right. Yeah. Really important to think that way so that, you know, it’s, it’s sort of like, you know, playing pool. You know, the, the best shot is not always the direct one. Sometimes you want to bank it and, and so, you know, that may be the same thing when you’re trying to figure out how to solve your own resourcing issues.

It may be that if you can solve one pain point, it actually makes another one, you know, feel better too. So, so figure out how you can move the different puzzle pieces around, because it’s not always the most obvious thing that ends up being the best or the most realistic that you can actually adapt to.

Right. So, Absolutely. So I love your point there. I, I think the other thing that people need to be thinking about when you’re thinking about finding help for your agency, whether it’s employees, your contractors, or other agencies to work with, is you need to be thinking in terms of pipeline. And agencies and solos think about their pipeline in terms of just business development.

You know, how do I get enough clients and, and frankly, they don’t do a great job of managing that pipeline. Yeah. But you need to think about the pipeline from a resources perspective as well. And so you always need to be out there recruiting freelancers, recruiting potential talent. Doesn’t mean you’re gonna hire them immediately, but they at least need to be in the orbit so that when you do have an immediate challenge, you know who you can reach out to.

And when it comes to contractors or other agencies that you work with, I always encourage folks to the extent you can spread little projects around both because you start to get to know them and figure out who the best fits are. But also because if someone started taking projects from you, they’re more likely to take the next one.

Particularly when you come to them in a, in a pinch and say, Hey, look, I’m just jammed up right now. Got this new client, really need some help. Can you jump in tomorrow on this? So think about the pipeline and really build it out there. Build out your network so that you’ve got people ready to go, and that it’s not a panic moment when someone comes to you and says they’d like to work with you.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. We, you know, we have a network of about 15 people that we have cultivated over time and using that strategy, and we’re always doing that. We’re always testing new people. Like we may try somebody on like a few hours a month, you know, Hey, we’ve got 10 hours, can you do this? And it’s not, it’s not mission critical, but it gives us a chance to sort of test and, and we can work with them a little bit to see like, Okay, is this a good fit?

Are they as good as they say they are? So I love that idea. I would also say don’t sleep on the platforms. That’s another great way to like dice out small projects and tasks. There’s Upwork, there’s Fiverr. I use Fiverr for like a lot of design stuff, and I have hit the jackpot there over and over again.

So I’ve got go-to people that immediately will take something from me, and they’ve always come through. There’s, you know…

Chip Griffin: And I would second Fiverr by the way. I mean, I, I have had nothing but success on Fiverr when I’ve done things. Yeah. Now, I, I don’t do them for truly mission critical, like we gotta get this done today type things.

But I, I use them for a lot of, like you do, design type projects. And, and it’s always come through, always super reasonable. I mean, the, the little, you know, graphic of myself that I use on social networks is a, is a Fiverr project. Yeah. And I just, I did it on a lark one day. I’m like, Let’s, let’s see how this turns out.

And it turned out great. And I get, I, to this day, I’ve been using it for years. I still get great comments on how good that looks. Yes.

Karen Swim: That, that is how I got started too. Like, I think I’d like to do this. And I went on Fiverr and you know, and I love that platform for those kinds of things. But then there’s Upwork, if you’re looking for different type of help, you know, you can find a lot of really highly qualified professionals on Upwork and, you know, my own client, NBO Partners, their platform is amazing if you’re looking for more senior, seasoned consultants. So you know, that’s another way to source talent. But don’t wait until you have secured this brand new piece of business and you’ve gotta put a team together like asap. As Chip said, you want to make sure that you start to look for people when you don’t need them immediately. Right? Right. Because then you can test. And here’s the great thing about using contractors. You don’t have to keep them on board. You don’t have to give them a warning or a 30 day notice. You have a contract, you do some work.

If it doesn’t work out, you move on.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, and I, and I think that it’s, it’s so important to have this stable of people that you can work with because what I see is a lot of agencies that will turn away potential business because they’re afraid that they won’t be able to service it. And I just, I, I, it pains me to see that happen.

Now, it may be in the moment the right decision because you certainly don’t wanna take on a contract that you can’t fulfill and you, and you can’t meet expectations, but you should be doing everything you can not to put yourself in that position. And you should never be in a position where you want to take your foot off the gas for business development, because that’s why so many agency owners complain about feast or famine.

Feast or famine is not really a thing. Feast or famine is something that occurs because you’re on the revenue roller coaster, caused by the fact that you ignored business development for a period of time, and it’s a predictable thing that happens. It’s not just a natural phenomenon for agencies or any other business.

Karen Swim: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I completely agree and I’ve, I’ve heard stories of that too where people turn away business. If I turn away business…it’s not really because I can’t service it.

Chip Griffin: And there’s, there’s plenty of business that people should turn away. It just shouldn’t be because you don’t have the resources because you should building that pipeline.

Karen Swim: Exactly. Exactly.

Chip Griffin: So you don’t put yourself in that, that kind of position.

Karen Swim: We’re not saying don’t say no to business, but we’re saying put yourself in a position where you’re allowed to pick and choose. And you can only do that when you keep those wheels in motion all the time.

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And, and it’s, it, it’s great peace of mind.

And, and I, and I think one of the other pitfalls that agency owners run into is they say, Well, you know, I’ve already got my guy or gal who does graphic design or whatever, and I would never think about working with someone else. I, they, they do it, it’s great. I don’t have a need to have more than that.

But what happens when that person becomes unavailable for whatever reason? Yeah, maybe they take a full-time in-house gig. Because just a great opportunity crossed them. Maybe something comes up, you know, for them personally, and they’re not able to, to work. You know, who knows strategically, maybe it’s no longer a fit for them.

You want to have redundancies in anything that you do so that you’ve got this opportunity to fix something quickly. And you’re not starting from a standing start and say, Okay, geez, I need a graphic designer. Huh? Who do I know? Nobody.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. Absolutely. And everything that you just said has happened to me personally,

So, and I’m sure for a lot of people in our audience as well. Life happens. Stuff happens, and you need to be prepared because you’re running a business and it’s okay. Yep. It’s, I agree with you that, and, and it adds just unnecessary stress when you don’t have a backup for yourself. Now you’re in a bind.

What are you gonna do? Uhoh.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. No, it, it just happened to, to one of the, the clients that I work with, they had, a designer that they had been working with who said they could no longer continue to, to work for a, a particular reason and now they’re in a bind and having to scramble to find someone quickly.

And that’s, that’s not an easy thing to do, particularly in this environment since that’s, that’s how we started this conversation. It’s hard to find help. Yeah. So, so find it when you don’t need it, because then you’ll be in a better position to, to fill those gaps when you absolutely have to.

Karen Swim: Yeah. And here’s the good thing.

When you’re connected with good people and you keep nurturing that network, even if somebody, one of your go-tos is not available, they can often help you with one of their colleagues that they would recommend. So, you know, don’t forget about their network too. You know, by extension becomes your network when you’re cultivating this, this go-to group of people.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, and that’s, and, and I love talking about sort of the network that you have because it’s one of the other areas that I think you need to be thinking about and, and so you need to be willing to step up and help. Particularly if you’re a solo, right? If you step up and help someone when they’re having a challenge, even if maybe you’re gonna have to work a few extra hours this week beyond what you really wanted to, that helps you because they’ll remember that or they should remember that and most of ’em, absolutely.

And so, so they’ll help you out in a pinch as well. So, so try to be just generally helpful within your network and, and don’t, you know, don’t fixate too much on, Geez, I gotta make sure I get the right profit margin. I gotta make sure I don’t work too much this week. Be helpful to the extent that you can reasonably. Now, don’t, don’t go so far that you make your life miserable.

Right? I know people like that who will just do anything anyone asks. Yeah. And, and they get trod on. But yeah, there’s real opportunities in that to make sure that you’re, you’re building this support network that’s a two-way street, and not just one way. And, and frankly, remember that if someone steps up and helps you, even when maybe they weren’t, you know, best situated to do it at that time, make sure that you’re willing to reciprocate.

Karen Swim: I mean, and that can mean referring work. It doesn’t always mean participating in their business, referring work, making introductions. You know, sometimes I will talk to somebody and they’ll say something and I’ll say, You know what? Let me introduce you to so and so, because they’re in this, and I think that there could be, you know, some synergy between what you’re doing. That is helpful. You know, if you’re just genuinely interested in what people are doing, I think, And you’re listening and you’re listening for those cues. Offer help when you can. And I love reporting business to other people. That makes me feel really good, especially when it works out and they get work. I’ve referred people that have you know, worked with clients for years and years and years. I mean, can you imagine the return on that one little referral when you get to work with somebody for five years? That that’s not bad. And I, I love when that happens. So I agree. We have to care about other people too. It comes back to you. It really does.

Chip Griffin: It does. And, and I will say if you’re referring business, make sure that you’re referring good business.

Karen Swim: Yes.

Chip Griffin: There are a lot of folks out there who refer as a, as a friendlier blow off to somebody. Yeah. And, and that is not helpful. So, you know, even if, if you find yourself in a position where you just have to get someone off your plate, so you refer them to someone, send them a separate email and say, Hey, you should know this before you jump in.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. I mean, I had one of those recently where it’s a personality type that doesn’t quite work for my style. Yep. But I’ll be honest about that because you know what I’ve decided that’s like, eh, I just won’t, Somebody else is cool with it, but I think you should disclose it.

Chip Griffin: And you will build better relationships with your network if you are just straight up and honest with them, because you don’t want them to discover that so-and-so’s difficult to deal with, or so-and-so’s not particularly responsive.

Yes. You know, let them know. They can then go in, you know, eyes open and they may say, Hey, I don’t care. I can, I can deal with that. Different people are, are different ways, you know, I mean, I, there are lots of clients I’ve been able to work with over the years that I know other people just couldn’t. Yeah. And, and part of that’s because I got my start in politics, so pretty much everything just rolls right off me.

I was also a sports official for a long time, so it just rolls off. Yeah. You know, You wanna yell at me? Yeah. Have at it. Yeah. But a lot of people just can’t take that and they don’t, they don’t like that kind of atmosphere and that’s fine. So you need to know what works for you, but make sure that you’re sharing that with anyone that you refer a business to so that they know.

Absolutely. Also things like payment, like if you’ve got a client who’s not great on payment, make sure you’re letting folks know that. They can still make an eyes open decision and maybe for them it’s okay. They’re not concerned that this is a slow payer. You know, this is a corporate client that puts everything into this black hole for 90 days.

Like far too many Fortune 500 companies do. They just stick the invoices in a little pile, let it collect some dust, and when there’s enough dust on it, they’ll take it out and say, Oh, maybe we’ll pay this today.

Karen Swim: Yeah, we could have a whole conversation about that.

Chip Griffin: Oh, we could.

Karen Swim: Wake up corporate America and pay your small agencies. Do a better job. Thank you very much.

Chip Griffin: And, and large agencies are terrible at paying small agencies. Yeah. In a timely fashion. I mean, large agencies are as big an offender as some of the large corporations out there.

Karen Swim: Yeah. The bureaucracy is real.

Chip Griffin: It, well, it’s not just bureaucracy. I mean, a lot of it comes down to, you know, CFOs trying to play games with the float, and at the end of the day, they’re not making that much money off of it.

At least off the small vendors. Large vendors, sure. If you’re, if you’re able to delay payment on a 10 million contract by 90 days, Okay, yeah, that’s, You got some nice, you know, float on that. Yeah. You got some good cash flow that helps. You know, maybe it makes your quarterly report look better. I don’t know.

Yeah. But don’t do it to small agencies. Don’t do it to solos, that’s just, that doesn’t make any sense.

Karen Swim: Yeah, I agree. Now, if somebody doesn’t pay at all, I will never refer them.

Chip Griffin: Oh, no. Of course, right. Yeah. Yeah. If, the reason why you’re, you’re trying to get rid of them is because they didn’t pay you at all.

You absolutely should not be sending that to anyone.

Karen Swim: Or the budget’s too small. I’ve had a couple of those conversations too, where I’ve said I don’t know anyone who can help you for that amount. Right. I, and I mean, even if there was some poor soul out there that would do it, I will never be a part of that. I will never be a part of solos being undervalued.

Chip Griffin: Well, and that’s actually, that’s a, that’s a great point and, and probably the last one we’ll have a chance to get to in our time, but I, I think it’s, it’s important to be realistic when you’re trying to find help, what it really costs to get the quality that you’re looking for.

Karen Swim: Great point.

Chip Griffin: Because I spend a lot of time talking with small agencies who want to get really cheap help for certain things, and you get what you pay for.

You know, can you find somebody who you know is good and, and works for 10 bucks an hour? Look, every so often you’re gonna scratch that lottery ticket and win. Right. And, and unfortunately it happens often enough that people are like, Of course. Well, I, I had this one that I used six months ago, and which 10 bucks an hour does great work. It, you’re making your life very difficult if you’re setting yourself up where you have to find someone at that rate.

So yeah, when you’re pricing your own work, price it so that you can get help with the projects that you’re doing. Don’t price it based on, Well, you know, I can write an article in 20 minutes, so I’m gonna price it based on a 20 minute time. If you hire someone else to do it, it’s gonna take ’em longer. Price it so that you can have someone else do it, because then you have the flexibility to get things off of your plate.

So coming full circle back to what we started talking about, if you can find somebody who can do the work for less than you can charge someone for that time, that’s a win. So if you’re $150 an hour and you pay someone even a hundred dollars an hour for it, you’ve just made $50 that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

And so don’t go looking for the 10 bucks an hour, pay the hundred. It’s still less.

Karen Swim: Absolutely. I think that. I, One of the things that I truly believe that all you know, public relations professionals can get a little bit better at is business math. They, they don’t run the numbers in the right way, but you’re absolutely right.

We cheap out and it’s not worth it. And pay people and pay them what they charge and find good qualified people. You will never miss the money that you spend, when you spend it in the right way. You won’t miss it. You will have more profit because you’ll have more mind share to devote to the things that really matter in your business.

So yeah, you might be able to write that article in 20 minutes, but giving it to somebody else is going to give you back your time.

Chip Griffin: Right? And, and your time, whether you’re a solo or a small agency or frankly, anything else is the most valuable. And so you need to make sure you’re valuing it the most highly.

And anything that you can do to, to focus on the highest value opportunities with that time is gonna help you out in the long run.

Karen Swim: Yep. I agree.

Chip Griffin: All right. Well, if someone would like to, you know, to interact with other solos, maybe learn more about Solo PR Pro, where should they go?

Karen Swim: They can go to soloprpro.com and then they can follow me, Karen Swim, on most of the social media channels.

Until billionaires destroy them all.

Chip Griffin: We’re not going down that rabbit hole today. So on that note, we’re gonna draw this episode of the Small Agency Talk Show to a close. If you’d like to see or listen to previous episodes, just go to smallagency.tv and there’s plenty of other videos there as well. If you’d like to learn more about SAGA, just go to smallagencygrowth.com.

And of course I’m Chip Griffin on most social networks as well, except Instagram where I’m real Chip Griffin because someone took that previously. So anyway, it is what I didn’t act fast enough years ago on Instagram as it turns out. But really I post most of my content on Photos by Chip now on Instagram anyway, so if you really wanna see my photography stuff go there.

On that note, everybody have a great weekend. I’m look looking forward to our next episode of this show. I’m looking forward to having you back again real soon, Karen, and we’ll all have a great weekend, everybody.

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