Do You Believe What You See Or Trust A Referral?

  • Category: Niching

A client asked me to weigh in on a PR soloist he was thinking of hiring.

She’d been recommended when his first choice was simply too busy to take him on (he kept checking back and she kept being booked).

So I checked out choice #2: she listed three kinds of services on her site: business coaching, business strategy and planning and digital marketing (technically, none of those are PR, nor do they inspire confidence that she will be expert in any of them, much less all three).

To add to the I serve almost anybody flavor, she calls out three “industries”: CPA and accounting firms, retail and e-commerce and professional services. Even under the last, she mentioned five sectors, none of which are his.

Probably recognizing that her site wasn’t exactly a billboard for her PR expertise, she helpfully supplied a few links to actual clients and their websites.

Unfortunately, she did PR for only one of those three—and while it’s hard to tell how well her PR efforts worked, none of her named clients were in the same situation or the same industry or even the same level as my client.

After just this quick peek, I was kinda mystified as to why PR choice #2 was even on the table.

The only thing she has going for her is the referral. From someone the client hasn’t even worked with. Pass.

That referral got her in the door, but it wasn’t enough to even make it past the most cursory review.

But what if she specialized in PR for his industry sector and for people just like him? That referral would have been solid gold and hers to lose.

Bottom line: she isn’t building authority (even if she’s actually terrific at what she does) and her chances of snagging a sophisticated client are pretty close to nil.