We have interviewed Hana Bednarova, a freelance PR consultant based in Manchester, originally from the Czech Republic. Hana doesn't only help her clients with their PR but also with their SEO and more generally with their global digital strategy. She is also regularly invited to speak at events covering these themes across the UK.
She decided to go freelance after spending a few years in an agency. We wanted to know the reasons behind that choice and learn more about the challenges she had and still has to face as a consultant. She delivers some great advice in the interview.
1. Tell us about you and your professional background
I am a Freelance Digital PR Specialist. Originally from the Czech Republic where I worked as a journalist. I then decided to move to Manchester and study a master’s degree in Public Relations.
2. How did you get into PR and ultimately become a freelancer?
After finishing my degree, I worked in-house where I started focusing on using PR tactics to help SEO and digital marketing in general. I then joined an agency specialising in SEO and content marketing.
After a few years at the agency, I decided to leave and start freelancing.
3. What services do you generally provide your clients?
I specialise in Digital PR, helping my clients to enhance their organic visibility, look after their online presence and of course, brand awareness.
I create high-quality content that gets published by the press and shared by the public. The aim is to create content that earns links pointing back to clients’ websites, goes viral, and earns coverage and links for a long time.
4. How do you find new clients?
I speak at conferences a lot, so I meet clients there, but the main way I find new clients is via my website.
Here it is: https://www.hanabednarova.co.uk
5. What’s the piece of work you’re proudest of?
Probably a piece of content that I created as a little test (and the client knew about that) it was exciting as we wanted to test how well or not it will do. The piece ended up being featured globally, earning over 200 pieces of coverage and was talked about on social media for weeks. Other agencies then copied the style of content and created similar pieces for their clients, which I was very proud of.
6. What has been the biggest challenge in your freelance career so far?
I think it’s keeping up with doing everything. As a freelancer, you look after your clients, of course, but also your own website/social media, you are the person who brings in new clients, or deals with any issues, does the books and everything else really. From the beginning, I had to deal with the fact that there isn’t anyone else that will do this for me (and paying someone right from the beginning isn’t an option). But it’s all about organising and it’s great when it comes to learning new things.
7. What makes you keep doing it? What do you love about what you do?
I love the fact that it’s my own thing. Clients love knowing that I am the person who comes to the meeting, looks after their PR activity, answers the phone and deals with any issues. I also love the fact that it’s my decision who I work with.
8. What are your top tips for aspiring PR consultants?
Plan everything. Make sure you feel comfortable to take the leap and go freelance. It’s not scary, it can be stressful as any other job, but if you know there are companies that want to work with you and you find the best way to earn more clients, go for it. It’s so rewarding.
9. What average rate do you charge your clients?
It’s difficult to say as there are smaller campaigns that clients want to do or bigger ones. There are a lot of things that affect the costs (e.g. short term/long term/targets/assets that need to be created).