This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Hayley Smith of Boxed Out PR.
Boxed Out PR are specialists in lifestyle PR. Located in London, UK, Boxed Out was established in 2013 by Hayley Smith at the age of 24. Hayley has recently been included in the 2016 list of most inspiring female entrepreneurs in the UK. Hayley also founded FlowAid in late 2015, which is a campaign providing free sanitary products to homeless women, and will be doing a TED Talks in October.
1) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
I started the business working from home, so it was really important that I had a separate workspace. I converted the spare room, invested in a better computer and computer equipment. I also focused on marketing materials including business cards. At the time, I didn’t have the funds to develop a full website, so I set up a blog instead and focused on developing my social media platforms.
2) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I initially focused promoting my business in the local area and attended networking events and workshops. I also started working with a charity on a pro bono basis, which provided me with several business and networking opportunities.
3) How do you market your business?
My main platform is Twitter, which I am consistently active on. I have also joined a selection of closed groups on Facebook that have allowed me to promote Boxed Out PR, as well as find clients and educate myself further. I also attend as many networking events as possible. I am at the stage now, where I get a lot of business through referrals and word of mouth.
4) What does your usual day look like?
Everyday is different but I try to stick to routine as much as possible, as it allows me to get things done. I start the day off making lists for each client of what I need to do, and what I have to achieve that day. I also set press targets and social media targets for each day. I also create campaign ideas for each client. I try not to check emails constantly as it can be quite distracting. Usually, days are broken up by meetings or Skype calls, and I spend a lot of time on the phone to press contacts. I try to finish at 7pm unless I have an event that evening.
5) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
The importance of leveraging contacts, and that not every person is a client, but every person could potentially help my business. I also wish I knew about #journorequests on Twitter, this has helped so much!
6) Do you have a product/ program/ service you want to promote and what are the details?
I am the Owner of Boxed Out PR, specializes in lifestyle PR. I work with small businesses and implement services that are designed to market and grow their business.
7). What advice would you give someone who wants to be successful like you?
I wouldn’t say I am successful, but I my advice would be, don’t be complacent. I continue to push boundaries within PR and move forward with creativity and innovation to stay ahead of my competitors. Remaining complacent will stunt business growth and customer retention.
What is your favourite social media platform for PR?
I am a huge advocate for Twitter for business. I have found most of my clients through Twitter, as well as formed a strong network and developed contacts and opportunities for both clients and myself.
What is your strategy for achieving press in national publications?
Make connections. The best place to do this is on Twitter or direct call journalists. Don’t pitch your business directly, pitch a story angle related to what you do, and have a good subject line, that will make them want to open your email. When pitching for an online publication, think about what stories will get the most shares and likes.
Social Influencer Marketing or Celebrity Endorsement?
With the rise of social media marketing and the increasing popularity of Instagram and Snapchat, social influencer marketing is incredibly successful. They are more accessible, more affordable for smaller businesses and offer high engagement rates.
To connect further with Hayley, visit
Website: Boxed Out PR
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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