Who are you and what business did you start?
I am Brittany Bennett and I own a wellness and lifestyle PR agency in Sydney. The agency is called Bennett PR and we have been operating since 2015 working with the likes of Flow Athletic, Vitruvian, 28 by Sam Wood, Tim Robards, Luke McLeod from Soul Alive, Aussie Sprouts, Fabio, Joe Wicks, Red Paddle Co and more.
In addition, as we love working with experts, I have created experthub.com.au which is a platform that connects experts with journalists for a fraction of the price of a PR campaign. Having this platform, in addition to our outstanding PR clients enables us to have experts to answer pretty much any questions that journalists may have for their articles.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I was in the fashion industry for 8 years prior to getting into PR. I moved to New York at the age of 16 and from there spent my time working between NY, London, Paris, Milan mainly. I decided to move back and have a change because I felt that I never had control over my life or my schedule as that was always organised and decided for me.
I moved back to Australia and had no idea what I wanted to do career wise. I was still working in the fashion industry for a while, but I also spent any free time that I had going to work with my friends so I could see what that did for a living.
I eventually managed to land an internship at Social Diary and within 3-months I had a couple job offers, so that’s how I got into PR.
I really didn’t like it at first, it was a very negative industry, which was similar to the one that I came from, however over the years I discovered a niche that I do enjoy and all of the people I work with these days are absolutely lovely.
Expert Hub came about because I was getting so many requests for expert led content, and if I didn’t have the expert on hand I’d go looking for the right expert for the story. I create expert hub so I could have all of my unique experts there ready for articles that we’re relevant to them.
Describe the process of launching the business.
To be honest, I set out to launch a different business, and ended up with a PR company. My goal was to have a wellness website, however while I was creating the site, Ben Lucas and Talitha Cummins from Flow Athletic asked me to do the PR for Flow Athletic. I put all of my time into the work and due to the results I have had clients coming to me ever since.
At one point I had 16 clients by myself.I was so exhausted so I had to hire 3 people in one go which was extremely daunting but had to be done. That round of staff definitely taught me some important lessons for when it comes to managing people. My next round of staff however have been with me for the past 3-4 years and I couldn’t be happier with them.
My big takeaways are:
– Take the time to train up your team. They can’t help you if they don’t know what they are doing. Don’t expect people to be able to read your mind
– Invest in a book keeper early. I spent thousands fixing up all of the mistakes I had made in my books
– Hire good people. Yes it is important that they are proactive, but as long as they are teachable, having a good personality around you is better than having someone who is good, but brings down the energy in the office
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Do a good job. Clients come to us because they are already familiar with our work. I always put my existing clients ahead of anyone who is enquiring about working with us as that is how you retain the clients you have, and new clients who want to work with you see your commitment to those who you have on board and will usually respect it.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are great, October is always a fun month for PR as the spring/ summer campaigns start in Australia. Our future will be similar, but we will put a little more focus on ExpertHub.com.au. My goal with this company has been to make enough money to keep everyone on a good wage, but to not have too much work that myself and my staff are exhausted and unhappy
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Working 16 hours days is less productive than you think. If you get sick, you will have months if not years of recovery to do and it doesn’t lead to you living your best life.
If you are not great at something, hire someone to do it if you have the means to. My book keeper and accountant have been game changing for me
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Email, social media, Google drive
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Tim Ferris, How I Built This, Shoe Dog, The Four, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Laif Babin
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
A plan is helpful, however keep revisiting it and be open to changing it. Try to save up as much money as you can, even after you have started the company, as when you have staff a rainy day fund is very helpful. If you can put yourself on a salary, do it as it will save you from spending more than you should through the company.
Where can we go to learn more?
www.bennettpr.com.au, www.experthub.com.u, https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittany-bennett-1980765b/