I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristen Hinman. She works with celebrity status brands to get them more clients, patients, and customers. Her clients have been interviewed by the likes of Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Oz and featured on Good Morning America, Today, 20/20, Fox & Friends and more. Kristen is the founder of Peare Media, a digital agency which leverages and combines her background in PR and paid traffic management to generate new leads, opportunities and revenue streams for her clients.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
“Why does a plastic surgeon need a PR company?’ — This was the first question Barbara Walters asked me when I met her
I remember it vividly, we were in a New York City loft and I was in the middle of a ‘media storm’ with a client who was getting back-to-back national interviews on shows like Anderson Cooper, Dr. Oz, The View, 20/20, Steve Harvey and more.
The answer to her question? She wouldn’t know who my client was if not for the PR work we were doing — exposure is an extremely powerful tool for any brand. When the media storm died down, what I came to realize is that the journey doesn’t end with being known…it’s just the starting point. The agency I’ve created specializes in leveraging & sustaining that exposure into new opportunities.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
In 2019, my agency is going to impact 30,000 lives. I set this goal after a recent phone call….
About 40 days into working with a new client, he gave me a ring in the middle of the day.
This client helps people who have lost eyes due to genetics and also due to trauma or accidents, and he was calling to tell me he had just spoken to a new patient who found him because of the online marketing & digital PR strategy we launched for him.
My client was so excited to get the opportunity to help a new patient, someone who had been struggling and in pain for years, this fact alone meant the world to him.
What this client does, his work truly has the power to significantly change people’s lives.
That specific call made me realize that my business, background in PR and the services our agency offers has the ability to impact not only my client’s business but the lives of people all around the country.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first launched Peare Media, I reached out to some of my past clients to introduce my new agency and started working with a few of them right away.
I ended up discounting my services at such an extreme rate that (I realize now) I was positioned for failure. They didn’t value what I was doing because the price didn’t reflect the value.
That was a lesson I only had to learn once!
And in fact, the same principle now translates into the work we do with our clients.
We position our clients’ brand, practice, business in a position of authority and online celebrity. They are not competing on the basis of price or discounts. By the time my clients’ ideal clients/customers/patients contact or call them, their customer already knows the value of their service.
The biggest mistake any business can make is to discount the value of their product or service in the eyes of their customers.
How did you scale your business to profitability? How long did it take? Please share the steps you took.
I realized early on that it seems to be an ingrained part of the marketing & PR industry for agencies to offer a “free consultation” or to develop a free proposal to send.
I found that whenever I sent proposals, the knowledge I would pour into that “free” proposal had taken me years of intense learning, trial and error and hands-on application to acquire. I could easily spend hours preparing the proposals, then “hope” that the potential client would say yes.
I knew there had to be a better way to protect my time while still providing immense value for everyone I came into contact with.
I began charging a fee for a marketing analysis This allowed me to perform a big picture overview of a brand’s marketing and PR efforts — what was successful and how they could then get from where they are to where they wanted to be.
By implementing this paid analysis structure, it automatically qualified those who were serious and interested, allowed me to really spend the time to put together a detailed plan and it allowed me to give them an unbiased view of what needed to be done to take their brand to the next level.
My business also took off. I could focus on finding clients who valued my expertise and who were willing to invest in the strategy.
And we now implement this same strategy for our clients who charge for consultations.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m about to launch a PR campaign for Instagram influencer and top nationwide speaker, Yahya Bakkar.
A common misconception about PR is that you have to have a book or a TV show to get booked. Yes, this can help as it’s a “timely” hook of something that is about to come out.
However, with the right hook, messaging and credentials — PR is attainable for every brand, every person and at every level (local, regional, digital, national).
Throughout my career, I’ve taken brands from unknown to known time and time again.
Remember that the key is then to continually leverage that exposure.
Yahya will be a great case study, with 27.5K+ followers, he’s already built up the credibility and influence in the digital world, now we’ll leverage his expertise in more traditional media.
Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?
Learn what makes a GREAT PR story! PR is all about storytelling and framing it in a way that resonates with the media.
There are 3 elements that make up ANY good PR story
- Importance of the Story
When you can master this and the art of telling a story in a way that highlights your message…that is when the sky’s the limit!
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Whenever you approach networking or sales, approach it from a service standpoint. How can you best serve the person you’re speaking with? What value can you provide that will resonate with them?
I’ve found when you start conversations from this point of view, whether it’s networking or anything else, people automatically sense that and naturally are attracted to you.
By the time they ask you “what do you do” — I think you’ll find you’re already halfway (or more) to working together.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
The Client Converter podcast — Host Michael Alaniz is a friend and mentor of mine.
As an agency owner himself, he highlights real and relevant issues that a lot of agency owners face as they grow.
He explains how he’s navigated them and brings on experts to give real-life examples of how they navigated similar situations.
The advice he gives is invaluable for any agency owner or business owner looking to grow quickly and profitably
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’d love for businesses and brands to keep asking — Who can I best serve by the work I’m doing?
Everyone has a superpower, something they know how to do better than anyone.
Whether you own a business or not, I think it’s important to remember that when your mission is to help others in a truly authentic way, that is when you can make the biggest impact on both your life and the life of those around you.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
FIND A MENTOR OR COACH: As a former professional volleyball player, I think the world of coaches and mentors. They’ve been instrumental not only in my athletic career but in business. Find someone who’s already been where you want to be. Work with people who have different strengths and particularly someone who can point out your blind spots. It is, in my opinion, the fastest way to grow
NEVER ASSUME YOU HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS: As the leader of my agency, I never want to assume that I know everything. I value all the opinions and insight of my employees and colleagues. The wealth of their experiences combined with my own make us stronger.
IDENTIFY. TEST. REFINE: So often people are looking for the “magic bullet” when it comes to marketing or PR. The truth is, there isn’t one! What works is following these 3 simple rules. And not only does it work in marketing, paid advertising, PR, etc….You can live your life by this!
Identify what you’d like to do based on data. Test it for 60–90 days. Refine. REPEAT!
NEVER STOP LEARNING: The day I stop learning will be the day I’m in the ground. I always follow my curiosity. Why did that work? What was that? Tell me more about what you just said? I love learning from the experience of others, I love hearing feedback from my clients and people I come into contact with.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: When you launch a business, if you’re a parent, really no matter what you do… The only thing you have at the end of the day is your health. I find when that falls to the wayside — If I don’t intentionally eat well, move my body, spending time with my family, get some alone time — everything else suffers!