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IAM689- Founder Empowers Entrepreneurs To Be Public Relations Pros

Podcast Interview with Lexie Smith

From winning Shark Tank brands to some of Inc. Magazine's Fastest-Growing Companies in America, Lexie Smith, Founder of THEPRBAR Inc., has helped countless companies and entrepreneurs gain accelerated success through the world of Public Relations. With nearly 10 years of PR and Marketing experience, serving most recently as a VP of a high 8-figure industry disruptor, Smith has been recognized as top “20 in their 20s” and “Brilliant PR Experts under 30”. Her clients have earned accolades such as “Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Most Entrepreneurial Companies in America” and have been featured in outlets such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., CNN, the LA Times, Eater, USA Today, FabFitFun, The Huffington Post, Thrillist, ABC, CBS, Wired …and many many more.

In 2019, Lexie Founded THEPRBAR Inc. to establish a fun and inspiring brand that empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners to build their own empires.

  • CEO Hack: CRM- SalesForce, Hubspot and Pipedrive (2) Slack for program communication (3) Payment processing – Paypal and CMSmart
  • CEO Nugget: Pros and cons of hiring a PR agency to help you make a decision:  Pros – (1) Time-saving (2) First-tracks all your media connections  Cons – They are expensive and the media contacts are attached to the PR firm
  • CEO Defined: Firm understanding that you are a leader and guiding example

Website: http://www.theprbarinc.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theprbar_inc/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Theprbarinc/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzFTPWlp-vErfOCyM3bGHZQ?view_as=subscriber


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Transcription

 

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:30.19] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lexi Smith of THEPRBAR Inc. Lexi, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.70] – Lexie Smith

Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here.

[00:00:42.39] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Lexi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. From winning Shark Tank brands to some of Ink Magazine's fastest-growing companies in America, Lexi Smith founded THEPRBAR Inc. as help as help which has helped countless companies and entrepreneurs gain accelerated success through the world of PR. With nearly ten years of experience in public relations and marketing, serving most recently as a VP of a high eight-figure industry disruptor, Smith has been recognized as a top twenty in her twenties and a brilliant PR expert under thirty. Her clients have earned accolades such as Entrepreneur of the Year in the most entrepreneurial companies in America and have been featured in outlets such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, CNN, LA Times, Eater, USA Today, FabFitFun, The Huffington Post, Thrillist, ABC, CBS, Wired, and many, many more. At twenty-nineteen, Lexi founded THEPRBAR Inc. to establish a fun and inspired brand that empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners to build their very own empires. Lexi, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:49.00] – Lexie Smith

Yes. I'm ready.

[00:01:50.29] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit back to probably twenty-nineteen to hear a little bit more about your entrepreneur journey, how you got started with your business and your CEO story.

[00:02:01.00] – Lexie Smith

Yeah. Well, first off, thank you for that introduction. I can't help but blush a little over here. I get uncomfortable when the spotlight's turned on me. I'm usually the PR girl, so I'm behind the scenes. But, actually, it's a great segue. So what led me to THEPRBAR Inc. was my past. So as you heard, I've worked with a ton of different companies over the last ten years. It's a little over ten years now. And throughout that, I noticed a few things. First, I noticed that personally, I love working with entrepreneurs, and I love working with entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. I realized I didn't just have one love for one industry. I liked an eclectic mix.

Two, I noticed throughout all my various positions within these comp companies' context, that I've worked in agencies, I've worked in-house, and now I've worked in leadership and as a coach. Naturally, throughout all of those positions, I did find myself teaching, whether that was teaching entrepreneurs working for those on my staff, or what have you. So I found out that was my passion, and then I just needed to figure out a market need to mesh with that passion. And that's what I did, and that's how the PR bar was born. Twenty-nineteen, I started it kind of as a side hustle, and I took it full time just this year, twenty twenty. So it's my thing now.

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[00:03:23.00] – Gresham Harkless

Congratulations. And I  appreciate you for kinda rewinding that clock and kinda going through those things. Because I think so many times you've done so many awesome things that sometimes people hear that or think that you just woke up yesterday and then all that stuff was accomplished. But there definitely was a process and a lot of experience and kinda rolling up the sleeves, it sounds like, to get to where you are now and everything you're doing.

[00:03:42.59] – Lexie Smith

Definitely. And it wasn't always smooth sailing.

[00:03:46.30] – Gresham Harkless

It never truly is. Right? So, I know I touched on a little bit when I read your bio, you did as well. So could you take us through exactly, like, what you're doing for your clients and how exactly that process works?

[00:03:56.69] – Lexie Smith

With my clients now? With PRBAR?

[00:03:58.90] – Gresham Harkless

Yes. Absolutely.

[00:03:59.90] – Lexie Smith

So THEPRBAR was really created as an agency alternative. I found a need in the market for usually earlier-stage business owners who wanted PR but couldn't realistically afford it or didn't want to outsource. So the PR bar, I essentially high level am a coach, but I teach people how to increase their influence, impact, and revenue with PR. You can shorten that down to make more money with PR. The main way I do that is I have a signature program called Pop Fizz Clink, quick pause, the PR bar, and context.

If you go and look at my website or any of my social media channels, you'll see that it's a very intentional, cheeky brand for lack of a better word. All of my services are called the bar menu, for example. So it's all kind of in that theme. So it's fun. I like to have fun with it. But my signature program is called Pop Fizz Clink, and it's a ninety-day program where by the end of it, I essentially teach you how to rock the world of PR like a pro and make money with PR.

[00:05:05.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's definitely huge. And I think that the first time we connected, I mentioned that I loved how everything was kind of in alignment. I love the branding and everything like that and how I spoke, to, you know, people that are looking, you know, try to get their name out there. But I think it kinda sounds too like the goal is really to empower and kinda enlighten and inform the people that are looking for ways to do that and maybe not even sure what PR is and what way to kinda even turn to kinda get that.

[00:05:29.30] – Lexie Smith

Exactly. And what I have learned in the past year is how much of an education deficit there is on what truly is PR. So that's a big mission of mine, is to really educate entrepreneurs on what the heck it is, and why it is important for your business. Because it is so much more than just getting on TV shows, which is the most common, you know, answer that I hear.

[00:05:53.50] – Gresham Harkless

Right. Absolutely. And I think too, I don't know if you find that, a lot of people sometimes you have those entrepreneurs that are extremely humble, and sometimes they don't either think they have a story, even want to tell their story and they probably have to kinda work through that I imagine as well too.

[00:06:08.50] – Lexie Smith

Oh, that's huge. Yes. First off, not feeling that they're newsworthy. And then once they get past that, they have the confidence to step out into the spotlight, whether that be speaking on a podcast or eventually migrating to an on-camera persona. That takes a lot of mindset work in addition to the, you know, back background work of PR.

[00:06:33.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. The back office stuff. And that's why it's great that you have, you know, all that experience to be able to kinda speak to that because that helps, you know, on the people, give them confidence, of course, the knowledge and information they need to to get their name out there. So, you might have already touched on this, but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:54.30] – Lexie Smith

Yeah. That's a great question. I'll give you a couple of bullet-point answers. First, so like I said, my business model in general is an agency alternative. So that right there is one difference. Past that, when you then look into the online coaching space, what makes me different there? The end goal of my program is to have you confident to DIY and do it yourself. But during the program, I've coined I haven't coined it personally. I heard a term, now I use it, called DWI, which means done with you. So I'm highly collaborative. I'm a teammate to all my clients. I work really one-on-one and I work with them to get them to a point where they are confident to operate solo. So that's a little different. And then finally, when it comes to PR in general, I have a philosophy that there are really two types of PR. There's PR that's kinda fluff and for your ego, and then there's PR that converts. Right? That's focusing on an ROI, and I focus on that kind of PR. Now is there some ego and fluff that plays into that? Absolutely. But that that's something that makes me different is I really like to tie PR into a tangible driven result.

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[00:08:08.80] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes so much sense. And as you said, you know, kind of in the beginning, helping to drive that revenue and increase that kind of bottom line. And I had not heard of DWI, so I'm gonna give you full credit for that because I don't know who else I can give credit for, so feel free to take it. And, I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:08:35.70] – Lexie Smith

Is it okay if I fire off a few?

[00:08:37.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. Go for it.

[00:08:38.89] – Lexie Smith

I know that some people will know some, but I'm hoping by giving a few, there'll be a new one in there. First off, I'm huge into systems. So CRM-wise, when I worked for a larger company, we always used Salesforce and HubSpot, but Pipedrive is a newer one that I'm finding that is great for small businesses, and it's more affordable. So that's a CRM. I use Slack for all my program communication. For payment processing, I use PayPal, but I also use something called Samcart, samcart dot com, which is a really easy, fluid, single-page checkout. So if you're someone who's a service-based entrepreneur, look into that.

[00:09:20.60] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. I love all those hacks. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to hop in in a time machine, you might even tell your younger business self.

[00:09:33.50] – Lexie Smith

So one thing I thought might be helpful for your audience is some pros and cons that help them decide if they wanna outsource or DIY because there are pros and cons to both, and I'm just gonna go over a couple of them. So pros to hiring an agency. Well, first off, it's gonna be a huge time saver. Right? Because they're doing it for you. Another pro is it's going to fast-track all of your media connections because you should be hiring a firm that has those connections in place. On the flip side, two cons. One, they're really expensive. I don't think people really understand how much of a financial commitment a PR firm can be. And then second, if that doesn't work out, that firm, the second they are no longer your firm, those media contacts go with them.

So you're kind of left back at square one. Which goes to the flip side of one of the big pros of doing it yourself is you own those contacts. Those become personal assets, so that's a huge pro DIY. It's also far more affordable for businesses, especially in early growth mode. Con, it's going to take more time because you're the one that's physically doing the pitching and physically building those relationships. So there's more on both sides but those are just a few to let people think about. In the best case scenario, I always say, you would start doing it yourself, then when you have enough capital bring someone on in-house, and then your final stage is to have someone in-house and affirm. So it's kind of the three-tier progression. So that's my PR advice, one of them. Little Lexi advice, feed your past Lexi.

[00:11:14.00] – Gresham Harkless

Okay.

[00:11:14.70] – Lexie Smith

I know that personally, I've had struggles over the issue or over the years and understanding where to invest. And I would say the best place to invest first is somehow in bettering yourself. Whether that be it could be as simple as it's gonna look different for everyone. Investing in yourself when it comes to mental health, or it could be professionally investing in yourself by hiring a coach. I say every coach has a coach, I have a coach. But anytime I've invested in myself or bettered myself, then it eventually comes back twofold and helps everyone around me. Right? Because if I'm a better me, I can help others. I'm a better professional, and I can make more capital and then help others. So investing in yourself is a good one for me.

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[00:12:01.89] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're open to having a different quote-unquote CEO on the show. So, Lexi, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:14.10] – Lexie Smith

Okay. So I found a quote last week, and I'm gonna read it so I don't butcher it. But it reminded me of this question. And the quote is by Marian Anderson, and she said, leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it. So basically, to me, this means that as a CEO or founder, you should always have a firm understanding that you are first and foremost a leader. So, you are the guiding example. You are the primary individual who is responsible for those that you employ. So I know that I've always looked up to CEOs who, during times of financial distress, have taken a personal pay cut before they ever let it touch or affect an employee, which is tough. But I think the job of CEO or founder, while it's the toughest, it's also the most rewarding because you have the power to affect people's lives. And within that position, I think you should lead accordingly. So that's kinda high-level, but that's how it resonates with me.

[00:13:22.79] – Gresham Harkless

I love that, and I think that sometimes, you know, I'll say we forget why we're doing everything we're doing and, you know, in order to make the impact to see those things and, you know, obviously, the people that, you know, purchase our products and services. But I think, you know, even as you talked about and given that example of even the people that are around us, our teams, and the people that we can support. And we often will forget the way that we can make an impact, especially during difficult times where, you know, there's a lot of frustration, fear, so many things that are happening. Sometimes by just doing those, you know, quote-unquote small acts, it makes a huge impact, and it basically gets back to why we're doing what we're doing. And I think I love that perspective and that definition.

[00:14:03.00] – Lexie Smith

Yeah. Me too. But it's because I said it.

[00:14:05.70] – Gresham Harkless

There you go. I hope you will love it. But, oh, I definitely appreciate that definition. Like I said, I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional. You can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best we can get a hold of you. Find out about all the awesome programs services and products you have as well too.

[00:14:25.50] – Lexie Smith

Yeah. I would say, you know, if anyone has any questions about anything that I brought up, I could speak forever so I'm gonna cut myself off. My website is the p r bar inc dot com. You can follow me on social at the P R BAR underscore Inc. I'm always open to chatting and collaboration. At the end of the day, I don't think there's ever one right way to do something. That's why I like to give people, you know, both sides of the spectrum. Just because I'm not an agency, that doesn't mean I'm anti-agency. I've worked in agencies. I just think there are solutions that best-fit entrepreneurs at certain types or times in their business. So, yeah. To learn more about me and what I do, again that's THEPRBAR Inc. dot com or you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook. And yeah.

[00:15:14.20] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Thank you so much again, Lexi. We will have the links and information in the show notes, but you're absolutely right. I think it seems like one of the big things that is happening is that consumers are a lot more informed. And I think that they're looking for information and looking to know about both sides of the coin so that they can make the best decision, you know, for their organization and their company. So I appreciate you obviously for painting that picture for us to give us both sides of the coin so that, you know, we can be informed and make the best decisions. I think people like that get ahead, a lot more. So thank you so much again for your time and all the awesomeness, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:15:46.50] – Lexie Smith

Thank you. You too. Thanks for having me.

[00:15:49.00] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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