In today's business environment, working from home or a remote location is more common than ever. In the realm of marketing, this is a reality for many freelance marketers. But working under your own terms can have its benefits and pitfalls. Here are three keys to succeeding at freelance marketing:
Working with various companies and clients can pull you in many directions. It's up to you to decide what projects and tasks deserve more attention than others. Obviously, deadlines play an integral role in determining what projects need to get done ASAP. However, sometimes project deadlines overlap and fall within the same time frame. In those cases, you have a couple options:
One way is to organize your clients/projects according to their financial weight (i.e. how much they pay you). This makes is fairly easy for most marketers as some clients pay more than others. In this format, you take care of your largest financial contributors first. The rest falls into place.
Another option is to base your priority list on client potential and the scope of your agreement with them. For instance, you may have a small project with a brand that has great potential for growth and a larger project with a client that's seeking short-term services.
If you truly see potential for more business in that smaller project, dedicate more attention and time to it. The larger project will pay you more but may not bring back more business. Use caution when using this method and thoroughly evaluate each client prior to making your decisions.
Once you have your priorities in place, you'll need to manage your time accordingly. Working from home, Starbucks or any other mobile workplace can come with distractions. You may be tempted to check Facebook, go off on a web surfing tangent or simply gaze off into the abyss. There's nothing wrong with taking breaks but you definitely need to do it in moderation.
The simplest way to adopt a sound time management plan is by setting and reviewing a schedule each day. There are a ton of tools you can use to do this. Whether your more of a pen-and-paper kind of person or a tech-savvy app user, you can find something to schedule your day. This should be the first thing you do when you wake up for work.
Like I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with taking a break. So, schedule time to do things that don't involve work, preferably activities that relieve stress and promote relaxation. For example, after a few consecutive hours of working on a task, take a 15-30 minute break. Physically leave your computer to remove yourself from the work environment.
Go for a walk, grab a snack, check your social media pages (you know you want to) and do anything to free your mind from work. Anything that improves your mood will translate to more effective productivity when you get back to work.
Freelance marketers are usually one-man teams that must primarily rely on themselves to succeed. That's why self-motivation is such an important part of this profession. Give yourself a reason to give maximum effort each and every day.
There are a few exercises you can do every morning and throughout the day to stay motivated:
- Write a personal goal you want to accomplish that day
- Watch your favorite motivational movie scene on YouTube
- Listen to music that moves you and use that energy to boost your mood
- Think of any time you've been doubted or have doubted yourself
- Take a moment to remind yourself why you do what you do
There's plenty more you can do to channel positive energy into your day. Just make sure that you don't get complacent and allow that to affect your productivity. Remember: This is your career and your life. What you do with it is in your hands.