I recently made a big career shift into the world of freelance marketing and it’s been an exhilarating and pretty steep learning curve ever since. At times it’s even been a little daunting but I’m putting that down to a commonly shared fear – the fear of the unknown. That’s why I think it’s important that I share my insights and learnings with you lovely lot.
I’ve spent close to ten years working in-house in a range of interesting and creative marketing roles. Over the years, I have learnt a lot about the various different disciplines and I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to further myself as a Marketer. But, I’ve always felt a piece of the puzzle was missing! I would find myself questioning certain internal processes and whether they were the most effective approaches, whilst noting to myself how I would do things if I were ever running the show. I am sure many of you have found yourself in seemingly pointless meetings in which nothing is really resolved but that successfully leave you short on time to crack on with the work which you really need to be doing. Frustrating isn’t it!? Well, do you want to know a secret? It doesn’t need to be like that! It takes courage and focus, but you can break free from the corporate safety net and become a ‘free range’ professional marketer, if you want to! You may even find yourself contributing to the work of amazing professional marketing groups like the Williams Group PR.
To give you some context, I grew up deep in the depths of the UK countryside. I was surrounded by my self-employed family, so perhaps I was always destined to work for myself, who knows, but one thing is certain, going freelance is the most freeing move that I have ever made. Looking back, I wonder what stopped me from doing it before and the answer is that I couldn’t picture what life would look like. So if you are considering taking the plunge, here is a glimpse into what a day in my life as a Freelance Global Marketing Consultant is actually like – warts and all. Even if you aren’t looking to make that move, perhaps it will open your eyes to the benefits of working with a team of external freelancers, because we are a hard working dedicated bunch, as you will soon discover!
Ok – here goes…
6:15: The alarm goes. My boyfriend’s up and about getting ready for his commute into work. I snooze happily.
6:30: A steaming coffee is placed on the bedside cabinet, a kind but subtle hint that it’s time to actually get up! We chat sleepily about our plans for the evening. These can range from meetings about mending the communal fence in the garden, to attending the black tie dos.
7:00: I’m up and showering, pondering over inspiration for my latest blog.
8:00: My MacBook and I head into london where I have (very kindly) been provided with an office to work from by my main retained client. I’m planning out my day in my head as I commute. I check my phone for emails from global clients who may have emailed whilst I was sleeping, I check for social media updates, industry news and Time Out – just for good measure.
8:45: I arrive at the office, croissant in hand and settle down to planning out a posting plan for a client’s social media channels. I plan to include the amusing outtakes that are bound to happen from our product shoot later.
10:00: I check in with my main client for a quick meeting in his office. Whilst perching on a giant inflatable ball, I update him on the latest actions/ outcomes/ budget pertaining to the briefs I’m working on.
10:30: I crack on with obtaining some national PR coverage by contacting journalists and editors with potential news stories and sending out press releases and option sheets.
11:00: I take a quick break and treat the office to some home cooked salted-fudge cupcakes and a round of tea. Mmmm!
11:10: I respond to a client’s email organising a conference call for next week. It’s an exciting project involving global Social Media outreach to a range of creative institutions. I carry out some further research and prep for the call.
12:00: Photo shoot ‘o’ clock. Time to work with the in-house creative guys in the photo studio they have set up. I give direction on the poses needed for press releases and option sheets. This is great fun! I make sure we get those funny outtakes for use on social channels later.
1:00: Lunch time! I pop out to the local café whilst considering my priorities for the afternoon ahead.
1:30: I get sign off on the social content I’ve proposed and post/schedule it accordingly.
2:00: I have an insightful meeting with the head of sales to get his input on the marketing plan I’ve put together. I arm him with heavy marketing artillery to take into his key account buyers.
2:45: I work on the logistics of a PR stunt involving giant bouncy balls! (That’s all I can say and shhh it’s a secret!)
4:00: I contact the organisers of a little start up to look into what’s involved in us attending this cool new blogger event.
4:20: My international client is now awake and I receive a few emails regarding a social media advocacy program we are running.
4:45: I receive a call from a national paper requesting high resolution lifestyle images for an award winning product I’ve been promoting. Hurrah – a PR win!
5:00: I brief in the creative team for the amends required on the TV advert to test out on social next week. I then update my client hours log for the day.
5:30: I am ushered out the office to enjoy the rare opportunity of some British sun, so I head to a café to write this blog! I hope it’s been insightful for you!
Later this evening: I have a call with my business adviser. We touch base every few weeks to make sure I’m taking the right steps towards the more boring side of being freelance. It’s not all fun and games you know!