A Day in the Life of a Content Marketer During the Pandemic: Challenges and Tips

Working at Home with Cat on Laptop

I’ll always remember the evening that every part actually modified.

It was my spouse’s birthday, March 11th. I took her out for dinner at a beautiful restaurant in South Minneapolis, and for a couple of blissful hours, over unique cocktails and scrumptious meals, we unplugged from the loudening noise of a worrisome exterior world.

After we walked out of that restaurant, there could be no extra tuning out.

Stepping out from the darkly lit constructing, I regarded down at my telephone, and tried to course of the sudden rush of beautiful headlines:

WHO declares world pandemic. NBA suspends season. Trump addresses the nation. Tom Hanks has coronavirus. Tom Hanks!

It all occurred on the similar day, like a floodgate bursting. And the ensuing deluge has since uprooted nearly each sense of normalcy we as soon as knew. Around that point, I ended going into work, as did most others round the nation. I haven’t gone again since, save for the odd journey to water a plant or document a video in an empty workplace.

TopRank Marketing has been in WFH mode for greater than 5 years now. Sorry, did I say years? Months. Needless to say, I do know we aren’t alone, which is why I believed I’d supply a have a look at my typical day as a content material marketer in the (ugh) “new normal,” and share some useful issues I’ve realized.

We’re all figuring this out as we go.

Overcoming New Daily Challenges as a Content Marketer During the Summer of COVID

I depend myself as a fortunate man, for a lot of causes. One of them is that I can do my job fairly frictionlessly from dwelling. While I miss seeing my coworkers, and there are newfound challenges (as I’ll talk about), I’m capable of keep productive. In half that’s as a result of I’ve developed my very own private options to those WFH hurdles. Maybe some of them may help you.

Getting Going in the Morning

I’m not what one would name a “morning person.” Generally I’m somewhat groggy and cloudy after waking up. In this respect, going into the workplace was all the time useful for me – the routine of showering, getting dressed, prepping some breakfast and espresso, and hopping into the automotive was inherently awakening.

I can’t say I take all these steps on a typical morning anymore. For a whereas, it was robust, getting in the mindset of touring from bed room to lounge, and all of the sudden coming into Work Mode. But what I’ve discovered useful is utilizing the morning as a bit of private zen time. Unless I’ve early conferences, I’ll often rouse myself regularly, pour some espresso, scroll Twitter, and dimension up my day. I’ll undergo my emails, prioritize my duties, and test in with account managers. This helps me construct momentum towards optimum mid-day productiveness.

Takeaway: Work/life stability could be robust throughout these occasions. (It’s typically cited in surveys as one of the greatest challenges for full-time distant staff.) Don’t power your self to immediately flip a swap. Find a snug routine that works for you.

Managing Distractions and Finding the Zone

Being in the workplace can convey its personal set of distractions, however there are some distinctive ones related to working from dwelling. For many individuals, creating a designated workspace round the home is useful. Personally, I dwell in a small condo with my spouse (who’s additionally working from dwelling), and all of our constructing’s frequent areas have been closed, so discovering our personal house could be a problem.

There aren’t any simple solutions to this one. Folks who’ve youngsters dwelling all day have it a lot worse than me. Especially in artistic pursuits like planning and creating content material, it’s key to search out a zone, and the disruptions of screaming kiddos or a development employee banging away exterior could be anathema with regards to getting issues performed.

The foremost factor I might advise is that this: embrace asynchronous work to the extent potential. This mainly refers to working round your personal schedule somewhat than these of others. For instance, if there’s no well timed want for me to work on one thing throughout the day, and my spouse has conferences all through the afternoon, possibly I’ll put aside a few hours in the night to dive in.

Takeaway: Flexible work is changing into the new norm. Free your self from the constrictions of a 9-to-5 workday and decide a schedule that facilitates your finest work (whereas nonetheless being there on your teammates and purchasers as wanted).

“Overcome WFH distractions by embracing asynchronous work to the extent possible.” @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #WFHtips Click To Tweet

Communicating with Colleagues and Clients

In Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report 2020, when respondents have been requested about their greatest battle with working remotely, there was a two-way tie for first place:

  • Collaboration and communication
  • Loneliness

No shock, as these responses mainly tie again to the similar final draw back of working away from our coworkers: disconnection and isolation. Collaboration is important to producing the finest work potential, as I depend on the skills and smarts of my teammates to boost my very own efforts.

There is not any option to replicate the power and natural spontaneity of working in the bodily proximity of your coworkers. My finest suggestion is discovering different methods to coordinate and talk. Don’t depend on only one channel. Slack is sweet, and Zoom is sweet, however each may cause fatigue when overdone. Try completely different strategies of collaborating, like producing concepts with a teammate concurrently in a Google Doc, and even leaping on the good ol’-fashioned phone.

One thing more: carve out “do not disturb” zones. When you’re in the workplace, you may plug in your headphones and sign that you just’re focusing. Work together with your group to create related preparations in the WFH, the place that is much more ambiguous. You may even collectively determine on a constant portion of the day the place no conferences are scheduled and expectations for responsiveness are lowered (for us at TopRank, that is from midday to at least one each afternoon).

Takeaway: Maintaining constant and constructive communication is one of the hardest challenges for distributed groups. The finest option to foster distant collaboration is to … collaborate. Work collectively to develop practices and protocols that finest align with everybody’s preferences.

“The best way to foster remote collaboration is to … collaborate. Work together to develop practices and protocols that best align with everyone’s preferences.” @NickNelsonMN #ContentMarketing #WFHtips Click To Tweet

Breaking Up the Day

Monotony could be one of the greatest inhibitors of creativity and productiveness in WFH settings. There is a pure selection that performs out once you go into the workplace: interacting with completely different folks, transferring between assembly rooms, possibly operating out for espresso or lunch as a change of surroundings. Working from dwelling, particularly at a time the place we’re all inspired to quarantine and keep away from public locations, can actually make the hours and days run collectively.

This results in one of the greatest advantages I’ve found in the altered routine. It is now a lot simpler to get out and get lively. Sure, we’d sometimes exit for group walks after we have been in the workplace, however with out the skill to bathe and change garments I wasn’t precisely going out for intense train. And by the time I obtained dwelling, I used to be typically too tuckered out.

Now, I discover myself getting out for a run, bike trip, or brisk stroll nearly each afternoon. It’s rejuvenating for physique and thoughts. One silver lining of this pandemic is its timing; not less than it struck as the summer time was getting underway, which has allowed me to take pleasure in a lot of good climate outside.

Takeaway: Find actions you take pleasure in to interrupt up your workday and preserve your thoughts recent. Whether it’s train, a interest, or just unplugging, working from dwelling supplies the freedom to step away. And embracing asynchronicity lets you distribute your work all through the day.

For Better or Worse… There’s No Place Like Home

Plenty of folks have been working from dwelling full-time for years, and have developed their very own habits and routines to optimize for it. But for a lot of, like myself and certainly many studying this, it’s one thing we’ve needed to study on the fly, out of necessity.

The excellent news is that our diversifications throughout this time will profit us and our firms going ahead. I’m in full settlement with our purchasers at Sococo, who make a robust evidence-based argument that distributed work is right here to remain and will ceaselessly be half of our actuality going ahead. Those people and groups that take this chance to innovate and create seamless distant work infrastructures can be poised to excel in the (groan) new regular.

With all that mentioned, after I’m lastly in a position to return into the workplace and see my coworkers head to head, I’m undoubtedly going to have an all-new appreciation for it.

For suggestions from one of these full-time distant staff who has been doing it a very long time, discover Lane Ellis’s submit from earlier this 12 months sharing distant working suggestions from a distance marketer.

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