How to work remotely in marketing – the beginner’s guide

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Hello, guys and gals. I hope I’m finding you well, as well as one can be during a global pandemic with no fixed end in sight. Dark humor aside, because it’s all I have to keep myself from going crazy, I thought I’d tackle a subject that might be useful and of interest to my readers.

During this rocky context to say the least, both independent individuals and legal entities are forced to either change their jobs/the manner in which they operate completely or adapt the jobs they already have/offer to the current economic and social reality (via automatization, digitalization, changing department structures, moving entire operations online etc.).

This article, however, is more geared towards the average employee. For him/her, the change most often involves remote work, working from home or simply using the internet to generate new sources of money - permanent or side income.

If before the pandemic, you held down an office job, the transition won’t be as hard. If, however, you never worked as a freelancer before, you’re assessing your options and marketing so far has piqued your interest, there are things to keep in mind before venturing down this path.

I’ve worked from home for over 2 years now, I am a content marketer and if you’re interested in how to work remotely in marketing, here’s what you need to do:

How to work remotely in marketing – the basics

#1 Find or develop a skill that is marketable

Whether you've worked in a large, prestigious corporation or a small firm before, I’m sure you have at least a basic idea about your skill-set, what you’re good at and how you can employ the experience you already gained into a different environment, ergo this holy grail that we call the internet. One of the (very few) good things about the current global situation is that many of us are forced to reinvent the way we worked before and find new skills or improve the ones we already have.

To work remotely in marketing, you have to understand that this field contains so many different branches – some of the most sought-after skills are copywriting and content writing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), web design, marketing analytics and social media. Given the fact that, due to the corona virus outbreak, most teachers ventured into online teaching, webinars, virtual presentations and conferences, it won’t be hard to learn these skills from home. You only need some free time, which we all have plenty of right now.

Also, in case you weren't aware, you can now find courses from renowned universities online (such as Yale) on all things digital. Google even has a really easy to follow and comprehensive course on digital marketing that I completed, too and it's free. Anything from Google, even a virtual diploma, will look good on your resume and it'll boost your chances of finding work online and being one step ahead of other beginners.

Some other great places to start that I highly recommend are Udemy and Coursera.

#2 Find the job that suits you

If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and your job cannot be moved into the online world and you’re only now starting to work remotely in marketing, finding the right gig won’t be so hard, whether you’re looking for a side job for extra income or changing your career completely.

All you need is a good internet connection and patience – since there’s not much to do in a quarantine, why not learn some new things that could really help you when the dust settles down? Taking your skills and improving your expertise online can be done quite easily – get acquainted with websites such as Fiverr or Freelancer.com to start (these are freelancing platforms where you can find clients that demand a variety of skills which relate to the broad domain that is marketing).

For example, someone could request a logo ASAP - you can do it for cheap at first and increase your rates as you go along. Are you the next Hemingway? Someone could need a blog article and you might just be the man/woman for the job!

Also, these two websites (here and here) are my favorites for finding remote work as an online marketer – you can find anything from transcripts, translation and caps, to social media, digital copywriting and SEO. They are legit, you can work with a contract full time or do it occasionally for some extra money with the payment delivered via PayPal or bank account, safe and secure.

#3 Ask yourself what your personality is like…or ask a trustworthy friend to describe you.

Now that you’ve found your new job or successfully moved your day-to-day job to a work-from-home context, it’s time to get things going. Now, this might sound like a stupid or pointless suggestion to keep in mind in the first place but hear me out - personality largely determines your work style, what “works” for you (no pun intended) and what doesn’t.

Working remotely involves a very different context than an organized frame such as an office space or corporation. Or, in the wise words of Spiderman, only tweaked a little - „with great online power comes great online responsibility.”

In other words, you might be ecstatic at the prospect of more freedom or flexibility, but you’ll soon realize you need to find your footing again to succeed and finding an adequate remote work style starts with understanding your personality.

For example, introverts might not perform well with background music or constant interruptions from family members or pets when trying to get in the groove of working online in marketing, which largely involves creativity and focus. If you’re in this category, try to find a secluded place in your house that you can use as a home office. Some noise cancelling headphones might be helpful, too.

If you’re the opposite, an extrovert who misses the atmosphere from the office and their co-workers or someone who depends on a team environment to thrive and get a project going, this transition might be a lot harder, especially if you consider the social distancing and quarantine aspects that make social alienation feel even worse. To avoid feeling lonely, do use background music, regularly keep in touch with your family and friends and suggest collaborating with your team via Zoom or Skype. It doesn’t compare to seeing them in person but it’s better than nothing.

And, for the time being, regardless of which category you’re in, try to avoid the news – don’t pretend that the current reality is not happening, but don’t let it impede your work progress, either. No one’s going to get anything done if they’re in a constant state of stress.

#4 Separate work from home

It might seem so obvious but it’s a lot harder to put in practice than you might think. Separating work from home doesn’t just entail the physical aspect of it, such as turning an old desk into an office space or trying to keep your cat from climbing on the keyboard and ruining your mojo. It involves managing that same disconnect on a mental level, creating a space within your mind where you can be focused and productive.

To really get yourself there when there are outside disturbances and a world crisis that we’re currently living in might seem like utopia. But it is still feasible – before you put your mind to work, try to relax it.

Listen to music, meditate, drink a good cup of coffee, look out the window, breathe some fresh air, even if you’re stuck indoors. Do the best with what you have and inspiration will come, maybe later rather than sooner but don’t force it – even just managing to write a few e-mail newsletters is a start.

#5 Split/structure your work according to your natural biological rhythm

When you start to work remotely in marketing, you’ll soon discover and embrace what you perhaps missed in your day-to-day job and that is, as I mentioned earlier, flexibility. Working from home provides the flexibility a 9-5 schedule never did and marketing is one of those fields that truly require a space, mental and physical, which fosters creativity.

All the more reason why you should really make your circadian rhythm work for you – for example, if you know you’re extra focused in the mornings, leave the more mentally demanding aspects of marketing for that timeframe (analyzing website data, improving SEO rankings, doing research for an article etc.) and the more creative tasks for when you’re more relaxed and your brain really needs a break (such as your standard lunch break, only, of course, taken at home).

The best ideas for a headline or a slogan come when your brain gets the illusion that it’s no longer in full gear and it can take a breather. If, on the contrary, you’re a night owl, there’s nothing stopping you now from working in your pajamas, right?

#6 If you can, have an afternoon nap or take an exercise break

Even just 10 push-ups in between headlines and creative concepts is better than nothing. Don’t neglect the importance of keeping your body active and healthy for your mind’s wellbeing.

Exercise and regular sleep improve focus and those extra endorphins will give you a much needed morale boost, because, as I’m probably guessing right, you’re not currently feeling at your best as the world is in a complete lockdown (understandably so).

Conclusions

These are just some of my tips to work remotely in marketing that I hope beginners will find useful. Change is scary but I’m hoping you’ll find it easier to accept and adapt to if you have the right tools in place.

Things might seem very gloom right now and they are but a silver lining that you can take out of it is the following - these principles will help you work remotely in marketing in an efficient manner for the long-term, not just in times of crisis.

Good luck and may you have good health. Keep yourself safe, sane and productive, the best you can!

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