21
Aug

Back to Work: Future plans, a wedding and realisations

Today’s my first day back after a glorious two weeks off so feeling re-energised I thought it only fitting to do a quick update on what’s been happening and what the next few months hold. Here’s what I’d like to tell you about…

Marriage!

Of course my first proper two weeks off in two years could only be for one thing… a wedding! Our wedding to be exact. Jim and I have been together for around seven years and got engaged last June. Last weekend saw 60 of our closest friends and family join us for a two-day celebration out in Sudbury where we tied the knot and had a big party! Weddings aren’t for everyone these days but for us it truly was the perfect celebration. We ignored the traditions we didn’t want (not staying together the night before, having bridesmaids & ushers, having the party on the same day as the ceremony) and as such, I honestly didn’t find it a stressful experience in the slightest. Instead, we got to spend an entire weekend with the people we love the most and have committed to each other in an amazing way. I’m excited to see what our next chapter together holds…

Reflecting on the year so far

Having time off for me is always an eye-opener. It’s so easy to always get stuck in the day-to-day and organising a two-day wedding, alongside a busy quarter and all of the other strains of work life, meant I was dangerously close to burn out before my time off. As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future business model.

In freelance, when things are busy, there comes a point where you have to choose between either taking less work on, or taking on more people on to help you. I had a fantastic assistant working with me over the summer and it taught me a lot. Firstly, that I do need regular help. Not so much with client work but with admin, research, uploading blogposts, housekeeping social channels and so on. At the same time, it also made me realise that I never want to become a marketing agency. That is no detriment to other marketing agencies and some people will probably think I’m stupid for not wanting to grow as big as I can, as fast as I can. But  an agency is not what I’m all about. I want to work with a select number of really great clients, do amazing work and maybe have an assistant to help me along the way. I have also moved into a space where I am hiring people to work inside client organisations, where I oversee the strategy and workload from a distance without needing to be there full time, which seems to suit everyone really well. No huge, expensive marketing hierarchy, yet all of the benefit of having an in-house exec and someone looking at the bigger picture from a distance, every single week. It works. Which leads me onto…

Future plans

Alongside my client work which I love, I also have some big future plans. For a start, I want to get back to daily blogging again and have been laying some foundations to make that work. I hope I can stick to it and not be a big flake – so feel free to hold me accountable to it! I have plans for an event I want to run, for small businesses who can’t afford and probably don’t need to pay big marketing constancy fees. I have two ideas for workshops. One for brand personas and one on content marketing development. My aim is to become a hub of information for marketers in-house who may be struggling with an area, or want to up-level their own skills and also to discuss freelance life honestly and openly with anyone who thinks it might be a possible career choice. All the studies say that’s where we’re going and in marketing in particular, freelance seems the way forward. From the inside, I know how accessible it is, yet I also know from the outside how difficult it can look. I hope to help break it down and change that perception.

What I’m working on

If you want to have a nose at how my day-to-day looks, my biggest projects over Q3-4 from a client perspective include:

  • A digital marketing strategy for a SaaS-targeted publisher looking to help those working within the SaaS market at management level
  • Continued work with some of my oldest and most awesome clients; a digital signage product, an event technology empire and a creative event agency
  • Location-based content strategy roll-out for one of my all time favourite brands (hint – it’s dog-related!)
  • Social media support for a cool creative agency specialising in the retail sector
  • A digital plan of action for a SaaS tool looking to disrupt an age-old industry

That’s it for now folks, but for questions, requests or just a hello, I’m always on @bethgladstone.