Weekly Work Diary #2 – Productivity and Marketing Mentorship

Last week was a flurry of back-to-back meetings, strategy days and catch ups with clients, all peppered with a very inconvenient cough and cold. I have some weeks where I have to go to Costa to gain real human interaction and others where I barely have chance to open my laptop, because I’m out and about like some kind of marketing socialite. I quite like both! So here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

Morning productivity

I read this post on productivity last week and it felt like the end of a really good book where you finally found out that Snape was good all along (what!). The truth is, I’ve known for a while that this is my average productivity on any given day:

6am-8am – super productive, no stimulants required
10am-12pm – productive
12pm-4pm – pretty useless and in constant state of hunger
4pm-7pm – super productive
7pm – 10pm – can remain productive with tea/chocolate/music

Yet despite knowing this (on occasion I can roll out an entire day’s work by 12pm) I still feel guilty about getting up and sitting straight down at my desk.

Why?? This article proves that the first three hours of your day cannot be jeopardized for trivial matters like showers or working out.

So from now on I’m going to embrace my natural levels of productivity, which suggest I am both a morning person and a night owl (also known as Spanish). Then spend the afternoons reading, walking, learning, having meetings or doing tasks where less brain power is required.

Simple! Will let you know how it goes.

Mentor or mentee?

After seeing a surprisingly lovely flurry of new inquiries in January the last two weeks have given me one wish: please 2017 can I find a super duper marketing mentor. Here’s the thing; last year I had a couple of informal mentees who were either at the beginning of their marketing career or who were at the stage I was at a few years back. I didn’t do much for them, namely chewed the fat, directed them to a few tools or techniques etc etc. I enjoyed the process and even though the traffic was fairly one way I didn’t really mind. For me, there’s a huge difference between mentoring someone and giving away work/advice for free. It’s not that difficult to work out which is which.

So while I have some amazing friends in similar industries and some contacts made over the last fews years there’s no one I’ve been able to ask a couple of questions I’ve had recently like; how would you manage the process of working out a contract with this new client? And, here’s where I think their SEO needs work but I need to be 100% before I make them invest – can you give my proposal a glance over?

Maybe it’s my own self consciousness that feels cheeky for asking the contacts I do have for such obvious help, or maybe I just haven’t made that mentee/mentor relationship with anyone yet who’s older and wiser in the marketing/managing clients department.

Anyway, the more I write mentee the more convinced I become it isn’t a word so the moral of the story is, I need to get better at building relationships and asking for help. This freelance work can be a lonely old business at times.

Instagram and me

I wish I was better at Instagram. There I said it. Now don’t get me wrong, I can rock a client channel no problem and have grown quite large audiences in the past in the fields of beauty, events, tech and so on, but my own? I find it hideously difficult. I partly blame the non-glamour of working from home most of the week in a small un-glamorous town. In London you see Instagram opportunities more than you see black cabs, yet at home I have three choices of image inspos:

1. My dog – super cute but likes rolling in poop too much for 5 photos per day
2. My food – my boyfriend says my sweet potato curry looks like sick, potentially not the best choice
3. My office – desk facing the window: great view of the neighbours / bad lighting for Instagram!

Of course there’s also the factor that people just aren’t following/liking like they used to. I have to remind myself to like photos sometimes before scrolling endlessly onwards.

Despite these seriously first world problems (‘I can’t find pictures to put on Instagram that will make people jealous of me, poor me!’) I will be continuing with my Insta-cation on @gladstonedigital because practice makes perfect right?

Extra reading

Here are a few articles/presentations I enjoyed this week:

Me and Orla – My Biggest Wins of 2016

Danny Denhard – How to establish a solid digital strategy

Hannah Gale – Blogging Predictions for 2017

Mike McGrail – Hitting the Magic Tipping Point

Hope you all have a great week! Talk to me on Twitter if you like that kind of thing @bethgladstone