I started freelancing a few years ago after building up over ten years of in-house experience in marketing, business dev, advertising, and content writing. I studied Media in college, followed by digital marketing a few years later.
I always wanted to be a writer, so content marketing was the perfect fit for me!
My sales experience also came in pretty handy initially when it came to pitching for work, and I never really had a problem with identifying and approaching potential clients.
After about a year of freelancing fulltime for a number of clients, I was approached by Buckets.co to work on their content and social. I focused primarily on Buckets for the next three years, and I definitely became a huge remote work advocate during that time!
Buckets is an online task management platform, so it's an excellent tool for collaborating with clients and team members across the world when you work remotely.
I'm still working on content for Buckets alongside working with the same team on another new startup project. That takes up the bulk of my time at the moment, but I have a few other clients whom I write content for on an ad-hoc basis.
I tend to break my day up into blocks of time, and It all depends on what I have going on that week. I think the real perk of remote work is the flexibility that it offers in that regard.
One thing I do every morning is log into Buckets to check my Notifications and see what I have scheduled on my "to do" list for that day, and each evening when I finish up I'll make sure I have a list ready to go for the next day.
That's what keeps me on track the most, as I don't consider my work day complete until I've finished my list and moved it over to the "done" pile!
There's definitely a lot of self-discipline and time management involved. I'm generally at my best in the afternoons and evenings, but I always work around my own energy levels each day, and I'll often do an early morning to give myself the evening free for other plans.
I've actually been trying to schedule my less creative work for early mornings lately so that I free up time to get my other work finished earlier in the day too. My ability to do any kind of creative work at 8 am is usually zero point zero (much like my ability for conversation! :) ).
That said, I work mainly with peeps over in Seattle, so my preference for working evenings tends to work out pretty well with that timezone.
I work from home, and I have a workspace set up in the living area, but you'll often find me on the sofa with the laptop too.
I set a specific block of time for each task I'm working on, and I always try to focus on one task at a time.
I'm easily distracted so I usually have my phone on silent, and I'll only check emails a few times a day.
I'm usually available on Slack but I'll set myself to "away" if I'm finding it hard to focus and a task requires my full attention.
I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with working remotely.
It allows me to design my day around how I work best.
I can't imagine being restricted to a Mon-Fri 9-5 office environment now, which is crazy because I did it for 10+ years! I can get so much more done in a few hours now than I would often have got done in a whole day in an office.
I think that how you manage your energy is just as important as how you manage your time and working remotely allows me to work in tandem with my natural productivity peaks.
Ease of travel is another massive perk too. I've traveled a fair bit and lived abroad for a few months at a time whilst working remotely, and it's definitely something I'll never take for granted.
There isn't actually anything I dislike about remote work!
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I use Buckets.co every day for managing my tasks, brainstorming with other peeps, and collaborating on projects.
It's my main work hub, and I can't imagine organizing my work via any other medium now. I also use Slack on a daily basis to communicate with the team I'm working with.
One thing I hear a lot is, "how do I get a remote job?" However, that's not the right question. The question you need to ask is, "how can I use my existing skills to work remotely?"
So, if you're just starting out, my advice is to work with what you know and go from there. Look at it like any other job/career choice and search for work you're passionate about and experienced in, not just the fact that it's remote-based.
In terms of the actual work, I think you need to have a strong degree of self-awareness in relation to your strengths and weaknesses and be brutally honest with yourself at all times.
You have to be comfortable and confident about working autonomously and managing your own schedule, so it's really important to focus on building your time management skills.
Communication is another big one. It's more important to over-communicate than run the risk of getting your wires crossed or be misunderstood (this is so common when you're communicating solely online!). As silly as it sounds, an emoticon at the end of a message can go a long way.
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At RemoteHabits we're always trying to improve our interviews, what question should we have asked Grainne Logue?
For over ten years, Grainne Logue has helped brands find their voice and communicate with their target audiences. Currently, she is a content manager at Buckets.co, an organization and collaboration platform.
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Meryl K. Evans is skilled at creating a home office that leads to remote work flexibility. See her advice for creating a successful workspace, and hear about her journey into freelancing.
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