Meryl K. Evans
Digital Marketer
May 05, 2019

Interview with Meryl, a digital marketer and master of home office organization

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.

How did you get started with remote work?

After having my second child in 1999, I enrolled in an online program at New York University to earn a certificate in internet technologies. At the time, I worked for a communications company.

The plan was to work toward a career in web design. While I loved web design, I had a terrible eye for design. Still, I enjoyed reading a weekly e-newsletter about web design. It had a contest where you can submit an article to win a copy of Photoshop.

I won! That started my writing about web design that led to more writing work. Work kept coming in, morphing from writing to marketing. I did all of this at home outside of work hours. By 2005, I left my corporate job to become a full-time remote freelance digital marketer.

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What are you working on?

I love what I do because I work on a variety of things.

One project is managing a client's ads on LinkedIn. Another involves writing web copy for a new company.

Any minute now, I'll be writing a marketing plan for a new client. I oversee social media for clients and my own accounts, of course. Just started working with a client whose Wordpress website was spammed and had a lot of problems. Been working to resolve them one problem at a time.

I'm always cooking up a script and creating videos because video has helped me in so many ways. This especially applies to the series about captioning. Next month, I'll be at a conference doing a demo on how to caption videos.

Video allows people to get to know me beyond words on a screen.

I'm not shy about sharing my experiences as a person born deaf. I want folks to know that people with different abilities, or diffabilities, can provide valuable insights.

Those things that people may view as a disadvantage are often an advantage. Video helps me show that.

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What's your typical work routine?

Start my day with a cup of Joe and the newspaper. Yes, the printed edition of the local newspaper. Then, I head to Orangetheory for my 7 am workout and a little socializing.

Bursting with energy and feeling great knowing I got my exercise done for the day, I go home and get right to work. (After a shower, of course.)

The first things I do are the hardest tasks and those with the earliest deadlines. I'll take a mid-day break to walk Melody and Carrie, the furry company mascots. I save the less challenging tasks for the afternoon.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

Yes, I have an office with four walls and three doors: one regular door and French doors that see the front door of the house. The office is the perfect size as I can use a portable heater or fan to warm up or cool down without wasting any energy on the rest of the mostly empty house.

Photo of Meryl's home office.

Photo of Meryl's home office.

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How do you stay on task?

Staying on task has always come naturally to me. On the rare occasion when I can't focus or stay on task, I switch to menial things.

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What do you like about remote work?

I'm spoiled and want to work in a home office for the rest of my career because it gives my schedule flexibility, the most comfortable dress code, zero commute (no way to start the day or go home with a stressful commute), solitude, opportunities to volunteer at an elementary school during work hours, and a clean kitchen and bathroom.

I also get sick far less often than when I worked in an office, and I don't have to deal with cubicle neighbors holding meetings on speakerphone.

When they did, I turned off my hearing aid. However, I prefer to keep it on! It's also nice to turn it off when it gets too noisy outside.

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What do you not like about remote work?

Nothing. Love it. The challenge is to maintain enough business to pay the bills and keep going strong.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

Once you go to two monitors, you won't go back to one! I use email, document and spreadsheet apps, and a task management app that syncs tasks between the desktop and cell phone. I also use a phone and tripod for creating videos and YouTube to add captions.

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Do you have any advice for remote workers?

The first thing I advise remote workers to do is to have a set space to work as well as boundaries, preferably something with four walls to help draw the line between home and office.

Another angle of Meryl's home office.

Another angle of Meryl's home office.

But if you don't have four walls, try creating a perimeter with a desk and computer.

Get into a routine of when you start and stop work and take breaks including standing breaks every hour. (A smartwatch is great for reminding you.)

Ensure you have the right tools and technology including an ergonomic-friendly desk space. Make the space yours.

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How do you decide which clients to take?

I've been fortunate that I get the right clients as most work comes from referrals and repeat business. In the 15 years I've done this full-time, I've rarely passed on clients and projects.

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Biography

Meryl K. Evans

Meryl K. Evans, digital marketing pro, is a digital and content marketing mad scientist always cooking up the perfect formula for clients' digital marketing programs. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas. Stop by her digital lab anytime at www.meryl.net.

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