I'm Not An Expert...And That's Okay
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Virtual Brighton SEO. Overall, it was the fourth Brighton SEO that I have experienced, however it was the first since I went freelance. So, I wanted to talk about a few things that I learnt about myself.
That might be a really weird thing to talk about following an SEO conference, however due to the very strange times that we are currently in, a few of the talks focused on:
Working from Home
So, I found there was a lot of space for self reflection.
Stay True To Your Values
The first time I was freelance, I lost count of how many articles I wrote about Vaping and Weed.
Now, I don’t have anything against anyone who smokes or vapes (as long as you don’t force me to breathe in your second hand smoke!), but I personally choose not to, so writing about them went a little against my values.
The best thing about being self employed is being able to choose who you work with. Staying true to our values means having the confidence to say “no” to things that make us feel uneasy.
It means working with the type of businesses you want to.
This is really something I learnt from Brighton SEO, but it was heavily touched upon by one talk so I thought I would mention it for anyone who needs to hear it.
If you are working from home, either because of COVID or because you work four yourself, Time
Management is absolutely crucial.
A couple things that I do to manage my time include:
Planning my day the night before. This is especially important when I have a lot of things that I need to do, because I notoriously get overwhelmed so having a list of things that I then plan into my diary (I use a diary with time slots) helps me a great deal.
Not checking my email every ten minutes. Checking emails is such an energy and time drain for so many reasons. I choose not to have email apps on my phone that send me notifications for this exact reason, because I have to read things as soon as I see them.
Using a Trello board for larger projects. Trello is something that I have spoken about a few times (you can check out this post for what I use Trello for, or this one for what exactly Trello is as well as information about other tools that make my life easier), however I use it for larger projects to help keep things organised.
Prioritise “Me Time“. Of course, it’s important to actually do work (obviously, you won’t get paid other wise), however, it is so important to make sure you also plan time for yourself. For me, that means not working through my lunch, evenings or weekends unless I absolutely have to. It also means taking holidays. When you work for yourself, I know first hand how guilty you feel stepping out of the office to do stuff with friends and family, however it is honestly the only way you can stay sane, so please make sure you do it when you can (and if COVID lets you!)
I’m Not An Expert
And finally, I get to the clickbait that attracted you to this blog post (I hope).
I have had job interviews where I didn’t get the job because I didn’t have enough experience in all areas of marketing; because there is this idea that one person needs to do everything. Brighton SEO taught me that that is absolute rubbish. It’s something that a lot of us already tell ourselves, so to have potential employers telling us that as well is bonkers.
The problem with trying to be an expert at every aspect is that you wear yourself thin.
I think it was Gary Illyes of Google who said that he was proud not to be an expert at everything and he talked about how he was happy to leave the areas he wasn’t skilled in to others. That, for me, is the point. Marketing is about team work, it’s not about one person doing everything because all that is going to do is cause stress, especially when you need to work on things that you
A. Don’t enjoy
B. Aren’t very good at, because you don’t enjoy doing them
That’s a lesson I learnt from my Mum when I was choosing my GCSE subjects…choose the things you enjoy doing, because you’re more likely to work hard if you enjoy it.