At the time of this writing, I’m 24 years old working full-time as an SEO Account Manager for a digital marketing agency.
What majority of people that work or have worked in an agency setting know is that it is very fast-paced and sometimes requires time after hours. Of course, this isn’t true for ALL agencies, but it can be seen across the majority.
Especially as an account manager, it feels like there is a “fire” that we have to put out. Or, multiple clients reaching out, saying they need something done right this second. There’s also the ability to effectively communicate what you do and how it is beneficial for the client’s business. Along with juggling all the daily tasks that need to be done for the marketing campaign.
Don’t get me wrong, starting my career in digital marketing has been extremely beneficial in teaching skills that can be used in numerous circumstances.
The fundamentals of marketing, how you can combine traditional and digital marketing efforts, account management, reporting, the list goes on.
However, working in this field has been able to open my eyes to a truly exhilarating experience.
The ability to work from anywhere with a laptop and wifi.
Let’s go back to my days in high school.
As a sophomore, I told myself I can never work in a cubicle and live that boring career life. This was circa 2009–2010.
Now, fast forward a couple of years to 2011–2012.
I remember talking with friends what’s next for us as we all start to end our four years together. Are you going to college? What do you want to do after high school? Where are you moving to? All the questions that we had no idea how to answer. Most of us say one thing and end up doing something completely different.
I remember my answers… “I’m going to college to become an optometrist” at the local university from where I grew up. This was even announced during my senior night of high school basketball.
Fast forward to four years in college as a senior.
I was currently working for a local fashion boutique as an e-commerce specialist managing e-commerce sales and customer service, as well as finishing out my bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Not exactly what I needed to become an optometrist…
I also just landed an internship with a real estate development company, the ultimate embodiment of cubicle life. So far, my high school self was completely wrong on where my life was going to be.
Two weeks into the internship, I was writing down “This isn’t me, I can’t do this forever. This cubicle life isn’t cut out for me.” I would consistently write this down, like those cartoons where they would write the same sentence on a chalkboard whenever the character was in trouble. Which actually felt like I was.
I ended up leaving the internship, graduating from college, quitting my e-commerce job and landing a new career in digital marketing at my current agency.
The “next chapter of my life.”
I mentioned previously the ability to work from anywhere as long as I have my laptop and wifi.
There’s really no point in me coming into an office Monday-Friday at a 9–5 schedule and dreading every single day.
I’ve decided to go jump on the freelance bandwagon and use the skills I’ve learned to work with clients I actually want to work with on my time and wherever I want.
In college, I used to take my time off to work at coffee shops. Let’s just say most of my paychecks ended up on food and coffee.
I really do miss the ability to work from all sorts of locations or being able to take some time for myself to go to the gym in the middle of the day or run some errands.
My checklist I need to achieve before making the jump include:
Build an emergency fund
Start a portfolio website
Replace 50% of current salary
Build additional streams of income
Join more digital marketing communities
Network, network, network
Since I’ve been planning this moment for quite some time, I already started to build up a cushion to last me 6 months of runway, while still being able to have an emergency fund on top of that.
I started a new blog, the Remote Digital Marketer, where I will be documenting my freelance journey and providing any learning experiences and advice.
I also have created a personal website to showcase my digital marketing and web development services, as well as giving prospects something to find more information about myself.
I am also working on building a clientele by networking, cold emailing, joining meetups and anything else to build a sales pipeline.
In business, your network really matters. “Your network is your net worth.”
Gaining leads from cold emails is tough and will start to try a few new tactics to get more leads.