Digital marketing requires a lot of creativity and motivation. From developing gorgeous websites to crafting astounding content and creating captivating social media posts, digital marketing is definitely a field for the creative types.
But truth be told. It can be a little challenging sometimes to get those creative juices flowing. This can be especially true for freelancers who work all on their own without the benefit of bouncing ideas off of coworkers.
With the sun setting on your project due date, you can either panic or get motivated and creative.
As a digital marketing consultant and business owner, I’ve had my fair share of brain drain. But I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to learn and develop different tools and techniques to help me reignite those creative engines.
While I know motivation doesn’t grow on trees, I’ve gathered here a few tips of the trade to help you push through to success on your next project. Freelancers! Let’s get creative!
1. Get Out
I’ve met plenty of freelancers that work from home (and I must admit I do it too on occasion). I mean, what’s there not to like. You’re never late for work, you don’t have to worry about traffic, and you don’t have to dress up. On the flip side, though, there are plenty of distractions to keep you OFF task.
Sometimes refocusing just means turning off the TV. And sometimes it means completely leaving your house so you can get some real work done. A “new” work environment can help to get those creative juices flowing again and get you out of that state of mind that being at home puts you in. Whether it’s a workday at the local cafe or a trip down to the library, try to keep things fresh by getting out of your house every couple of days.
2. Get Some Fresh Air
Working in the field of digital marketing (or any creative field for that matter) can be fun and exciting. But it can also include hours upon hours of sitting in front of your computer screen trying to perfect the project at hand. All this screen time can start to take its toll after a while. But there’s a simple solution for that – get outside, soak up some sun, and enjoy some fresh air.
A quick walk around the neighborhood can be just what you need to fan that creative fire. When you take a walk, your heart begins to pumps faster, delivering much-needed blood and oxygen to all of your internal organs and muscles – and most importantly – your brain. You’ll be developing new brain cells, rejuvenating older brain cells from decay, and promoting the growth of new neurons and neurotransmitters.
What does that all mean? Basically, you’ll be able to get back to the task at hand with a new sense of clarity and creativity.
3. Meet Some New People
Working as a freelancer can be isolating at times. You don’t have coworkers (unless you count your pets), which means that you won’t get that traditional social interaction throughout the day – interaction that can help to motivate and inspire you on occasion.
To help you make up for this lack of social interaction, consider participating in some sort of organization, club, or even take a class. It’s amazing how much meeting new people with new ideas can really help your productivity and creativity.
If you aren’t too interested in going this route, there’s always the Internet. Facebook and Twitter offer freelance groups that you can draw inspiration and new ideas from. There’s also plenty of forums, like Reddit, where you can learn more about your field and learn some new tips to improve your freelancing abilities.
4. Routines Can Be Fun (and Really Helpful)
Yes, part of the adventure of being a freelancer is that there’s always something new to do. But don’t forget to set up a routine that can help to alleviate that stress caused by the constant flow of “newness.”
Routines can help you to properly schedule out your day so that you aren’t feeling pressured and strapped for time. It can be especially beneficial if you start your day early as you’ll have more leeway in case some type of emergency pops up that takes you away from work.
A daily schedule will help you to keep all tasks in perspective and make you feel more professional – an important key to taking your work more seriously.
5. What’s Your Home Office Look Like?
Are you working on your bed all day? Or perhaps in your living room with the TV on and the refrigerator only a few feet away? While setting up shop anywhere in your house can be an awesome experience early on your freelancing career, you’ll find out soon enough that you need a dedicated home office to really hone in on your tasks.
If possible, avoid working where you sleep. Instead, set up a little space elsewhere in your home where there’s plenty of natural light, few distractions, and an overall positive energy that will be conducive to working.
Again, taking yourself seriously as a freelancer will go a long way in keeping you motivated.
6. It’s OK to Reward Yourself (A Little)
Freelancing is all about balance. It’s about enjoying the freedom that comes with being able to work whenever you want while remaining productive. And while that doesn’t mean binge-watching a show because you worked for two hours, it’s also OK to reward yourself in increments throughout the day.
If you feel like you need a break every couple of hours, then take advantage of your position as a freelancer and watch some YouTube videos or an episode of your favorite show after you’ve completed a meaningful task.
These small rewards throughout the day can be a great motivational tool to help you stay focused. Plus, they give you a moment to relax and reenergize yourself.
7. Keep Learning
Feeling stagnant in your skills can definitely kill any motivation you may have. That’s why it is so important for freelancers (and really all professionals) to constantly be learning. Whether it’s learning new strategies and tips from other professionals or reading engaging books that inspire us, learning can prove to be an essential element in keeping a freelancer competitive and engaged with their work.
8. Remember Why You’re Freelancing
Why did you decide to march to the beat of your own drum and not take a typical 9 to 5 job like others? Was it so that you only have to answer to yourself? Hate waking up early? Do you appreciate the respect clients give you? Cubicle-phobia?
Type it up, print it out and frame it on the wall behind your workspace.