If you are one of the many employees or digital consultants who are self-isolating or working from home at the moment, here are some tips on how you should be spending that extra time you find you are having through the working day… It’s good practice to keep busy and productive and some of these tasks will make your life so much easier in the future…
Refresh your Google Exams & Accreditations
If you haven’t already done so or if your accreditations are due to expire soon, it’s a good call to go over to Google’s Skillshop and brush up on your current certifications or take some new exams. They always look good on your CV for prospective employers and also if you are self-employed they are always nice to have on your Linkedin profile when engaging new clients.
Organise your Cloud Drive
Whether you use Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox, now is a good time to organise your drive. It’s good practice to periodically move old clients or projects into an archive folder so you have a clean working space. You can also put a “~” in front of the name of your most important folders to bring them to the top of your view. Any files you have lying around in your main drive folder you can tidy them away into individual folders.
Create some Templates & Workflows
It’s a great idea to organise your templates or workflows into a single folder or creat some new ones. You might have recently created an amazing output for a client (or a college project), and moved on quickly to the next project, so now is a good time to review that output and to create a template from it. This will mean the next time you have a similar project you have a good starting point. Workflows are great also – thinking about you weekly and monthly tasks when optimising an Google Ads account – why not document down your activities in a sheet and then create a workflow you can work from in the future. This will also help you in the future if you are onboarding a new hire…
Optimise your Home Working Setup
There is nothing worse than being on an important video conference call and the dreaded feedback or background noise disrupts the flow of the meeting and makes it painful for all attendees. Invest in a good headset and this takes care of most feedback issues and get a good camera and position it so that the background is pleasing and you look professional. It all ads to the ambience. Train yourself to mute your microphone when you are not talking as this is such an important hack as it prevents errant background noise (that you can’t hear) disrupting the flow of the person that is talking. To improve bandwidth, you can set your connection to ‘metered connection’ and this should prevent background apps hogging bandwidth. And make sure you look presentable! Just because you are at home, doesn’t mean you can go on the videoconference looking like you just got out of bed!
Give your Clients Some Extra Love
Now, more than ever is the time to be a little more altruistic with your time and expertise – time to pay it forward. Within reason, it is good practice to put some extra effort into your client’s account – although it might not be overtly noticed, it will be appreciated. Don’t bill for those extra hours you did if it’s only a couple. Don’t look for sign-off on a little request by the client. Why not put together a special crisis analysis of how the pandemic is affecting the analytics. Little things like this can make a big difference to a client.
Update your Digital Toolkit
An up-to-date digital toolkit is essential for digital marketers. These are our go-to tools and resources that we use to perform analyses, audits and assessments and help us in our day-to-day work. The basics include keyword planner from Google Ads, Google Trends, Tag Assistant and some more specialised tools like ScreamingFrog, CrazyEgg or WebCEO. Whatever tools you use, go check the subscription and make sure you are using what you need. Moz is a great tool also and there are some freebies in there also. Now might be a good time to go some research and play around with some new tools to give them a test run and to collate them into a workflow for easy access in the future.
Review and Audit Your Company Website
Your own website often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of a busy digital marketing operation. Now you can take some time to undertake an audit of your site and to fix any of the little snags that have been hanging around for a while. Review the content and make sure it’s still relevant. Undertake an SEO audit and see can you refine your targeting to your most valuable keywords. Look at your site speed and see if there is anything you can do to improve performance. Have you put a message up saying ‘it’s business as usual during the COVID crisis’, but your physical office is closed? Potential clients are planning also, lest you forget.
Update Company Proposals, Documents and Report Templates
We all know that writing proposals can be a challenge, especially when we are under pressure to get something over to a client. Now would be the ideal time to review some of the previous proposals you sent and to collate them into a single folder. Then you can start to pull different common sections from them into one single document which covers all your services. When the next request comes in for a proposal you can just remove the sections out of scope and customise your master template. This will make life so much easier for you in the future.
Do Some pro bono Work to Help Out
We all see the local companies and suppliers doing their bit to help; whether it’s the local grocer organising deliveries for vulnerable or isolated people or the volunteer agencies looking to help and support at-risk groups. Why not reach out to these organisations and offer some support with their digital. It can be as little as helping out with their Facebook profile or even doing some creatives for them. It’s the thought that counts and it’s rewarding paying their good karma back.
Organise your Browser Bookmarks
Your browser bookmarks toolbar can sometimes be a mess or even non-existent for some users, so why not take the time to label and organise your bookmarks to make your work much more efficient. You can even create folders with drop-down menus in your toolbar. I tend to leave the label blank in mine so I only see the favicon, which is enough to identify the tool or page. This means you can fit a lot more into the toolbar.
Plan Your Growth Strategy
With the current downturn in activity for many clients, it’s a good idea to be putting some plans in place for when the market turns and clients start to ramp up activities. As we start to emerge from the current crisis you should start to think of what will be the most important campaigns and tasks for clients, especially when financial resources and budgets may be monitored closely. Put together a Digital Activation package for current and prospective clients and list out the important activities that will be common to all – brand campaigns, social campaigns and SEO as well as analytics reports will be important for companies to get the message out that they are back on track and open for business.
However you plan to spend your time over the next couple of weeks, make sure it’s productive and, as with all things in life, they tend to follow cycles. This is just a cycle and will be over before we know it. Watch for the inflection point and that is when things will start to move.