Lessons learned during a brief hiatus from freelance work
I stepped away from freelancing for a short time last year—four months, to be exact. I had the pleasure of working as a technical content marketing strategist for a tech startup. It was a wonderful experience for which I am grateful. After 12 years of freelancing, being a full-time employee provided valuable insights into myself and the role freelancers play in content marketing teams.
First and foremost, I re-discovered my passion for content. When I was approached about the full-time job last July, I was buried in freelance work (several clients had solutions to support remote work, so business was good). However, I was also in the midst of a divorce during a pandemic. I returned from a road trip with my kids and found that for the first time in my freelance career, I wasn’t excited to go back to work after a vacation. Like virtually everyone else in the world, I was burnt out. On everything.
Driving through Yellowstone National Park.
Joining a startup sounded exciting and challenging. And it was. The change of pace shook me out of my slump so that I remembered why I do what I do: I love content. I love everything about it. I love identifying new content opportunities and implementing content strategy. I love talking to engineers and business leaders about the things they’re passionate about. I love giving them a voice and exposure as thought leaders. I love educating readers and helping companies meet their sales goals. I truly love all of that.
Fortunately, there’s a demand for content: from webinars and podcasts, to blog posts and white papers, case studies and solution briefs – and let’s not forget keeping the website up to date and refreshing all the previously mentioned content. I have yet to meet a team that has a well-running content marketing machine that doesn’t also rely on contractors or freelancers to help execute it. Honestly, this is a no-brainer. It’s the reason why there will always be enough freelance work for skilled, reliable writers and designers.
As a full-time content strategist, I found myself on the other side of the client/contractor relationship. I learned just how valuable good, dependable freelancers are when it comes to achieving content marketing goals. The team produced a lot of content during my short tenure, and that was due in large part to the support of a freelancer who understood the business and our technology and knew where and when to step up to keep the content marketing machine running. Experiencing this firsthand gave me new perspective on my career as a freelance writer. I couldn’t wait to get back, and here I am.
As the New Year gets underway, I encourage you to consider how a freelance writer can help you mature your content marketing strategy and meet your content marketing goals in 2021. Not quite sure? Send me an email to schedule a time to discuss how you can get the most value from your freelance budget, whether you choose to work with me or another freelance writer.