Sitting here in my home office, coffee in hand, I find it hard to believe it's already been three months. It feels like just yesterday when I was making my daily commute (from my bed to my desk) to my job as a marketing automation manager.
However, life had other plans, and following an unexpected layoff, I embarked on a new journey as a marketing automation/ops consultant. And what a ride it's been!
From Full-Time to Flex-Time
The shift from a regular job to consulting was surprisingly smooth. Freelancing was already part of my routine, assisting businesses in navigating the intricate labyrinth of marketing automation. The layoff was the universe's way of nudging me towards full-time consulting.
Finding My Tribe
These first few months blessed me with the opportunity to join forces with two exceptional companies: Offload Marketing and Vera Causa. Both are at the forefront of marketing innovation, allowing me to flex my skills across diverse industries like B2B, B2C, eCommerce, SaaS, and more. Each client comes with their unique set of puzzles, making my workdays varied and stimulating.
Advising former colleagues has been a highlight of my consulting journey. There's a special kind of joy and familiarity in collaborating with people you've known. It's a constant reminder of the importance of maintaining professional relationships; they have a way of coming back, often in the most fulfilling ways.
Diving Into Diversity
My client list is quite diverse: two B2B agencies, a D2C agency, a standalone B2B client, and a few smaller businesses I lend a hand to. Each is its own world, with unique demands and goals. Picture conducting an orchestra, where every section must sync perfectly to create a symphony. That's my job, and it's as rewarding as it sounds!
The Rewarding Grind
Now, I'd be lying if I didn’t say that this journey has its fair share of hurdles. The work, while immensely rewarding, can be demanding. Juggling multiple clients, each with their own set of expectations and deadlines, requires a delicate balancing act. There are days when my to-do list seems endless, but crossing off each task is a thrill in itself.
A Learning Curve
These initial months have been an intense learning experience:
Learning to manage my time effectively has been crucial. At first, I overcommitted, eager to impress. Now, I balance my commitments using digital tools and classic planners to structure my days.
Each client has their preferred billing system, which can get overwhelming. I've set up reminders for invoice dates and am slowly but surely streamlining the process.
Understanding which tasks to prioritize is like a strategic game. Communication with clients is essential here, setting expectations and negotiating deadlines for a manageable workflow.
The Art of Saying No
Learning to say no has been tough but necessary. It's about ensuring I can deliver the quality my clients expect and deserve.
I look into the future with optimism and excitement. The challenges, triumphs, and constant learning are what make this journey exhilarating. The steep learning curve is a sign of growth.
For those considering a similar path: embrace the unknown, stay adaptable, and keep learning. The realm of marketing automation and ops consulting is as challenging as it is rewarding.
These past 90 days have been a whirlwind of growth, learning, and yes, a lot of coffee. But above all, I've learned that this field isn't just about strategies and systems; it's about people, relationships, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. That's the true essence of this journey.
Here's to the chapters yet to be written and the adventures they'll bring!
Until next time,
Christian Baun is a marketing automation consultant with a background in demand generation, content marketing and email marketing.