Guest Blogger Emily Johnston is a photographer who loves the sense of freedom travelling gives her. In this episode, she shares practical advice on how she is able to run her business while travelling the world.
In my previous post, ‘Remember why you started your business', I talked about my love of travelling and how it's one of the main motivations for being self-employed. I have structured my business in a way that allows me to spend most of the UK winter months traipsing around the globe. Over the years, I have formulated a successful working practice, which means I can still communicate with clients, take bookings, as well as keep my social media accounts updated all whilst getting my freedom fix. Thanks to technology the world really has become a very small place and it is now totally achievable to run your business from anywhere you choose to.
Preparation is key
Before you leave for your trip make sure you have updated your answering machine messages and out of office email responses, have a copy of all your email templates including responses to enquirers, booking confirmations, as well as templates for quotes and invoices. Make a copy of your marketing material, for example, the company logo and images that most represent your brand, and save them to a lightweight external hard drive and/or upload to Dropbox or a similar service. Bookmark the websites you use the most in the browser on you smartphone, tablet or laptop, for example, your WordPress account, Google Analytics and online banking. Also make sure you have copies of all your passwords saved safely too. To help with these tasks, check out some of Her Lovely Heart's favourite productivity apps of 2014.
First, be aware of the difference in time between your current time zone and the one back home, then choose one hour within the working day that both time zones share. Set aside this hour every day, or every other day, to check your emails, respond to any urgent messages such as booking inquiries, and to pay supplier's invoices. You may not require a full hour, or feel the need to check in so frequently, but be sure to be consistent in the schedule you do decide upon.
If you have the time before you leave I'd advice to have an archive of pre-written blog posts ready to publish, or at least a list of posts you plan on writing. If you so wish, and it correlates with your brand, you can then write additional topical posts about your travels to increase your content. Similar to your email schedule, set aside an allotted amount of time to write and spend on your blog. It obviously doesn't have to be as regular as when you are at home, but something is better than nothing.
I find traveling a great opportunity to not only photograph new images to build up the likes on your Instagram account, but also to create a catalog of images to save for future blog posts. Along with capturing memories, look out for vistas, textures and colour palettes that represent your brand and the messages you are portraying. You can also connect with like-minded local creatives and brands through Twitter to expand your international contacts.
As important as it is to take a holiday to rest your mind and body, I'd highly recommend to also use this downtime to replenish your creativity. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery for new ideas to start to emerge.
Do you have any tips you would like to share on how you run your business whilst travelling?All images by Emily Johnston.