Michael Bergen is the Senior Inbound Marketing Team Leader at Riverbed Marketing. He has over 10 years experience in digital marketing. In this ProChat episode he talks about his journey in the marketing world and what keeps him motivated and productive.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am from Chilliwack, British Columbia – Canada. It is located about 1 hour away from Vancouver. I grew up in the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia and have lived here all my life. Chilliwack is a small town nestled away in the beautiful lower mainland and Fraser valley of British Columbia.
Question: How long have you been freelancing?
Answer: I have been working as a Freelancer for over 5 years. Originally I started my experience working in technical support roles where I quickly learned about business and customer service. I had an opportunity to work with Microsoft Advertising where I learned more about PPC and marketing. From there I started my own PPC agency. It was a great experience, but I ultimately needed to learn more about promoting websites online. I took a job with training opportunities working for a growing SEO agency. Through my career I have been doing affiliate marketing and other freelance work via websites like upwork and freelancer.
Question: Which is your favorite place to get freelance jobs?
Answer: Some of the websites I like to use are Upwork.com and Freelancer.com. Sometimes I have used fiverr.com in the past to start an initial relationship.
I've relied a lot on referrals and sometimes will incentivize referrals with my current clients in exchange for services etc. This can help a lot and often works to build a working relationship.
Question: Do you sometimes feel down, and unproductive? If you do, what do you think are the main causes in your case?
Answer: Feeling unproductive and unmotivated is common for everyone. This can be because of “burn out” and just running yourself too hard without enough rest. Having a good life-balance and changing up the scene is important and conductive to a healthy freelancing career. Sometimes you can also get discouraged by not achieving the results you are looking for, but it's important to dwell on these failures as learning experiences, not as roadblocks to getting where you want.
Question: What do you do get motivated again?
Answer: When I'm not feeling motivated, I like to take a break from what I am doing (when possible). Change up your work environment for a day, or go for a walk and get some fresh air.
What I like to think about is re-aligning what you're focusing on. If you're focusing too much on the pursuit of wealth instead of achieving something bigger with your time, your head isn't in the right space. This will lead to dissappointment and ultimately quitting. Be passionate about what your doing and why you're doing it, the positive outcome will follow.
Question: Which motivational speakers do you listen to?
Answer: Some of my favorite motivators and entrepreneurs are legends like Neil Patel, and Carro Susan Ford (Author of The Smartass Marketer's Handbook). I like to focus on motivators who aspire towards common goals or share similarities in the industries they serve. In this case marketing.
It's easier to relate to a peer that is working in the same areas or challenges that you face. It's relate-able and feels like an immediate benefit to share ideas with thought leaders.
Question: What advice would you give to the new freelancer just starting?
Answer: Always stay motivated in the things you do, not the money you make. If you're doing it purely for the money, burn-out is soon to follow. Financial success will be achieved by building a strong process, stay committed to following through, patience, and pivoting when failure occurs. Failure being an outlet for new ideas and knowledge to flourish, not something to be demonized.
Thank you so much Michael Bergen for your time and sharing with us.
TAKEAWAY #1: Be passionate about what your doing and why you're doing it, the positive outcome will follow.
TAKEAWAY #2: Incentivize referrals with current clients in exchange for services. This can help a lot and often works to build a working relationship.
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