With travel starting to open back up after creators and small business owners have been stuck at home (get our tips for what to work on when stuck at home here), you may be worried about traveling and keeping things running smoothly.
For most people who work for themselves, it is easier to keep a schedule when you can’t go anywhere than when you are traveling and on the go exploring somewhere new. In general, most people expect to be on vacation when traveling. They are consciously taking a break from their work.
Unfortunately, in our line of work as creators, freelancers, and business owners, taking a break and being “on vacation” is not often an option. Whether you are specifically a travel content creator or are just an influencer doing some travelling, your work does not stop. Even as a freelancer or small business owner, clients and your business typically require you to be available.
Because we know what it is like for influencers and because we are small business owners, we recognize and understand that struggle. Use these tips for running a business while traveling to help keep your business organized and running while you are away.
#1 Keep Your Inbox Organized!
This is easier said than done. Organization is key when it comes to running any business, especially through email. As emails constantly come in, it is very easy to open one, not have the time to respond and then it gets buried and unintentionally unanswered.
The solution is easy, use Gmail. We choose to run our business through Gmail because it gives us so much more value than any other email client. If you have a blog or website, you can have your domain email forward to Gmail as well.
One of the best features any email service can have is the ability to star your emails. Yes, literally click the star icon beside every email that comes in if you don’t have time to respond. When you do have time and return to your inbox, you are able to easily see which emails still need responses and which ones are the most important.
You are actually able to create multiple star colours so you can organize on a deeper level. Say a yellow star is the most important emails and a blue star means follow up in 48 hours. Once you respond, unstar that email. You do not realize the power this simple feature can have.
Another simple feature Gmail offers is Labels. You can create a label that says “Needs Responding” or one that says “Waiting on Response”. This way you can quickly look at your inbox and see what needs attending to ASAP and what can wait till later.
As an influencer or content creator, you can use this feature to organize your brand contacts and contracts. Create a label for each brand you work with so that you can keep track of all of your communication with that brand.
As a freelancer or small business owner, use this feature to organize your client emails and team member emails. Create a label for team communication as well as one for each client. This makes it easy to refer back to past client emails and to keep your inbox organized.
Lastly, use the Snooze feature. This allows you to snooze an email and have it pop back up to the top of your inbox at a specific time, on whatever day you choose. This is very handy when you are out and about, getting lots of emails, but you really need to remind yourself to respond to something when you get back to your hotel at 4PM. Set your snooze for that time and it will come right back to the top.
The snooze feature can also be helpful as a reminder after your trip or even months later. If you work with a brand and want to reach out again in a few months, use the snooze feature. If you have a potential client, use the snooze feature as a reminder to follow up later as well.
#2 Research Time Zones
It is important to know where your emails are coming in from. Depending on the country you are in and the country they have been sent from, response times can be greatly effected. Educate yourself on where yoru contact is located and what time zone he or she is in.
If you are waiting on a response, then research what hours a work day would be for that brand, client, or PR agency and then what hours that translates to for you. This helps you be prepared and ready for when you do receive your response.
Tips: Set reminders for incoming email times and add countries you are working with to your world clock on your phone. This makes it super easy for you to know the time in LA when it is midnight in Bali whether you are traveling or at home.
#3 Make a Plan & Stick to It
It is the inevitable truth in this industry that the work never stops. However, you can stay ahead of it by creating a work schedule and sticking to it.
Set a couple times a day for example, once in the morning and once at night to sit down and dedicate yourself to your business. Edit photos, write blog posts, work your way through your emails, do client work, respond to DMs and then most importantly let yourself feel guilt free throughout the day because you worked and/or will work again.
Give yourself the ability to soak up everything the country you are in has to offer by setting a work plan in motion. This can be as easy as a couple hours in the morning or a couple at night or even setting aside part of every other day to get work done. Do your best to stick to your plan because you will feel a lot better during the day when you are out exploring if you are on top of your work.
#4 Be Responsible But Forgive Yourself
Of course, you have to stay readily available for certain jobs, clients, PR agencies, brands, etc. while you are away. If you are working with a manager, you need to also be available to him or her for emails about campaigns.
Therefore, buying a SIM card should be the first thing on your to do list when you land. Remember though, this is only for emergencies. Having a SIM card is not meant to keep your head in your phone all day; it is there to give you the freedom to be wherever and still have access to your business when you ABSOLUTELY need it.
Second piece of advice, keep your contacts and brand partners informed. It is okay to let a brand or PR agency know that you cannot get back to them right now but you will at some point today. Simply letting them know you’ve received their email and responding to them is on your to do list will let them know you are serious about your business and reassure them they are important to you.
I would say even letting anyone of importance know before you leave would be crucial so they understand why a response might take a bit longer than usual. A lot of people use bounce back emails or automatic responses to ensure everyone is well informed of your situation and intentions while you are away. Set a little vacation bounce back so when somebody does send you an email, they are informed you will respond to them in the next 12-24 hours.
I also want to just take the time to tell you in case no one has yet, please forgive yourself. You are only human and you are allowed to respond to an email later than it is received. Give yourself the space to make mistakes and take breaks. Take the time for work but also take time for yourself. It will only make you a greater creator in the end and will keep you from burning out.
#5 Ask For Help
At the end of the day, all that each of us wants to do is succeed in this industry and therefore sometimes it is hard to take a back seat in our careers. Sometimes letting go of the reigns a little can be a daunting task. However, let me assure you, asking for help will only empower your business more.
Involving a manager does just that. With a manager, all of the stress of missing emails and sending late replies to emails is gone. This gives you the freedom to connect with your community, dedicate real time to editing and client work, and actually enjoy the place you are visiting and the beauty and culture it has to offer.
You now have someone who has your back. A manager helps in many ways, but one of them is by giving you more time. Any chance you can get to spare some time for yourself, take it. It is healthy for you and your career. Just simply ask for help. You will thank yourself later.
Reminders for Working While Traveling
If you are getting ready to start traveling again or have already started traveling again, start thinking of ways you can keep your business running while you are gone. Is it time to pass off some of your work to a manager or a VA or to bring on a team member to help shoulder the burden? Do you just need to work on organizing yourself and your schedule more to set aside time to work?
Share in the comments below what you are doing to keep your business running while you are on the road and don’t forget to take time to enjoy your travels as well!
Besides management, Boost Society now offers business and Influencer coaching in a one-on-one setting. If you are interested in learning more about pitching brands or creating your own brand (or need help getting yourself and your business organized), contact Boost Society here and tell us a little bit about yourself and your coaching needs.
Subscribe to get your FREE “12 things to include in a pitch email” PDF & to get more tips and tricks from Boost Society!
For more Influencer business tips, check out these posts:
- How to Go from Influencer to CEO with Christina Galbato
- 14 Things for Bloggers and Influencers to Work on From Home
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