I have been attracted to the freelance journalist’s lot for some time now and as I delve further into their tools, methods, musings and techniques, I see great lessons for an account manager.
Anneli Knight is a freelance journalist and she has written a great piece for the Walkley Magazine. Anneli’s article is titled, “This multi-tasking life” and it carries a great infographic drawn from the 2012 Salary Survey and Job Market Report.
The article highlights tips for maintaining your sanity in the variably structured work environment of a freelance journalist. After Anneli poses the question of determining the “why” she then moves to the key areas of:
- Manage your time.
- Some tips for keeping on top of your time.
- Making freelance work financially.
Social Tools - a freelancer's best friend
Where the article covers writing quickly and managing distractions, there are some powerful parallels for account managers that route back to social media and its effectiveness as a research tool.
Prior to the mainstream availability of social media it may have not been efficient to source from a multitude of research points. With the mainstream adoption of social media it has swung to the other end of the pendulum where it could be argued that the array of options has provided an almost overwhelming breadth of sources, strategies and tools.
From the maze of social listening and research sources, the following are a few of my favourite research tools:
- Well understood as a publishing platform but of enormous value as a listening tool.
- SocioViz is a social media analytics platform powered by Social Network Analysis metrics - graphical and engaging.
- A leading social media dashboard that manages multiple social networks and profiles - great for both publishing and listening.
Two methods that I consistently use are:
1. Firstly, you need to go to an earnings calls for a listed company — then go to the Q&A section which comes after the executives have announced the quarterly or annual results — analysts then start asking the executives insightful questions. Absolutely high yield tutorial on business questions that matter in language that matters to an investor.
2. Google Trends provides me with a current view of language being used to source information. The consumer’s voice doesn’t get much clearer.
There are others that I use, but these are favourites.
The final point I would mirror from Anneli's article is on building a niche. This activity may be a permanent beta exercise as Reid Hoffman would say, but searching for our niche will provide a 3rd dimension that will keep our curiosity alive every day.