In an attempt to try and diversify my platforms and outreach over the past couple of months, I’ve been involved in some seriously hardcore networking and publicity events. From talking on podcasts to featuring in magazine articles and attending prestigious cultural events to expand my knowledge, I’m forging a path into something really exciting for the Nikki McCaig name.
But one of the questions I get asked so often, both from publications and from my family and friends, is what do I actually do in a week? Where do I work, how many hours do I work in a week and what does the average day look like for me? So I wanted to share an in-depth look into my average week (including the weekend), from the projects I work on to the people I meet. So let’s dig in!
I love Mondays. This is an odd phrase in itself for the majority of people, but honestly, I love Mondays. After a weekend spent living to my own schedule, I chose to take Mondays as a full-time freelance day to help give me that little creative boost to start the week.
My typical Monday will start with a steaming hot cup of coffee as I get up and dressed, grabbing a bit of breakfast as I do my make-up. My boyfriend heads off to work and I usually head to my desk, grab another coffee and boot up my laptop. My first job is always to check my emails, delete any spam or junk, add colour-coded labels to the high priority messages and reply to any that need action.
Then I’ll get stuck into updating the social schedules for my clients. I’ll plan out some Instagram feeds, back up some posts and collect some images to be used later on in the week. I make sure that every post is ready to go out, that the week is fully covered in terms of content and ready to be approved by the clients.
After that, I usually pick up on some lunch – something easy as I hate spending too long cooking when I’m in the middle of work. My Monday afternoon is often spent working on my nicknamed ‘self-improvement’ stages. This can mean taking photos for Instagram, updating my website, practising logo designs or searching for events around Nottingham.
Unless I’m really busy, I usually close my laptop when my boyfriend comes home and we tend to just chill in the evenings. We cook some dinner, catch up about our day and pop on Love Island religiously at 9pm every night.
Tuesdays, for me, are spent working 5 hours in-house on the marketing for a children’s play centre. I take a bus into the office, grab myself a coffee on the way and catch up with the team once I’m in. My first moves when I’m settling in their internal office are to catch up on emails and voicemails, respond to any social media comments and check up on any new trends emerging online.
Once I’m all caught up, I can get stuck into building up their individual social platforms and creating their new social campaigns. Through this particular play centre, I’m lucky enough to work on the social feeds for their additional businesses too, meaning I get to dip my toes into a bunch of different industries. I can be designing an asset of a cupcake one day and then creating a mummy-baby blog post the next.
I use their existing brand to draw up some engaging Instagram posts, and use the latest childhood trends to write some fun content for Facebook and Twitter. If I have a spare half hour, I’ll also work on building up their Pinterest boards with fun craft ideas for children, parenting tips and easy baby meal inspiration.
When I finish my working day there, I’ll pop into town to catch up with another client and take a couple of photos for their weekly socials before heading home.
My Wednesday mornings echo my Mondays, in that I work to my own schedule on these days. Typically after spending Monday in my flat, I’ll opt to work in town for a few hours on Wednesdays. I’ll seek out a coffee shop (luckily Nottingham has plenty of choices) and hole up in there for the morning. There, I’ll check my emails, respond to any comments, update any socials and then get stuck into some outreach. This can involve looking out for any potential collaborations, getting in touch with potential clients, making up pitch documents or writing out proposals for new opportunities.
I also like to schedule any meetings for Wednesday, giving myself the best chance to process them before the weekend. I’ll invite my clients to come to my favourite coffee shop, (a huge power move if I don’t say so myself), and try to space them out a little if I have more than one. I always make notes during meetings, to help me reflect on them at a later date and usually make sure that I have at least three actionable steps to take once we’re finished.
After my meetings, I like to spend a couple of hours working on my own content. This can be making up some social assets for my platforms, writing a blog post or Medium article or upgrading my personal branding. Once I feel like I’ve completed my main jobs, I’ll either drift into town for a bit of retail therapy or head home for a bit of midweek self-care.
Often on Thursdays, I’ll head back into the play centre for a few more hours of work. I’ll usually have a catch up with the owner, or client, to talk about new campaigns for the next couple of weeks. Here, I’ll make a list of jobs that need completing before the weekend, write up a couple of blog posts for their website and update any new content on the site.
Thursdays are also a key admin day at the play centre, where I spend a couple of hours organising files, responding to messages and checking up on customers with upcoming bookings. Although this doesn’t fall into the ‘marketing’ category, it’s actually a really refreshing change to have a small break from social media and actually switch off my creative brain for a while.
Thursdays are also a day when I’ll head into town and work in coffee shops for a couple of hours before my boyfriend picks me up and we head home for dinner.
I also love Fridays! As a freelancer, I tend to spend a lot of time working alone in my flat with no one but my budgie to talk to. On Fridays, however, I spend the day working in a beautiful local design studio with a team, helping to organise their socials, collaborating on projects and brushing up on my design skills.
This is my own 9-5 workday of the week, and I find that it works so well for me. It’s a lovely break from working alone and gives me a chance to chat with some other creatives about the projects they’re also working on.
During my lunch break, I’ll usually pop to the coffee shop next door with my laptop and just work on any last-minute socials, blog posts or reply to any emails whilst I’m there. For the rest of the afternoon, I stick my headphones in and just crack on with some work in the office, before heading home. Some days, I’ll leave the office feeling completely inspired to work on all of the new skills I’ve learned and will spend a couple of hours working whilst my boyfriend cooks. On other days, I’ll be completely wiped out and will just want to relax before the weekend!
Saturday is my designated life, home and relationship admin day. We also start our Saturdays by having a quick clean of the flat and doing the weekly shop so the cupboards are fully stocked!
Then we like to do a fun activity together, usually going for coffee, shopping or going on a little adventure as our weekly date!
I try to avoid working on Saturdays as I like to have one day off a week, but I do spend a little time updating my diary and organising my calendar for the month ahead.
On Sundays, my boyfriend is glued to the F1, which gives me plenty of time to crack on with some work! I’ll try and wake up early, quickly throw on a hoodie and grab a coffee at around 6am. I always work so much better in the early morning, so I like to get as many tasks out of the way before the day officially starts. I’ll make some nice breakfast for us both, then when he gets sucked into the race, I’ll pop my headphones in and sink into some creative work.
This could be photo editing, content writing or image curating, but I like to save the fun creative work for Sundays. It always ends the week on a nice note! I usually spend this time replying to social messages too, catching up with my mum or leaving comments on social posts I like.
Once I’ve refilled my social calendar for the week ahead, I’ll allow myself a little bit of self-care time in the afternoon, popping on a face mask and getting stuck into a good book before tea. Then it’s off to bed, ready for the week to begin again.
Disclaimer: This post was inspired by the beautiful, creative and wonderful Vix Meldrew, who kindly shared her average week as a content creator through her blog!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these insights into my week as a freelancer, and if you want to find out more about my services or organisation methods, make sure you drop me an email!