Share Tweet Interview With Social Media & SEO Expert Gisele Navarro Why Gisele Navarro embraces working from home. Gisele shares industry tools for really kick starting your work productivity. Interview with Gen Y SEO Expert Welcome to the 25th of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the working remotely opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations when delving into remote working. This week I am delighted to interview someone who i would call the female equivalent to myself. Gisele Navarro is a remote worker within the SEO industry. Gisele is extremely highly regarded within the industry with vast years experience of both search marketing and social media. Gisele is currently Social Community manager for Search marketing agency Upstream. I was alerted to Gisele’s qualities through a number of her guest posts which are all an amazing read. I strongly suggest following Gisele if you want to keep up with the latests in Outreach, Search marketing and social. Other than working remotely for Upstream Gisele also runs her own social media blog and can be found giving excellent advice through her twitter account here. It was really incredible to receive such great advice from a fellow home worker and the interview is another superb read. Gisele also offers some of the industries best tools for really kick starting your work productivity. Enough of me, Enjoy the read! Q: Hi Gisele tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now? I’m originally from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and I’m currently living in the vibrant German city of Berlin. Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organisation? I’m the Social Community Manager for Upstream, a search marketing agency based in Brighton, UK. Q: There are very few of us but we are both SEO’s who work from home. What do you love most about working in the SEO industry and how do you keep up to date with latest skills and trends. I’d say that what I love the most about working in the SEO industry is its community. There are so many brilliant brainswho also happen to be great people that won’t hesitate to share their latest discoveries and ongoing tests. In terms of keeping up to date with this ever-changing world of digital marketing,I read many blogs on a daily basis, try to attenddifferent webinars (especially now that the Mozinars are back!), and always keep an eye on Inbound.org. In addition to this, I’ve been joining weekly Google+ Hangouts organized by Max Minzer for the last 4 months and I’ve learnt A LOT about different aspects such as UX, semantic data and video marketing. Q: Your skills seem to be focused on link acquisition, outreach and social. What do you love most about these areas of SEO? I have an sociable personality, so managing online communities, being the person behind social media accounts and working as a nexus between brands and bloggers/publishers suits me really well. I build bridges between consumers/publishers and brands, and there’s nothing I love more than opening doors through effective communication. Q: What do you dislike most about the office environment and how does working from home remove this dislike? To be honest, when I started working from home, there was nothing I disliked about the office environment, aside from commuting during rush hours. Now that I’ve been working remotely for over 4 years, I’ve realized that I’ve increased my productivity almost solely based on the fact that I have the ability to work uninterrupted. So I guess that the one thing I dislike the most about the office environment is having other people interrupting my train of thought with an unexpected visit. Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home? i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2 hour lunch breaks etc. I think most of my friends know that I work really hard, even though they might find me sharing updates on Facebook or reading different blogs in the middle of the day. Working from home requires a high level of responsibility, self-discipline and organisation.Thanks to articles like the ones published on Generation Y Working, more and more people are coming to understand that. Q: What is the most challenging part about home working and how do you overcome this? In my case, the most challenging part has to be finishing the work day at a proper time. I’ve talked to many telecommuters who have the same problem: suddenly you look at the clock and it’s already 8.30pm! I haven’t managed to overcome this yet, but that’s one of my resolutions for 2013. Q: What are the main positives in working from home full time? Gisele & her dog Bruce working away, There are many benefits from working from home, the ones I enjoy the most are: My days are far more productive. Cutting out the traffic jams has reduced my stress. I’ve developed healthier eating habits. Staying in shape is easier when you can fit the gym into your schedule without any complications. As Anika said on her interview with you, I don’t get as many colds or bouts of flu. And I have the pleasure to work in the company of my best friend, little Bruce Lee: Q: Are you an advocate of work/life balance and how do you try and balance both? Someone once told me not to confuse having a career with having a life, and I think that a good work/life balance is exactly about that. Connecting to what really matters in life will help you reduce stress, while opening the doorto all kinds of creativity. It can be hard to separate work and non-work, and that’s why it’s important to find ways to switch off mentally. I try to take regular brakes during the day for cooking, walking the dog, going for a run, doing my German homework or shopping for groceries. Q: What’s a typical day for Gisele? Realistically….start to finish. I like to start my day with a good breakfast, while I check my personal email accounts and social profiles. I always try to get at least one big task done before I wade into my business email, whether it is designing images I want to share on the clients’ social pages or writing a blog post. Once I’m done, I move on to answering emails and managing the social media accounts for the clients I work with. Normally I will spend the entire morning replying to messages on Google+, scheduling tweets, sending out status updates on Facebook, curating content, and commenting on different blogs. I normally take my lunch break around 1.30pm and have different meetings scheduled after that. Every afternoon is different as I work as the nexus between the SEO, social media and content marketing departments. On a regular day, I might have at least one strategy meeting and one training session with a link builder, always via Skype. The last meeting will put an end to my work day. Q: Do you have a dedicated office space and what is the importance of having this? Sadly I don’t have an office space at home, my husband and I both work from home so we need a dedicated room but we’ll have to wait until we move to a new apartment. Right now we’re working in the dining room and every now and then we go to a bar. Q: Any pictures of your Office? Nice workspace! Q: How important do you feel family support is for home workers? Is your husband understanding of your working day? My husband understands it more than anyone. We help each other keep motivated and focused, so this mutual support means the world to both of us. Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers? My top tool is a good old notebook in which I make my to-do lists and keep track of open projects. In addition to this, I use an extension for Chrome called Writer, which is a distraction-free writing tool that gets me away from all of the noise, helping me focus on my writing. I also use Dropbox to share and sync documents, photos and videos with the rest of the team. And for discovering great content, I use curation tools such as Curate.Me and Trapit. Another excellent tool I use on a daily basis is called If This Then That (IFTTT), and you can use it for connecting any two Web services together with one simple statement: if this Trigger then that Action. You can create different recipes, such as “If I favourite a tweet, then save it to my Pocket so that I can read it later.” In terms of social media I use two management tools (Hootsuite and Sprout Social), and several analytics tools that help me improve my efficiency. And at last but not least, a Gmail add-on that made my outreach easier: Rapportive. Q: Obviously a silly question as a passionate home worker like myself but do you believe more organisations should allow those with web based roles to work remotely? If so..how come? Of course! Companies should be exploring the possibilities that home based roles could bring to the table. But in order to do so, more organisations will need to start trusting their staff, I think that’s the biggest concern business owners have. I’m living proof that you can be more productive and way happier when you work from home. Moreover, telecommuting leads to a better work/life balance, which boosts my morale and motivation as an employee.