Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Audrey Agahan, Content Marketing Strategist at Advance B2B

Audrey Agahan is the Content Marketing Strategist at Advance B2B, a growth marketing agency for B2B SaaS, subscription, and tech companies that are looking for sustainable revenue growth.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Currently I work as a Content Marketing Strategist for Advance B2B, a growth marketing agency for B2B SaaS, subscription, and tech companies that are looking for sustainable revenue growth.

Before Advance B2B, I worked for Rightware, a software company in Helsinki, as a Senior Marketing Manager leading their digital marketing. Rightware provides tools and services for the development of advanced digital user interfaces in the automotive industry.

Prior to Rightware, I worked for Belkin International in Los Angeles, leading global marketing for both the Belkin and Linksys B2B networking divisions. While at Belkin, I led the global launches of the Linksys Cloud Manager and Belkin Universal KVM product lines.

Before Belkin, I led the global marketing team at Astrophysics, an x-ray security design and manufacturing company. Prior to Astrophysics, I was Marketing Director at Business Communications Solutions (BCS), a premiere IT and telecom solution provider.

While at BCS, I led the launch of their cloud computing services, Kumo.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I just started at Advance B2B this week, so I’m still figuring out what my typical workday looks like.

A typical day at Belkin though included meeting with the sales and product management team to determine priorities, get updates on product launch, and share project updates.

Then I would focus on any individual projects such as creating marketing plans, monthly partner e-newsletters, webinars, social media posts, brochures, sales decks, sales competitive guides, etc.

I also often had feedback meetings with our creative team for graphics, videos, etc. and status calls with our PR and paid advertising agencies, which I managed.

Finally, I had conference calls with our regional marketing managers in EMEA, ANZ, and APAC to update and get feedback from them on any product launch marketing projects that they would need to localize and also to share marketing activities amongst the different regions.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, my current job has flexible working hours and allows me to work remotely when needed. We do have some weekly internal and customer meetings that are set but other than that I can build my schedule how I see fit.

This is awesome because I’m not a morning person and I do my best work in the afternoon. Also, when I need to really concentrate and not have any distractions then I like to work from home.

Otherwise, I enjoy being in the office, working side-by-side with colleagues, and being able to spar with people on the fly.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance to me is making sure I have enough personal time outside of work to spend with family and friends, re-charge, and do things I enjoy outside of work.

I achieve this goal by doing a lot of pre-planning and calendaring, because if it’s not in my calendar, then it isn’t happening! I like to block time for working out, pre-schedule any events I want to attend, and make plans to hang out with friends at least a week in advance.

This gives me something to look forward to each week and if it’s already in the calendar, then I know what to expect and how to allocate my time.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

Using tools for follow-up

In Outlook, they have a nifty follow-up task feature for emails, where you can schedule a reminder for yourself and/or the recipient of the email. This way, if there’s a task or reminder needed, you can set a due date and reminder pop-up.

All your emails that need follow-up also get tracked in a folder, so I like to go through this once a day to make sure there isn’t anything I’ve missed and need to follow-up on.

iCloud Reminders – I also like to use iCloud reminders for any reminders I need, because you need to check it off as done before the notification goes away. Outlook and Google Calendar reminders sometimes don’t work as well for me because if I dismiss it once, it doesn’t come back.

Folder organization

One of my pet peeves is when people have hundreds and sometimes thousands of unread emails. I don’t know how people can keep track of what they’ve read or how they can easily find important emails.

I like to use folders to organize my emails so I can easily find ones I need to refer back to. I only keep emails that I need to follow-up on in my main inbox.

Blocking time

We often get stuck in meeting after meeting, or constantly answering emails/slack/etc, so I like to make sure to block off time in my calendar to focus on individual work that I need to get done. During this time I try not to check emails or messengers.

6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Simply be grateful for another day. We never know when our last day will be, so for me whether you accomplished everything you wanted to that day, or nothing at all, it can still be a fulfilling day.

I like to try and name a of couple things I’m grateful for each day, and that helps me to know I got the most out of my day.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Oprah. How does she do it?

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

As much as I like to plan ahead and schedule everything, I don’t always follow through with it all.

I like having some sort of loose plan so I’m not wasting time researching what to do, but I also like to live in the moment and abandon all plans if I stumble upon something awesome.

It’s so important to be kind to yourself and be aware of your needs and your limits so you’re not burning yourself out. Make time for the people and things that make you happy.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.