The story started
Hey everyone! My four monthiversary with Pearl Lemon is coming up and, it is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how my experience within the company and my role has been going so far. 😊
It’s currently the last whole week of March, and with a wrap on the first quarter of 2021, it has been crazy to think that time has passed so quickly! It will be very interesting to contemplate how much I have grown since I joined Pearl Lemon back in December 2020.
When I first applied to Pearl Lemon as a content writer, I didn’t think I would get this position. I had no experience with writing outside of my university course. I wasn’t even aware of SEO, content marketing, or anything like that. I cast a wide search for a job and thought Pearl Lemon is gonna be a fluke like the rest of them.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never thought I could pursue it as a potential career – definitely not after working in customer service for so long. My thinking since that time has changed. I can do it! And I did! And so can you.
As mentioned above, I had little work experience in any role outside of customer service. Working in a coffee shop has its merits, but I can’t say that it has helped me develop as a person beyond being able to deal with demanding customers and managing a couple of people as a shift runner.
I’ve never been the person who knows what career I want out of my life, so trying to find something after so long is no joke. I had a lot of rejections and a lot of frustration building up. Finding Pearl Lemon was an all-or-nothing thing – I was honestly that close to giving up.
I had low self-esteem, and I didn’t believe that I could find something anymore. But as we say in Pearl Lemon… when life gives you lemons… 🍋
Month 1 of working with Pearl Lemon was something to get used to. I have never worked from home. I have never followed a specific schedule (outside of education). I have never written about topics I have no idea about!
Lucky for me, the team at Pearl Lemon was super nice and helpful. They made me feel welcome, not afraid to ask questions and offered many suggestions for increasing productivity levels.
Which is great and everything, but my problem was a different sort of productivity. Apart from working in my other job, I also had my own goals and Pearl Lemon to balance. After neglecting my well-being for job searching, it was time to get back on the wagon.
I had to learn how to manage my time better and learn how to prioritize the things that are important to me.
Initially, my tasks were to go through the training videos and set myself up as a PL team member. This was great because I could figure out a reasonable timetable for my two jobs (if I had to work both on the same day) and how my days off would go. In between that, I could pepper in my health and fitness routines, social calls, and spending time with my family 😊 Balance was achieved.
After getting myself familiar with the training, I began my focus on writing guest posts!
These are short-form posts of about 500-700 words that were for clients. They were for a huge range of topics, some that I had never even thought about.
I’m usually good at chatting to people about anything because I like to read a lot, but writing guest posts gave me even more knowledge on a wide array of topics. Things I was never even interested in, like faux fur coats, gemstones, collectible coins, and even buying cars and property outside of the UK.
Writing about unfamiliar topics allowed me to spend time researching topics outside of my interests. This was fun and made me consider things that I usually never would have because I didn’t think I could relate to them.
Apart from the interest perspective, guest posts also made me a better writer because I had to learn concise and informative within a short word limit. It’s a lot harder than you think, and after learning so much about a single topic, you just want to get the information out.
Being able to have a versatile writing style is excellent. I could write short and long posts while still being concise and knowledgeable about a given topic. That helped when writing the long, internal posts for our own Pearl Lemon blog.
I’m glad I didn’t try to take on too much responsibility in my first month because I had a lot to learn and balance. Knowledge and understanding come from experience, and that is what Pearl Lemon is all about.
My second month at Pearl Lemon started with Deepak’s offer – our founder – to learn about PR. I did not know then, but this would lead me down a path to being a semi-head of the whole PR department.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Apart from writing guest posts, in my second month, I also volunteered to grammar sweep and fix the previous blog content on our website. I’m not a native English speaker, but I do think I have a good grasp of grammar and spelling, so this was a good job for me to do. It also helped break up the monotony of writing guest post after guest post.
Doing these grammar sweeps allowed me to read about the type of things Pearl Lemon was involved in. SEO, content marketing, eCommerce, cold emails… I’ve never even heard of half of the things before I started reading these blogs.
The benefit of this was two-fold. One, it was a great learning experience because I got a lot of information about everything just from reading our content. I understood what SEO is, how it works. I learned about various tools, platforms, and software that helps with automation of processes, integration with social media, and just how vital LinkedIn is for leads, networking, and being an expert!
It made me realise that I need to update my own LinkedIn. 😅
The second benefit was that I wanted to do more. I wanted to take on more responsibility – write longer posts, try another role, and figure out how I can get more skills and develop more as a person.
This is where Deepak’s PR offer comes in.
In my second month, I learnt how to make pitches. A pitch is a short personalised message that outlines a topic’s value and why it should be published. This was another chance to flex my conciseness muscle and also start writing on behalf of someone.
Creating a paragraph similar to the style of another person is a skill that takes practice. I don’t think I have the best grasp on that yet, and I’ve still got a lot to learn, but even when writing this, I have already had a few of my pitches published! One of the best things about working with Pearl Lemon is that you see results very quickly.
Both Deepak and Heather, who was Head of PR, are very encouraging with the knowledge they give, and they’re always ready to give you feedback and answer any questions you may have.
So my second month was filled with more writing on the surface. But on a deeper level, I took up new responsibilities and started learning more about how marketing is connected to optimisation and how that is linked to exposure. It’s a complicated process, and Pearl Lemon does it pretty well.
Being more involved with Pearl Lemon helped me focus and think about what I want from my future. I enjoy writing, for sure, and I’ve grown to love the remote working environment we have. Maybe after working like this for a while, I would get tired, but honestly, I love the novelty of working in my PJs and (potentially) anywhere in the world!
You can only get this freedom with companies like Pearl Lemon. It’s great for the learning experience, it’s great for skill development, and it’s great for figuring out what you want to do with your career.
Apart from these deep philosophical musings about months 3 and 4, I also learned how to use the many tools that we use! Two of which are PageOptimiser Pro and MarketMuse.
They’re kinda weird to navigate at first, but I think that goes for everything. There is a learning curve for these tools as there is with everything, but once you have the hang of it, it’s straightforward to use and get results from the content you optimise.
My last month with Pearl Lemon focused a lot on long-form content for internal sites! After writing guest posts for so long is was a nice change to write in-depth articles – especially about topics I didn’t know about.
Delving deeper into SEO and how it links with marketing, videos, writing about tools, and how they can help make your job easier was a lot more rewarding than short surface level barely-there articles.
This means I got to look at more data, more examples (more words, hahaha), but I also got to try out the tools as well! Many new handy tools are around, but people don’t know about them, and I got to write about it!
I enjoyed writing my long pieces. Very interesting and very fun, although more time-consuming as a result.
Additionally, I got more involved with PR – more pitches, leading meetings. I also created a calendar for Pearl Lemon to plan social media posts to increase engagement with our brand and get more people involved with more fun stuff across the whole year!
Working with Pearl Lemon has undoubtedly given me a new – quite extensive – skill set that I couldn’t have dreamed of getting elsewhere. It’s very intense, but it is so worth giving your time and heart to it.
One of the biggest takeaways from this for me was actually about me. Learning writing, PR, whatever, is great. However, self-reflection and internal thinking about your own needs, goals, and future aspirations are key for bettering yourself.
I learnt about ‘me’ as a person, but also ‘me’ as a brand. I have a portfolio to take away with me. I have valuable – useable – experience. I even made friends! 😊
I was always a creative person, even before Pearl Lemon, but being here among forward-thinking people has made me realise that I have a lot more potential than I had believed. This placement has given me more confidence to pursue creative outlets – not just in writing.
Although I am sad that I will be leaving, I know that the next chapter of my life will be very interesting. I’m not sure what is in store for me next, but I will continue learning and developing myself even more to unlock more opportunities!
I hope you get to experience this, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
All the best,