Published April 06, 2011
FOXBusiness.com regularly features profiles of people doing business from home, and making it work.
Who: Kate Buck, CEO of KBJOnline.com
What: Buck is a social media manager. That means she manages social media profiles (on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and blogs on behalf of small business owners, startups and brands. On a daily basis, her company posts status updates, shares content and tracks mentions for clients on their behalf. She also consults and trains businesses on how to effectively market their products and services using social media and offers products aimed to help others start their own online businesses in social media.
Where: Buck works mostly out of her home office in a spare bedroom upstairs. She occasionally meets with team members or clients out of the office, but she prefers to host meetings using a Web conferencing software for non-local clients. She also said she works out of airports, hotels and conference centers when on the road.
When: Buck starts working between 8 and 9 a.m. and stops around 6 or 7 p.m. She said she often works late in the evenings and on Saturday mornings because it’s quieter and she can get more done.
When did you start your company? January 2009
How: Before Buck started her business, she worked virtually for a large corporation for three years as a community manager. When she was laid off in 2008, she was looking for another corporate job, but agreed to take on part-time freelance work from home in the interim Eventually, Buck said she had enough work that she didn’t need to keep looking for a "real job." She incorporated KBJOnline and has been working for herself ever since.
One of the first "real jobs" Buck applied for didn't hire her, but referred her to her first client. Later, that company came back and offered her the original job she had applied for, but she was successful enough on her own that she turned them down.
Why: Simply put: Buck loves what she does. She gets to "play around" on Twitter and Facebook everyday.
“This is such a fun and exciting industry - new and growing, changing daily,” Buck said. “I work for myself because it's the most rewarding way to work. I want the hours I spend working to be an investment in my future - not someone else's.”
Day in the Life: Buck usually goes straight into her home office first thing in the morning.
“My coffee maker is in there, so I brew a cup first!” she said. She checks Twitter, Facebook and e-mail, answering anything addressed to her. Then she often has calls with clients, team members, her coach or potential clients. She then takes a break and "gets ready" for the day. A couple of days a week, Buck’s assistant (who doubles as her sister in real life) comes over to work, too.
If she’s not on back-to-back calls all day, she said she is working on different projects, catching up on Twitter (“I've got an entire 28" monitor dedicated just to Twitter!”), answering questions for her social media manager students on Facebook and helping her @Pinqued business partner to plan the ever-popular TechKaraoke parties.
In the afternoon, she walks her dogs (you can meet @frankie_dogg and @koda_dogg on Twitter).
Dinner time is spent with her husband or out with friends, then it’s a few more hours of work before bed.
“One of my favorite things to do on Saturday mornings is to read articles and blogs I've discovered throughout the week - and tidy up loose ends from the week,” she said.
Pros and Cons: “You hear the pros from working from home all the time - I get to make my own schedule, I get to ‘play’ all day online - but still make a real difference for my clients,” Buck said. “It's fun. I can work from anywhere - and even more so that I can work from my iPhone. The possibilities are limitless.”
Social Media is a hot topic for business owners right now, so Buck said it's not difficult to find clients. She loves traveling and speaking at conferences, so that aspect of the job is a big plus.
“I love what I do, and I love that I can help other people be more successful online,” she said.
As for the cons, during big promotions for clients, Buck often works long hours, managing ads and contests in real-time on the Web. And since she also enjoys social media on a personal level, “the line between work and personal time is very thin - if existent at all,” Buck added. “The good news is, what I do usually doesn't feel like work.”