1) Hello Jennyfer, thanks for taking part in our Freelancer Insides series. Firstly can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Jennyfer Tan and I was born in Manila, Philippines but just migrated to the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada last March 2015. I started as a Virtual Assistant in October 2009 and in the process, focused on being a WordPress Migration Consultant, Techie Troubleshooter and a Technical Virtual Assistant.
2) If you would search for your profile on Google, which are the three keywords you would type in the search bar?
Aside from my name, Jennyfer Tan, I would say The Techie Mom, WordPress Migration, Techie Troubleshooter
3) What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer?
My husband and I decided that I would be a stay at home mom to our then 3-year old son (I have 2 kids now, age 12 and 5), but it was hard for us, financially. I have a degree in Computer Applications/Business Administration and I am always ‘in the know’ of anything “techie”. Around October 2009, I was surfing the net to find some online jobs until I stumbled upon Odesk now Upwork. I spent around a week just reading everything about it and learning all the processes involved. After that week, I signed up, created my profile and started applying. After 2 days, someone took a chance on me and hired me to do a research and PowerPoint presentation, he gave me a glowing feedback and that was the start of my "online career" and it also turned out to be an advantage when we migrated because I can literally work from anywhere :-)
4) Was it difficult for you to start freelancing? Did you encounter any problems? Did you ever want to give up?
It was difficult at first, finding work online is also a "dog eat dog" world. Whether it is prospective clients "low-balling" the rates, or no work at all, it's not all a bed of roses. But I stuck with it because I knew my services and level of professionalism speak for themselves. I never wanted to leave the freelancing world because it means I'll have more time for my kids and my family. It's been almost 7 years and I still love it!
5) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide?
I make it easy. I take care of everything technical, from backing up the website to be migrated and ensuring it is transferred and backed-up to the new location, to reconfiguring your site to work with the new database and checking that the migrated site is functioning properly. I’ll take care of everything. I’m not just a migration provider; I’m an expert virtual assistant who is experienced in working with you remotely, at a winnable price, for a premium service.
As the “techie troubleshooter,” I help you to better understand computers, BOTH hardware recommendations and program-related solutions. I help in processing the solutions when these matters confuse someone. I teach you how to solve your Web- and program-related problems.
6) Now tell us, how do you find new clients that are interested in your services?
I started at Upwork but I don't use it anymore. I have a LinkedIn Account and my own website The Techie Mom most of my clients are all referral from previous and current clients.
7) How do you manage the pressure of meeting deadlines? Do you use any specific apps or software tools for self-organization, invoicing and something else?
Honestly, I don't have a scheduled or fix time for work. I am, however, able to work nonstop whenever the kids are already asleep or having their nap time. You will never see me without my trusting Samsung S6 with DropBox, most Google Apps installed and synced with my workstation at home.
8) Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess? If so, what was it like?
I normally collaborate with branding coaches, web designers and other virtual assistants mostly work at home moms like me. We help each other out by recommending each other, depending on the situation and the services needed.
9) How is it to be freelancing mum? How do you manage to balance work and life?
What is work life balance? hahaha. I think, for me, there is no clear cut way or strategy to be a successful freelancer. It would depend on your circumstances and priorities. For me, my priority is my family, so I work my way around our schedules as a family and the schedules of my kids, and only then I will adjust my work time. Also, knowing when to say "no" to a project is important, if I think that it will "eat up" my family time I would need to just decline the project. It might sound like a missed opportunity for me but, I know I would be able to find projects that would pay the same and I would still be able to work on my own time. As a freelancing mom, I know also that I would sometimes be interrupted by my kids, especially since I still have a young one, and one with special needs. It is not ideal, but again, I have to work my way around it.
10) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a freelance career? And what does it takes to be successful as a freelancer?
My advice for someone who is thinking about freelancing is this: Spend time assessing yourself and assessing the reasons why you want to do it. Make sure to stick to your priorities. Make sure that you would be able to adjust to this lifestyle. It is not an easy one, especially for people who thrive in an office full of people. You are subjecting yourself to working on your own, in your own working space, your "social interaction" would be mostly virtual. Once you think that you are really ready then go for it. For me, it was the best career decision that I made. J
Where to find Jennyfer:
Link to Website: www.thetechiemom.com
Personal Blog: www.thetechiemom.com/blog
LinkedIn Profil : Jennyfer Tan
Pic: © Jennyfer Tan
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