In our latest Featured Freelancer interview, we meet Wendy Weaver, a business writer and virtual assistant who’s speciality is in traditional personal assistant tasks. Wendy took the opportunity of her redundancy to open up her own door into the world of freelance, using the past experience of a 20 year role to lay the sturdy foundations of her new adventure.
Let’s read the interview, and don’t forget to connect with Wendy on LinkedIn at the bottom!:
What is your name and what do you do?
Hi, I am Wendy Weaver and I offer virtual assistant support specialising in traditional personal assistant tasks such as diary and email management, office support and invoicing along with business writing which involves creating copy and content to preparing reports, newsletters and company emails.
How long have you been running your business/freelancing and why did you start?
I began my freelance journey at the end of last year after taking redundancy from my job of 20 years. After working from home for the last couple of years (due to lockdown) I realised I did not want to be tied down to an office space any more and could use the knowledge and skills I had gained in my field of work in a freelance role.
Finding clients is one of the biggest concerns for people starting out working for themselves. Where did you find your very first client or customer? Where do you mostly find them now?
I was very lucky to gain my first client through word of mouth after casually (and very shyly) mentioning that I was setting up my own business. And I have since been recommended. LinkedIn is also a favourite place of mine to make business connections.
Who would you love to have as a dream client and why?
My dream client is someone who needs organising! It feels great when they realise they need you in their life as their burden of admin is lifted and they can put their energy into doing what they are good at.
But if I have to name drop a dream client, if Sir David Attenborough or Dan Snow threw an enquiry my way I would be rather thrilled as, being both a nature and history lover, organising their calendars would be the thing that dreams are made of!
What app or social media platform could you not run your business without, and why?
I am all about Google! Their Business Suite is perfect for bringing all my systems and apps together under one roof and so much is compatible with it.
I also find Facebook groups invaluable for sharing information. Not forgetting Freelance Heroes! Without sounding too biased, since I came across it, it has been such a great source of support for me with plenty to learn from other members too.
Is working for yourself what you expected? How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?
Yes. After the realisation that I did not want to be office based, having the freedom to plan my own day is a wonderful feeling. My family are grown and independent so I only have to plan around me and, as you may have guessed, I do love to organise a diary! I tend to use the time blocking method in my calendar to keep my day balanced and set a ton of reminders throughout the day for even the simplest things such as getting on the exercise bike or taking a lunch break to the park.
What has been your favourite project to date?
I was very fortunate to have been involved in helping with the organising of, and attending a couple of training seminars that were held in beautiful french chateaux. Exhausting but wonderful experiences.
What is your biggest win of the last 12 months?
Just being able to say “I am a business owner and this is my business” has been a huge win for me.
What is it about running your business/being a freelancer that you most and least enjoy?
I enjoy the thrill of being able to work from anywhere that I choose to be. And being freelance I can help people from all walks of life making for some very interesting connections.
The least enjoyable feeling has to be the constant awareness of ensuring you are generating a regular income that keeps you in the black.
If you were given a free £1000 to spend on your business, what would you spend it on?
I would have my business plastered all over the most prominent billboard in town so you couldn’t fail to miss just how I could help your business 🙂
What is your ONE top tip or piece of advice you would offer to other freelancers/small business owners?
Don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Whether it be paying for business cards, attending a networking event or taking a free training class. Keep it moving. It was born from within, keeping it nourished will help it thrive.
And finally, is there anything you’d like to shout about right now?
Yes, my business! All our businesses. We probably all have very different reasons as to why we set up in the first place and it’s not an easy thing to do but we are all here together and it’s great that we can support each other on our journeys. Best wishes to you all.