Community Profile: Jessica Chua – Writer, designer, social media enthusiast
This post is the second in our Community Profile series where we explore who the freelance professionals and brands that power the CloudPeeps marketplace are every Friday.
This week, we chatted with Jessica Chua, writer (of both fiction and nonfiction), designer, social media enthusiast, and supporter of all things socially conscious. In this interview, Jessica shares how she manages several freelance projects while remaining focused and positive with spare time to pursue hobbies she’s passionate about!
1) What are your professional passions?
I tend to be drawn towards anything that’s creative and analytical. I did a qualitative research internship earlier in the year, which I found very enjoyable!
Previously, I was writing eBooks (fiction) for several years. I still enjoy doing a lot of reading and writing on a daily basis, although my interest has shifted towards more non-fiction as of late.
2) How long have you been freelancing, and what made you choose this lifestyle?
I’ve been freelancing for the past few years. I like having a flexible schedule, and entrepreneurship was something that piqued my interest when I was in my early twenties.
Saving time and money on commuting is something that I’ve always found very appealing too, which is a big part of my decision to live the lifestyle of a digital freelancer.
3) You’re currently working for three CloudPeep customers, plus independent freelance work. How do you manage it all?
I try to be as disciplined as possible, so that items on my to-do list are consistently checked off. I am very selective with the type of work I do. How I feel about it is very important to me. If I’m happy and passionate about the company’s brand and identity, it keeps me focused and motivated to do a good job.
4) What’s the number one thing you include, champion, or remember when creating a strategy?
How to effectively communicate with your target audience. This is probably something I learned from being in the commercial eBook publishing/marketing scene for some time. The branding and crafting of messages has to be delivered in a way that is appealing to the audience one wishes to engage.
5) How has your CloudPeep experience been different from other freelance work?
The team at CloudPeeps is friendly, resourceful, professional, and supportive. I like how CloudPeeps efficiently manages the payment side of things. In my case, that’s a lot more stable than wondering whether an eBooks catalogue is still going to be there the next day (I have had more than one stressful occasion where some of my eBooks got banned or deleted because of “scandalous” content!).
6) What has been your favorite freelance success story to date?
With creative writing, my favorite success story was being invited to take part in a couple of professional writing events back in 2012. It was super fun and memorable because of all the great people I met.
With social media management, I consider it a good sign when influencers follow and/or engage with the client’s account (@kiva and @tefdigital started following @thegooddata recently, the latter being one of my CloudPeeps clients).
With other freelance work, I was very happy to get a job at FlexJobs (there was a job posting earlier in the year which I applied for; the job posting was up for one day only). There was something about their company culture that I liked very much. They value their employees’ happiness and well-being.
7) Where do you work from? What does your workspace typically look like? (Please share a picture or two!)
I typically work from a quiet home office. There are usually lots of books and papers around.
This is a picture from some years ago when I was writing draft outlines for various different projects. I tend to spend a lot more time organizing my thoughts (organizing the workspace is secondary…a habit I might change some day!).
8) Any hobbies or other side hustles?
I have been keeping a socio-political blog since early 2014.
Late last year, I reached a point where writing non-fiction had become more interesting and satisfying (versus writing fiction). It was the first time I’d felt that way, and I chose one over the other to focus my mind, time and resources better.
Blogging is a hobby that’s a lot of work at the moment, but for a good cause in terms of educating the public on certain important matters.
9) Do you have any mentors? Who do you admire or look up to professionally?
Personally, I have always admired Edgar Allan Poe and several other fine writers.
Professionally, I admire people who have a positive attitude, and who are able to make a living from doing something they enjoy that is also beneficial to the community (i.e. where there’s some focus on social good instead of a 100% focus on maximizing profits).
10) How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle when working independently as a freelancer? Any tips or resources to share?
I’ve found that a daily 10-minute yoga sun salutation routine is a lot better than skipping exercise altogether. I eat (mostly) healthy food and keep my distance from overly aggressive or pessimistic people. These are habits I’ll always have, whether or not I’m working as a freelancer. I’ve always found this website inspirational.
Ready to take the leap like Jess did and pursue freelance work, sign up to become a Peep and check out our available jobs.
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