Jennifer Corcoran’s freelancer story
As part of our freelance celebration we’re sharing the experiences of female freelancers. Here’s Jennifer Corcoran’s story.
What do you do?
I’m a LinkedIn Consultant and Trainer. In a nutshell, I help business owners and professionals to polish up their LinkedIn profiles and connect with finesse. I basically coach confidence on the platform and help people to network in a way which feels authentic to them and gets results.
I do this in three ways – firstly with 121 strategy sessions either in person or via Zoom, secondly with small in-house workshops for teams who want to raise their visibility on LinkedIn and lastly via my online training course ‘LinkedIn Profile Success’.
How long have you been a freelancer?
I set up my business My Super Connector in 2017.
Why did you go freelance?
I’m very much an accidental freelancer. In early 2016 I had back surgery following a slipped disc and was off work for six months. I was literally flat on my back for a month and it allowed me to realise that I was not fully fulfilled in my last corporate role in financial services.
I decided to quit and initially took a career/study break and slowly but surely My Super Connector evolved. Essentially, I was looking for flexibility and a healthy work/life balance which led me to where I am today.
What do you love about being a freelancer?
The autonomy mainly. Being a freelancer has pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways and made me realise that I’m capable of a lot more than I give myself credit for.
I’ve had to learn and embrace new skills and it’s been exciting discovering this whole other way of earning a living. In my last role I very much felt like a cog in the machine but now I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives can see the impact first hand. It’s a great feeling.
And what do you hate about being a freelancer?
The loneliness and isolation. I miss being part of a collective and am always involved in voluntary projects on the side of what I’m doing daily to feed that need.
I’m very much a creative of habit too so I miss a consistent routine and struggle at times to achieve this as a freelancer.
How long did it take to earn an income you were happy with?
I would say a good two years – it’s not a quick ride for sure. It took me quite some time to realise that not everyone can do what I do and I deserve to be paid in accordance to my education, experience, expertise and results.
And how long to get a good client rota?
I would say a good 6-12 months.
Have you ever turned a client down? And if so, why?
Yes. Not everyone gets networking or online networking and the fact that it’s a long game. I’ve been profiled and really struggle to work on a personal 121 basis with a ‘blue’ type person.
I’m not sure if you are familiar with the colours? Blues are more fact focus than connection focused and I’m very much the latter.
With these individuals I direct them to my online training where everything is spelled out in a literal/analytic way. But I know that they will struggle to keep up the connection side of things down the line and LinkedIn networking requires consistency and being ‘social’.
If you could offer any advice to yourself starting out as a freelancer what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to work part-time or take on contracts on the side. I jumped in head first and I really regret it – far better to ease yourself in as it will take a while to get tractions and your savings will disappear fast!
What’s next for My Super Connector?
I’ve recently moved to beautiful Shaldon in South Devon and I’m currently putting together a virtual summit with five other Devon based female business owners which is really exciting.
The title is ‘Communicate YOU’ and it will feature advice on social media, branding, marketing, PR, personal development and entrepreneurship.
It will be free to attend and I can’t wait to kick it off. I’ve been a guest on 4 virtual summits in the past so this will be my first time hosting which is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. I’m reframing the fear as feeling excited and ready!
I still can’t believe that I’m doing things like this and talks, workshops and even Skypes as I’m very much an introvert (albeit a chatty one!). I’ll keep you posted as I would love members of Talented Ladies Club to attend and get their feedback.