Hi! My name’s @sarahleeyoga. Well, actually Sarah Chambers, but you’ll probably recognize me as my Twitter and Slack handle first.
I spend a lot of time in the Support Driven slack community, but I have good reason to! It’s basically my work slack, since I quit my job as Director of Support at Kayako last year and went freelance.
Now, I work as a Customer Support Consultant and Writer.
Here’s what a day in my life looks like:
8am: Coffee. It’s necessary. I’ve never been a morning person, ever.
8:05am: Open email and Slack. I work with people from all over the world, so I’ll frequently have client emails in my inbox when I wake up. Since I’m currently based in Vancouver, I need to answer any UK emails early to get back to them by the end of the day.
8:30am: Review my Trello board to see what projects and deadlines are coming up. I’ll follow up with any projects that are waiting on customer review. A lot of times I work directly with startup founders who are super busy. Content can get bumped to the end of their priority list, so sometimes they need a few nudges to review and get edits back to me.
9am: It doesn’t happen every day, but sometimes I get to do my favorite activity – INVOICING. I have other admin stuff that isn’t as fun to do too – expenses, tax prep, contracts, etc. Running a business takes a lot of paperwork!
I also start thinking about where my next gig is coming from. The upcoming projects column has some free space, and my part-time writing help is always looking for another post to write. I might send a few pitches to new blogs, follow up with a new connection or post a “looking for work” update on social media to drum up a few leads.
9:30am: more coffee. Necessary.
10am: Okay, writing time. I have a deadline today, so it’s time to finish up this article. I find a few more sources to prove my point. While I’m procrastinating, I’ll chat with people in Support Driven, check Twitter, read email, check flight prices. I can work from anywhere, so I’m frequently wondering where my next flight will be to!
Offices with a hammock and a view are just…. Better.
12:30pm: Re-locate to a coffee shop. Still necessary. I have the afternoon set aside to work on a consulting project. I log into their Zendesk instance and start auditing their support replies. I write down a few notes to follow up on later, and open up their analytics. Hmm… some concerning trends with their resolution time. Definitely want to dive into that. I start putting some numbers into a worksheet, calculating their current staffing needs.
2pm: A call with the consulting client. We talk about future growth plans, where they are struggling, and some opportunities they want input on. I have a few things I wanted to clarify from the analytics. I make notes about what I need to watch for when I’m in their office next week
4pm: Gym time. I find it hard to concentrate for a full 8 hours without getting outside or to the gym now. I’m trying to get in good shape for snowboarding season. I just bought a splitboard, so I’m planning to skin up a few mountains this year! Some weights, squats, balance boards and cardio.
Hopefully it goes better than this.
5:30pm: Check my email again and finish up any last tasks before I close up my computer. Some days I’m done early, and some days I’m staring at staffing models at 11pm. Really depends on the day!
Post work: Climbing, cooking, Netflix, wine.
Depending on my workload, I might work 4 full days in the week or I might take one off to go skiing, climbing or just hangout with friends. It’s easy to let 4 or 5 hours of work fill a whole day so I like to timebox myself as much as possible.
I get asked a lot for advice on support consulting. Here’s some tips I’ve picked up, but please don’t steal all my clients away from me:
- Before quitting your job, have savings or another form of income. The gigs aren’t consistent, so to save yourself from constant stress, you’ll want a buffer. I have a few ghostwriting clients to make sure I can always make ends meet between contracts.
- You’ll be better at it if you’ve worked in a variety of companies at a senior leadership level. The more you’ve seen and experienced, the better advice you’ll be able to give to your clients. There’s not just one way to do things, so you better have exposure to many different ways!
- While loving support is important, you also need to love marketing, networking and paperwork. When you’re on your own there’s a lot more admin to deal with.
- Set up your niche and take the time to create documentation on your service. What will customers actually get from employing you? What services do you offer? “All of them” isn’t a good answer.
Support Consulting is really fun because I get to work with a ton of different companies on my own terms. I make less money than I used to, but I have more freedom. This works really well for my nomadic lifestyle right now. If you have more questions about what I do, or are looking for a consultant, send me an email! I love to talk about support and my decision to go freelance, so don’t hesitate to get in touch :)