S4E12: Growing a Freelancing Business as a Data Scientist with Lillian Pierson

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Lillian Pierson is a freelance data scientist for SMEs and entrepreneurs, as well as a trainer, speaker, and coach for people who want to get into data science and analytics.

Before she got into data science, Lillian worked in engineering. However, her interest in the tech space began early: she started teaching herself basic code in sixth grade, and always enjoyed working with data. When she decided on a career change, data science was the natural choice.

Lillian is also the author of Data Science for Dummies and the founder of Data-Mania, the company through which she offers data training services to professionals seeking career advancement. She works remotely as much as possible, which allowed her to move overseas to Thailand, where she’s currently living the island life with her family.

In today’s episode, we discuss freelancing as a data scientist, how to manage remote work and travel, the importance of building your personal brand, and more. Listen below!

This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos.

Laurence Bradford 0:06
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Laurence Bradford 1:19
Today's episode I talk with Lillian Pierson, also known as Big Data, Gao who is a freelance data scientist. We talked about working remotely and traveling the world while doing so, building an online brand and how she uses social media to land clients. Lillian Pearson is a freelance data scientist for SMEs and entrepreneurs. She's also a trainer, speaker, and coach for people who want to get into data science and analytics. William is also the author of Data Science for Dummies. And before she got into data science, Lillian worked in engineering.

Laurence Bradford 1:58
Hey Lillian. Thank you so much for getting on the show.

Lillian Pierson 2:01
Hi, Laurence. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Laurence Bradford 2:04
Yeah, I'm really excited to chat with you. And as I mentioned before we hopped on a call, you're the third person I talked to so far this season, who works in one way or another in data science. So really excited to be featuring data science as a career this season. It's something I'm personally really interested in. I always joke that if I could redo my tech career now, it was several years ago, I would have maybe taken the route of data science rather than well, initially, I was doing more so software engineering, but I digress. let's get let's get to you. Let's get to your story. What were you doing before you got into the tech into tech or is this something you were always doing? Were you always working in tech?

Lillian Pierson 2:43
Okay, so you you when you say tech, I have to break that apart from stem so I got my license in environmental engineering. And tech, I think is more of like people working in the coating space like I don't really think that traditional engineers like in. I don't know, I didn't consider myself a member of tech when I was working as an environmental engineer. If that makes sense. I don't know how you what you how you classify that?

Laurence Bradford 3:13
Yeah, I mean, I to be totally honest, I'm not as familiar with environmental engineering. And I do like how you said stem. So for you that would definitely, I mean, that definitely falls understand, right, like science, technology, engineering, math, environmental engineering would be in that umbrella.

Lillian Pierson 3:30
Yeah. So like, I don't like I taught myself coding. Well, okay. I like because in elementary school, like in, I don't know, it was like maybe nine, they put us down in front of an apple and taught us just a little bit of basic and we had an 8086 computer in our garage because my stepdad was an engineer. So I taught myself, you know, basic coding at nighttime, like after school and stuff like that. Like That was my first exposure to coding. But then I went to the engineering program. And most of the stuff we actually did like now looking back, I see where it all fit into data science, but you didn't actually code it yourself. Because there was applications that everyone used to actually get the results. So you would just plug in the numbers, and then the application would spit out the result. So that you would be doing statistical analysis and this, this is applying statistical methods and this sort of thing. But from the perspective of an engineer, we were looking for, you know, input and output because we were designing systems.

Laurence Bradford 4:35
It sounds like though you studied Environmental Engineering at college, and that was your early experience, right was in environmental engineering, and then you later transitioned into data science, and I was then my next question was going to be how did you end up getting interested in data science after you know, studying environmental engineering?

Lillian Pierson 4:55
Yeah, well, okay, so that is a good question. And it seems like it's Seems like such a natural extension to me. But I know it doesn't to most people. I've always been interested in data ever since, you know, like my first job in high school, which was like entering, you know, data entry, I was thinking about if we had enough numbers, I bet we could find correlation between like someone's I don't know, birthdate, or where they live in like this other factor. So I've always been naturally interested in data. And then in college, wasn't Yeah, who had me, I always was working on projects, like I was always working, having an internship and I was always working on projects with statistics or with building, you know, building databases or modeling spatial data. I was always working with the data when in my internships during school, and then when I got out again, that was my natural proclivity was to work like hydraulic modeling or, you know, modeling, like all sorts of different spatial like spatial modeling systems and stuff. Like that.

Lillian Pierson 6:00
So, that was the stuff that I was interested in and good at and then when they went when I had to like actually go and design systems and you know find the dimensions for like, how many feet of pipe here and like, what size of valve there and actually going in designing that was not something that was like super interesting to me, I always like to be the person who is like looking at like, Okay we have this, you know, what is the conductivity of the, you know, of the aquifer and how does water move through it and like using data to make predictions. So, I just I moved in from I moved from environmental engineering eventually into a role which was, it was at first it was GIS, which is geographic information systems, that's what I was hired to do. But then immediately they had me take the lead on a data analytics project. And then once I got into data analytics, I started, you know, really digging into like what's happening in the industry. And I found I found my passion. You know, I found I didn't even know that well, I don't think there was a thing. Too much of a thing called Data Science like it was new then. So like when I found that like someone's job could be just to like, find insights and data, then I just knew I'd found my passion. And so like, I just really got into it. And then on the path of persistence..

Laurence Bradford 7:30
Yeah, that's awesome. And it's really great that like one of your, you know, your former careers, your former job led you to where you are now and you got to experience or work more with data analysis and you found out about this whole field and I think you are right, actually the another guest I had on Alice Zhao, she was she studied analytics and unit. I'm sorry for her master's. And she was saying that when she first got into the program, the term data science wasn't really in use. It was it was like More. So she went to school to study analytics and then it just you know, that ended up becoming kind of data science and then that's what she does today. So I think it may be kind of a newish term. Or at least from my understanding, but of course, you're that you're the expert. Right? You wrote data science for dummies, which I want to ask you about next. I'm probably jumping ahead a bit. But I'm just super curious. Especially, of course, I think all the listeners are familiar with these, you know, the for Dummies book blog, you know, X for Dummies, and you wrote Data Science for Dummies. So how did that come about? Like how did you go from working right as an environmental engineer to teaching yourself data science to then writing the book data science for dummies?

Lillian Pierson 8:36
Um, okay, so I had I got a few years of experience doing what I would call spatial data science, because I was using I was coding in Python to write scripts that would do like deep analysis on spatial data. And so like, it was it wasn't just like an immediate transition, but I worked as a consultant or I worked for as an employee for While and I start I already knew when I took that job that I wanted to build my own business. So what I did was I just looked at nighttime, I just pretty much worked like almost 80 hours a week, you know, because I would work in the daytime, and then at night, I would work on building my, you know, like my online business. And I did that for a few years. And then I eventually had enough business that I could quit my job. And I did that. And I was still blogging a lot. You know, and so like, anyway, that's kind of how like, I made the transition. And then the story of actually how I got the, the, the book, you know, the book deal was just like, I don't know, it was pretty cool. I was just, I was I had been living in Chiang Mai. So I would say, okay, since this is kind of what I did was I quit my job and I just decided that I wanted to, you don't have like a laptop business. So travel the world and work remotely and so I was already doing that. And I lived in Chiang Mai, which is in northern Thailand for several months, and I wanted to go, I was going up to Bali. So I was boarding the plane in Bali, in Bangkok, on my way to Bali, and I checked my email one last time, and I had an email from an editor with like, a full book deal with all the requirements and how much they were paying me. And so then I was like, Okay, well, you know, I can't, it's kind of intimidating, but I'm not gonna say no to that. So. Yeah, so that's how I ended up writing that book.

Laurence Bradford 10:35
Yeah, that's really awesome. So they found you through your blog.

Lillian Pierson 10:38
Yeah. So that was that's a trick like, how do you exist? Like, how do you make a transition from some environmental engineer to like, being a book author? Well, I established credibility and I demonstrated my skills by blogging and by like, you know, demonstrating what I could do online and promoting it so people kind of knew who I was and I that's how it happened.

Laurence Bradford 11:00
Yes, I love that and I've never never from a for dummies series or whatever publications behind that. But I have been contacted as well about book deals much smaller ones since because of my blog. So for the listeners, I think blogging is a great way if you ever want to kind of make bridge the gap from your you know your full time career to writing a book about it and getting a book deal. The the blogging building audience definitely makes sense. So I'm curious, are you still blogging today? Or is that something that you were doing a few years ago?

Lillian Pierson 11:35
No, I still blog today because I have a business and so it's like kind of one of those things that it's important to keep offering you know, like, I'm trying to like help readers and help people and in the general public, though I blog I've been trying to do like, once per week, but it's kind of tough lately. And yeah, it's It's like I have to juggle things, right? Because I'm also developing products and delivering products and doing way too many things. So what I've started doing is just like hiring people to help me because I can't you know, when I was blogging, but with other stuff, it's just like, I can't do it all but, you know, my, I'm not able to help as many people if I'm not out there blogging because blogging is like a really important, basically, okay, I'm just going to be straightforward. Like, biking is really important for inbound marketing. Right? So it's bringing traffic and it lets people know how I can help them and I'm able to share with them so we get, you know, build to start building relationships with people. And so I need to keep blogging, but it's super hard. When I'm like traveling all over the world with a little baby trying to run a business and like.

Laurence Bradford 12:47
Yes, yes, I so I want to talk about that some more of the travels specifically. So I have a ton of people listen to the show and people who read the blog, who are dying to get that I think you call it The laptop lifestyle, the remote lifestyle, right where you're traveling and working simultaneously. So it kind of two questions first, is that still what you're doing today? And even if you're not, could you talk just more about how you ended up doing that I ended up quitting your job traveling working remotely and I just know the listeners would love to hear about it.

Lillian Pierson 13:20
Sure. Absolutely. Um, okay, so is that still what I'm doing today? Actually, I just wrote a post today. So about so this year I traveled, I'm traveling three times. Okay, we live first. Sorry, is like a little disjointed. I'm living on an island in Thailand. And I have three trips, the series three trips to Dubai, two trips to Kuala Lumpur, Munich, Istanbul, Singapore, Bali in Los Angeles, in one year. So that's like my kind of travel thing. Yeah. And but we, you know, try to I try to work from home as much as possible because I've got a little like she's one year and four months and we have like office here and a nanny, and it's like, really, it's hard to travel with a little baby. So we're kind of just, you know, waiting it out for a while until she gets older and it will be easier to travel. This is my version of being stationary is like what I just thought do, but you're asking how can people get into like, doing this whole, like traveling and be able to work remotely thing was the next question right?

Laurence Bradford 14:24
Yeah, yeah.

Lillian Pierson 14:25
Okay. So what I did was I, like I said, I just, actually so it's not I think the hardest part about making that transition is people getting over their fear factor. And a lot of people like, Well, for me, it was like, I wanted to do this so bad. I was afraid. You know, my biggest fear about quitting my job and moving overseas was that, like, it wasn't like, oh, what if what if I fail? What if I, you know, it was like, What if I die before I make this happen, and I don't get the chance to do it. That was my biggest fear. So like, because once you actually get out here, it's like, there are so many avenues for things you can do to earn money. And, um, but I was, and there's a lot of, there's a lot of people like traveling all the time and just trying to like figure out ways to make money like as they travel and I don't I don't advise that because I've seen some friends of mine, some great people really struggle because they didn't put in the work beforehand in like, those two years that I spent, like working online and trying to like build a business and figure out how things work like online. Before I left, actually, were very helpful because when I when I left, like I had a little bit of business, but I also had built something that I could like bring in jobs. And then so I would recommend that anyone that wants to travel and work is just like start building a presence in like start Doing Stuff by you know, before you leave and kind of build up.

Lillian Pierson 16:04
You know, some clients establish some relationships and like, as far as getting jobs like your first jobs or whatever outside of employment, I'm not an employee and I probably never will be again. I did find one time I got a job on something, it was like, I was Elance. And it was a marketing it was like a sort of like data driven marketing job. And so one time, I did a job through you know, one of the websites and my advice for people all the time is like they're How do I get a job? You know, like, how do I get started? And what I did was I took a copywriting course I teach this to all my I teach all the strategies and methods to my students and my my protege program, but like, just to tell you what I did to learn how like, you just like I took a course on copywriting and then I wrote my job. You know, my, my, whatever. So my cover letter, which really was just a sales letter, but I wrote it in the style like that I would learned in the copywriting course. And then I immediately, like, within one week of trying to find like a job online, I had someone that wanted me like full time, make, you know, I was basically gonna make like, four or five times the amount of money I needed to live, just like, and I didn't have any experience on that platform. So like, you don't need to have a ton of experience. It's all in like, how you approach people and like caring about the people's needs, no, and like I had to learn like, people really don't care about, like me, they care about themselves. And so like, I need to show them that I care about them and I want to help them this is how I can and like that, you know, like that kind of message. And it just it's a game changer in terms of like the, you know, like getting jobs through those platforms.

Laurence Bradford 17:54
Where we're taking a quick break from this interview to hear a word from our sponsors who helped me Making the learn to code me podcast a reality.

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Laurence Bradford 20:13
Yes I love that I love your little tip on taking a course on copywriting you know, I write often I blog and I write a live my full time job as well. And I 100% agree like writing is such an important skill to have and really like a cover letter or anything like a portfolio, website, whatever. It's really like a sales letter, as you said, and it makes a ton of sense how a course on copywriting would help you land more clients and just position yourself better. And also the point you made about caring about the needs of the clients and really solving their problems right putting themselves first not putting as much you know, well in the way that you put attention on yourself in a way that is going to solve their problems and making it about them, not you so that also makes sense. Real quick, what are Do you live on in Thailand now?

Lillian Pierson 21:03
I live in an island called Koh Samui.

Laurence Bradford 21:05
Okay, cool. So for someone listening know this already, but I used to live in town to actually live in Thailand for nine months after college. So I am familiar. I've never been to Coast A million, but I am familiar that with an island very here, it's very gorgeous. I have friends who've been there. So I'm sure like myself and some of the listeners are very jealous. That's really awesome that you made that work.

Lillian Pierson 21:25
Well, come back.

Laurence Bradford 21:26
Yes. Oh, my gosh,

Lillian Pierson 21:28
-- is still here.

Laurence Bradford 21:29
I know. I know. I would love to go back. I keep thinking about I've been I've actually got to travel to 13 different countries in Southeast Asia and East Asia. And I was in Thailand for nine months, which is I think, the longest I've ever been somewhere. Yeah, it was. But okay, so you So you mentioned your travel schedule this year, and you're still going to a bunch of places. Is that mostly for work like or is it more so for pleasure or what are you? What are you doing when you go to Dubai and I think you mentioned Kuala Lumpur and a few other places.

Lillian Pierson 22:00
Yeah so um all of those trips that I mentioned were for work except for Bali which was for my birthday. But um so I go to Dubai and I give training and same thing with Kuala Lumpur both of those trips are to give training and then bienick and assemble were like influencer abouts because they also do influencer work. And then Singapore was to meet with a potential client and Los Angeles was because I I have some courses on lynda.com or LinkedIn learning for like Python produce science and stuff like that. So we were the whole family and I were out in California at the beginning of the year to record that stuff.

Laurence Bradford 22:41
Oh, awesome. Is the course out yet? The course on Lynda?

Lillian Pierson 22:44
Mm hmm. It is. I have three out and I'm like, slowly. I'm supposed to get this course done for deep learning. I have a deep learning course I'm working on I just need to record it. So I'm going to have for four courses there.

Laurence Bradford 22:56
Yeah, and I and I'm familiar with this, but for listeners who are So Lynda is you know, LinkedIn platform, which is now owned by Microsoft. And they have a huge like studio and headquarters outside of LA. And that's where I think all or most of the instructors go to do recording for the courses that they produce. And that's awesome that you're making this courses. And it just so Okay, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the sense that I'm getting the picture that I'm painting is that you have this really strong online brand, right? We haven't even mentioned yet, your Instagram or your Twitter handle, which is big data, Gao and for the listeners I was, I've been following Lilian on Instagram for a while and I didn't even connect the dots. I kind of feel like duh, but I didn't even connect the dots at this Lillian was the person didn't know I know I did. I was looking at this. I was I feel like what that so I so the people I thought Instagrams I think there's kind of a disconnect when I use Instagram versus other social media platforms because when I use Instagram, it's really for like pleasure and I follow a bunch of people.

Laurence Bradford 24:00
But I'm kind of like I don't post that much in Instagram so kind of like tuned out I don't know and I know people's handles like a new big data gap but I didn't know that your I didn't maybe I saw your first thing was a million bytes didn't like connect the dots of the relation between them on instead I was looking at like your LinkedIn and and other social media platforms not your Twitter or your I know I sound that sounds crazy I'm like how did I How did I realize this? And also your new say, How did you find me? So I have people helped me find guests for the show now, which is awesome. Yeah, so like you have contractors who help you run your business I have people helped me as well behind the scenes in a multitude of ways. I would not be able to do as much as I do if it weren't for the people helping me because also in the western shows, but I also work full time so I have like, you know the full time nine to five during the day.

Lillian Pierson 24:50
Yes, yes I do. That is mind boggling because your business is just like, it's like it floored me when I saw what you're doing over there. I thought this is so professional. Like how could I ever make something that's good like and you still have a full time job and that is like --

Laurence Bradford 25:04
oh my goodness well thank you that's very flattering and for the listeners so so I'm gonna shine shine Orlando but Lillian has like 30,000 Instagram followers you have what 60,000 Twitter followers you've wrote and you're teaching Lynda courses I mean to me you're doing I mean you're doing an amazing job I I didn't even again I can't get the dots of paint is bigger picture I'm like oh my goodness. And where I was going with this was your you have this really strong online brand and it's to me it seems like these is helping you right lead into these other opportunities like teaching the Lynda courses writing the data science for dummies books, all of it. Yeah, and it just all kind of like and I've kind of experienced similar but I feel like once you get the ball rolling, it's like easier and just more opportunities come your way.

Lillian Pierson 25:48
Absolutely. Like all i all of the work that I've done is all come to me. And like I told you that one time on the the Elantra, whatever that was like when I went for work, but I use, I built a brand that basically does inbound marketing. So it brings like targeted people that are interested in what I have to offer to my website. And so that's what yeah, that's what I actually so I have a coaching program, which is how I teach people how to do this for themselves, because I spent so long you know, like learning and, um, yeah, so that's how it that's how my business works. And I probably could be doing a lot more work if I knew how, you know, was better at like, direct marketing and like going and trying, you know, I never see I'm not like really the type of person that wants to go and try and sell something to someone, you know.

Laurence Bradford 26:41
Oh, yeah. Yeah, totally. Iknow. It sounds like you're doing a great job as is like, and also you're I mean, who wants to be I don't know. To me. I'm like, who wants to be direct marketing all day, right. You live in Thailand? Do you have a family or traveling like, I mean, hey, let the let the people come to you, right?

Lillian Pierson 26:59
I mean, it's It works out and it's just like fun stuff. And, like I talked to someone the other day and they have a client, they're working with HBO and they wanted to see if I could do like coaching and training for them. And I was like, you know, that would be and I could do it from home like now I got to start, like, I've started doing like webcast, like training, live training, but from Thailand. And like, Yes, I can do that for HBO. Like please send them you know, you know, we'll work it out. I can do live training from my home office and Thailand for HBO. It's just like really cool stuff about you just like and yeah, so this is all going to like the advice I have to give people because like none of that if I had to like get if I had sat with what was going to be given to me in my career. I'm not Yeah, I would have like missed missed out on so much. You know, not just business but like my of the things that I really love in life. I just think that like there's so much out there, you know, that you could be doing like it's just a matter of going out there and getting it

Laurence Bradford 27:59
Yeah, this is all amazing. And I love that you're now teaching people how to do the same thing that you did and that you went from, you know, being expert in data science writing a blog, having an Instagram and Twitter. And now you're teaching people basically to replicate what you did. And I think that's, I mean, it's, that's so great. It's just like, to me really also paints a picture of like success, like, it's like, it's like now you're teaching others to do what you did in a different way, like before was a data science and I mean, you're still doing data size training, of course, but you're also helping people in this other way. So for your coaching, um, is this like in an online course? Do you work with people one on one, how do you do that? And what I mean here is like when you're helping people position themselves in this way and land these kind of opportunities that you landed.

Lillian Pierson 28:46
So right now I the first thing I did was I so I started a coaching program, which it's a one on one coaching program for people that want to get into either data analytics, data science or data engineering, because those are the industries in tech I know, the best. But, um, so I've been, you know, I have clients and it's really funny because I like never even, you know, I knew it was a winner because I never marketed it, I just put, I just built the, I just built the, you know, like, the sales page and set up the configured my system. And then I started getting clients and then I was like, Okay, I need to, you know, figure, you know, get all this information that's in my head out into a program, I had something structured, but I needed to fill it all in. So now I have clients and it's just like, I haven't even marketed it. And I've been pretty busy with that. And then what I want to do, actually, so the two things that helped me to know that this was a great direction to go in is one that I like Bill I kind of pattern.

Lillian Pierson 29:52
I patterned my program off of another woman's program that I saw, like, just like her what application to use it Like, I just really liked what she was doing with her business or like, I made a version of that for mine and I started getting like clients right away. And so like, then the other part that then I like, took my own my own coaching, like a coaching program for me and it really, like helped me in my business. So like, I thought, I didn't realize people were doing this, like I have beat my head up against the wall for like, this entire time figuring out everything on my own, like how to build this tech business and like, you know, like, it's been a lot of work and I did not know that I could join a program and I could someone would tell me what works. I didn't have to like trial and error, the whole internet by myself. And so like now I'm like super excited and I'm always gonna happy in one program or another because it's helping my business so much. But based on that experience, I think what I'm going to do One transition my one on one program, coaching program to group coaching program and then I'm going to make it like, I'm like break it out into something that keep an offering for people that are data professionals and they want to focus on that, but kind of try and help.

Lillian Pierson 31:17
Like the tech, the freelancers in tech are people that want to build their own business in the tech industry. And like, because I built a business in the tech industry, so I can serve the tech industry, as well as anyone, but I'm not talking about the startup type coaching programs because I'm not I'm the type of person I don't want any funding. Like I don't want any outside investor coming in and owning anything or answering you know what I'm saying answering to people, I don't want that. So for type of like independent, either tech, freelancing or tech, you know, like entrepreneurship. So I'm thinking of Trent transitioning it out to something like that and making a group group coaching program that that will be Next year, I'm hoping like April, I got a lot of work to do between now and then.

Laurence Bradford 32:05
Yeah, this is also exciting though. And it's really awesome to see how your, like career and life has evolved over the last several years and all the opportunities have come your way. And I tell listeners all the time, the importance of just having a strong brand, having you know, a website in the least, you know, social using social media as a tool. And these are all things that you're doing extremely well. So I'm so happy that we got to have you on. And lastly, I just want to ask one more final question. And more so about social moreso about social media. And I'm I you have a lot more followers than than I do on social media. And I'm wondering, has that helped your career at all like has having a strong Instagram presence or a Twitter presence? Has that have you like see any clear connections from that helping with the opportunities that have come your way or is it been mostly Through the blogging, and like maybe the speaking and other events that you do in person?

Lillian Pierson 33:05
I think it almost I would say about 80% of the opportunities that come to me are from my social presence.

Laurence Bradford 33:12
Oh, wow. So even more Okay, so a lot.

Lillian Pierson 33:14
Yeah, most of it because like, I don't blog, especially now like, I'm not I'm not doing the kind of heavy duty blogging that I was in the past and like, anyway, the type of work I was getting from the blogging was mostly like writing work and I don't want to do writing work. So but you know what, I took it at first, I took it first and it paid it paid the bills until I could build my business doing something else. So I could write, you know, I'm saying so, like, the blogging helps the, the social media helps the like having like having, making, you know, like a making a presence where it kind of flows together and it's kind of like very clean and make sense. Like, all of that helps. And then it's just Matter of like, I don't know, keep them going.

Laurence Bradford 34:03
Yeah, yeah. And yeah, that's okay. So that that was going to be my last question. But now I want to ask, When did you first start to? Like, when did you first create your blog? I usually asked that sooner. So I'm so sorry. So at the end, but what year was that, like the big data gal blog when you first started?

Lillian Pierson 34:18

Laurence Bradford 34:20
Okay, so about like, five or so years ago.

Lillian Pierson 34:23
I didn't even have a Facebook Like I was totally up until like, 2011. I had like my facebook down because I didn't, I didn't know why you would want anyone to know what's going on in your life if they're not like in your life. Yeah, it didn't make you know, and then I learned about the workplace and the modern workplace. It's not like when I was growing up where you go, and you submit, like, you know, the whole thing, you send the letter in the mail, you submit your resume and like, it's just totally different now. And so like the presence just like, is a game changer for getting a job and then by the time I had built this presence, got so many different opportunities to work independently that although I got a really like cool job, like, you know, come interview with Sony, whatever I was like, No, I don't want to do that because I want to just work on my own in the presence, you know, so then it just like would bring job opportunities but also so many different like freelancing type work things that I just didn't need a job anymore.

Laurence Bradford 35:24
Yes, I love that we're talking about this because I have questions all the time from people about not you know, really wanting to use social media or not feeling like it's a good tool and now you're even inspiring me to start to pay more attention again to social media was something that I used to pay a lot of attention to, and then I sort of drifted off I think, for me, I go and sort of cycles with it, but hearing that so many of your opportunities in one way or another have stemmed from so social media is really a great reminder to me and I think everyone else how important that is and exactly, as you said, the modern workplace. So and just how People are getting jobs nowadays.

Lillian Pierson 36:02
But let me add, let me add that what you're doing with your brand and your business. It's like, see your, your strong in areas where I'm weak. And like, so I know that social media and like having a strong presence on social media has worked for me. But like, I, there's a lot of areas where I'm still learning, like, how do I build processes for my customers? How do I like build an amazing customer experience? Like all of this stuff isn't? That's not social media, and like, so. You know, like, social media is part of it. But then if you're building your own business, then there's a lot of other components, you know, that you need to be solid on that, like, I'm still learning and still like growing every day. So definitely, it's not the end all.

Laurence Bradford 36:51
Yeah, and me too. I'm very flattered that you said that. Thank you so much, Lillian, and thank you so much again for coming on the show. I really loved having you. Here. We spoken ton about like your online presence everything. So where can people find you online?

Lillian Pierson 37:04
I'm most active. I'm most active on Instagram as BigDataGal. And but I also am like a I'm also I have a, I'm an influencer on LinkedIn. So I'm, you know, publishing a lot there. And then also Twitter is BigDataGal. And on LinkedIn. I am Lillian Pierson.

Laurence Bradford 37:25
So awesome. Well, we'll definitely include all these links in the show notes to your different social media handles and other things we talked about along the way. Thank you again for coming on.

Lillian Pierson 37:36
Thanks for having me.

Laurence Bradford 37:43
If you enjoy learning about the tech industry through this podcast and you're wondering how to enter it yourself, you should consider doing some freelancing. If that sounds scary, don't worry. I've put together a Freelance Starter Guide for newcomers to the tech field. It will help you work out if freelancing is right for you, how to get your first client, how much to charge and loads more. Oh, and it's 100% free. Request your copy at learntocodewith.me/freelance. And thanks for listening to the Learn to Code With Me podcast today. Take care!

Key takeaways:

  • Writing is such an important skill to have, especially if you want to make an impact with a cover letter. Consider a writing course to hone your skills.
  • Blogging for income is a great way to bridge the gap between a full-time career and writing a book.
  • If you want to build a career traveling and working remotely, figure it out before you go. Building a business while traveling is a struggle.
  • If you build up an impressive online presence and make a name for yourself, opportunities will come to you.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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