One thing that we pride ourselves on here at WiFi Tribe is the essence of true community within our tribe. We work together, play together, vibe off each other as we explore the beauty of each location as a unit. Aside from all the adventures we've conquered on our off time, we know the importance of doing our best work when we can. It's a formula, not a very complicated one, but one that takes dedication and focus to get the most out of the time we have (especially if we're on different time zones, which is basically always).
In fact, many of the remote workers who we've had the pleasure of getting to know over the years have, in some shape or form, turned around and helped us out with our business ventures. Part of being in the Tribe Family is sharing our skills with one another, so that we all improve ourselves and our businesses as a result of our relationships.
Recently, a few of our tribe members had the opportunity to collaborate together on an outside project. Utilising each one of their skill sets respectfully, they produced an epic end product that not only the client was happy with, but also them individually. So, naturally I probed them with a million nosey questions to see just how this process went, what it took from each of them to succeed in this endeavour and overall see what it was like to take three people in different fields, from different places, put them in a house together and watch the magic happen...
What was your first impression of the tribe? More specifically, what was your first impression of your future freelance co-collaborators?
Michelle: This collab came out of the connections I made in Cape Town chapter Jan/Feb/March of 2018. I had already done my first chapter in Costa Rica in summer 2017, and was excited to connect with more WiFi Tribers. This group was much larger, 25 instead of 15, so it took a while to get to know everyone and what they do best.
I knew Fred first because he was my housemate! We shared an apartment with Lauren Carey, Kent Salling, and Pamela Sarganara. Since our house had a really great common area, we got to work alongside each other and I was always interested in what Fred had going on. I was a video major in college, and he was messing with projection mapping which got me asking questions. The more I learned about what he was up to, the more I saw potential for collaboration!
Pia was in the main house, but a few of the coworking days we sat next to each other. I am decent with words, but there’s nothing quite as good as hiring a legit copywriter to help. At the time, I was working with a client and hired Pia to do a copywriting audit of what they had, and help me rework it so that the website appealed to her ideal client.
Fred: The tribe, oh man... Everything related to the tribe I can assure you that I will always remember the best.
So... Michelle's first impression, I think tried to introduce myself via Slack before the Cape Town chapter. I saw "graphic designer" in her description and I thought "ohh cool, maybe we can exchange some idea about the area," considering I have an experience in the design field, and of course, I thought at first that it would be incredible if I had the chance to work with someone in the group.
Irony of fate, Michelle and I stayed in the same house, sharing with other members. Everyone there had something nice to know about, whether as a friend or in the professional world. Then, every time I saw Michelle, I remember someone responding positively and being kind, especially when I lost my house key and needed her key. LOL Thanks a lot Michelle!
Pia Newman, another incredible person. I can remember perfectly Pia making some voices and sounds one day when I was helping to wash dishes after a dinner made by Robert, another Tribe member. Yes, she's funny and it's this impression I have of her. So, I guess because I had this experience of seeing the funny side of Pia, besides knowing that she is a copywriter, I always thought that one day I could use something she did in an animation project.
Pia: With Michelle, I remember being very much surprised at how young she is. She comes across as so… ‘together’, if that makes sense? She’s got a grip on her life and business that I could only dream of at her age. I was very impressed by her early on.
Fred came across as a dreamer with quite a bit of cheekiness – and I think that’s still a fitting assessment. LOL
As for the Tribe – I loved it from Minute One, back in Bali last year. Finally, here were people who understood my yen for travel, for not working the 9-to-5, who wanted more out of life than a daily routine and to settle down. I had, for all intents and purposes, found my tribe.
How did this opportunity come about/what was the project scope?
Balanced by Katie was Michelle's client, whom she was helping with her (re)branding, so she was the point person for communication . She brought on Pia and Fred as subcontractors for motion design and copywriting.
The project scope was moving the client’s website over from Wix to Squarespace. With a visual proposal created by Michelle, Fred used his animator skills to increase the website experience, so a lot of features were added that she didn’t have before. Working with something 2d in a unique visual style became a challenge because he needed to study a few different formats to animate without losing the visual style proposed by Michelle, as well as creating GIF images with file size small enough for the web. Pia edited/wrote several pieces of copy for the website; About Page, Home Page, FAQ, Yoga Page, and Physical Therapy Page.
What stood out that you'd want to collab together on this project?
I think what really stood out to me (Michelle) on this collab was how much geographical ground we covered… An american designer, a german copywriter and a brasilian animator meet in South Africa sounds like a set up to a very eccentric punchline! I loved that Wifi Tribe brought us all together and that we could all work together on a project regardless of our backgrounds. Both Pia and Fred attest to Michelle's business savvy work ethic:
"She is an incredible business woman. 6 weeks of coliving with her in Cape Town was enough for me to be 2000% sure she wouldn’t flake out. She sticks to her deadlines, she has imagination and business savvy enough for 3 entrepreneurs, she loves structure and she works her butt off for her clients. It kind of goes without saying, but she’s also fantastic at the branding she does. It’s kind of awe inspiring how fast she can whip up a logo and style guide that is just… beautiful and fitting for the business in question."
How did you all manage to work together? Did you connect and set deadlines, physically work side-by-side or solely communicate via Slack/email?
By the time the project started, we were no longer in Cape Town together, but again in different parts of the world (Michelle was in the USA, Pia somewhere in Europe and Fred was in Portugal). As Michelle was the point person with the client, we communicated with them through her. As far as our communication internally, a Basecamp file was created for MKW x Fred and MKW x Pia. This helped to keep the many threads out of emails and to better organize what the action items were. Also, there was an integration with Harvest used.
How did your personalities and work ethics differ?
Not really. From the beginning, we were already in a select group with a similar lifestyle, so the only thing that can be different is cultural baggage; formats that we use in the countries from where we came. We all love what we do and feel so fortunate to be paid for work that allows us to travel. Since we are all nomads, we could be super candid about expectations like “hey I am about to hop on a train to ____, but I can send this to you ____” or “I will be working on this as soon as I land in ___!” I loved that we were all over the world and still collaborating as if we were sitting in the same office! It's inspiring to work with other people who have professional positions that are thriving. I feel very inspired and grateful to know them through WiFi Tribe.
Did you like working together? Would you do it again?
Michelle: Without a doubt!
Fred: Is that a question? Definitely yes! Send work to us guys.
Pia: Yes and yes. Absolutely!
I suppose you can conclude that this group effort was a great experience for all. It's what WiFi Tribe does, bring other remote workers together to meet, collab, entertain, explore and make memories that last forever. And since we're entering the fourth quarter of 2018, check out what part of the world we'll be in next! Who knows? Maybe your ultimate collaboration dream team is waiting for you in one of our upcoming chapters...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica is a freelance copywriter and OG member of WiFi Tribe. While she is based in Los Angeles, she has been traveling throughout Latin America for over a year, with plans to tackle SE Asia this coming fall after some US explorations set for summer 2k18. She is the principle blogger for WiFi Tribe, but also writes for a few ecommerce companies and non profit organisations based in the US. Aside from work, Jessica has awesome hair (obvi) and is a future NY Times Bestselling Author... as soon as she finishes writing her first novel (it'll be worth the wait, I promise). You can keep up with her via her Instagram if you want to see some cool pix and funny memes :)