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Working for a Living as a Digital Nomad – 5 Key Business Hacks

Work conditions are changing on a global scale. As we’re getting more connected via the Internet, social networks, and collaboration tools, a larger number of people can choose how they’re going to work. 

Truth be told, a bulk of workers still stay committed to company work. However, there’s a prosperous group of business individuals who are taking their careers in their own hands. Most of them start working as freelancers, i.e. employees who collaborate with several clients at the same time. Being a freelancer means that you can work from any part of the world, given that you have a fast Internet connection and all the necessary software tools. In other words, you can become a digital nomad. 

In the next few paragraphs, you can read some useful hacks to improve that kind of business management. 

1. Grow your client list carefully

The first obstacle on your path to the career of a digital nomad is the lack of work. In other words, it’s not so simple to start working and living this kind of life at once. So, it’s crucial to gradually build a client list and assess what projects you should accept in the first place. 

For starters, think about joining some of the currently popular freelance platforms. Older and established platforms, like Upwork or Remote OK are also fine, but competition is much harsher there. 

What’s efficient, as well, is to start offering your business services via cold emails to get a job. Firstly, you should do your homework and write a list of powerful or interesting companies in your niche. Secondly, send out emails that will contain your portfolio, CV, and cover letter. Try to adapt your style as much as possible to every client per se. There’s no guarantee that anybody will reply to you, let alone offer a job, but that’s something to count on when living as a freelancer/nomad. 

2. Avoid having middlemen

Once you enter the digital business market, you’ll notice that there are numerous middlemen and mediators between companies and their potential collaborators. 

A new digital nomad might not be able to dodge those people at the beginning of this business journey. Most of the freelance platforms take a certain commission because they provide services to both business seekers and business providers. 

So, even this is the stage that most digital nomads need to go through, try to minimize this period. You shouldn’t stop changing your clients until you land one or more jobs in which you’ll work directly with businesses who need your services. 

Still, those platforms that serve as middlemen are useful for building your online portfolio. From there, it will be easier to convince your new potential clients about the quality of your work and prove your experience. 

3. Put part of the income aside

Now that you’ve started making money and (almost) squeezed out the middlemen, you need to start acting as a financially responsible freelancer

First and foremost, bear in mind that a significant share of your income doesn’t belong to you. The rent you’re paying, the overhead expenses, the taxes, and any potential loans or credits aren’t your money. In line with that, pay all these things the same moment when you get your salary or project payments. If possible, schedule payment deadlines to overlap with your due dates for paying all those obligations. 

Now that you’re sorted those essential payments out, leave aside the part of the income you need for food and other things that make life. 

After that, you should put part of every income aside. For instance, 10% of every payment you get should go to this special fund. Since digital nomads live an interesting but insecure life, it’s important to always keep some extra money aside, in case of emergency. 

4. Invest in your promotion

As you’re building your online reputation, you should invest in your promotion, as well. The aforementioned online job platforms are handy to get the first few projects and evaluations. Also, cold emails we’ve already discussed can help you land some projects. But you need to put together all these elements in one fine portfolio. 

On the one hand, you need to store all your previous projects in one folder that you’ll be able to send to your potential clients. Think about launching a portfolio website, with your previous projects, your clients’ testimonials, and your rates. As explained by the experts from a Houston web design company, such simple websites are not difficult to create and launch. 

Moreover, promote yourself in social media, from promotional and professional posts on Facebook and LinkedIn to business discussions on Twitter. 

By doing so, you’ll engage in various forms of interaction with potential clients. 

What’s more, you’ll keep following the trends in your industry. 

5. Choose affordable destinations

If you want your nomadic lifestyle to pay off, you should choose affordable destinations for a living. To cut a long story short, avoid highly developed countries of Western Europe, North America, and Asia. 

What you should aim for are Central American countries, such as Costa Rica or Panama. They are decently developed, relatively safe, but they’re not too expensive to live in. 

Some Southeastern European countries, like Croatia and Serbia might be interesting and affordable for digital nomads. The former even has an impressive coast with hundreds of interesting little towns alongside. 

Finally, add propulsive Asian countries, like Thailand, Vietnam or the Philippines to your list. They have been among the most popular countries for digital nomads for more than a decade. 

If you decide to live as a digital nomad, you must be ready for a certain dose of uncertainty. You need to find your projects on your own and be ready for ample and scarce periods, both business-wise and assets-wise. 

Still, such a career and lifestyle will teach you how to run your business operations and handle your money. Last, but not least, it will give you a chance to try a free and exciting lifestyle in which you’ll see many new places and meet new people. 

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