This article will help you go from Zero To Globetrotting with Digital Nomad Jobs. If you are looking for a community of digital nomads where you can get support, advice and education check out Location Indie. Now, onto the show…
“This isn’t going to work.” I thought it myself as 50 people stared up at me, half drunk and waiting for my next words.
Sure, my gig was pretty sweet. There are worse jobs in the world than teaching people about whiskey and this dinner event was all about education…and drinking of course.
From history, to aging techniques, how to taste properly and of course the multitude of benefits surrounding particular brown spirits brands.
After well over a decade on the road managing touring events, a short stint as an adventure travel tour guide and tour manager of a kick ass 2 piece band I was using this ‘regular job’ to settle into one place for a bit.
But working as a “Spirits Specialist” meant spending days in bars, befriending bartenders (the fun part) and being a corporate shill for major booze brands. It’s not that these bottles of booze weren’t enjoyable to drink, it’s just they didn’t care too much for my personal goals, nor I for theirs.
After a year of going in and out of bars selling alcohol, a devastating break up and a helluva lot of self exploration my spark for life was slowly beginning to return.
And a new idea was forming…
What if I could live and work anywhere in the world I wanted?
What if I weren’t tied to one place because of my job?
What if…there was some way to break free?
Stumbling around the internet like a drunken customer at another tequila seminar, I came across the term digital nomad.
Apparently there was a whole universe of people living the location independent lifestyle. Creating their own jobs. Generating income while traveling wherever they wanted.
Not only that, many of them were doing something that actually mattered to them, and helping people at the same time! I used to love my traveling work, and even enjoyed the booze sales biz for a bit, but knew instinctively it was time for a change. I needed to get back to my nomadic existence.
Are you looking to become a digital nomad?
Chris’ (Free) Brief Guide to World Domination helped me understand that there were like minded people out there living non-traditional lives. “Doing this on my own terms is possible,” I thought.
Now was the time to get my hands dirty, stop talking about ideas and actually do something to make this new dream a reality.
This involved, starting a pretty bad blog, attempting to learn new skills through self-education, publicly committing to becoming a digital nomad and getting support by joining the Puttylike community and the location rebel crew run by Sean Ogle.
It took about a year but eventually I began consulting, started a business and was working from Europe.
I won’t sell you the dream, and certainly don’t want to tell you how to run your life. Being a digital nomad has it’s own set of challenges (I’ll save that for another article), but damn does it feel good to work remotely. It’s perfect for the lifestyle I want to have.
Everybody has a different path, maybe you are already on yours or perhaps you’ll find an even faster way to go from zero to digital nomad.
If you’re up for walking down this road, the important thing is to get started with something…anything! There is no shame is starting while you are home. It’s a good test to see if you can take your show on the road.
Without further ado, here are just a few ways to create digital nomad jobs for yourself. Feeling motivated? Get started on one of these after you read this article.
Ever seen that movie Taken with Liam Neeson?
Ok, I haven’t either. But there is that famous line where Liam, being a total badass warns his daughter’s kidnappers;
“..What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”
You too have a particular set of skills that you can use for good. Choose your best and sell your skills and services by the hour, day or job. If your wondering what on earth you have to offer, the answer is plenty.
NEVER underestimate what you know.
If you are responsive, professional and easy to work with you’re already 5 steps ahead of many freelancers, even if your skills are average.
On the most basic level there are still things anybody can do, for example data entry, administrative assistance or offering transcription services. You could even sing happy birthday in your underwear and get paid. Seriously I actually hired somebody to do this for my buddy (more on that in second).
Freelancing is easier than ever. Give it a try before you take off on a long journey and see how it goes. There is everything to gain (extra money, location independence, building a client base, etc) and nothing to lose, except some time.
Step #1 – Decide On the Skills and Services You’ll Promote
While you are freelancing keep improving that skill through self-study and you’ll continue getting more work.
Take free classes from experts to become a pro at creative live or grab a couple of Amazon books with 5 star reviews on your subject.
It’s amazing how quickly you can acquire new skills. With just a little self-study you can learn more about your subject than the majority of people on the planet.
Step #2 – Advertise You Freelance Skills
First, it’s always a good idea to put the word out to friends and family. Word of mouth and referral are always the best sources for new business. Don’t be shy, put your intentions out on your favorite social network or call up everybody you know and tell them what you’re up to.
You can also get a profile up on an existing freelancer based website and get the word out. A few possibilities include:
Look at the top rated freelancers in your category. How are their profiles structured? What makes them stand out? Don’t reinvent the wheel, just do what they do but with your own flare.
Step #3 – Actively Reach Out and Start Doing Freelance Work
Don’t sit back and wait for the jobs to come, although that may happen it’s always good to be proactive. Bid for jobs and offer your services everywhere you can.
Step #4 – Keep You Projects Organized
Clients like an easy workflow. These tools allow you to collaborate easily
Asana – Free Project Management Tool
Step #5 – Get Testimonials
Complete a few projects and have your customers write you a positive review. Keep track of your clients, and check in regularly to see if they need more work.
Step #6 – Build Your Personal Brand
If you want to go to the next level build your own website featuring your work, customer testimonials and whatever else you’d like to showcase.
Can you teach people something you know? With Skype, google hangouts and other easy to use online tools you can now do this from anywhere in the world.
Is it that easy to build your own online teaching business? No. But is it that hard? Could it be worth a try?
If you wanted to teach guitar online, for example, there are a lot of great articles out there on how to get started.
If you don’t want to start your own business then teach for somebody else.
If you can speak English then you’re in luck! There are individuals looking for people to practice speaking English with all over the world. This organization hires native English speakers to work over skype.
Are you a native Spanish speaker? Teach here!
There are people searching the internet everyday trying to learn something. Teachers aren’t just in schools anymore. Options abound if you want to teach something.
Consulting is just a fancy word for helping other people with something you are better at than they are, thus improving their business.
The big difference between consulting and freelancing is that you can get very specific.
For example, if you worked in restaurants your whole life you probably know more than you think about helping a restaurant increase their business and acquire new customers. Restaurant owners will pay you if you can increase their business, it’s a no brainer.
Services you offer could include:
- Restaurant Marketing and Strategy
- Social Media Management
- Menu Creation
- Customer Service
- Improving Systems
- Relationship Management
- Website Improvement
In some cases you don’t even need many skills to become a consultant.
There are countless individuals and companies that basically function as project managers. Some ‘digital agencies’ help client and brands build websites, they secure the budget, outsource the work (hire web designers, coders, graphic artists, etc), manage the project and act as a middleman.
Let’s say you want to help small businesses promote themselves on social media?
Great, what next?
Find 100 businesses that need your help (start locally), email, call or even visit them and create an excel sheet with contact information and notes.
Approach each member of your list with a personal touch, compliment them on certain aspects of their business then make specific suggestions on what they can do to improve. After giving them crazy valuable information kindly offer your services.
If you have great ideas they’ll appreciate the advice and some of these 100 will most likely hire you as their personal consultant.
Do great work, get testimonials to share with other potential clients and begin getting referral business. This is just another of a billion examples of things you could do.
It takes work!
To freelance you need to get your hustle on.
Got a Job – Negotiate a Remote Work Agreement
Have a job already? Any chance you could take it on the road?
Tim Ferris laid out a plan to negotiate a remote work arrangement in the 4 Hour Work Week (a must read!). He’s not the only one.
Working remotely was a requirement for my current consulting gig, and I made sure I was up front about it.
Wondering where to start? Here’s a great article on how to negotiate your agreement.
Search For Digital Nomad Jobs
Doing it on your own isn’t for everybody. Working for somebody else also has it’s perks, just focus the job hunt around positions that can be done from anywhere or join a service like Flex Jobs.
Hustle By Pimping Yourself Out On Craigslist (or another classified ad style website) and get work wherever you roam
This is more about using digital technology on the fly to get work.
During one stint in Boulder, CO my friends Jason and Kelly were in between event marketing tours and looking to make some extra cash.
They had successfully used Craiglist in the past to jump start a new life in Central America, placing an ad sharing their skills/personalities and landing a gig to reopen a restaurant in Honduras. This time they placed another proactive ad, basically saying they were willing and eager to do anything.
One day later, they had a 3-day job doing some gardening and landscaping work and getting paid cash. This same model could be applied to any location. Just utilize the craigslist of that country, for example Australia has Gumtree.
Instead of searching for jobs post something about yourself and see if you can get the work to come to you.
The Final Word On Digital Nomad Jobs
The first step in the journey is committing to your next step in life.
If that’s becoming a digital nomad then there are plenty of options. If you need support (and we all do) feel free to check out our community of digital nomads.
Set some timelines, take massive action and you’ll be out on the road living your nomadic dreams in no time.
Author’s note: I still enjoy whiskey although not as often:)
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