There will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035.
Although this bold statement published on Levels.io might or might not become true, the fact is that digital nomadism is a global trend on the rise. The promise of living a traveling lifestyle and the freedom that comes with getting to choose your own career, doing what you like the most from remote locations and relying only on your skills and a laptop to make a living, are attracting many these days.
That’s why we have compiled a few things to consider before getting started as a digital nomad to succeed at it.
What is a digital nomad?
If you already are familiar with this term, please skip this paragraph.
Now, to the newcomers and people still wondering what are digital nomads, here’s how Wikipedia describes them:
Digital nomads are people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their lives in a nomadic way. Such workers typically work remotely, generally from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, and even recreational vehicles – to carry out tasks and goals that traditionally took place in a single, stationary workplace.
Which industries are more suitable for digital nomads?
Although Tech is these days one of the best and most rewarding industries for online work, the lines of work are way broader and you don’t necessarily need to work in Tech to become a digital nomad. Once a place for software developers and graphic designers, the industry is filled with jobs in Human Resources, accounting, education, and more.
Dismantling the myths that surround digital nomads
If the idea of working remotely from your laptop rocks your world, here are a few steps to follow to make it happen. You could soon be sipping coconuts from a tropical beach while working on an online business!
Be aware tho, getting started as a digital nomad will involve hard work. And as much as Instagram tells us otherwise, no hammock under the sunlight will ever replace a desk. So do not get fooled by the idea of an ever-changing idyllic office outdoors because that’s not how this works. If you are human, you will still need a clean and tidy place to work every once in a while, far away from the reflections caused by the sun on your devices’ screen, the worldly noise, and the uncomfortable sand!
How to get started as a digital nomad
Start identifying your skill set, figure out how much it is going to cost you initially and if you need to apply for a visa or make any investments in the beginning. Examples of these could be buying software, licenses, hosting, gadgets, or searching for a Google-certified PPC agency to help you get clients quickly.
After that, create an inviting online portfolio where to showcase what you can do best, and get ready to start pitching and traveling while managing gigs from afar, being challenged every time you change places as you adapt to new cultures, and grow your confidence to new levels while making a sustainable income while traveling.
Too much to take in? Here are a few good resources that will help you find work as a digital nomad:
10 Great ways to find work as a digital nomad
1. Telling your Friends and Family
Start telling everyone you know that you will soon be working fully online and what you can do for them. Nothing will ever substitute human interaction and so your chances to start getting gigs this way are pretty high. These people know you and working with them, you’ll be able to start developing a nice portfolio to showcase on the internet that will, ultimately, attract more work your way.
2. Identifying and Joining the right Facebook Groups for you
Since I started this journey over 5 years ago, the single more efficient tool to network and find digital nomad jobs I came across has been Facebook. Of course, there are specific professional social media networks like LinkedIn and About.me but the omnipresent giant has everything you need to get started. And a few dozen groups that will help you do it on the right foot.
3. Offering your freelance services
There’s a huge global demand for freelancers such as writers, proofreaders, copy editors, web and app developers, engineers, designers, photographers, videographers, infopreneurs, translators, UX designers, marketers, graphic designers, and virtual assistants to name a few. You might want to look into getting a reliable VPN, an important tool for digital nomads, if you want to pursue this one.
4. Speaking with your current employer or former bosses
Do I need to go through this one? It should suffice to say that if you are already working for a company, perhaps you can start your digital nomad journey by asking your employer to allow you to work remotely. Be aware that this is easier said than done; if you show them how your performance won’t decrease and how this change will also benefit them, you will be halfway there!
But since not all work can be done remotely, read on to find out more alternatives to easily start working remotely.
5. Cold emailing your favorite businesses
Draft a list of companies and brands you could work for, research them and find who or which department you should contact to offer your services. Then craft an appealing email that describes what you can do for them and shows them examples of your previous work, and start pitching.
Do not be discouraged if most of them don’t get back to you and make sure to follow up in due time. If you do this smoothly enough, soon someone will get back to you with a positive answer. Guaranteed!
6. Searching for Remote gigs online
There are dozens if not hundreds of remote work-specific job boards and websites that pay aspiring digital nomads and offer opportunities for full-time remote work.
One of our favorite ones is TravTribe. The good news is that they are looking for digital nomads who specialize in blogging, copywriting, graphic design, and marketing. Joining is free, but by referral only at the moment so please feel free to use the referral code Gregorio118.
7. Running a website and start publishing
Be aware that blogging is A LOT of work. There’s always something that needs to be fixed, articles to write, emails to answer, and pictures to sort out and edit. The list never ends.
But if you are willing to do what it takes, take risks, and trust yourself; welcome to the club!
8. Launching an E-commerce business
From publishing your own ebooks and selling your digital products or online courses to importing physical goods; if entrepreneurship runs through your veins, launching an online shop or starting a drop shipping business might be just for you. These days there are great tools such as qAccounting, that makes accounting for sole traders easy, to pave the way forward.
9. Getting a job as an Online Customer Service Agent
Not the most appealing online job on this list due to its repetitiveness, the chances of having to deal with angry customers, or the small opportunities to face creative challenges; customer service is still a great way to get a quick job as a digital nomad. There is a substantial need for customer service agents and you don’t usually need any specific skills to start working as one.
10. Starting a career in Online Teaching
Although I’ve met a bunch of happy offline scuba diving, yoga, surfing, and winter sports instructors ( to name a few ) around the world that get to work outdoors doing what they like the most; the truth is online teachers are also in high demand these days.
And it was never easier to get started with tools like Skype or virtual reality systems. So if the idea of sharing your knowledge with people willing to learn what you have to teach them appeals to you, do not hesitate and start a career in online teaching.
Now it is your turn. Get in touch via social media if you have any tips on how to succeed as a digital nomad, want to share your own journey to become a digital nomad, or want your questions about freelancing and finding online gigs to be solved. We’ll get back to you soon!