5 Tips for Running a Business as a Digital Nomad
The life of a digital nomad is coveted by many. Professionals with hefty resumes, fresh grads armed with fancy degrees and entrepreneurs all aspire to enjoy a life on the road. The charm of traveling and visiting foreign cultures aside, it is the freedom associated with working from anywhere that has attracted a vast majority of aspiring nomads.
In addition to working for established companies that hire technical as well as non-technical nomads, it is also possible to build businesses and freelancing careers that help you earn much more than full-time jobs do.
Several things need to be known to run a profitable business when not working from a fixed location. Here are a few tips to help you.
- Find out Your Special Set of Skills
It is important to decide on the job that you can get done perfectly. Your skills can range from copy writing, stock trading and sport instructing to sales and marketing, bar tending and online tutoring. As long as you zero in on your special set of skills, it will not be hard to find a rewarding opportunity.
Expats work in foreign countries and can take up careers in teaching or even in foreign services, and usually enjoy fixed income and predictable career growth. Nomads are location-independent and make a living working on their digital devices, mainly laptop. So the guy you meet in the airport lounge furiously typing away on his laptop could be a digital nomad with a deadline to meet.
If you are innovative enough, you can also become a local entrepreneur and set up a roadside stall in popular tourist places that have loads of foot traffic. Leather goods, DIY jewelry, handicrafts and art are some of the things that catch the eye of tourists. If you have something truly unique to offer, it won’t be difficult to find buyers. Setting up shop may require you to stay rooted in one place for a few months, but if you plan to spend a season at a particular spot, this will be a great way to earn. You can also choose to sell your wares online to supplement your earnings.
- Monetize as Much as You Can
If you are setting up an online business it is important that you do not turn it into your single source of income. Maximize all possible income channels.
Running a travel blog is one of the topmost ideas that come to mind when you think of making money travelling. But making your travel blog successful will require plenty of hard work behind the scenes.
Affiliate links, Google AdSense, brand partnerships and long-term projects with specific clients will help you make money from a travel blog. But do keep in mind that earnings will stay meager until and unless you build a sizable and growing audience. Only when your blog traffic picks up will the commissions and perks add up.
Great photography and travel writing skills are highly valued today, especially with a number of people eager to explore and visit lesser-known destinations. You can pitch to tourism portals, destination tour organizers, government agencies or private tourism investors like hoteliers or resort owners. If you impress them, you will be able to make money from tie-ups and partnerships. You will be required to cover your client destination extensively in blog posts and social media updates, promote giveaways and/or blog on client websites. You can use referrals of happy clients to get more work.
- You Need Stability
Setting up a business is like having a baby. You can no longer run wild and take off to dangerous and exotic destinations. This is because your business needs stability, safety and security. So you will have to stay for longer in a particular destination (with good Wi-Fi, of course), connect and network with local business communities, build trust among clients, and work on managing the business while traveling. In the USA, sites like Arivify help you find suitable home bases at a reasonable cost.
Also, keep an eye out for startup events and meet-ups that occur in your vicinity. This will help you meet other startup owners and get to know the local business climate. This also means you have less time to spend on tourist-y things and will need to devote more time to your business venture.
- Find a Partner
Having a partner will be of great help if your online business requires you to have a base or manage inventory. It would be great if you can find someone who is willing to stay in the home base and cover for you while you travel. Your partner should be someone who you trust and also understands your passion for traveling and nomadic lifestyle. Mutual trust is the solid bedrock on which any partnership business can be built. It is very important for you to realize that your lifestyle is no excuse to be less committed to your business. Contrarily, you may have to dedicate more of your time and effort to your business than you ever imagined.
- Do Not Go Cheap
Online business is just like an offline business, and requires to be dealt with just as seriously. Do not offer your services or products cheap. If you have a superior product that adds value to customers or users, you definitely need to charge a premium for your product. If you sell cheap you will be undercutting and robbing yourself of what you rightfully deserve.
Establishing and running an online business is a full-time job that requires commitment and hard work. If you can generate income from sharing your travel stories on a blog, then that will be the sweetest gig imaginable. In addition to that you can also set up any kind of business you want using the internet and take advantage of the globalized economy, the quick growth of developing economies, and the easy access to remote and collaborative workforce.
This guest post is courtesy of Lori Wagoner. She is an independent content strategist who gives online marketing advice to small businesses. Lori has blogged at Tweak Your Biz, The Social Media Hat and many other business and tech blogs. You can reach her @LoriDWagoner on Twitter.