Digital nomads have mastered the art of working while on the move. However, with all of that travel, one question that naturally arises is how to find new clients when you can’t always meet them face to face.
If you’re a digital nomad with some nifty side gig skills in website user-testing, dog walking, or anything in between, here are a few suggestions for ways to market them for all the world to see.
If you work remotely, then you’re aware of the fact that maintaining an online connection isn’t just convenient, it’s essential. If you want to reach new clients and pick up side gigs on a regular basis, it all starts with setting yourself up to stay online at all times.
As a professional wanderer, you don’t have the convenience of leaning on a blisteringly fast, always dependable home WiFi connection to keep you plugged in. Since this is the case, always make sure to stay one step ahead during your travels. For example, if you mostly travel within the U.S., you can always purchase a cell phone plan that allows you to create a mobile hot spot at a moment’s notice. With 5G on the horizon, the speed of a phone-based internet connection is only going to become faster over time.
Meanwhile, if you’re traveling internationally, a good internet connection can be harder to count on. Since this is the case, do your homework before you travel to a destination. If you’re visiting Russia, for instance, a little research can unearth the fact that free WiFi is generally accessible in public spaces, which can be said for many technology-advanced countries around the world. If, on the other hand, you were heading to, say, Egypt or Paraguay, you shouldn’t count on a fast internet connection during your travels and should plan accordingly.
If you’re not predictably in one specific geographic area, you’re not likely to be able to spend much time networking with other professionals at events or conferences. That’s why social media isn’t just convenient for a digital nomad, it’s a lifeline to their professional network, and can even provide a lead for work at times.
With social media serving as such a crucial cog in your digital marketing machine, it’s important to keep your social media accounts clean as a whistle. The majority of employers report that they vet candidates for jobs on their social media, so it’s important to keep your public accounts clear of offensive content and professionally pulled together. It’s also wise to look for the social media platforms that your professional peers tend to use. Facebook, for example, is a good place to start, as nearly everyone has a presence there. LinkedIn is another hotspot where you can remotely “rub shoulders” with many other professionals within your field, for the sole purpose of doing so.
Even if you’re not directly getting steady work from your social efforts, social media can still have other uses and outcomes when it comes to your digital marketing efforts. Critically, it can be a great way to keep your foot in social circles, stay up to date with trends, and maintain your professional relationships even when you’re on the move.
If you want to market a service online, sometimes the first thing you need to do is find the marketplace where your services are needed. After all, the internet is a big place. If you simply set up a few social media accounts and wait for the work to come to you, you’re likely to end up disappointed.
Instead, be proactive about looking for work. If you’re a freelance writer, for instance, there are a number of different job boards like ProBlogger or BloggingPro that you can go to in order to find clients and work opportunities.
While you’ll still need to market yourself to land a gig, finding job posting sites for your particular industry will at least bring you into closer proximity to the work that you’re looking for, as well as give you insight into the current industry and hiring trends as a whole. For example, if you’re not seeing a surplus of people hiring for your skills, in particular, it may be time to consider gaining new skills that make you — or your product, if you’re selling something — more marketable.
Once you’ve found the job opportunities you’re interested in, it’s time to work on how you present yourself to potential clients. You can always take the time to come up with a completely individual message for each and every application — or, it can save you time and potentially increase the overall results from your self-marketing efforts if you carefully craft a job application template that you can then personalize as you fill out each application.
In this template, make sure to point out important things like:
A solid application template that hits all of the important points will allow you to apply to jobs quickly and effectively.
Finally, along with finding your marketplace and honing your marketing pitch, make sure to ask for referrals. You can request a referral from a variety of different people, including:
Wherever they come from, referrals can be a major source of income in the gig economy, and respectfully asking for them is a great way to stoke the fire and make sure that you’re the first option on everyone’s mind when a need arises. What more, if you offer yourself as a referral for other people in your field, it builds more and more networking opportunities while strengthening the relationships you have in your industry.
You may not be a major corporation selling millions of products, but it’s still possible to effectively market yourself while living as a digital nomad. The key is to utilize the power of the internet to network, find work, and market yourself to potential clients from afar.
If you can use social media, find job boards, and receive the occasional referral, you should have no trouble picking up work as you go about your globetrotting adventures. Good luck!
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