3 Tips For Successfully Launching Your Freelance Digital Nomad Career
Being a freelance digital nomad is an exciting life of traveling and working on your own terms. However, it's also an unorthodox career path that can be very hard to get off the ground. Here are three tips to help make the transition easier for you.
1. Build and Maintain a Portfolio
A huge part of every freelance career is finding new clients. It's a constant hustle to replace old clients who don't renew their contracts and find new clients that offer higher-paying work. When it comes to landing new jobs, your portfolio is your golden ticket.
Essentially, your portfolio is like an extended resume. It gives clients an easy way to see examples of your previous work so that they know you're capable of doing the job they're offering. If you're just starting out and don't have any published projects to show off, build a portfolio and fill it with work you did in college or projects you did on your own. If you're already a seasoned freelancer, fill your portfolio with the best, most prestigious projects you've completed.
Keep in mind that recruiters often receive a myriad of applications for every job they post. They won't have a lot of time to browse your entire portfolio, so you want to keep it as succinct as possible with your best and brightest projects featured at the forefront. Even if a portfolio isn't specifically requested in a job application, always include a link to your portfolio in your e-mails as well as at the top of your resume. Let your previous work speak for you and make you stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
2. Develop a Diversified Social Media Presence
Having an active social media presence is another great way to impress clients and passively find new jobs. It's also a good way to publish links to your work and drive traffic to your clients' sites which will make your work stand out and be appreciated. Plus, being a digital nomad gives you an edge: you'll be able to post blogs and photos of your travels that will help you gain a large following.
LinkedIn should be at the top of your list because it specifically caters to businesses and professionals. However, you should also branch out to all of the other popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. Doing so will give your posts a much further reach. You'll generate more clicks for your published projects and potentially find new clients who will reach out to you with job opportunities you otherwise wouldn't have gotten.
3. Supplement Your Income with General Labor Jobs
One of the downsides of freelance careers is that the workload is often unstable. You'll go through periods of time where you receive more work than you know what to do with, as well as periods of time where you can barely scrape enough work together to pay rent.
Many freelancers have a conventional day job related to their careers and use freelancing as a way to make extra money and find new opportunities. However, as a digital nomad, you likely won't be able to work a steady job in your field. The whole point of digital nomadism is the freedom to travel and live anywhere on a whim. Unfortunately, that usually means foregoing a conventional career path related to your freelance skills.
Nevertheless, you need to be prepared to supplement your freelance income, especially when starting out and making a name for yourself. That's where general labor jobs come in. They aren't as glamorous or as high-paying as professional skilled work, but they're available virtually everywhere and relatively easy to get into.
Wherever in the world your digital nomadism takes you, be prepared to work local general labor jobs for brief periods of time when you experience a freelance famine. They'll keep you afloat until you land your next big client. Also, unlike a conventional career in your field, general labor work won't require much or any of your time outside of the workday. You can go to work, clock in, get paid, then get back to hustling in the world of digital freelancing.