How to Become a Digital Nomad

Done with the office job? Home starting to get you down? Joining the ranks of the global digital nomad movement is something that more and more people are aspiring to in the UK. If you’re wondering how to become a digital nomad, and if you have what it takes, this quick guide will help you.

If you’re not sure what it means, well… A digital nomad is someone who works remotely, normally from their laptop, and has the freedom to work from wherever they want. That might be Bali, Barcelona or Bolivia…. So, yes, you can escape Birmingham or Bermondsey.

So, how can you find a job that allows you to work from your beach apartment one day and your cool city pad the next?

Choosing a digital nomad job

Generally, a digital nomad job is one that is one that can be done online and doesn’t involve being in an office. However, that actually covers a very broad spread of jobs that might surprise you. Yes, you don’t have to be an Instagrammer or YouTuber (although these are good options). In fact, some of the more mundane types of jobs work just as well remotely as in an office.

As an example, some of the most popular digital nomad jobs include:

  • Accountant
  • Marketing manager or assistant
  • SEO
  • Video editor
  • Web design/management
  • Photographer
  • Graphic designer
  • Content writer
  • Blogger/journalist/writer
  • Data entry clerk (yes really)
  • Financial advisor
  • Business consultant or advisor
  • Financial trader
  • Music producer or DJ
  • Personal fitness trainer
  • Personal assistant

As you can see that’s quite a broad spectrum. And, you might have noticed that not all of them are strictly laptop based. In fact, some of them can be done in the real world, but might require a bit of online promoting to make it work.

So, its all well and good saying that those jobs can all be done remotely. How do you actually find clients and become a digital nomad?

Finding clients for digital nomads

It will depend hugely on your target job and industry, but there are a lot of ways to find clients. Some of the most popular ways, especially for creative industries, is to use content platforms such as:

Those are your three best options for things such as designers, writers, marketers and creatives. But with a platform like Upwork you can also find jobs doing all sorts from financial advice to data entry.

Having a good profile on these sites is useful, but you should also use other channels.

Linkedin

It’s where the professional world connects, and it can be a super invaluable tool to find clients for a whole range of industries. Knowing how to to find clients there is a whole other ballgame, but this article about how to find clients on Linkedin explains how to get started.

Your network

You have friends and contacts right? The best thing to get started with finding clients is always by referrals. In the early days, this might not yield much in terms of results, but the more you become known for what you do (and for being good at it), the more you’ll find referrals come your way. 

Of course, be good at what you do and don’t be afraid to ask clients for referrals if you’re in need.

Your site and social

Whatever you do, make a website to promote yourself. It doesn’t have to be an epic masterpiece, just a page that says who you are and what you do. The reason is that you can promote it on sites like your Linkedin or social networks and you can use it like a calling card or portfolio.

Social networks too are a great place to promote yourself, so have a professional Twitter and Instagram. Facebook is also a good place to network, join groups and find clients.

Pay per click?

Here is a clever hack to find yourself some clients as a digital nomad. Signing up for a website package normally means you get some credit towards running ads on platforms like Google, Bing or Facebook. Use this small stipend to boost your visibility and maybe even get a few clients.

If you’re not a PPC expert, be sure to ask someone. It can get expensive and complicated very quickly. 

How much do I need to make to live as a digital nomad?

This is like a how long is a piece of string question. It depends entirely where you choose to live and how much you decide to travel, party and all the rest of it. 

If you want to live a quiet life on the beach in Vietnam, you can get by on $1000 a month. If you want to party in Rio de Janeiro and then go trekking in Peru, you probably want to be sure you’re bringing in at least $2000 per month. 

Make sure you manage your time and your work schedule to accommodate for time differences and living your awesome new life.