You've decided to pursue your passion and utilize your skills as a freelancer for so-called “digital nomad lifestyle.” Many people keep asking how is it possible to get paid western rates while living in the jungle somewhere in Southeast Asia or surfing the waves of Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica.
It comes with way more than simply open a social media accounts and wait for real clients to come to you. Sometimes, it even seems you spent more time chasing new clients than working. Before they actually start approaching you, there's a lot of work behind.
Paul Jarvis wrote about his advice how to get to the heads of potential clients and we think this method can be applied and reveals some interesting results. He suggests asking businesses directly why they hired people to do the work for them.
For instance, you are a copywriter. You see an attractive copy on a website, and you wonder who wrote it. Write up an e-mail and contact the owner of business with the intention to get advise what qualities had the person hired for this job. It's not an e-mail to get hired. Instead, it's a way how to show interest in serving the industry the best way.
Contact several businesses with few brief sentences. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get a response and also not everybody is willing to react. Anyway, it's not an inventory, but this method helps to have a clear clue about what your potential clients want and expect from freelancers.
Now when you already know what clients are interested in and what works for others to get these clients, try few techniques to turn your skills into cash.
Many freelance digital nomads admit that the most of their clients landed after someone recommended them. Word of mouth is definitely one of the best ways to establish collaboration, and it means more than your pimped resume.
Referrals of others create trust so don't hesitate to ask for it. People in the business are connected, and you never know who wants what. One day you open your mailbox with an offer to create a video or write PR article.
Small businesses that can't afford full house agency are often hiring professionals through like-minded platforms. Make sure to prepare your profile persuasive for a potential client. Add your past projects, achievements and the best real numbers and showcases how you can solve the problems.
Bid and apply on everything that catches your eye, especially when you're just starting. You need to be active to be hired and don't fall frustration when you don't land the job immediately.
How can anybody hire you for writing when you don't write? How can you be a photographer when you only buy an expensive camera but don't show stunning pictures it makes?
There is a variety of platforms where you can present your work and approach the potential customers. Start a blog and create valuable content that helps people. Create a YouTube channel and upload amazing videos you can produce. Set up an Instagram account and reach the audience out there with photos you took. The best option is to set up more than one account and cross-promote the skills through them.
It's important not only to present your craft but also to build a personal brand so then people can engage with you, the story and your work. If you update the industry relevant websites according to your skill, the clients are half way to you.
With Facebook, things are way easier now. Browse your friend list and send a short message to them announcing what you're doing and why it can be useful for them. You never know whether some of the fellow high school mates is currently working on new brand and for instance looking for a developer to help him with a website.
Freelancers aren't necessarily direct competitors but more of a community. Introduce yourself, say a brief information about what are your working on and create connections. There are many events with expert speakers from online industry, so don't hesitate and tell them how amazing work they're doing and tell them about you. You may start managing some social media accounts and make it up to ads manager for a big company.
Most likely you think we are insane to advise you work for free but there's much more in it. As a newbie in business it may seem impossible to establish collaboration with loved brands and big names in the industry, but if you offer them a guest post for free or some quick help with tasks to release their busy workload, it's a win-win situation for both. They will get some work done without investing money, and your portfolio is richer of one more experience.
Starting out as a freelancer or even growing your portfolio takes time. You may find out different ways how to land new client regarding how specific your skills are but what successful freelancers have in common is persistence.
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