Month: March 2019

The 8 Best Tips for Getting Started in Freelancing.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Growing up, I was always taught that college, family, and the nine to five grind was crucial to achieving the end goal of retirement. Coming from an immigrant family, working from home or traveling to random locations was considered an unsustainable and ridiculous type of career path.

Even though I still get push back from some family members, they no longer consider remote work impossible.

They’ve seen me create income from this lifestyle and have come across beautiful travel pics on social media of workers sitting happily behind a computer on the beach, that glamorizes the remote working lifestyle

It has become the idyllic dream job, but for those of us who have tried to push our way into this lifestyle can tell you that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Anyone who has ever looked into the idea of getting into freelancing knows that the possibilities seem endless, but in actuality are very difficult to find. 

Full time freelancers will also tell you that breaking into the field isn’t as it once was. Oversaturation of applicants and outsourcing from larger companies or overseas have driven down prices and lengthened the job search process. Now, even the most dedicated applicants are finding it hard to join the freelancers club.  

Luckily, oversaturation doesn’t indicate that the idea is dead, in fact, freelancing is becoming an ever more popular choice for workers of all ages, and the job markets rapid expansion is far from showing any signs of slowing down.

With technology being accessible in almost every corner of the world, there is no reason we can’t open up our computer and get to work. So, why not try it out?  

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Before applying to your ideal online job, make sure to create a remote job resume that will stand out above the rest. If you are unsure how to get started, no worries, we have created a resume guide that will point you in the right direction.

The Benefits of Freelancing and Finding Remote Work 

Some people love to travel and work alone, while others prefer to embrace the full-blown freelance lifestyle. I personally enjoy having a home base where I can have a consistent routine but still have the option to travel part-time.

If you prefer an office environment, then freelancing is probably not for you. You won’t be able to socialize in the office and it can be difficult to bounce ideas off of other remote workers, but if you’re like me and love the freedom of your own time and can self motivate, well, read on!

While a trend towards coworking spaces has popped up around the world specifically geared towards freelancers who like to collaborate, that doesn’t guarantee you will have the luxury of having others keep you motivated and interested.

Co-working spaces are far and few between, and are often a little pricey for the beginning freelancer.Working from home can be a good alternative to this dilemma.

For those stay at home parent’s, busy entrepreneurs, or even college students looking for supplemental income, freelancing is the way to go.

freelancing
Creating the right workspace will be crucial to your work flow and productivity.

Although working for yourself creates a significant amount of responsibility, it can also give you freedom of time and complete control over your schedule, budget, and location. For many self-employed individuals looking for remote work, having a workplace at home may not only create a job opportunity not previously available but also save money.

Gas allowances, work clothes, and daily lunch budgets are usually not necessary for freelancers. Family oriented individuals may be able to save money on childcare and other home-based services as well, such as housekeeping. 

If you are self-reliant and can work without a boss, telecommuting work could be the ticket to higher productivity. As a freelancer you can choose to work when you’re in work mode, which puts you in a position where you can accomplish more and feel less pressure to stay on time and meet deadlines.

Every body is physically unique as well. Deciding when to take a beak for lunch, could mean the difference between being productive and being distracted by a grumbling stomach, and nothing is worse than getting hangry while trying to work! Corporate workers don’t have the luxury of choosing a lunchtime, freelancers do.

If you possess the ability to work on your own, or learn how to, then this lifestyle is right for you.       

The Truth About Finding Freelancing Work

There has been a lot of hopeful individuals who have tried to step up to the plate only to be met with a wall of resistance. Most give up on searching for their ideal remote work due to burnout or the financial need to find something more stable. Don’t fall into this category.

The truth is that breaking into the field of freelancing is a full-time job and rarely does a remote worker start out making as much money as they should compared to the amount of work they put in.

Emailing, cold-calling, trying out different types of jobs, and working for cheap or even free is common in the freelancing world. I can personally vouch for free work not being worth it, but I also understand the temptation that comes with a first potential opportunity.

All of this effort is made to get noticed by a potential employer. In the end, though, most jobs come from about fifty percent of your blood sweat and tears, and the other fifty is due to chance. Your most valuable lesson is to learn how to say no and to realize your value.

Frequent Newbie Freelancing Mistakes

The most frequent first-timer mistake I’ve seen is trying to land a gig without having first made themselves a temporary portfolio or proof of credibility.

Previously, a college degree was what stood out on a resume and people were often hired based on the person who completed the highest form of education. Schools and financial institutions have solved this problem by creating student loans. Now everyone can get a degree, and write it on their resume.

While the accessibility is worth noting, it has put a damper on how candidates are evaluated. A college degree is now held by a good majority of the population which forces would be employers to look at other credentials, such as your portfolios and references.

If you are a newbie looking to find remote work, don’t go in thinking you have to offer free labor to show your worth, this is simply not the case. In fact, it could place you in a spot where employers look at you as cheap instead of a quality hard worker. Most businesses that accept free work are usually not the most qualified anyways.

freelancing
Don’t underestimate your value. Learn how to negotiate and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

Using them as a reference won’t look as good as professional quality work that was paid for, thoroughly thought out, edited, and placed on an already professional website.

The key to counteracting this trend is to start by creating your own website or portfolio. Like a resume, producing examples of your work, professionally published or not, gives you more credibility than a case of free work you have done. It shows that you put in the time and effort to make yourself look good, and it also saves you time in finding and creating an assortment of odd jobs that may or may not be worthwhile. 

Creating a Freelancing Portfolio Instead of a Resume

Most would be freelancers start out low on funds and will be looking for the cheapest route to starting their career. Don’t believe the  common misconception that starting off on your own costs money. It can, but with the telecommuting movement, there has also come a trend to create DIY websites and platforms that are available for anyone.

While paid plans do offer better options for professionals, such as a personalized domain name, these aren’t necessarily needed for a beginning freelancer.

Blogging platforms and even portfolio sites are available to be set up for free. No need to worry either if you lack design skills, it is likely that ready-made templates are created for any possible niche you are looking into. 

Your Employer is Your Target Freelancing Customer

When creating a portfolio, consider who your ideal clients would be. Potential employers shouldn’t be thought of as the next company you will be working for; they ARE your customers.

Understanding and narrowing down your target audience is an essential first step when starting your freelancing career. A broad range of skill sets is excellent, but you need to choose one or two, and then expand from there. 

Narrowing down a specialty does two things. First, it makes you hone in on your craft and perfect those skills; secondly, it makes for easier job targeting. Writing, graphic design, and web design skills are highly sought after, but when combining the three and searching for jobs, the possibilities can be overwhelming.

An employer is often looking for a specific person to do one of those jobs because freelance tasks are generally hired out to separate specialists. If a business wants to order an all-encompassing business setup-type package, then a company, not a freelancer, will most likely be who gets hired. 

Find your niche and embrace it.

Start with one skill that you want to master and get a feel for what the customers are looking for by searching through job listings. From there, create a portfolio with all of the skills they want to see. 

Free Tools for Getting a Freelancing Career Started  

Reducing your startup costs is simplified with many free tools that are available out there, and they aren’t limited to website building. Grammar checkers like Grammarly , graphic design platforms, and social media scheduling apps like Hootsuite are just some of the types of tools available that you can use to help you be more efficient.

freelancing
FInd the best tools that will make work more easy and efficient.

A little research will go a long way when choosing the best product. Reviews from other users are your best friend, so make sure you read them. A lot of critical pieces of information can be found when looking for the tool you need through those reviews.

The Mistake of Not Setting up Your Social Media Profiles

Even worse than a lack of portfolio is the lack of an online presence. Social media profiles are not necessarily essential for a freelancer but, it can be the best place to get noticed and be contacted by potential clients.

You do not need to join every single platform but it is best to focus on two or three so you can showcase your work and make the most impact.

LinkedIn, for example, connects people via email, profile searches, and other connections. These connections could range from close friends to large corporations.

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Facebook, on the other hand, can connect you to more personalized clients and provide you with recommendations for small and local business customers. Either way, exposure is everything and putting effort into optimizing your profile shows not only ambition, but  examples of your work.  

Time Management as the Root of Successful Freelancing

Time management is crucial when considering remote work, but it can be difficult to accomplish. Not everyone can perfect the skill of staying on task and each person has to realize their strengths, weaknesses, and learn the best way to deal with them.  

A great way to become more productive is to write down your goals and schedules. You can create a timeline of constraints and achievements that can help you feel more motivated and a sense of accomplishment that is lacking when you are not in an office setting.

Working at home can be distracting so create a dedicated office space and try adding elements that can help maintain your focus and reduce distractions. Set aside a business area free from other people in the household and let them know when your office hours are. 

Setting your worth, always meeting deadlines, living up to your word, and perseverance are the critical factors needed for a beginning freelancer to become successful. So make sure you are prepared for the obstacles but also the freedom you will have as a freelancer.


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The complete beginners guide to becoming a digital nomad.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Have you ever wondered how you can work and live from anywhere as a digital nomad?  It may seem like a constant vacation for someone looking in, especially with all the beautiful photos you see on social media, but the lifestyle is not always ideal.

It is easy to underestimate how much work actually goes into being a remote worker or consider the constant challenge of balancing work and travel.

Becoming a nomadic freelancer is not easy, but if you are willing to do the work it can give you the freedom and independence that you have always wanted.

You’ll have the ability to create your own hours, live in any location you want and not be stuck in a desk job that can make you have the worst cabin fever. 

Before leaving my 9-5 I was always restless and even had a few panic attacks. I thought it was because I needed to travel and leave a job that I didn’t find fulfilling. But, I realized that it was also because I was not living the life that I truly wanted to live. 

I knew that I wanted to become a “lazy entrepreneur” and craved to be fully independent. So, I began to research the different ways to fulfill my dreams to have an independent lifestyle. 

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    What is a digital nomad?

    Before we go any further, let’s talk about what a digital nomad actually is and how you can work from anywhere. 

    They are typically workers who travel to different locations. They work in co-working spaces, coffee shops, and any place where they can have access to wifi and internet hotspots. 

    Since they have the flexibility of being able to work from a laptop, a location independent entrepreneur has the freedom to work from anywhere and will have the opportunity to travel to different cities or choose to stay in a long term home base when you are a remote worker.

    digital nomad

    Who is the ideal digital nomad? 

    Let’s be realistic. This lifestyle is not for everyone. I have seen so many wanna be remote workers crash and burn, not because they did not have the right skills to become successful but because they did not anticipate the discipline that’s required to have a steady stream of income.

    So, before you dive into becoming a nomadic worker ask you self these questions:

    Am I self-motivated? 

    Being a nomadic freelancer requires you to be in charge of your own schedule. Your boss will not be in the same space so,  monitoring how you spend your time is crucial to your success. 

    If you are prone to get distracted and your time management skills are poor, it will be extremely hard for you to succeed in this field. But don’t worry, we all struggle with distractions and being self-motivated. Lucky for you, there are a lot of techniques you can use to beat these distractions. 

    Using productivity tools like the forest app can keep you accountable by helping you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your tasks. 

    You can also use the Pomodoro technique which is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work intervals. The work intervals usually lasts for 25 minutes with a 5 minute break.

    Another way to stay productive is to create set hours and boundaries for your self as well as your business. These boundaries will help you form and maintain a healthy work/life balance that will be beneficial for you in the future since it will allow you to avoid burnout

    Am I able to adapt to different situations and be open to failure?

    There will be a lot of roadblocks- from communication issues, visa hurdles, unpaid invoices, difficult clients and so much more hardships. So, being flexible and not letting the “little things” ruin your day can play a huge role in your happiness. 

    Instead of stressing out on the small issues, think of the bigger picture and focus your energy on the projects that really matter. And if that doesn’t work, remember – being angry and stressed out will not solve the problem.

    Look at each set back as a learning opportunity and figure out different ways to solve them. It is OK to be upset, but do not let it ruin your flow and motivation.

    I often find that the people who have failed the most are also the most successful. They have decided to learn from each setback to create a better product or service. So remember, you are not failing– you are learning.

    Now that you’re familiar with the digital nomad lifestyle, let’s take a look at the 11 things you should consider before becoming a location independent entrepreneur.

    DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE
    Experiment with different tools to find out how you can stay productive.

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    Set realistic expectations.

    Before you take the leap to leave your 9-5, ask yourself why you want to hit the road. Are you doing it for the right reasons or do you have unrealistic expectations that it will all be a constant vacation?

    If you have romanticized this lifestyle, then you are in for a big surprise. Most of your days will consist of working in your pj’s- indoors and not in front of the beach. Because let’s face it, you’ll be too busy to go to the beach and being under the heat of the sun with your laptop will not be an ideal working space. 

    On the other hand, if you have done enough research and understand that you will work as hard or even harder as a digital nomad than in your 9-5, then you will be more prepared for this lifestyle. 

    It is important to learn what you’re getting yourself into before taking the leap. Once you consider all these outcomes you will understand that it can also be extremely rewarding and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start sooner! 

    Have enough savings for the lean times.

    The main thing that most of us worry about even with a steady day job is making enough money to pay our bills. As a remote worker, you will experience a lot of lean times before you create a steady income. 

    So, before leaving your stable job, make sure that you have paid off all of your debt (or as much as you can) and have enough savings that will last you for at least 6 or more months. 

    This will alleviate the stress of paying your bills and stop you from making poor decisions that will force you to do projects that do not align with your goals. 

    Use your personal skills to land that digital nomad job. 

    There’s a misconception that you need to be extremely tech-savvy or have a ton of experience in order to become a remote worker. Fortunately, that is untrue and you be a location independent with the skills you already have. 

    I have interviewed so many people on The Offbeat Life Podcast who left their day job to follow their dreams or had to work online after being laid off from their 9-5 and used the skills they already had from their previous work. 

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    Take a look at your current skills and brainstorm how you can use them to help other people. For example, are you organized, resourceful and a great problem solver? Then you would be a great candidate to become a virtual assistant. 

    I have hired several virtual assistants who had very little experience but were extremely resourceful and trainable who became integral to the success of my business. 

    Know your best assets, and start marketing them to potential clients. You will be surprised how many people will need your skills and hire you to do something that you are good at and accomplish tasks that you already enjoy! 

    Learn how to communicate efficiently as a remote worker.

    What can make or break your success as a digital nomad is how well you communicate with your clients. It is hard enough to communicate properly when you are sitting face to face with your client, but having to communicate through a screen can make tasks even more difficult. 

    In order to be an effective communicator, you have to be flexible and adaptable with each of your clients because everyone communicates differently. 

    Using tools like Dropbox, Trello, and Skype to help you share content and connect with your clients can help tremendously. 

    Make sure that your team clearly understands when you will be available and provide them with the best platform to reach you when a problem arises. 

    Being prepared for the worst-case scenario can help you deal with bigger issues that may come later. Always have backup plans whether it is with your backup-drives or the availability of an internet connection.

    digital nomad lifestyle
    Before hitting the road, ask your self why you want to travel. Are you traveling to escape or to experience new adventures?

    It can get lonely. 

    Being a digital nomad has a lot of perks, but the biggest is being able to work from anywhere. But when you are constantly moving around or working from home it can be hard to connect with others when you no longer have co-workers.

    Working from home can feel freeing and it is easy to become a hermit when all your work is within your reach. There is no need to commute, which means you don’t have to leave home unless you have to. 

    I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t leave the house for several days while working from home. Realizing that I was becoming a hermit, I began to create daily routines that allowed me to leave the house to exercise, see friends or just go for a walk to enjoy the sun.

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    Being a part of a community where you can form bonds and friendships outside of work is also important when you are working remotely.

    Try joining a co-working space so you can work in a new environment and network with other people in a similar lifestyle. They will most likely understand your wins and struggles. Who knows, you may even get more clients by putting yourself out there! 

    Get a travel insurance.

    Having insurance is important on the road as it is at home. In fact, you’ll need it more since there will be a lot of unpredictable situations that you may encounter when you are traveling. That’s why having digital nomad insurance is important to purchase when you are planning to start your life on the road. 

    Having traveled tremendously for work and leisure, I recommend World Nomads travel Insurance or With their insurance, you can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home.

    Travel insurance from World Nomads is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travelers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and of course remote workers.

    Living and working abroad can be unpredictable. If there are any change of plans you can buy more cover or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads travel insurance if you’re already traveling.

    I want to make sure you get the most from WorldNomads.com. You can find out more about why travel insurance is important for your trip. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact WorldNomads.com directly.

    You do not have to travel full-time. 

    The biggest appeal of being a remote freelancer is the ability to become nomadic. But traveling full-time is not always ideal if you are also working on the road, especially since having a reliable internet source is crucial to your business. 

    It may be wiser to choose an affordable home-base so that you can focus on your work but also have the convenience of traveling in your spare time. 

    Personally, I’ve chosen to have a home-base since I found that the constant traveling made me lose focus and stopped me from being productive. Instead of full-time travel, I chose to travel slowly so that I can be effective and also truly appreciate the place that I am visiting. 

    Get reliable internet

    The biggest concern for most digital nomads is the internet speeds when they are traveling in different destinations.

    It can make or break your remote lifestyle because after all if you can’t work you can’t earn.

    One of the best inventions for remote workers is WiFi hotspots like Skyroam. Skyroam allows you to be able to travel to different locations around the world with access to the internet.

    With Skyroam you can get global wifi at your fingertips! Exciting right?

    Research visa and work policies abroad. 

    The location independent lifestyle is still a fairly new concept, especially in how visas are applied and issued by a specific country. 

    Digital nomad visas are often based on tourism and not work. Obtaining a tourist visa as a remote worker can be a legal gray area since you are not technically taking a job locally.

    However, it is wise to let the country know that you are a digital nomad while there with a tourist visa to avoid future complications. 

    Make sure to do thorough research on the city you want to visit, especially if you want to prolong your stay. Every country has its own rules, so get all the information before you get on the road. 

    Optimize your time. 

    Having a steady schedule can be difficult since you are combining adventures with work. Being on the road and being in different timezones can really stop you from having a solid workflow. 

    That’s why developing a consistent daily routine even when you are on the go is crucial to your productivity.

    Keep in mind that what works well for one person may not necessarily work for another. So, if you haven’t decided on a routine yet, try many different ones until you figure out what’s best for you and your digital nomad lifestyle. 

    Goal setting is also a great way to optimize your time. Writing down your schedule for the next day and planning ahead in order to set specific and actionable goals will be a game-changer in your productivity.  

    Being specific with your goals and writing them down will help with accomplishing your goals because they become more real.

    The key is to create daily habits that will help you become more productive and balanced even when you are always on the go. 

    DIGITAL NOMAD LIFESTYLE
    Loneliness can happen while you are on the road. Make sure that you are a part of a community and create connections with others.

    Create different streams of income. 

    If you think that you can dive into the digital nomad lifestyle with only one stream of income- think again. Unless you are working for a company that will give you enough income to fully support your living expenses, you will need to find different ways to diversify your income.

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    I found different sources of income months before I left my job. Knowing that I could create income gave me the confidence to leave my 9-5.

    Although most of my current income comes from brand sponsorships, I have also been able to make money as a freelance writer and in affiliate marketing.

    I continue to find more ways to diversify my income and I would suggest never relying on one revenue stream. Prepare for the worst and work smart to get the best outcome. 

    Want to learn how I earned over 11K in a month with brand sponsorships? I’ve done it with the help of Jacob Fu and Esther Julee’s e-course “No bullshit guide to working with brands”, Jacob and Esther make over 25K a month through sponsorships alone. Through their e-course I learned negotiating techniques that allowed me to triple my rates as a content creator. This e-course has been instrumental in my success in making revenue from my podcast and website. My income did not take off until I learned the negotiation techniques that Jacob shares in this e-course.

    It can be the best decision you have ever made. 

    If you’ve read this far, it means you’ve considered all the different obstacles that may come your way and haven’t been scared off!

    Good for you!

    To reward you for your continued interest, let me tell you a little secret. Being a digital nomad and a location independent entrepreneur can be the best decision you will ever make. 

    Yes, you will face a lot of difficulties but it can also lead you to living a life of freedom and adventure. So make sure that you are diving into this lifestyle with your eyes wide-open but also be ready for the best time of your life. 

    You will be meeting many incredible individuals who will share your passions and understand the struggles you may face throughout your incredible journey.

    Reach out to other digital nomads before you take the leap and create meaningful connections with these individuals, because they can help you grow and succeed.

    You will also have opportunities to explore and experience the world that would never have been possible if you did not have the freedom to live in your own terms.

    Be prepared, because this is going to be a wild and amazing ride! 


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    Extended: How to become a remote freelancer with David and Nadia.

    Here are the incredible tips that David and Nadia shares on how to become a remote freelancer.

    Listen Below:

    In this episode:

    For someone who does not have a job that can not be turned into remote work, how can they become a remote freelancer?

    • Find something that you enjoy doing.
    • Make sure that this is the right step for you and you can work efficiently as a remote worker.

    How do you communicate well with your clients as a remote freelancer?

    • You can use different tools that will help aid you in communication.
    • The main thing is to have communication with your client and let them know what you’re working on, when it is going to be delivered, and if there are any delays.

    Do you disclose to your clients that you are nomadic?

    • Be upfront with your clients, and let them know what requirements you have while you are working remotely.
    • It will be up to them to either accept or decline the terms.
    • The most important thing is to prove that you can get the work done and to show that they come first.

    What’s the best way to find remote work if you don’t have experience?

    • For designers, you can go to toptal.com to find work.

    What skills do you need to have in order to be a successful remote worker?

    • Time management is a crucial skill to have as a remote worker.
    • Under promise, overachieve.

    Check out the full interview with David and Nadia on how to become a fulltime vanlifer. 

    Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes.

    Extended: How experiences can improve your mental health with Marilen Rose.

    Here are the incredible tips that Marilen shares on how experiences can improve your mental health.

    Listen Below:

    Why is it important to be able to have real-life experiences outside of virtual reality?

    • It is important to experience the world instead of just watching it from your screen.

    How has this affected your own personal life?

    • Staying indoors can affect your mood significantly and taking the time to be more active can change your mood from negative to positive.

    How do you achieve wellness by making mistakes?

    • Fear of failure can be crippling and because we do not want to make mistakes we end up not doing anything.
    • If you become OK with making mistakes and realize that it is a part of life, you will lose the fear and will be able to do more with your life.
    • Making mistakes is where you learn the most and if you don’t make mistakes, you will stay stagnant.
    • We should not avoid pain, because it is what makes us grow.
    • Accepting your mistakes and pain can be the only way to get passed it.
    • If you push it away or ignore the feelings, it will remain and can become detrimental to your health and growth.

    Check out the full interview with Marilen on how to fill your life with experiences, not things. 

    Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes.

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