For most freelancers, it’s a dream to travel while working remotely. Are you looking to explore the sights of Singapore? Or enjoy surfing from the sandy beaches of Costa Rica? The fact of the matter is that nearly everyone who works for themselves has envisioned some plan to venture out. However, it can be hard to know where to start.
As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 53 million Americans are freelancers. That’s a pretty staggering figure. Granted, that number probably includes those who hold another job and do contract work on the side. However, it goes to show that this is a growing trend that isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Why? There’s a freedom the practice offers, for one thing. With a little bit of discipline and planning, a career of working remotely as a freelancer can provide you with the chance to see the world. Setting this up will take some time while you get your bearings straight, but the payoff will be well worth it. Here’s how to get it done:
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If you’re looking to see the world while working remotely, one of the first things you need to do is ensure you have enough contracts in place to sustain your income. We all know people who are able to travel on a shoestring budget. However, when it comes to freelancing, you want to have enough of a foundation to be sustainable. And you’ll also need to prepare for a rainy day. Although that might sound like a pipe dream, with enough strategic outreach, it’s more than possible.
First and foremost, try to find clients that are in a unique niche or in early markets. These are the clients who will be among the most reliable regarding demand. For example, if you’re a developer with a knack for eCommerce solutions, try going after an innovation like custom bridesmaid dresses or the like. This would be the most advantageous approach, given that you’re going after an untapped market. Additionally, being able to be early on a skill set that’s a rising trend will only make your skills more lucrative as time goes on. This strategy, in particular, will allow you to raise your price based on your experience level. Yes, having a solid base of clients is going to be one of the initial steps to getting yourself in a place to travel. And you’ll need to promote yourself to get to that point.
As a freelancer, you need to think of yourself as a business. It’s the only way to remain competitive. This goes well beyond just networking or attending events. It also includes taking the same steps other firms take, such as looking to advertise on Google or paying for promoted posts. Not only is this a great practice regardless, but it can be especially useful while you’re on the road and working remotely.
In planning your travels, look at the cities you’re going to be visiting and brainstorm ways to get the attention of potential new clients there. For example, if I’m going to be in San Diego for a week, then I’d examine how to run tests for paid posts that would get me the best return there. Additionally, another useful tactic to consider is reaching out directly to folks you want to partner with who live in those cities. It just might surprise you the number of people who will reach back, especially given that you’ll be available for face-to-face meetings. That always makes it so much easier to connect.
While it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to handling sales on the go, once you’ve established your strategy, it’s imperative you keep it consistent moving forward.
Even if you feel as though you have enough work to keep you satisfied for a bit, it’s important to keep going with promoting yourself while you’re traveling and working remotely. This isn’t necessarily to say that you should continue pounding the phones cold calling. But a good suggestion would be to look into inbound strategies, such as content marketing.
According to Hubspot, 53% of marketers say that content marketing is their top inbound priority. And for your freelance career, this could be an excellent way to showcase not only your work, but your travels as well. Try to lend a certain sense of perspective in how getting out there isn’t as hard as some might imagine, as well as can help your business tremendously. The goal here is to develop your personal brand in a way that highlights both your specific qualities as well as what you’re like to work with. Because after all, who would you rather have on your team: someone who’s seen what the world has to offer (and what it wants) or someone who fades into the background?