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How to Build a Successful Career as a Digital Nomad or a Location Independent Freelancer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work from anywhere? Location independence is the dream of many, but how can you successfully build a location-independent business?

There are a few fundamental skills that will set you up for success, and a ton of opportunities out there that’ll allow you the freedom of location independence.

What is a Digital Nomad?

It’s important to point out that digital nomad is not a job title. It’s a lifestyle that gives you the freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world.

A digital nomad is someone who works 100% remotely and therefore has the option to choose where they want to work from, and for how long.

It doesn’t matter if you choose to slow travel and move every 1, 2, or 3 years. Or if a couple of months in each place sounds like a dream to you. If you have a remote job, a digital nomad lifestyle is totally possible for you.

Do you like your roots and just want the flexibility to travel every now and then? Not a problem, a location-independent business is also beneficial for you - whether you choose to travel the world or work from home.

Let’s check out the pros and cons of becoming a digital nomad, and also the top 10 jobs that you can totally do remotely.

The Pros and Cons Of A Nomadic Life

As amazing as this sounds, like everything in life, there are pros and cons to having a nomadic lifestyle.

Pros:

  • No more counting the days to that dreamy vacation. You no longer need to work the best part of the year, only to have a few days of rest and fun - every weekend can feel like a holiday when you can work from anywhere.
  • You’ll meet so many different people from different backgrounds
  • You’ll get to know different cultures and different perspectives
  • It opens your mind to different possibilities
  • It allows you to live anywhere and travel full time

Cons:

  • Navigating different currencies and costs of living can be tricky in the beginning
  • Depending on where you choose to go, you need to think about visas and maximum staying periods 
  • Working in different time zones take some getting used to with clients in different part of the world
  • Staying away from friends and family for a good part of the year (though social media and video calls make that much easier nowadays)

As you can see, there are a few things to consider before diving into a fully nomadic life, but that doesn’t mean you have to figure all this out straight away. 

There are lots of benefits of location independence, even if you decide to start by working from the comfort of your own home.

Creating A Location Independent Business

The first thing you need to consider is what kind of skills you need to be able to work from anywhere. 

And play match-making. Identify your strengths. What skills are you excited about learning? Then think about how you can translate those skills into in-demand services people will pay good money for.

For example, if you have a good eye for details, and can spend hours on Pinterest looking at beautiful color palettes and esthetically pleasing graphics - then maybe design is a great path for you! 

The in-demand part of it is important, make sure you translate your skills into services that will get you business.

Essential Skills You Need To Work From Anywhere

Working from anywhere also requires a lot of discipline and organization. The freedom of working on your own hours and at your own pace comes with great responsibility. 

If you want to work and travel, then put some work on these personal skills:

  • Clear and effective communication to navigate the different time zones effectively, without affecting your work
  • Discipline and some sort of routine that’ll keep you on top of work even though you’re traveling full time
  • Financial planning and budgeting, so you can plan and save money accordingly depending on where you want to go next

Top 10 Jobs That Allow You To Work From Anywhere

Now let’s get to the good stuff. 

What kind of online jobs are the best course of action to become a location-independent entrepreneur?

Tech Virtual Assistant

Tech is always in demand as it’s where a lot of business owners get stuck. With a little marketing research, you’ll soon find out, it’s one of the most frustrating parts of having your own business.

What to learn: automation, systems, and funnels setups

Online Business Manager

Every online business needs an OBM when scaling. An online business manager is responsible for high-level strategizing according to the business goals and vision. 

What to learn: organizational skills, time management, team management, strategic thinking, project management, marketing

SEO Expert

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, so basically make sure all content you put out on the internet is optimized to be easily found on search engines. Every single business wants to show up on page one of Google, so SEO is a crucial part of any content marketing strategy. 

What to learn: SEO strategy, technical SEO, local SEO, Google Services (GSC,

GA, GMB)

Web Designer/ Developer

Every business needs a website, and for online businesses, the website is like a storefront. A bad website will be seen as a red flag for potential clients/customers.

What to learn: Squarespace, Shopify, WordPress, basic front-end coding, design

UX/UI Designer

User experience is a huge field and one in super high demand nowadays. Let me ask you this, how many times have you left a website or an app extremely frustrated because either 1 - you could not find what you were looking for or 2 - things were not working as they should? A bad user experience is a great way to lose customers and therefore, leave money on the table. 

The job of a UX/UI designer is exactly that. It goes beyond the looks (which is also important, as we are visual beings), and into functionality. 

What to learn: Figma, Adobe XD, Azure, Information Architecture, UX Writing

Video Editor

Video editing is another skill you can easily do from anywhere. And as video marketing is taking over the internet, it’s also one that’s super in demand. 

What to learn: Adobe Premiere Pro, Camtasia, Final Cut Pro, After Effects

Ads Manager

As the competition gets higher in the online world, organic reach is getting trickier and trickier. Safe to say most businesses reach a point where they turn to paid ads to generate leads and continue to scale. 

What to learn: digital marketing, Facebook/Instagram Ads, Google Ads, Pinterest Ads

Data Analyst

A data analyst helps businesses make strategic decisions based on key insights into customers. They keep in close contact with the company leadership and help them solve problems through data analysis.

What to learn: Google Services (Data Studio, GTM), Power BI, SQL, Python, Copywriter

Copywriter

Good copy = Good conversions

Of course, there’s more involved in conversions than just copy, but it is without a doubt a key element in any marketing plan. Good copywriters can make a lot of money, and it’s definitely a skill you can do from anywhere. 

What to learn: SEO, editing, proofreading, conversion copy/sales copy, UX writing

Social Media Manager

I mentioned earlier that tech was one of the most frustrating parts of the business. Well, social is surely in this mix as well! With algorithms changing all the time, keeping up with the social trends and all that comes with it, should not be a priority for a business owner. This is why it’s one of the first things entrepreneurs outsource when their business starts to grow. 

What to learn: marketing, content strategy, Canva, basic design 

It’s Time To Join The Location Independence Lifestyle

Those are all jobs with independence and freedom, jobs that’ll give you the opportunity to choose where you want to live and where you want to work from.

All of these skills are 100% achievable. Everyone starts somewhere and it’s never too late to learn something new. 

Grow a profitable business with The GeekPack Collective - a monthly membership where you'll learn the secret to being a booked out Tech VA, Tech Strategist or Marketing Maven.

GeekPack partnered with Udemy to offer over +19,000 top-rated courses covering pretty much every skill you can think of. Plus the accountability and support of a community, and structured learning paths.

We strongly believe that dreams are achieved through skillful work. Check out our FREE Catalogue to see all that’s included and how GeekPack can help you achieve your dreams!

About the Author:
Some people look at the sky and see stars; others see constellations. Some people look at lines of code and see a website; Julia saw a path to empower women in building their dreams. As a (former) military wife, self-taught web developer, and lover of location independence, Julia has taught over 3,600 women to say “YES” to any WordPress request, but not only that, “YES” to themselves, and “YES” to creating life on their own terms. Empowering women and seeing others succeed is the biggest motivator for Julia. And so, she created a program to teach others the skills that allowed her to take back control of her life and start living on her own terms.
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