Simply put, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the landscape of anyone who works remotely, including digital nomads, those who work as they travel.
A lot of people are finding themselves out of work, having to look to freelancing and, in this lockdown era, that means remote working. As so many more people are joining the digital nomad trend, that means there is also more competition for all kinds of work out there.
With that in mind, what can you do to remain competitive and at work?
Know how to sell yourself
Unless you’re working through an agency that does it for you, or with a larger contractor who simply gives you the work you need, then you have to know what it is that companies want to hire you for.
For instance, if you’re finding and approaching leads, be able to sell them on the benefits of hiring remote workers. Otherwise, be sure to have your own sellability put front and center.
This can include setting up your own online portfolio, highlighting the experience that you have, and showing examples of your work and clients you have worked with before.
Even if companies are looking at working more often with remote workers, they are also going to be risk-averse during uncertain times, likely to work with only those who give them the greatest peace of mind as to the quality of service they will provide.
Make yourself visible
Selling yourself isn’t just about highlighting the benefits of working with you to the limited number of companies and clients you might get in touch with directly. It means you have to make it easy for them to find you, as well.
This might mean working with recruitment agencies who specialize in remote working. However, even with such agencies, you’re going to be directly competing with the other service users for jobs.
Setting up your own website and investing some of your earnings in marketing is more likely to help you succeed at remaining visible.
One of the advantages of being a digital nomad is that, hypothetically, you can work from just about anywhere. However, there are some nomads and freelancers who can find more work if they are willing and able to travel, such as travel writers and affiliates, or those who work in translation and localization.
As such, being able to travel as soon as its possible can help you get an edge over others getting into the same space. Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 travel restrictions and information. While you should be ready to act on opportunities as they arise, you should also remain cautious.
Different countries are reducing and reimposing restrictions at different rates, so don’t be too hasty to get abroad until you’re sure it’s relatively safe.
Find your niche
No matter what industry you are working in, there is going to be some niche that you can likely use to your advantage. There is sense in making your services as widely available to as many companies and people as possible.
However, most of them will be looking for someone who can fit their specific needs. As such, you need to know what your target market is and find the niche that ensures you can fit their needs.
To take freelance writing as an example, you may find that your niche is in technical writing, press releases, content marketing, search engine optimization, or something else entirely. Focus on finding what makes you special compared to everyone else in the market and make it the central point of your messaging.
Keep building your skills
If you want to keep earning as a digital nomad, then it’s important that you keep opening new avenues to build revenue. Building a niche does count as this, to some degree, as you’re tapping into a particular target market.
However, building your skillset and continuously improving the services you offer, as well as offering new ones, is going to help you immensely. For instance, as a freelance writer, you can build writing skills that allow you to sharpen the kind of services you can offer, giving you a professional edge that newcomers to the market aren’t as likely to have.
It’s always a plus to have a certificate to show off, too.
The tips above are not enough, alone, to help you excel as a digital nomad. It’s important to be able to find your own success, your own niche, and your own advantages. Hopefully, however, those tips serve as inspiration on how to do that.