To learn and understand how digital nomads live, we asked Andy Stofferis, a digital marketing consultant, to answer our questions.
Why did you decide to become a digital nomad?
I co-founded Sendabee, a full remote digital marketing agency, and have been working remotely from different parts of the world over the past 6 years. All Sendabee’s team members are remote workers/digital nomads. It’s quite challenging – but really fulfilling at the same time.
There are many reasons that pushed me to become a digital nomad. The main one is to expand my horizons and meet new people. Traveling has a lot in common with entrepreneurship and helps you be comfortable in the unknown. That’s exactly why I find this lifestyle exciting.
How do you find new clients remotely?
Mentalities are changing. When I started my journey as a digital marketing consultant (in 2013), it was impossible to close a deal remotely – especially as a newbie. Lots of companies are now ready to start a new collaboration without meeting in person. Video-conferencing is a powerful tool that makes everyone save up time and money. That’s clearly a new era and it’s opening new perspectives for any (aspiring) digital nomads/freelancers.
Which tools do you use to communicate with your clients, your organization, or your follow-up?
We typically have a weekly meeting (video-conferencing) with the client. These weekly follow-up meetings are really short (20 min) – but intense and straight to the point. We discuss the current and upcoming operational tasks. We also prepare a monthly report for each client and comment it over video-conferencing. Milestones, stats, and tasks are always reviewed during these meetings in order to improve the collaboration.
How do you increase your network? Do you find projects according to different time zones?
We typically get introduced to our new clients through our network (clients or business partners). Having a strong presence on LinkedIn and a good personal branding also helps to get new opportunities beyond our primary network. Platforms like Beelance are also very helpful to connect with potential clients.
How do you stay connected as a digital nomad when you are physically so far away?
Coworkings and co-livings are the keys for being surrounded by like-minded people and avoiding loneliness as a digital nomad. Being part of a local community in the destination you’re currently living (e.g. “local events where you can meet people sharing the same values as you”). Being active on some platforms like Internations.org, nomadlist.com is also a great way to be connected with peers in your destination.
When is the best time to start?
I would suggest to any aspiring digital nomad to have a safety net and close their first deals before starting their nomadic journey. In order to be productive: it’s also very important to work from coworkings – whatever the destination – and avoid working from home as much as possible. One of the keys to success is to set up a routine that can apply wherever you travel (e.g. every day: morning run, meditation, fitness, brain exercises, etc.). This requires a lot of self-discipline and time.
Remote work is here to stay. More and more countries are introducing “digital nomad” visas to attract remote workers from everywhere (Croatia, Georgia, Barbados, etc.). There are more and more initiatives made for digital nomads – they recently opened a digital nomad village in Madeira. The most optimistic estimations are forecasting 1 billion digital nomads by 2035. For sure, digital nomads are the future of work and travel.
Becoming a successful digital nomad is pretty cool but not easy. But if you want more information Andy will share with you the tips and techniques to make it happen on his blog.