Do you ever think out loud on the question, “How do I become a digital nomad?” It is the same question that revolved around my mind almost a year ago, and today with much effort I have managed to live the life of a nomadic freelance screenwriter and copywriter. The experience has been thrilling, overwhelming and sometimes underwhelming & frustrating too, with a pinch of comical and rewarding experiences which I believe I would have never encountered during the normal course of life.
Freelancing that appeared to be a far ambition has now become my reality of the present work. Through this journey, there have been lessons learned the hard way which has varied my approach to several things in life such as time, skills, experience, planning, and future; though there is no end to learning in one’s life. In my opinion, there are seven moves I wish I had made prior to achieve this life of a nomad a lot earlier.
Discovering Your Niche
As a beginner, I was trying to come across any freelance job I could get hold of. I was trying to venture out of the casual 9 to 5 job structure as it soon turned out to be slavery for me. My hands were implicated in a wide net of hopes, from bookkeeping to screenwriting, and exploring, I wished to stick somewhere maybe in the beginning or in the end or definitely in the middle.
But on the foe, I realized how this process created a dilemma of multiple choices. The limitless opportunities on the internet made it overwhelming for me. The result was confusion and indecisiveness. With a frightening first rent payment, it all felt like a mess guided by instincts and guesswork.
In the first month, I applied for article writing, copy editing, teaching English, test websites, scriptwriting, pen dating site profiles, short story writing for fifth graders, and step in as a virtual assistant. I was ready to fit myself in any field of content. As I moved forward I realized I lacked plain focus. I was not acquainted with my identity and proper way to present myself.
As time passed I grew to identify with myself as a person and my niche, which later became a passion to me. Naturally, I inclined towards projects that fit my interests and experience. This didn’t last for a long time, as soon as better opportunities came, I fell for them .now I was only working for screenplays and film or travel articles. As my only successes were the ones that included my most unique experiences, I struggled with other work of mine.
Today, I have a much clearer sense of my identity as a writer. The balance between screenwriting and travel writing has kept me content creatively. While all the sweat that got into job applying and researching got me experience and valuable lessons, I realize it would have been better if I found my niche earlier.
The most important thing is to learn is that — we must devote our time in a particular task as we are capable of doing an array of tasks but a specialty will grab you the attention and will offer you selection.
Now, how to find your niche? , the answer is simple, find the services you interested in providing. Where does your experience lie? Where do you stand out? Who are you trying to help and how? How many others claim to offer what you do?
While the focus in one area is fundamental, the reality is that freelancing often engages in a patchwork of odd jobs and clients. Working within a niche doesn’t happen overnight, it requires experimentation along the way with chock-full of dedication. If you stay mindful of budding your niche, it will naturally evolve inside of you.
Be Selective, Trust Your ‘SO’ Called Gut
Over a course of time, I have realized to pick my projects wisely. Freelancing relies on ratings, reviews or referrals and it’s important to generate positive momentum. For this one must choose projects he or she fit with. Otherwise, poor projects may only take you away from the good ones.
If you’re wondering what’s a good fit for you? The answer lies in your own experiences & beneath your personality.
The courtship period is an important phase to grind with your instincts. Whenever a new opportunity arises be curious about what the job entails? What final outcome do they expect? What type of workflow are they accustomed to? What’s the purposed rate and deadline?
Through the above-mentioned course, you are likely to get a better idea of the person you are about to work with. Whether they are flexible or not? Do they appreciate your time?
Consider Language as a Metric
Though I am confident with my word, I have been reminded time and again that there’s a room for improvement — especially in the cases of emails. To carve emails might seem minor when compared to the whole work but in the freelancing world, Emails replace face to face interactions quite rapidly. Hence they play an incredibly vital role in freelancing.
Consider how watchful wording can convey that you are a confident and professional writer.
- Instead of saying sorry for the delay, try thanks for your patience
- Rather than no problem or no worries, try saying happy to help.
- Instead of I hope that makes sense, try let me know if you have any suggestions.
- Rather than sorry, I must have missed that, try thank you for flagging, updated file attached!
- Instead of spending 20 minutes trying to word an email, why not try it would be best to discuss this on phone; are you available at_:_on_?
Watchful wording does not mean opening a thesaurus and choosing the perfect word; it means being mindful about the way you convey your message.
Charge that Happy Price
One of the most tricky parts of any job is how to gift yourself a deserving price. in freelancing one may get into the dilemma of setting the rate for their work, one to be — overcharging and the other be — undercharging.
Being a newbie I always tried to charge under my happy price in the means to secure my job because as a beginner you can’t afford to lose clients. but with trial and error, I’ve learned its better to let go of a client than to work for a job less than desirable pay. As working for a job you think you are not worthy of, is a lot to put up with, at least more than you can think of.
Working on a project that marks your worth accurately made me feel far more positive and motivated, hence the better performance .with projects that last months, like screenwriting it is important to consider your happy price. With an objective to have recurring clients and long term working relationship with clients, one must put the effort in deciding a mutual and fair rate from the very start.
Bill Honestly for all Work Performed
Certainly, clients get what they pay for, but it’s the time for which I get paid for in explanation; the coffee prepared beforehand, a playlist made to roll, the phone kept on silent, all done to make sure my focus is not disrupted. The above mentioned is an ethical practice that boosts overall productivity, leaving more time to enjoy other parts of my day.
Billing honestly creates a professional image in front of the client. Earlier I used to work overtime free of charge. But now I inform the client earlier about the time the project might take. I record all the time spent on the project including the few extra minutes taken during invoicing too, through an app
This process gives the accurate estimates and rates to the clients resulting in efficient working making everything run conveniently.
Invest in Self-Development
Being self-employed at times can turn out to be stale, majorly when it comes to learning something new. Hence it is our own responsibility to refresh and refuel ourselves on our way to self-development.
With the internet on our hands 24×7, the scope of learning new things has widened to a limitless scope. Be it online courses, masterclasses, or youtube tutorials. While it can be challenging to decide what is best for you, it is also worthwhile to connect yourself with online content and resources. All you have to do is click and learn with a little grip of self-discipline at your hands.
Also, self-development goes beyond just learning a new program or technique. It also included your mental and physical development as a person through yoga, meditation or daily habits such as proper nutrition, reading books, etc.
Find even the threadlike roads to grow you both mentally & physically. It will only make you a better person.
There’s a lot in life which comes to us at the right time. We need not be patient about it, instead, we can be prepared for it. And this preparation could start from any moment, even, right now. So, just make you move, it would pay off always!