Travel. The freedom. The sense of adventure. It’s a place our minds often drift off to as we sit in our grey office looking out at a miserable morning, dreaming of warmer climates… yet for the majority of us, the only relief is a few weeks in the sun, and then it’s back to work we go.
In today’s digital economy there is the opportunity to work remotely, from anywhere in the world, providing you have a laptop and a decent internet connection! For many people, “living the dream” no longer features a corner office, fancy title, and fast car parked in their garage – it’s more akin to jetting off to an exotic location and working from their laptop in a bamboo beach hut drinking from a fresh coconut that’s recently fallen onto the soft white sand.
No doubt you’ll have heard the tales of someone giving up their daily grind in order to travel the world. Where they exchange the shackles of the nine-to-five for flexible working hours, the congested commute for a walk from their beach hut to a local coffee shop, and the tedious colleagues for like-minded friends.
The benefits of this remote working lifestyle are clear. There are plenty of people who, right now, have exchanged their office cubicle for a beach in Thailand, getting a foot massage for a few dollars, whilst working on their iPad.
However, whilst the beach hut lifestyle sounds incredible, from a distance, the reality of mosquitos, poor plumbing, and a mattress made of bamboo fibre – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
One thing’s for sure, which is, no matter where you choose to lay your head you are going to need some income. If you are a freelancer trying to make a decent income, in today’s economy, the general advice is to develop a smorgasbord of projects – rather than depending on one source of income that could be taken away at any time. Think of it as a table with four legs vs. one leg. Even if the one leg provides a significant amount of cash, your financial stability is inherently vulnerable, as this could be taken away from you at any time.
The key advice, therefore, is to develop multiple streams of income rather than rely on one particular source. The next nugget of advice is to develop skills that are in demand, and in particular, skills where the demand is likely to increase in coming years.
Freelance Skills In High Demand
With the ever-increasing trend for user-generated content, and video explainers, the demand for video editing is booming and shows no signs of stopping; basic video editing is a skill you can pick up reasonably quickly, and the Adobe Suite of products doesn’t cost that much for a monthly subscription. There are plenty of Adobe Premiere Pro training classes available, and as many of these classes are online, you can do the course from the comfort of your home and tailor your learning around your current commitments / particular interests.
Web Design is another booming market, and whilst, a few years ago web designers would require an understanding of coding language – today, there are plenty of WYSWYG website builders available, where it is as simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a page, without any need for coding. Remember, you don’t need to be a designer extraordinaire, you just need to be able to facilitate the tangible outcome that the client wants.
Just as popular as web design and video editing is copywriting where you develop content for a client, whether that’s a blog post, advertising copy, or a description of the business or service. The more specialised this is (e.g. business plan writing) the higher paid you will be, but someone with a general grasp of creative writing can produce compelling copy that converts website visitors into customers. Remember, you don’t need to be a J K Rowling, you just need to produce content that is engaging and makes sense.
Where To Find Work
Sites such as freelancer.com make popular tasks such as web design, video editing, and copywriting accessible to a global market of freelancers; many of which live in countries with such a low cost of living, they can charge as little as $5 an hour for complex technical tasks – blowing the majority of western freelancers out the water, in terms of price.
However, price is not the only thing clients consider – they want value for money, and if you have specialist skills or are simply able to relate and understand a task better given that English is your first language, many prospective clients will pay a premium to avoid the miscommunication and headaches associated with working with someone from an unfamiliar culture.
In summary, the opportunity to work remotely, and live the freelancing dream is within your grasp – but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows – unless you have multiple streams of income and develop skills that are in demand, you could end up spending most of your time pacing up and down the beach in a state of financial stress rather than blissful relaxation.
The best advice is to develop multiple streams of income and focus on skills that are in high demand
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