The Digital Nomad way of life has been mentioned on this blog before and it generated some serious interest. In some parts of the world, the term Digital Nomad is well known and you have these random co-working offices popping up all over the place. However, I also get the comments of ‘do people like you actually exist’ pretty often so I thought I would start a segment on my blog about all things Digital Nomad.
The first topic I’d like to touch on is distinguishing between a normal client relationship and one completely online with minimal to no face-to-face contact. I have clients like the epic flip-flop brand, Chilloes that I’ve worked with for several years and know the owner personally. We’ve built up such a great relationship that she now trusts me to operate from anywhere in the world. I also have clients that I don’t even know their real name. No jokes. Securing them through online 3rd parties like Upwork allows you a great disconnect from your client. An important thing to note is that they both pay you and therefore, be a good freelancer regardless of the limited knowledge of the actual client.
Here are my tips on Client Relationship Management as a Digital Nomad:
- Communication is key. With the continuous advancements in technology, it is now incredibly easy to stay in touch with your employer. Firstly, establish which platform you’re going to use to stay in touch. Your options are endless with sites like Skype, Slack, Trello etc. Stick to one to avoid confusion and missed messages. Secondly, decide on communication hours. When you have a client in a different time zone, they could be working as you’re getting ready for bed and vice versa. Pick a set amount of hours that work for both of you and make sure you’re available during that time.
- Honesty is the best policy. You know when you had a real job and you called in ‘sick’? Don’t be a twat. If you’ve forgotten to do something or you won’t be able to complete the work in time, communicate it with your employer. Always give a realistic turnaround time for a project to avoid late nights and the good chance you will be let go. As a freelancer, you are extremely replaceable so keep that in mind when you start giving a client the runaround.
- Be a reliable nomad. Be a good employee. Always consider if you were to outsource your services, how would you react if your employee were unreliable. Searching for work is just as much of an annoyance as employing someone. Keep that in mind and be a reliable worker!
- Zero ambiguity when it comes to payment. Establish how you will be paid, the amount and when you will be paid. You have to be confident when talking about what you’re worth and payment in general. Get over feeling embarrassed or awkward when discussing remuneration because if you’re not going to fight for the right amount owed to you – who will?
This will be an ongoing series on my blog and I will be going into the different aspects of being a Digital Nomad!
My goal is to inspire others to live this type of lifestyle, I have dreamed about it for years and to be finally doing it is just amazing!