The world of digital marketing continues to develop at a breakneck pace. New technologies, the evolution of social media, and ever changing search engine criteria has kept the state of digital marketing in constant flux.

We sat down with digital marketers to ask what has worked for them, and not worked for them, to find clients in their rapidly changing world. These are their answers.

Franzi 

Virtual Assistant, Social Media Marketer, Blogger, Translator

Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in online work?

Everything started in Ibiza when I worked for a boat party company in event management and social media. I went home and thought “what can I do with my life?” I wanted to keep traveling and could not go back to living in my hometown. Some friends in Ibiza told me about digital nomads, and I set out to find a job.

I was blown away by the lifestyle and knew it was the right fit. I googled like crazy, watched videos, and applied to jobs. I interviewed with Marcus from DNX. Our outlooks on life were similar and things just clicked. I’m working for DNX now and loving it.

When I was in Ibiza I started blogging as a hobby and build up to 10,000 followers in 3 months. I started Franzi’s Footprints because I wanted to show everyone how beautiful Ibiza is, I think it’s the best. I didn’t expect it to blow up the way it did. It pulled me in and inspired me to go further.

What valid options are out there in your field?

When I was doing my research I just looked for sites in German. For beginners, I recommend looking in your home country. I just started to Google, and ended up on marketplaces like Freelancer. I can’t recommend sites like that. I saw so many people applying to terrible jobs. Four cents for content writing? Translation job paying four euros for a thousand words? Forget it. There are a lot of companies that just use beginner freelancer talent that don’t know what they should be charging. You have to be careful and look deeply in the beginning.

I think it’s much easier to look in Facebook groups for digital nomads, for instance. There are other digital nomads who are looking for people to help on their projects. For me that’s perfect.

If you work on a team of all digital nomads, and being a digital nomad is what you want to be, then I advocate going and connecting with others already doing it. Go to meetups, connect with people. Most of the jobs I get are from personal connections in Chiang Mai. In my hometown in Germany there are no nomads, and there aren’t any remote jobs. If I were to do a Meetup in my hometown I would be by myself.

Once I was having a coffee with someone who had just arrived in Chiang Mai and wanted to build her skills in social media marketing. Someone next to us overheard our conversation, and she was hired on a trial basis for their project. It went well, now she has a proper job with them.

How did you find DNX?

I found DNX on Freelancer, but it was the only good job on the site. If there are German readers right now, we have a marketplace at DNXjobs.de. We’re gonna collect  job offers in German.

What is a 5 star job portal – if there is one – and why?

I haven’t seen a good site yet. But what I can say is what a job portal should have. It needs well selected jobs – no companies who want to rip off freelancers. Not everybody can post a job offer, there’s too many platforms where there’s only 1 good job out of 10. I need to be able to find jobs that are only in my field, and the pay and time frame needs to be clear. Experience and language should be very clear. You’d be surprised at how often these details are skipped. Time is money and many platforms waste it.  

What is a 1 star job portal, and why?

If it’s not clear, rips freelancers off, has anonymous companies, strange information about what they’re searching for, unclear jobs, ridiculous salaries, etc, then it’s 1 star. I don’t think any good portal charges $30 for freelancers just to look for work. Freelancer and Machdudas are both in this category.

If you could say one thing to newbies, or to your younger self, what would it be?

Go to the Facebook groups. Even better, pick up your backpack and go to the digital nomad hotspots. Things begin to flow, and you can find yourself immersed with lovely people. This is what the lifestyle is all about. Don’t just Google all the time and agonize over it. Don’t go crazy with research. Go find the people that can help you. It works.

Anything else to add? How’s the remote lifestyle working for you, overall?

The perfect thing for starters or people growing as a nomad is to get up and go for it. Our conferences are great places to build a strong community or network. I would recommend finding opportunities to widen your network.

How do we find you?

franzi@global.com
www.franzis-footprints.com


Biron

Direct Response Copywriter, Email Marketer

Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in online work?

I hated my office job in Boston. This was 2.5 years ago. I bought a one way ticket to Chiang Mai. I didn’t know what I was gonna do. I met some great guys out here who gave me good advice on getting involved in marketing and copywriting. They convinced me to give it a shot and that’s how I started freelancing. I do direct response advertising, which is anything that gets the reader to do a direct action.

What valid options are out there in your field?

When you’re starting out, I still think Upwork is the biggest and best for getting multiple clients that need what you provide. I tried Freelancer and hated it. Everything seemed to take long there, and I quickly realized that by focusing on one platform you build up your reviews and reputation faster. If I’m trying to make 3 grand a month, it makes a lot more sense to focus on trying to earn it from place.

I’m big on diversifying once you have your base established. But when you’re getting started it’s a good idea to focus on one platform and go all in. That allows you to streamline everything, get reviews, establish a reputation, and get clients. One good client can get you repeat work, refer you to many other clients, and expand the range of roles you perform in their company. I think people get caught up in the fees on platforms like Upwork, but the value of even one good client can extend well into the future. I haven’t personally tried other marketplaces or job boards.

Another method is to enter Facebook groups and provide value by helping others out – not by dropping your link, not by being spammy, but genuinely providing value. When you interact with people in the group, add them as a friend. Then you can publish things on your own Facebook profile. You can get clients this way, it’s very powerful. If you answer people’s questions with the how-to, you’ll be amazing at how many business owners just ask “how much does it cost to just pay you to do it for me.”

What is a 5 star job portal – if there is one – and why?

I don’t think there is one. Upwork is the one that I chose to go all in on.

What is a 1 star job portal, and why?

Freelancer. I really didn’t like at all and am never going to use them again.

What professional tool(s) could you not live without?

Evernote and Calendly are both amazing.

If you could say one thing to newbies, or to your younger self, what would it be?

Niche down. Focus on one thing, and become an expert. Ignore all the other distractions.

Anything else to add? How’s the remote lifestyle working for you, overall?

It’s great! I love it. One thing I would add is it really helps me to have a schedule. Keeping the Monday to Friday schedule really helps me keep organizes. It’s easy to lose focus with this kind of lifestyle. You still have a boss, even it it’s you.

How do we reach you?

Biron runs the Facebook group Freelance Accelerator.


Pol

Online Marketer, founder and owner of The Digital Navigator

Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in online work?

I was dissatisfied with my career as a CPA Auditor (Certified Professional Accountant). I was successful, but it wasn’t fulfilling. I transitioned into spiritual coaching and quickly realized that I needed to market online. Because I love researching I dove deeper and deeper.

I had to close down my previous business when I moved to the US as part of the immigration process, but restarted as a marketing agency once I settled here. I had spent months planning how to improve my business results for the relaunch and before I was done several entrepreneurs approached me to implement my system in their business. That was the birth of The Digital Navigator, my marketing agency.

What valid options are out there in your field for finding work?
Finding clients

Most of our clients have been from networking, word of mouth, and contacts in the business community. Many people I know in this line of work also get most of their work from referrals as well. I definitely advocate utilizing social media as well.

There is good opportunity in the market right now if you are technical. Businesses are really having difficulties with new marketing technology. Almost every prospective client I have is screaming about it. They try to deploy it, and it fails because they don’t know how to use the features successfully. Email autoresponders, lead collection and optin, Zapier, Facebook bots, learning management systems (LMS), personalization tools… the list goes on.

Businesses want to execute strategies, look for tools that will help them, and it takes an enormous amount of time to learn to do it properly. If you can become proficient with these technologies, you can find clients simply by having conversations with business owners and demonstrating your knowledge. That’s our method – demonstrate proficiency to businesses in areas that otherwise give them headaches.

I participated in a mastermind that was hosted in Chicago, and that became the hub of my network. There were about a dozen people with businesses from many different areas. I came away with some prospective clients, and our referral network expanded significantly. We started offline initially and it spread from there. We don’t have any local clients in Green Bay although we have met many of them at one place or another. All our clients are online businesses.

For hiring freelancers:

There are a couple job platforms we use when looking for freelancers:

Freeeup – I’ve really enjoyed the people that I’ve hired here. We don’t look for clients ourselves here, but we do hire freelancers.

Onlinejobs.ph – this is exclusively for finding virtual workers in the Philippines, we hire here is as well. If you participate in a marketplace like this you will want to pay above the recommended amounts to ensure that you truly provide a good quality of life and get highly skilled workers.

What is a 5 star job portal – if there is one – and why?

I don’t want to bash anyone, but 5 star to me means impeccable.

I’ve really liked Freeeup. I set up my requirements, and they find the right match. It’s very easy to use. We haven’t looked for clients here, but we like hiring there.

The feature is that they select candidates for you, but it’s also the drawback. I get good matches, but I can’t look for candidates myself. It’s a double edged sword. I think it’s a really good service and I continue to use it.

What is a 1 star job portal and why?

I’ve only used a couple of portals so far. Sites like Monster never appealed to me so I haven’t used them.

What professional tool(s) could you not live without?

I have two professional tools that I use for myself and all of our clients:  ActiveCampaign and ActiveMember360. These are the glue of all the marketing systems out there. We can track customers, connect payment systems, lock and unlock content, personalize our marketing… basically anything we want to do we can do with this combo as it will integrate with other software.

ClickUp – project management tool. It’s similar to Asana, but it has different tools you can enable and disable. This is what we use to manage all of our client engagements.

If you could say one thing to newbies, or to your younger self, what would it be?

Get into the technology, and develop a mastery of it. Online marketing goes hand in hand with the technology. Even if you’re not the one working directly with it, you need to understand the capabilities of it and how it works.

How do we reach you?

Our website is the best place: The Digital Navigator. You can just say you want to speak with Pol and we can arrange that.  You’ll notice a Live Chat option in the bottom right corner in addition to the contact page.


Conclusions

The results of this round of interviews

Upvotes
Tools
Downvotes

Words of wisdom:

“Pick up your backpack and go…  Things begin to flow, and you can find yourself immersed… This is what the lifestyle is all about. Don’t just Google all the time and agonize over it. Don’t go crazy with research. Go find the people that can help you. It works. – Franzi of Franzi’s Footprints

Niche down. Focus on one thing, and become an expert. Ignore all the other distractions. – Biron of Freelance Accelerator

There is good opportunity in the market right now if you are technical. Businesses are really having difficulties with new marketing technology. Almost every prospective client I have is screaming about [it]… Get into the technology, and develop a mastery of it. – Pol of The Digital Navigator


Want to see more reviews of digital marketing opportunities? Are you marketer, and have a review of your own to add?  Click here, or visit Marketing and Salesunder Find Work,

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