This is a guest post by Hannah and Chris from Loveplaywork. They spend at least 6 months each year travelling whilst growing their online and consultancy businesses. Visit loveplaywork.com/manifesto to learn our essential secrets to creating a business you can run from anywhere in the world, and join our free club at loveplaywork.com so we can send you our very best strategies and resources.
Most travellers are amazed how much they can save up before they head off on their round the world trip. But post-trip if you aren’t ready to pack away your rucksack yet, saving will only get you so far. Now it’s time to start earning while you go.
Travel doesn’t have to be something with a distinct beginning and end point. With travel and work much more intertwined, you can stay on the road as long as you like.
Office work is a great place to start. If you’ve ever used a skill which required you to work with a computer chances are you can transfer those skills to work from a laptop on the beach. It won’t take long before sourcing high-speed internet will become as crucial to your plans as finding somewhere to enjoy an ice-cold beer!
Knowing you are handy with a computer is great, but how do you get clients? How do you transfer what you did in an office to what people will be willing to pay you to do now? Here are a few ideas:
Ask Your Network
Who do you regularly connect with? Online business owners? Travel bloggers? Entrepreneurs? Accountants, artists, archaeologists?!? Now find out what they need. If you do your research right you can put yourself in a position to solve their biggest problems.
A few hours here and there will turn into a steady trickle of cash coming in from people willing to hire you because they feel like they already ‘know’ you.
Case study: At loveplaywork we have a couple of random niches. We work with the fire service due to past work history; we help people prepare for selection tests because we have training in that areas; and we work with freelance coaches and consultants who want to be ‘location independent’ because we know a fair bit about that! Income doesn’t have to fit neatly into one box, so be prepared to have a diverse range of income streams.
Become An Expert
Whatever problems you are going to solve for your clients, you need to make sure you get really good at it. No one is ever going to tell you that you are an expert by the way. But pretty quickly you will have more expertise than someone out there who needs your help, even if there are also a load of people who know more than you! If you’re reliable, hardworking, care about your client’s business and are willing to go ‘above and beyond’ you’ll stand out a mile – and your clients will keep coming back.
Action: Write down a list of things you can do – even the things which you take for granted. You might be a great proof reader or spreadsheet whizz; you might be happy to take on data inputting or cold calling. There will be small business owners out there who have stuff on their list they don’t have time for or don’t want to do (check out the top skills list on elance.com). That’s where you come in; learn, develop and make yourself marketable.
Offer Locally, Even If You Aren’t!
With everything being so ‘global’ these days it can be tempting to keep our eyes on the horizon when it comes to trying to get clients, but sometimes local can work really well – even if you aren’t actually ‘local’ yourself a lot of the time! Clients can feel more comfortable working with people who they feel they have something in common with – and ‘place’ is as good as any as a starting point.
Case study: We worked with someone who set up a VA/admin support business. She decided to target very locally to one region in the UK – and her business has exploded in the last 3 months!
Set Your Own Hours
If you are planning on travelling then you don’t want to be working too much. However take on clients to fit around your lifestyle to keep the control in your hands. If you are reluctant to merge work and travel, look at it this way. If you had the choice of doing say 10 hours a week and being able to travel for 2 years, or no work at all but have to come home after 6 months, which would you choose?
Action: Figure out what you need to earn and how many hours you are willing to work. If your ideal hourly rate is high, you’ll have to put the work in to be worth it!
Don’t Wait To Be Offered An Opportunity
People who have turned their round the world trip into a lifestyle created opportunities to do this. Don’t wait for someone to offer you a job; make yourself indispensible -you have a great incentive to try!
Have you earned money while traveling before? Please share your best tips and advice in the comments!