Digital marketing is an enormous field that seems to keep growing indefinitely. Whether you have a focused specialty, like optimizing PPC ads or practicing graphic design, or you’re more of a generalist, it’s an excellent field for long-term growth. But is it possible to enjoy the benefits of this field and preserve that trajectory of growth if you decide to become a digital nomad? And if so, what services and strategies can help you master the digital nomad lifestyle?
Key Challenges to Keep in Mind
We’ll start with some of the bad news. There are some enormous strengths of being a digital marketer if you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad, which we’ll cover in the next section. But it’s also important to recognize some critical challenges that stand in your way.
According to Lucas Seyhun, founder of The Farm SoHo, “Virtual mailbox services are a must for digital nomads. Even though we live in an increasingly digital world, most of our clients still have to deal with physical mail for contracts, official tax documents, and more. These are time-sensitive documents, so you need some way to access your mail consistently, regardless of where you happen to be.” If you’re bouncing from place to place or settling somewhere outside of the United States, you’ll still need access to physical mail. Fortunately, virtual mailbox services make it easy to receive mail from a remote location via digital scans and mail forwarding services.
Not all locations are suitable for work. Some have spotty internet. Some have travel restrictions. Some offer unnavigable language and cultural barriers. Some are completely unaffordable. It’s important to do your due diligence and choose the best possible locations for your digital work, but this can be both stressful and time-consuming.
Finances and taxes.
The financial side of the equation should be favorable to digital marketing professionals, but there are some complexities you’ll need to keep in mind. For example, managing international banking and transfers can present unique challenges, and planning around taxes can be complicated, especially in countries with complex tax codes. Hiring a financial advisor can help here, but it’s an added expense you’ll need to factor in.
There are 11 countries in the world with better fixed broadband internet access than the United States – but there are also dozens of countries that are far worse. If you want to do your job as a digital marketer effectively, you need reliable, consistent access to the internet. This is naturally going to exclude some locations from potential consideration.
Even if you consider yourself a bit of a loner, loneliness can be a crushing problem as a digital nomad. You won’t be close to your friends and family. You might struggle with language and cultural differences. And even if these barriers don’t exist for you, you’ll likely be putting in so many hours for work that you don’t have much time to meet new people. This is a solvable problem, but one that you need to be aware of.
The Critical Advantages
Fortunately, the digital marketing field offers many critical advantages that make the lifestyle of a digital nomad much more appealing:
There are practically unlimited opportunities for digital marketers. Almost every business in the world needs digital marketing, and the field seems to keep growing and growing. You can work full-time or as a freelancer. You can become a specialist, a generalist, or a manager. You can even start your own business. It’s all up to you.
Purely digital work.
One of the most interesting things about being a digital marketer is that almost all of your work is digital. With a computer and internet access, you can communicate, research, write, design, coordinate services, conduct analytics, and generate reports. No in-person meetings are required.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to be a digital marketer. If you’re not shackled to a full-time position, you can work as many (or as few) hours as you want – and make as much money as you want.
In a country with a low cost of living, even a modest digital marketing salary can go a long way. In the later stages of your career, assuming you’re willing to work hard to get there, you can make quite a lucrative living.
Growth and potential futures.
If you start becoming detached from your work, you can always try something else. There’s always time to learn a new skill or transition to a new sub-field in digital marketing.
The short answer to the titular question is yes, digital marketing is a good career field for digital nomads. It’s flexible, reliable, and potentially lucrative, and as long as you’re willing to make an effort to overcome the unique challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle, you can find economic success and sustainability here.
Featured images provided by Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thanks!