Remote work is the future (and that future is here) and honestly, the landscape of possibilities to build a career that is remote keeps growing. While you’re going to need to build or expand upon some sort of specific digital skill set, it is good to know how you’ll be able to turn those skills into a job and how that job will look for you. So I’ve pulled together the 5 categories of what it might look like for you to work remotely so you can find the method that fits your goals and lifestyle you want best.
Okay, we could OF COURSE list tons and tons of types, but I find these 5 to be the most common with how I’ve been working with different remote workers for the last 4 years (and I’ve now been several of these myself!). They don’t need to be exclusive of each other, or you can start as one, and build on. The key thing is finding and building your skill set and then picking how you’ll execute (so, do the remote work!).
The 5 main types:
You can either: pick which sounds like the right approach for you and your life right now and then decide what skills you’ll need to focus on, OR you can look at your current skills and see which one would be the best way for you to start working remotely with them.
This is the same as being hired for a specific job at a specific company full time, just remote! (This is how I got started which you can read here!). If you already are in a position, you can transition it to remote (if your employer lets you) or you can seek out a new full time remote position at a company.
With this, you get the stability of having a fulltime job (and regular salary), but this might mean your schedule is dictated by the working hours of the company. This is a great option if you already have a skill set for a specific job, are planning to focus on learning a specific skill set to start or amp up your career but remotely, or are just looking to transition your current role to be remote.
This is someone who works with companies or clients 1:1 providing some sort of service. This can pretty much be any type of service that can be done digitally and charged hourly.
There are 2 things you need to get started: a portfolio or examples of your work, and clients. The best approach is to rely on your network (which becomes easier to acquire new clients in your networks). I’ve always found you just need 1-2 first clients/companies to freelance for and then you’ll start getting referred by word of mouth. The key thing to remember with freelancing is building those relationships with your current clients so you have a steady stream of referrals coming in as they tell their friends or colleagues.
There are also a number of ways to find “gigs” online on job boards like UpWork, Fiverr, Toptal, and Freelancer.
Content Creators are those who create digital content for an audience (and make money with it or get paid to do so). They tend to have a niche and some sort of following (it DOES NOT have to be big at all!). As a creator, you would work creatively to create interesting content for an audience or for a specific brand (vs. being an influencer, which is someone who just has a following). You simply need to pick a medium (photo, video, graphics, writing etc) and a platform (IG, Tiktok, Youtube, a Blog, etc).
You can find work on creator and influencer marketing platforms like Fohr, Collectively, Tribe, Popular Pays, Obviously, Aspire IQ or join affiliate groups like RewardStyle, Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, or Shopstyle to earn commissions on your content.
They both help their client achieve a goal, but they do have a few differences. Coaches tend to be lifestyle oriented or work on an individual basis and guide their client to help them achieve their goals themselves. Consultants generally work with a company, are business oriented, and advise clients specifically on what to do to meet their goals.
As a coach, you generally are teaching your own method or strategies to help others and don’t necessarily need “experience” other than your own transformations or that of your coaching students. As a consultant, generally you have a few years of experience in your particular field or focus, which allows you to sell your insight as a service.
You’ll generally want to “package” your services as a coach or consultant and lean into your network (through LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook etc) to find clients or look for listings on job and contract work boards or talent hubs looking for indepedent consultants to join projects like the PwC Talent Exchange.
As a digital entrepreneur, you are starting some sort of online business with a business model that is scalable. Not only would this be bigger than just yourself (requiring a team), but also shifts from hourly work to create active and passive revenue. We are also moving towards a culture where a lot of successful digital entrepreneurs have some sort of personal brand or develop one alongside their business.
When you approach remote work, the options to figure out how you can work from anywhere truly become endless. The best thing is to find the right fit for you (I guide you through how to find this fit for you in my e-book The Remote Work Roadmap) or you can get started learning how to figure out your ideal remote job in my youtube video here.
What I’ve learned is that this lifestyle is not reserved for the elite. Imagine coordinating a product line while sipping a cocktail on the beaches of the maldives, working on a cool new app from a sweet airbnb in the Algarve, or know you can say yes to that last minute trip from your bestie because you don’t have to worry about “taking time off of work” to ask your boss since you can work from anywhere.
This lifestyle is 100% possible if you want it, are ready to work for it, and get just a little bit creative for how you want to make it happen.
Love and sunshine,
Traveler, Content Creator, Influencer, and UI/UX Designer empowering you to explore the world and make money while doing it.