A common question that people ask a lot is: "How do I become a digital nomad musician?" let alone a digital nomad. They get drawn in by the glamour and glitz of all those instagram influencers with travel blogs then wonder if such a lifestyle is even possible for the average joe. Well I'm here to tell that yes, it is possible and once you make up your mind to do it just follow through until you get there. All you have to do is break it down into steps, and going to do that here so all you have to do is follow the steps to becoming a digital nomad musician.
OK Let's Break This Down Into 10 Steps:
Ok so we got our steps down, but before we break each one down further I want to make a distinction between a regular digital nomad and a digital nomad musician.
When you look up the definition of 'digital nomad' you get: "a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles. This is often accomplished through the use of devices that have wireless Internet capabilities such as smartphones or mobile hotspots. Successful digital nomads typically have a financial cushion. The digital nomad community has had various events established to host members of it. Common types of digital nomads include retired or semi-retired persons (Snowbird_(person)), independently wealthy or entrepreneurs, and (often younger) remote workers. People typically become digital nomads for positive reasons, such as financial independence and a career that allows for location independence. This sort of lifestyle may present challenges such as maintaining international health insurance with coverage globally, abiding by different local laws and sometimes obtaining work visas, and maintaining long-distance relationships with friends and family back home." What I got from that is nomad nature, use of devices that have wireless internet capabilities, and financial independence as the 3 main characteristics. Digital Nomad Musicians have 1 more MAJOR characteristic: our musical instruments! We use our musical instruments and talents to generate financial independence and joy in our lives as well.
This whole website is dedicated to that distinction. Ok, now that we got that out of the way let's move on.
Ok! first step! You have to reduce ties to your current location and cut those chains off your wings called expenses so you can fly free. What do I mean by this? I mean cut and eliminate all those bills you really don't need. Got a car? Sell it. You won't be using it where you're going. Got a long term apartment lease? Get out of it. You can put up a craigslist ad to have someone take over your lease. Got a bunch of stuff in your place you don't really need? Sell it all. You are going to be traveling lite and won't have room to bring all that stuff with you so turn it all into cash you can save up for your great escape. Really analyze every little expense that has you tied down to your current local. Gym memberships, subscription services, all of it. IF it can go, let it go.
Join A Digital Nomad Musician Community
At Digital Nomad Musician, our digital nomad musician community is a great resource for getting started as a digital nomad or taking your online business to new heights. Forums and Facebook groups make it easy to contact groups of nomads or specific ones that you may admire to get advice or feedback. You get access to like-minded individuals who are ready to kick ass and take the world by storm. Our community is here to congratulate you when you make progress and to pick you up if you encounter any setbacks along the way.
Joining Digital Nomad Musician means you’ll have a built-in support group and wealth of knowledge as you navigate the waters of digital nomad musicianism. You can learn new skills from community members or get tips for working online or selecting a new home base.
Identify Your Skills
\The first thing you need to do is figure out what skills you possess that you can monetize online. You’ll obviously need to be able to type and use a computer as well as the Internet. The good news is that in today’s day and age, that’s a skill most people already have. You can increase the chances of landing higher-paying remote work by building on knowledge and skills from things you’ve studied or worked on in the past.
Most digital nomads start off by finding remote work jobs or freelance gigs that allow them to start earning a small income. Once you secure your first source of income, you’ll need to decide whether you will develop that income stream into a larger business or if you will simply find several similar jobs to cobble together to make more money. Again, since there is no specific path to digital nomad musicianism, your situation will vary depending on your skills, knowledge, and also on how willing you are to put yourself out there, take risks, and even maybe fail.
Become A Freelancer
Once you’ve figured out what skills you have that will enable you to work remotely, you need to find a job. Arguably the easiest way to do this is to scour remote specific job sites. Luckily, there are now tons of sites online like We Work Remotely and RemoteOK that post only jobs that are remote or location independent. I personally recommend Fiverr to find and post freelance gigs for everything related to digital nomad musicianship.
These sites allow you to search by industry or skill and, while the most common jobs are often technology-focused, like voice overs and design, you can also find loads of customer service and support jobs. Writing, editing and music transcribing positions are also ideal for people who may not have solid technical skills, but are great communicators.
Alternatively, Start by Studying Abroad
If you feel overwhelmed navigating the remote work industry, you can start by finding a location-based job or enroll at a university abroad. This path offers more structure and a safety net in case you decide digital nomad musicianism isn’t right for you. The risk of failure with this path is much lower than becoming a freelancer, but it also means that your road to becoming a digital nomad musician can take longer. If you choose this method, you’ll need to secure a visa or resident permit. Countries like Canada and Australia offer working holiday visas so you can try out Vancouver or Perth while getting used to living abroad.
Build Your Business
Once you’ve been a freelancer for a bit, you can start building out your business. If you do a good job, it’ll be easy to get referrals for new clients and your income streams will grow. You can also consider creating your own website and business cards to market your business and increase your reach and reputation. Remember to keep in mind that you may be working from different parts of the globe, so you’ll want to make sure you schedule work and gigs in the right time zones.
If you already have a freelance business or a remote gig that generates passive income, you can skip those first few steps and just take your work on the road. Alternatively, if you have some cash saved up, you can buy an established online business and get a jump-start. Websites like Flippa make it easy to find online businesses that are for sale and how much revenue they generate. Successful digital nomad musicians are a diverse group consisting of both people who own their own companies and others who seek out potential clients online or work random jobs on the road as they move around.
Decide On Your First Destination
Now that you have an income stream set up, it’s time to escape the rat race and set out toward your first destination. From America and Europe to Asia, Africa and Latin America, the possibilities are endless, and deciding on one can be overwhelming. You’ll need to be honest with yourself about the things you need from a location to be happy. If you’re realistic about your income and needs, you’ll find a great place to live. Remember that since you are a digital nomad musician, you can always change your mind if you don’t like where you’ve landed, or just need a change of scenery.
The first thing you can do to narrow down your list of destinations is to figure out the cost of living in each place. You’ll need to be able to afford everything from rent to food and entertainment so you want to be realistic when it comes to your income relative to the cost of living in possible destinations. Low cost locations mean you can live larger than in higher cost areas, so you also want to keep in mind what activities and adventures you want to partake in as a digital nomad musician.
You can also head out to digital nomad musician hubs like Chiang Mai, if you want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. Passport Heavy is a great resource to identify trending destinations and offers scores based on Internet speed, fun, safety and cost to help you identify where you want to go. You can go more in depth by searching for specific climates, activities, or health markers to help you make your decision.
Figure Out How You Want To Live
Once you find a destination, you’ll need to secure housing or at the very least, figure out what kind of accommodations you want. If you’re a social butterfly and worried about setting out and being lonely, you can start off by living in a hostel or co-op where you can easily make new friends. Maybe you prefer having solitude or a quiet place to retreat to. In that case, Airbnb is a great option since you can rent entire apartments for one month or a set period of time and feel like you have your own place.
If you want to have the benefits of added services, hotels and home-stays are a great way to go. Hotels may offer laundry and meal service so you can focus on a difficult project or just ease into your new surroundings. You will also have an easy time finding locals to guide you with tips and tricks on your new home. Whatever you decide to do, remember that you now have true freedom so you can mix it up and change your accommodations whenever you need a change.
Create A Plan And Stick To It
As a digital nomad, it is especially important to set goals and plans and follow through with them. For the nomadic lifestyle to work, you need to be clear on what you want, where you want to go, how long you may want to stay and what you need to do to make it happen.
Having backup plans or alternative passive income streams is also a good idea in case you fail at one path and need a safety net while you reset your plans.
Keep in mind that plans shouldn’t only revolve around your income as a remote worker. You also want to address everyday aspects of healthy living such as healthcare, insurance and local laws and regulations. Since you’ll be living in foreign countries, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you understand any new rules and ensure you have the right support if you get sick or injured while exploring.
Just Book The Flight Darn It!
As a final thought, you can do all the steps and still get cold feet. To that I say, Just Book The Flight Darn It! That's the final step and once to run that credit card to pay for those tickets there is no turning back! This is it! You are taking the steps to change your life forever! Take that leap of faith! Go for it and never look back! Good Luck!