Running a Successful Email Copywriting Business as a Digital Nomad
There are many reasons why you might want to live abroad. Maybe you love travel and want to explore the world, or maybe you’re looking for a way to escape your daily routine and find something more meaningful.
Whatever your reason for moving overseas, there’s one thing that can stand in your way: finances. However, there are several simple steps that can help make this transition smoother so you can grow your business as an email copywriter no matter where life takes you.
1. Research how local businesses in your new country communicate with customers.
What channels do they use? How do they communicate with their customers? And what language do they use? This is important because it will help you determine the type of copywriting work that could be available for you there and how best to utilize your expertise.
Things to consider include how professional email is compared to other forms of communication, or if email is used as a Q&A source rather than a direct sales utility. I know it’s strange to think about email not being used for constant communication, but some cultures simply don’t use it that way.
You can also apply this to advertising for your email copywriting gig. Find out if Facebook Ads and Facebook Groups are the best way to go versus platforms like LinkedIn and Upwork. Or maybe there’s some type of meetup for digital nomad job seekers where you can network.
2. Make sure all your business software is compatible in other countries.
If you have a local server, will you be able to access it remotely? If you use cloud software, does that software maker operate in other countries?
Compare it to things like streaming services like Netflix or social media platforms like Instagram. Logging into Netflix abroad gives you different shows. It’s still functional, but it’s different. On the other hand, Instagram removes several features which could make it entirely useless to you.
I know as a digital nomad copywriter or freelance writer in general, you usually don’t need to worry about software compatibility. But we all have our preferences. And a lot of helpful writing tools are tied to other services, like MailChimp or SEMRush. Remote work abroad might limit your access to those providers and all their services.
You can find out whether a particular piece of software is available in another country by checking their website or reaching out directly. Many companies will be happy to help and give advice on how best to set up your system so that it works seamlessly across multiple locations.
3. Ensure you can access all of your banking and financial information remotely.
This is a big one. If you’re planning on taking on the digital nomad lifestyle and moving abroad (particularly if it’s for a long-term period), make sure that your bank can still provide you with all of the services you need. This might mean changing your banking provider, although some banks will allow you to keep your current account once you move abroad. If you’re moving to another country, make sure that you check whether the bank in question has a branch there or not.
It’s obviously much easier if you choose a bank that has international offices, but that isn’t always feasible. You want, at a minimum, a location independent bank.
Generally, you can log into your bank from abroad (though you might want to make sure the phone number associated with it is active). However, some financial institutions revoke access outside of their territory.
Worse, some banks will terminate your account if they see that you are only spending money abroad. Most banks these days offer fee-free ATM withdraws and spending while you travel, but that just means the bank covers that fee for you. They aren’t always willing to do that permanently and if they see that you’re swiping your card left and right for months on end in another country, it could lead to your account being terminated.
4. Figure out how to get paid by clients, including how to charge in multiple currencies.
Email might be universal, but currency is not. If you’re offering services to local businesses, you’ll need to get paid from them in their currency. There are three main ways of getting paid for your online business work: directly from the client’s bank account, or through a transfer service like PayPal.
- Use an online payment service like PayPal—it can both be linked to your credit card and help convert currency. Be careful with PayPal though because it takes a long time for them to send money into your account (and then take out their cut), which could be problematic if you need the money right away.
- Ask potential clients how they would prefer to pay: by credit card? Bank transfer? By check? Cash?! The more options available, the better.
- Use a service like TransferWise, which offers business accounts in multiple currencies/countries. It’s a much better option than PayPal, but it still takes a big cut of your incoming transfers AND there’s a limit to how much you can hold in your account. Really, the best solution is a full-on offshore account.
5. Don’t forget about tax implications, especially if you’re moving abroad indefinitely.
Taxes are confusing when you’re in your home country, let alone when working remote jobs. Do you need to file in your current country as well as at home? Or should you only file at home? What are the factors that control where you need to file?
If your home country is the US, for example, and your business is based in the US, then you need to file taxes in the US. This is basically true for every country. Where your business is registered, that’s where you file. But in the case of the US (and many other countries), you can receive signification tax deductions if you stay out of the country for 11 of 12 months.
However, if you’ve got a digital nomad visa or some other type of visa that permits you to stay in a country on the basis that you’ll work there, then you also need to pay taxes there. We’ll be happy to help connect you with offshore banks who can provide helpful accounting services, no problem.
Even as an email copywriter, which is a profession that can be performed anywhere in the world, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got your payment terms and tax situation squared away before you start operations abroad.
6. Consider local laws and regulations and how they could apply to your business as you set up shop overseas.
Before you start your business, it’s important to research the laws and regulations that could potentially apply to your business as a digital nomad. This is especially true if you’re setting up shop in another country—local laws can vary significantly from place to place, and they can be complicated and confusing for someone who doesn’t live there full-time.
For example: In Thailand, using misleading language or visual cues on a company website is illegal; an American-based retailer might find themselves in hot water if they don’t comply with this regulation. In France, it’s illegal for companies to send unsolicited emails—and fines can go all the way up to $16k.
These are just a few examples, but it should give you an idea of laws that apply to email copywriters and digital marketing startups.
7. When working overseas, account for time zone differences when scheduling your meetings.
Time zones can make scheduling meetings a bit tricky if you’re working abroad. It’s important to consider them when setting up your schedule.
In the early stages of my business, I was living in the UK and working with clients all over Europe—and even the US. This meant I had to be aware of what time it was for each client depending on where they were located so we could schedule meetings at optimal times for everyone involved. It became something of a nightmare at times, staying up late or waking up super early. But don’t let that deter you from the nomad life of work and travel!
If you’re working with someone who is in a different time zone than yours, make sure that you account for any variances when scheduling meetings or else rescheduling will become a necessary evil.
If possible, try to work with clients who are based in similar areas as yourself; otherwise, adjust your hours accordingly (or ask them if they can do so).
8. Research which countries have strong internet infrastructure and are known for digital nomad friendliness, so you can find the perfect spot for your business abroad.
Whether you’re looking for good wifi or cheap accommodation, it’s important to consider the country’s digital infrastructure when deciding where to set up shop. Some countries have more developed internet than others, and some are known for being more welcoming towards digital nomads than others.
Some countries and cities look absolutely stunning on a map and in photos. It would be incredible to do your freelance copywriting and email work while lounging on the beach in Bali. But don’t dive in head-first just on the romance of it all, do your research first. Otherwise you might end up spending thousands of dollars on a mistake.
A career in email copywriting can take you anywhere in the world. Don’t let your payments infrastructure prevent you from living abroad.
This is the beauty of offshore accounts. They can be opened anywhere in the world, and they’ll always be available to you. You don’t need to worry about them being affected by political or economic turmoil. Your money is safe and accessible to you from anywhere.
All of this means that you can go wherever in the world you want without having to think about how your business will function from there.
The world is full of opportunities, but they don’t always come easily. If you’re planning to live abroad and want to run a digital nomad email copywriting business, it’s important that you do your research before making a move. And most of the setup has to do with finances, so don’t mess it up. Get in touch with us today for assistance to open your safe and secure offshore account.