by Charlotte O’Hara
A few years ago, Charlotte O’Hara accidentally started a new business as a web designer/developer. She had been working in tech since graduating from university but had never considered working for herself. But word got out that she was “good with computers” and could “build websites and stuff online”, and she started receiving requests from friends and family to help them with their websites. One thing led to another and Charlotte started freelancing and eventually turned this new side hustle into her full-time job.
For several years, Charlotte built custom websites for professional businesses out of her home office in Vancouver, Canada. She mostly worked with lawyers, accountants, and consultants and grew a profitable business serving dream clients. Referrals were coming in on auto-pilot, she had a waitlist of clients who wanted to work with her, and she could pick and choose the projects she accepted. Business was booming and Charlotte was so proud of what she was building!
But as much as Charlotte loved her work and business, she still felt tied to her desk and at the mercy of her clients. She worked online and most of her clients weren’t local anyways, so Charlotte started thinking about taking her business on the road. She was dying to travel more and explore the world, and most importantly skip out on those freezing Canadian winters!
So in January 2018, Charlotte put her stuff in storage, packed her bags, booked a one-way ticket and hopped on a plane to Bali!
Now, Charlotte runs her successful web design & SEO consulting business from the beaches of Bali! She is a true digital nomad and has worked remotely in 7 countries around the world… and counting! Best of all, this dreamy new lifestyle has actually helped her to grow her business, earn more money and help even more ideal clients!
Charlotte shares 3 of her tried and true tips for running and growing a successful online business from paradise on the other side of the world.
Tip #1 – Just do it
If you’ve ever wanted to be a digital nomad, run your own business or work remotely from anywhere in the world – trust me that it’s totally possible! Not only can you build a new business abroad, you can also grow your existing business and reach new milestones!
Instead of creeping people’s Instagram accounts like the Green Eyed Monster wondering how they heck they do it or feeling like these #bossbabes know some secret that you don’t, by biggest suggestion is to reframe your thoughts.
These people are showing you that your dreams are possible and trust me, they’re nothing special! If they can do it, you can do it.
The first thing to do is to decide that you’re going to do it. Be brave, have confidence in yourself, and just get started wherever you are today.
A few months before I ended up moving to Bali, I saw this quote on a cheesy motivational Instagram account but it really stuck with me and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to follow my dreams: “ There are people less qualified than you, doing things you want to do, simply because they believed in themselves and took action.”
Tip #2 – Get organized
Many people decide to begin their new online business by offering services related to their experience or skill set – anything from web design to social media management to consulting to branding, the sky is truly the limit!
But if you’re going to do services-based work, you must make sure that you’re organized and take time zones into consideration.
Google Calendar will become your new BFF. You will rely on tools like Acuity scheduling to book meetings with your clients across different time zones. Project management tools like Asana and Trelo will be lifesavers! Zoom is an amazing replacement or alternative to face-to-face meetings!
Tip #3 – Pitch your services to dream clients
Running a remote business is great…until you realize that you probably won’t be able to rely on networking events or local connections to help you land new clients and work projects!
I’m a HUGE believer in the power of pitching your services to dream clients because it gives you real control over your online marketing strategies, ensures that you to work with ideal clients, and helps you to build a stronger and more streamlined portfolio.
Pitching my services was a game changer in my business – start with a personalized email pitch and then invite the potential customer to book a discovery call with you to discuss the project further.
Remember, pitching is a numbers game and you’re bound to hear a lot of No’s…. But don’t let that rejection get to you! It only takes a few Yes’s to build your business and reach your income goals so at the end of the day, that’s all you should care about.
Charlotte O’Hara is a web designer/developer, SEO consultant, digital product creator and online educator. At the start of 2018, she booked a 1-way ticket to Bali and never looked back. Since then, she’s traveled extensively around South East Asia, worked with dream clients in 3 continents AND grown her business! When she’s not head down at her laptop building cool stuff on the internet, Charlotte loves surfing, hiking, practicing yoga and enjoying a lazy sundowner on the beach.