Marketing is a pretty common occupation among the digital nomad community. It’s a profession that is almost 100% based on online tools, and it’s a great way to start your DN journey. That being said, it’s not without it’s challenges. In this post I will share some of the marketing tools that help me get my job done with ease, and help me be more productive in my work.
After you have successfully transformed any desk or café table to an office for the day, it’s time to take a look at some of the must-use marketing tools that will make your work easier and more productive.
Table of contents:
- Web and WordPress hosting
- Graphic Design
- Reporting Dashboards
- Productivity and automation
- Banking and payments
web and wordpress Hosting
Weather you are building a website for your clients or for your own business or brand, it is essential to get the most out of your hosting service. A good hosting service should have an easy to use interface, different options for different levels of storage and number of monthly visitors. Another thing you might want to consider when choosing a hosting provider is availability and quality of the customer service.
I have been using SiteGround WordPress and web hosting for a few years now. I find the user interface super easy to use, with all the options clearly visible. The website management panel is very friendly, and even the support chat is usually pretty quick and very helpful. It also helps that it is one of the fastest hosting services out there. The basic plan is very affordable, and on online sale days such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday you can usually find discounts for an even more affordable plan.
* If you are interested in reading a more in-depth report comparing different hosting services, benchmarks and price tiers – check out this article.
So much of the work of digital marketers is the creation and usage of visual designs for ads and posts. Most of us aren’t proficient in professional tools for graphic design, which are both difficult to learn and very expensive. Getting started with graphic design is made easy by one of my favorite marketing tools – Canva. The free version of this online software includes thousands of templates for different types of marketing – banners, social media posts, press kits and many more. You can use some of the stock photos in the free version as well as different background patterns. The pro version allows you to create a visual design kits (brand colors, fonts and imagery), more options for stock images and videos, custom fonts and more.
One extremely useful tip regarding stock images – many of the advertising systems give you free access to stock photos for use in your online campaigns. Facebook ads, Google Ads and many others (Taboola/Outbrain/Linkedin) will allow you to choose from large databases of images as long as you spend your budget with them. If you are interested in purchasing images outside of those platforms, you can get them for free in one of many free stock photo services. Unsplash, Pexels, Rawpixel and pxfuel are some good examples for this. If you don’t find what you are looking for in one of the free sites, Deposit Photos is probably the best bet for you.
When talking about marketing tools, as explained in detail in one of my previous blog posts, one of the most critical points is creating meaningful, readable and simple reports. Google data studio is the tool I use for most reports. The combination of Data Studio and Supermetrics, can make a big difference in obtaining and retaining your clients. Building a visual report, and displaying it in a friendly way to the client can help better set expectations, bring out important stats and keeping everyone informed on the performance of the campaigns.
If you choose to use simpler ways of reporting such as MS Excel or Google Sheets, I would still recommend using an add-on that will get you data from the most popular sources (Facebook ads, Taboola/Outbrain, Google Ads Linkedin etc.). Supermetrics for Google Sheets and Supermetrics for Excel will do the trick for those as well.
* Read more in my article – 5 tips to get you started with Google Data Studio
Productivity and automation
Normally when talking about productivity, the first thing to come to mind is task management systems. I feel that doesn’t do justice to the term, since a lot of the day to day work can be made more efficient with automation tools (not to mention automation marketing tools), and work process management.
If you work for more than one client at a time, it is almost essential to manage your tasks in an external tool. For my business, I find only need a very simple tool for that, and using Google’s Keep platform is quite enough for my needs. Once you work with other freelancers, or even need your client to input on tasks, you might need a more complex system. There are two main services that I work with when working with a team or other freelancers:
- Trello – a board based system that allows you to create and move tasks between different lists, depending on your workflow. In addition to the regular use, trello offer many different integrations (or Power-ups as they call them) that will help you empower your day to day work. You can connect Google drive apps, different calendars, maps and many other services.
- Slack – a chat-based tool for teams that has one of the best interfaces out there for managing your day-to-day work. Chat features include different channels, direct messaging between team members and many security features to supplement. In addition to the chat features, slack also offers many integrations to external tools – including to the aforementioned trello. If that is not enough and you want to develop your own integration, slack allows easy creation of “chat-bot” apps on it’s platform.
A big part of making your business more efficient, is creating automations. Automation can be effective in any amount of daily tasks, starting from moving user details between mailing lists, all the way up to complex data integrations between large systems. Since I do come from a background of software development, I find sometimes it’s simpler (and cheaper) to create some of these automations myself. For the less technically inclined, I highly recommend using Zapier.
Zapier is by far the friendliest and most exhaustive system out there. It has many different types of integrations, and you can start with a free package to test the waters. I have used Zapier in the past for many different scenarios. Sending leads data from Facebook Ads campaigns to CRM systems (albeit available in the premium version only) is probably the most popular feature. My most common use of Zapier, is using it for webhooks that exist in many online systems such as Woocommerce or Shopify.
Banking and payments
No business is complete without the option to send and receive online payments. I am not a banker, or by no means am I an expert on this subject – all I can do is share the tools that I use. These are not actual marketing tools, but these apps can help any type of business, especially online businesses:
- BUNQ – this online bank goes by the tagline “Bank of the free”. They provide different levels of online banking including business and personal/travel accounts. I have been using their debit card as my main method of payment while traveling. The fees are very attractive and exchange rates are the best I have yet to encounter.
- Transferwise – since I started working with international clients, this has been by far the most useful tool in my business’s toolbox. Living in a country with a backwards banking system, I had to find a solution for wire transfers from European/American clients. Transferwise provides it’s users with actual bank details in different countries (mainly in Europe/USA), but allows you to hold balances in any most international currencies. They also provide cheap wiretransfers in and out of your virtual account and no-fee currency exchange within your account. For European and North American citizens, you can also get a debit card to use your balance in any country with little to no fees on the use.