Category Archives: Expat Lifestyle
NABEHA LATIF

Everything you Need to Get Started on LinkedIn

GUEST POST BY NABEHA LATIF

With all the world going digital and businesses indulging more in online servicing, communications and social interactions have therefore been more of a hot spot, especially with the likes of LinkedIn helping now Freelance and stay-at-home workers connect and grow themselves.

LinkedIn is by no means a new platform or in its early stages, a well-established and maintained social platform for business-minded individuals and professionals. However, does being a professional on LinkedIn or being a veteran on the site mean you have the best profiles out there? Not at all! Much like everything else, each passing moment calls for a new development that brings multiple changes to the platform. So this brings up the question, how do you get the professional and sleek-looking profile to stand out?

As an ever-growing platform, certain aspects call for a sturdy base for an end-user, and such can be obtained by adding on and working around a few LinkedIn Must-Haves to boost your profile out into the digital world. LinkedIn requires each individual to start off by creating their own profile, but that’s where the majority of the users leave it. There are so many options, tips, and tricks to get the most out of your profile and make it attractive.

1 – Use your Real Name

Your name and title should be exactly how it is in your real life. Please refrain from using nicknames or pseudo names, just like you won’t dare on your resume. LinkedIn is a professional site, full of professionals and businesses looking to get the most of out their work. Hence, keeping it professional yourself will help you get on the bandwagon, people are looking for solutions, not gimmicks!


       
2 – Use A Professional Headshot

At a glance, your name and photo are the most commonly viewed piece of information regarding yourself. Adding a professional headshot provides the first visual representation of you – do your best!. Remember, it will make your profile seven times more likely to be viewed by others.
       

3 – Optimize Location

Setting your location as accurately as possible helps businesses and other people look for the ones around them, so optimize yours to the best it can be. It’ll help you network where you will work geographically.  It doesn’t apply to Freelancers/Digital Nomads yet I would recommend you to stay honest regarding your location as preferred by the clients/companies.

4 – Profile Headline

We often wish to see a trailer of an individual before we get to know them for a better understanding, your LinkedIn Profile Headline is just that! You’ve got 110 characters to aptly describe yourself professionally.

5 – Industry Alignment

Looking for a business to match your skill set? You’ll need to be more visible, to make that happen. With the right words and by being specific about your industry, you’re paving a way for potential employers and connections.


6 – Get Connected

At its core, LinkedIn is still a social platform and what do we do on social platforms? Get social! Getting “LinkedIn” the site is part of the name. If you don’t have enough LinkedIn connections, you simply might not show up on as many LinkedIn searches as a 2nd-degree connection as you should.

7 – Be Reachable

It should be easy to find you on other social networks. This is crucial in checking your credibility as a person.  Provide your email address and do add links to Twitter/Facebook even if you don’t use them in a professional capacity.

Flex a little: Add items to your profile, such as projects, test scores, courses, patents, certifications, and volunteering/causes. Looking for work? 42% of hiring managers surveyed say they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience.

Make it Easy to Get Hired on LinkedIn

Now that you’ve got your head above the crowd, how about we get yourself on stage? With the basics covered and brimmed with your details, let’s get into the nooks and crannies to make it a tight seal.

  • Stacking up on Experience: Work on adding more experience and skills. Being a Swiss army knife in this regard with tons of skills and expertise in your repertoire will help you stand out as well as be a prominent prospect for anyone looking to hire  Here are a few suggestions: Social Media, Newsletters, Copy Editing, Web Content, News Writing, Speech Writing, SEO, Email Marketing, Creative Writing, Online Journalism, etc. You can further add Knowledge Management, Learning Management Systems, Talent Management to represent your teaching skills.
  • Tell Us About You: The basics will help lay the foundation, but you’ll need to ice the cake to make it look pretty! Show examples of your work, i.e. Youtube or Vimeo videos, presentations from Slideshare/Prezi/PowerPoint, documents from the scribe, word.
  • Vanity URLs: Create a vanity URL to make your look sleek and extra presentable. Use a customized URL like linkedin.com/in/JohnWick rather than linkedin.com/pub/john-wick/4a/z89/145/
  • Consistent Posting: Make it a weekly habit to post, comment, and endorse your connections on LinkedIn. Update your status on a regular basis. Share thoughtful/insightful news within your industry.
  • Endorsements: Endorsements may likewise influence how you show up in LinkedIn searches made by users looking for similar people or results. Multiple billion endorsements are given out since LinkedIn’s initiation (10 million on a daily basis)! A normal number of endorsements per LinkedIn client is five. It is a simple method for being better in search results than expected!
  • Polish Your Achievements: Add accomplishments, publications, blogs, certifications, and licenses. Bring out those tidbits of information and experience you have under your belt, even a little goes a long way!
  • Recommendations: Get recommendations and endorsements on the skills from colleagues/friends on LinkedIn. That’ll help people trust your skill set more once it’s endorsed by other individuals. On LinkedIn you’ve got to establish your credibility, so get on the grind and ask for them!
NABEHA LATIF
Digital Media Consultant

About the Author

Nabeha Latif is a Digital Media and Branding Consultant who specializes in leveraging online marketing channels to achieve desired goals. Since after her majors in digital marketing, she has collaborated with names like UN, Ali Baba Inc, Uber, UNESCO, UNDP to name a few. She is also actively involved in providing business development services related to marketing.

Additional Resources

Have you ever dreamt of being your own boss and opening your very own food business or culinary establishment? Whether your dream is a restaurant, a bakery, a bar, or a coffee shop – here are four useful tips to help you set up your business in Switzerland. 

#1 Decide on the Location

If you decide that you want to start a gastronomic business, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is where to open it. The right location plays a significant role as you are participating with many other businesses for customers and they might not allocate value to taking a long way to your shop. Especially as most of your customers will probably be walk-in customers. However, you should also not invest too much into the rent of your location. This link might help you to get a feeling of the differing rent prices across the country: 

https://www.alle-immobilien.ch/en/rent/trade-industry/subcategory-restaurant/

 

#2 Create a Business Plan

To not get lost in a crowd of culinary establishments it is important to work on a business plan that lets you stand out from the rest. To achieve this, you will need to think of a unique selling proposition. You could think of what kind of customers are likely to purchase your products in the location you have set on before. Are there rather people that might for example need a quick coffee on the go or will your customers be happier with a full menu set up?

 

#3 Legal Requirements Needed

This point might be one of the most cumbersome ones that also takes a lot of time to handle. All cantons will require an operating license and a hygiene concept for self-monitoring also called the HACCP concept (Hazard, Analysis, Critical, Control, Points). This concept should be personalized and adapted to your business. The following link will lead you to a HACCP Template:


https://gastropedia.ch/hygienekonzept-erstellen-selbstkontrolle-in-der-gastronomie/65/

Moreover, depending on the canton you will also be required to hand in further documents and certificates. These might be a host patent, a capability statement, a retail approval for a liquor pub (in case you will sell alcohol), and in some cases, you will have to undermine an assessment regarding food hygiene and addiction prevention. Where you get all documents and have to hand them in is listed in the link below:

https://www.wirtepatent.ch/de/wissen/bewilligungen-gastronomie-145.html

https://www.wirtepatent.ch/de/wirtepatent-3.html

 

#4 Create a Budgeting Plan

Finally, budgeting is an important topic and you should definitely create a detailed and well-thought-out budget plan to avoid any surprise costs. Furthermore, you should prepare yourself well for pitching your idea to your investor as they will also ask unpleasant questions for certain. For this event, you can also set an appointment for a personal consultation concerning the financing of your business. 

https://gastropedia.ch/finanzierung-gastronomie/1862/

 

Have you been chasing a full-time job for too long and are about to get bored at home? Maybe you need to consider career alternatives such as freelancing. You do not have to start your own business right away. There are payroll providers who organize your work permit, payments, social security, and tax payments. We are welcoming your feedback. We are trying to find legitimate and easy ways to earn money online and through platforms. Please send your feedback to monica@globalpeopletransitions.com or comment below the post.

 

Crowdsourcing

http://www.link.ch/?lang=en

I was invited to work on a project for a large recruiting platform. This was real fun and also the reason why I am exploring the idea further. I learnt a lot, had a great exchange with other participants and did more research into a topic I find interesting. Atmosphere was very professional.

 

https://www.hyve.net/de/

Create and account and start contributing to ideas. First project was to come up with an idea for a special service and rate other ideas. I enjoyed this as I could choose and it related to my business so I even thought I learnt something. Not sure if I will get paid and how.

 

Crowdsourcing Platforms in German / French

https://www.entscheiderclub.ch/ueber-uns

 

Freelancing Platforms

www.guru.com

Created a profile to see how it works. You are proposed projects based on your skills (tag specific skills). It is advisable that you transfer your skills from LinkedIn. Guru sends projects based on your skill set. That’s very convenient. Then you hand in a proposal. Within a few days I got selected for a really cool transcription project based on my German. Next step: Do it.

 

www.jobsinzurich.com/?sector=freelance

JobsinZurich is offering specific freelancing roles through individualized search machines. 

 

www.freelancermap.ch/

Freelancermap was once recommended to me by a programmer at a networking event. He said he got work through this platform regularly. It looks more like a platform for IT Professionals.

 

https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

Heard through the grapevine that mturk is a good platform to work from.

 

https://www.upwork.com/

Heard through the grapevine that upwork is a good platform to work from.

 

www.freelance.com

Heard through the grapevine that freelance is a good platform to work from.

 

www.leapforceathome.com/qrp/public/jobs/list?uref=e7ef95699e54a88c3b2da93a6f4495cb

According to a contact, decent pay and work outside the US.

 

www.appen.com

They offer projects and micro tasks that you can start right away from the comfort of your home.

 

www.gignow.com

Gignow is a talent marketplace that matches contract workers with gigs at iconic organizations around the world. (present in 42 countries and growing, not in Switzerland yet).

 

Technical Services

www.mila.com/explore/

On Mila you can offer technical services in Switzerland. You can also receive fast and competent help with any problems regarding your technical devices.

 

Bookreviews on Goodreads

Write book reviews on https://www.goodreads.com/ and become an authority there. Edit books and texts if you are an English native speaker.

 

Support intercultural trainers as a country resource

This has become a great side income for us. We regularly advise expats moving to Switzerland as “country resources”. You can let me know if you are interested in such a work as well for your home county and I could introduce you to trainer colleagues. Payment for two hours is around 200 USD if you are based in Switzerland.

 

  • Technical Aspects

 

How can you work as a freelancer?

As a “third-country” national or EU/EFTA citizen (without a C-permit) you are not allowed to start a company. As a freelancer you will need your own company (sole proprietorship) to be compliant with social security and tax rules in Switzerland or go through a payrolling company.

 

You can work with one of the employment companies from this website:

https://www.thebusinessharbour.ch/

 

Obviously you need to have a work permit in order to work in Switzerland. The B-permit usually allows you to work. With the L-permit a special request to the authority is required.

 

LinkedIn:

Platforms like LinkedIn become more important than ever nowadays. They enable you to build effective connections and provide a great base for networking all from the comfort of your home. In order to find freelance job opportunities you should polish your LinkedIn profile and make it standout. This involves for example filling your bio with relevant information to capture the recruiters interest or adding a professional headshot. Besides, you want recruiters to be aware of your LinkedIn profile. This is where the “Open to Work” feature comes in quite handy as it signals that you are ready to take on a new job. 

 

Additionally, in this world of anonymity it is highly important to personalize your job applications to standout from the crowd. Customizing and tailoring your documents individually towards each company increases your chances of landing the job position. And finally, you should work on what LinkedIn stands for: Networking. Try to build your network as this gives you the possibility to expand your search area. It enables you to talk directly to your first-degree connections but you could also ask your connections to introduce you to mutual connections. This is where the power of networking lies. Finally, it is always advantageous to be present to increase visibility. Sharing valuable insights or interacting with your network is a great beginning. Another thing you could do is to join and engage with industry-specific LinkedIn groups. And  in case you feel extra bold: simply reach out to the hiring manager. 

 

Negative experience

There are a lot of scams and less serious offers out there. The main failure is when they promise you fast money or when you have to pay anything upfront. One danger is as well that you fall into the trap of network marketing (MLM). When you have any doubts please feel free to discuss this with me. It’s also strange when companies ask you for a training fee or anything similar to an advance payment. Also, if you have a negative experience please share it. 

 

Challenges when working from anywhere

Working from anywhere can become a bit lonely, crowded or annoying especially if you do not have an office room. One of the ways to deal with this is to go to a shared office space or work at a café (which is fine as long as you do not have confidential phone conversations).

 

I know freelancers and entrepreneurs who prefer to have an office where they have to go to and dress up for. It might sound weird but the idea of working in PJ can become less romantic after several days. Test out what works for you. For me the secret is in variety. Work one day at home, one in an office and make sure you build networks and meet real people in your break times.

 

If you have many projects to juggle, productivity becomes more important. Let me know if you have a challenge around remaining productive.

 

More on this topic:

Here’s an overview of 25 companies with the most work from home jobs in the US.

http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/25-companies-with-the-most-work-from-home-jobs/

 

Further Resources

http://digitalnomadhelp.com/findaremotejob/

The Digital Nomad Series:

The Digital Nomad Part 1: Why I’m inspired to grow Global People Transitions Organically

The Digital Nomad Part 2: Same Old or New Breed?

The Digital Nomad Part 3: Improve Your Productivity Kanban-Style

The Digital Nomad Part 4: How To Be A Global Digital Coach, Consultant or Trainer

The Digital Nomad Part 5: Which Channels To Use in Order to be a More Effective Global Digital Nomad

 

Freelance Writing and Blogging

Please ask me to send you a handout on this topic.

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/guestblogging/

 

FREELANCING
ZebraSkill https://zebraskill.ch/projects/
Toptal https://www.toptal.com/
Free2Freelance https://www.free2freelance.com/
PeoplePerHour https://www.peopleperhour.com/
Freelancer https://www.freelancer.com/
Freelance www.freelance.com
Upwork https://www.upwork.com/
Fiverr https://www.fiverr.com/
Expertlead https://www.expertlead.com/
Guru www.guru.com
Jobs in Zurich www.jobsinzurich.com/?sector=freelance
Freelancer Map www.freelancermap.ch/
Mturk https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome
Appen https://appen.com/
ithire https://ithire.com/freelancers
Truelancer https://www.truelancer.com/
99designs https://99designs.de/
Gigster https://gigster.com/
REMOTE JOBS
Dribble (for Designers) https://dribbble.com/
Behance (for Designers) https://www.behance.net/
DeviantArt (for Designers) https://www.deviantart.com/
FlexJobs Writers Category https://www.flexjobs.com/search?search=writer
Freelance Writing https://www.freelancewriting.com/jobs/
Journalism Jobs https://www.journalismjobs.com/job-listings?JobTypeID=4&jobType=4
ProBlogger https://problogger.com/jobs/
Contena (for Writers) https://www.contena.co/jobs
Scripted https://www.scripted.com/become-a-scripted-writer
INTERIM MANDATES / CONSULTING AGENCIES
RGP – Consulting https://careers.rgp.com/
A connect https://www.a-connect.com/
Toptal https://www.toptal.com/
KMU Verband https://www.kmuverband.ch/interims-management.html
Hunterpersonal https://www.hunterpersonal.ch/interim/
RECRUITING AGENCIES
Adecco https://www.adecco.co.uk/
Hays https://www.hays.com/
Randstad https://www.randstad.com/find-randstad-in-your-country/
Newcruitement (specific for CH) www.newcruitment.ch
Hunterpersonal https://www.hunterpersonal.ch/
Badenoch & Clark https://www.badenochandclark.com/
Experis https://www.experis.ch/
Power to Fly https://powertofly.com/jobs/
Globalization Partners https://www.globalization-partners.com/
Wunder Talent https://wundertalent.co.uk/other-roles/
TEMP JOBS (Zeitarbeit)
Career Jet https://www.careerjet.ch/zeitarbeit-jobs.html
Joker Personal https://www.jokerpersonal.ch/
Randstad https://www.randstad.ch/en/job-seeker/
CareerPlus https://www.careerplus.ch/
Career One Step https://www.careeronestop.org/JobSearch/FindJobs/employment-agencies.aspx

The Digital Nomad – Part 3 – Improve Your Productivity Kanban-Style

Last week, when you could not fall asleep because you felt overwhelmed by the increasing number of items on your to-do list, you had the brilliant idea to buy post-its and start to plan your next four weeks. Then, you also thought about writing down your 25 priorities. 

You already felt a little relieved and fell asleep. However, the question remains “did you actually do what you planned the day after?”

I bet you didn’t do it even if you thought it was a great idea.

The good news is that what happened to you last week happens to most of us too. The bad news is that when you do this in your personal life, you are more inclined to do the same in your professional life as well. We accept a mediocre solution or we try to put a plaster on a process instead of analyzing the root cause of the issue.

According to Schwarzt et al (2014), the great majority of companies see this phenomenon as a challenge to productivity and overall performance, but struggles to handle it. According to Deloitte, over half of the respondents to her survey  say that “their organizations are not doing a good job helping workers address information overload and today’s demanding work environment.” 57 percent believe their organizations are “weak” when it comes to helping leaders manage difficult schedules and supporting employees manage information flow.

Have we lost all of our ideals of Total Quality Management (This is a management approach to long-term process through customer satisfaction. In a Total Quality Management effort, all members of an organization participates in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work)  from the good old nineties? Do you know about Kanban and visualizing process flows?

We need to learn how to become more productive and we need to learn it now. If, like me, you are always eager to receive tips on how to increase productivity, check this podcast out.

Kanban 

Kanban is a lean method which originated in lean manufacturing, which was inspired by the Toyota Production System. It aims at managing work by balancing demands with available capacity, and by improving the handling of system-level bottlenecks. 

In knowledge work and in software development, the aim is to provide a visual process management system which facilitates decision-making about what, when, and how much to produce. 

Among the most important characteristics is that work items are visualized to provide a view of progress and process, from start to finish, usually through a Kanban board. Indeed, in Japanese, kanban means “signboard” or “billboard.”

Kanban Boards 

A colorful, tidy and good-looking kanban board is one of the most effective tools in project management. It can be used to plan and work through any project, both in your personal and professional life. 

Kanban boards visually display a certain process in its various stages using cards to represent work items and columns to represent each phase of the process. Cards are moved from left to right to show progress and to help coordinate teams performing the work. 

Simple boards have vertical columns for the “to-do”, “doing”, and “done” work.  Alternatively, they may be labelled “waiting”, “in progress” and “completed”. Complex Kanban boards can also be divided into horizontal “swim lanes” representing different types of work or different teams performing the work. Additionally, it can subdivide the “in progress” work into multiple columns to visualise the flow of work across a whole value stream map.

Example of a Kanban board:

Seven core practices for Kanban

 

Here I suggest six core practices that will make you optimize the efficiency of the tool and become a master of kanban boards.

  1. Visualize the flow of work. You cannot work on a Kanban board, either physical or electronic, if you cannot visualize the process steps needed to deliver your work. Depending on the complexity of your process and your work-mix, your Kanban board can be very simple or very elaborate. Once you visualize your process, then you can visualize the current work that you and your team are doing. 
  2. Use Colors. Use post-its in different colors for different types of projects. Or, if you decide to use this tool for personal life projects, consider using different colors for different kinds of activities (orange for the projects you wish to complete at home, yellow for your children’s requests, and so on).
  3. Limit WIP (Work in Progress). It’s important to reduce WIP to a minimum to encourage yourself and your team to complete work at hand first before taking up new work. Work currently in progress must be completed and marked done. This creates capacity in the system, so that you can focus on new tasks. Limiting WIP helps you finish what they are doing already before taking up new stuff. This practice is also useful because it communicates to the customer and other stakeholders that there is limited capacity to do work, and they need to plan carefully what work they ask you or your team to do.
  4. Manage Flow.. A Kanban system helps you manage flow by highlighting the various phases of the workflow and the status of work in every single phase. Based on how well you defined the workflow and set the limits to WIP, you will observe either a smooth flow of processes or work piling up as a bottleneck forms and starts to hold up capacity. Kanban helps you analyze the system and adjust their work accordingly to improve flow. In this way, you will manage to reduce the time it takes to complete each task. By improving flow, your delivery of work becomes smoother and more predictable, making it easier to communicate to your customer when you will manage to get any work done. You will also automatically increase your reliability to your customers’ eyes.
  5. Make Process Policies Explicit. Visualize explicitly your policies, process rules or guidelines for how you do your work. In this way, you create common ground for all those involved in the process to understand how to work in the system. The various policies can be at the board level or at a “swim lane” level or for each column. Examples of explicit policies are: what defines a task complete, what describes individual “swim lanes” or columns, who pulls when, etc. 
  6. Implement Feedback Loops. This practice is an essential part of any good system. Kanban encourages and helps you implement different types of feedback loops. If you want to deliver the right work in the shortest possible time, it’s crucial to get feedback early, especially if you ended up on the wrong track.
  7. Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally (using the scientific method). The Kanban Method helps you implement small changes and improve gradually in a way that is sustainable for you and your team. It encourages you to form a hypothesis, test it and make changes according to the results you obtain. In a few words, it aims at tackling issues through a scientific method. As an individual or team who aims at being agile, it’s fundamental that you evaluate your process continuously and improve as much as needed.

Notable tools

This is a list of tools that implement the Kanban method. You can test some of them for free.

  • Asana, with boards.
  • Azure DevOps Server, an integrated ALM-platform for managing work in and across multiple teams.
  • CA Technologies Rally, provides teams with the option of managing pull-based, lean software development projects.
  • Unicom Focal Point, a portfolio management and product management tool.
  • Jira (software), provides kanban boards.
  • Microsoft Planner, a planning application available on the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
  • Pivotal Tracker provides kanban boards.
  • Projektron BCS, project management tool, provides kanban boards for tickets and tasks.
  • Trello, cards-based project management.
  • Tuleap, an agile open source tool for development teams: customize board columns, set WIP (Work In Progress), connect board with Issue Trackers, Git, Documents.
  • Twproject (formerly Teamwork), project and groupware management tool.
  • Wrike, an Agile Collaborative Work Management Platform.

Reflection

Think of three ways a Kanban board could facilitate your own professional and/or private life. When you come up with ideas, try to be very specific. They have to reflect what you do and how you operate on your daily routine. 

If you haven’t tried Trello yet, try navigating it and setting up your own account.

 

Resources

If you want to learn more about Kanban: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban_(development)

If you want to learn more about Kanban implementations and Kanban boards:

https://www.digite.com/kanban/what-is-kanban/ 

If you want to know why you should use Kanban in marketing https://business901.com/blog1/why-you-should-use-kanban-in-marketing/

If you think your lack of digital competencies is affecting your productivity: https://globalpeopletransitions.com/lack-of-digital-competence-affecting-your-productivity-heres-how-you-escape-that-rut/

If you’re curious to know more about the benefits of handwriting: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389979/5-times-when-using-paper-and-a-pen-is-better-than-using-an-app

References

Piper, J. (2018). Focus in the age of distraction: 35 tips to focus more and work less. Panoma Press, St. Albans.

Schwartz J. et al. (2018, Aug. 4), ‘The overwhelmed employee: Simplify the work environment.’ Deloitte University Press. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2014/hc-trends-2014-overwhelmed-employee.html#:~:text=The%20overwhelmed%20employee%20Simplify%20the%20work%20environment&text=Too%20much%20access%20to%20information,us%20into%20%E2%80%9Coverwhelmed%E2%80%9D%20employees.&text=Sixty%2Dfive%20percent%20of%20executives,ready%E2%80%9D%20to%20deal%20with%20it

Productivity Makeover with Graham Allcott (Podcast): https://www.sundaebean.com/2019/12/02/152-productivity-makeoverwith-graham-allcott/

If you’re curious to know more about the benefits of handwriting: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389979/5-times-when-using-paper-and-a-pen-is-better-than-using-an-app

References

Piper, J. (2018). Focus in the age of distraction: 35 tips to focus more and work less. Panoma Press, St. Albans.

Schwartz J. et al. (2018, Aug. 4), ‘The overwhelmed employee: Simplify the work environment.’ Deloitte University Press. 


By Nabeha Latif, Digital Media Guru

Traveling the world with your laptop and setting up temporary offices in foreign coffee shops or on exotic beaches sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how easy being a digital nomad is depicted to be! The position, although flexible, requires some serious hard work and dedication to the craft. Experienced workers earn a hefty income and with a flexible work ethic, it’s the ideal job for some. For newcomers, however, the going is a bit tough when they’re starting off, they definitely need the right sort of advice that accelerates rather than hurts their futures. Let’s look at some essentials of being a Global Digital Coach and successfully clearing those early hurdles to cement your presence in the field.

What is a Global Digital Coach and what do they do?

A Global Digital Coach by definition is known to be a tech-savvy individual who works in a nomadic or remote environment, not an avid traveler going around putting scenic stories on their socials while barely doing any work.  Typically, you have a variety of skills embedded into their arsenal, beyond just having the ability to work in almost any environment. Such professionals provide digital services from their advanced skill set and work as independent entities. To become a successful Global Digital Coach, you’ll need to polish some essential digital skills. With the world rapidly advancing and social media being an intuitive and exciting platform, there is no base as solid or versatile, or as essential to being a Digital Nomad. 

A digital presence isn’t optional anymore.

Marketing in today’s day and age requires you to go digital. Whether you’re building visual heavy content for the likes of Instagram or Snapchat, or focusing on a balance of visuals and text for Facebook and LinkedIn, you need in-depth knowledge of the platform and how its algorithms and functions work. More importantly, however, you need your own presence online where you can showcase your knowledge of platforms, tools and your specialist skills. That means a website. 

Websites are still essential

With the increasing dependence on social media platforms, one would think that there is no need to have a website when you could just list your business details in the profile section of your social channels. However, websites allow you to set up your online office front and create, so to say, a place where prospective customers can come and browse through your wares. That makes them essential to establishing a foothold in digital work spaces.

Thanks to platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix and more, building your own website has never been easier and requires little to no prior coding knowledge, though that always helps! A basic website should consist of contact information, skill and work showcases and a payment gateway, if applicable. The aforementioned tools can also integrate with website metric tools which will help you understand what visitors to your website like or dislike about how you have presented your virtual place of business, allowing you to improve and refine the user experience. As in marketing, websites require iteration, improvement and further iterations to keep you competitive in the industry.

Demystifying Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms have a plethora of tools to manage ads, content creation and customization to help you target your desired audience smoothly. It can be daunting to be handed all those tools and being told to grow your brand, so we are breaking down the critical features of the major social platforms that will let you hit the ground running.

Why LinkedIn (LI Pulse)?

LinkedIn’s reputation as the more ‘formal’ social network makes it quite underrated when compared to the other networks. Its versatility as a platform, however, is what provides a gripping edge for marketing. LinkedIn is primarily used to connect a user with business partners and other similar field workers to grow their PR (Personal Reputation), and having a transparent connection with a brand through such a platform provides quality engagement.

Setting up your brand page with as much detail possible is a solid first step, whilst keeping your page banner (cover) as well as display (profile) picture up to date. Much like the other networks, boosting your content is fairly similar but there are a few key differences. LinkedIn offers a few ad types for you to select from, the simpler being a Sponsored Post that appears on your audience’s feed at set intervals. Then we have Sponsored Messaging, which, unlike the sponsored post is much more personal. It allows you to market and message your target audience directly without hoping that your content appears on their algorithmic feeds.

There are further options within this method but the core usage is the same. A user or face of the company is utilized to send these messages, this will benefit the theme of LinkedIn as a platform and keeps a healthy professional conversation for you to benefit off of. If going directly with your customers isn’t your brand image, keeping it on the lighter side of things, Text Ads might just be your solution.

Launching this campaign requires the least effort, but the right placements and wording could have the most benefit! This method works on creating new leads and works on the base of PPC or Pay Per Click which allows you to have further control over the ad. 

Finally, we have Dynamic Ads. This offers a unique ad and placement style that is not commonly available on other platforms. Dynamic Ads showcase your brand page to those who share similarities in job description, title, location, and other profile data. This ad shows up amidst your feed and showcases any fellow associates following the page you might be interested in. These can be customized according to your need whether it’s brand awareness, recruitment, or highlighting a specific service you offer. It is highly effective so tweaking it to the right audience will provide the results you need!

LinkedIn provides a campaign manager that allows you to manage your ads from one central hub, altering anything necessary and providing key insights with its open kanban view. The campaign manager is utilized to oversee ad performances and analytics to narrow down your desired results. But this isn’t the only way to boost your brand or monitor its performances. 

LinkedIn Pulse is a key example here. Unlike traditional ad methods, Pulse allows you to publish larger amounts of text in the form of articles. The inclusion of more data from a single post is a huge benefit, which allows you more space to hook your audience and convert their interest into business. Pulse articles have an advantage over other posts as it is known to stay on newsfeed longer and even appear on Google search results. Users can also find any of these articles on your company page. This is especially useful for B2B purposes but is versatile to be molded into any form you wish.

Joining relevant social groups to chat and learn about the community is also a great option. Posting surveys and asking for other’s views on a subject can surely benefit the brand growth, so don’t be shy to start a conversation in groups.

Instagram (Live and Stories)

Though a Facebook subsidiary, Instagram’s platform couldn’t be more different. With an emphasis on visual content (pictures, Instagram Live, Stories and Reels), Instagram focuses on appealing to its audience’s sense of aesthetic and it’s really paying off – Instagram is one of the most popular platforms right now!

Instagram is open to many popular brands, as engaging with customers and users directly on this platform is very easy. The image-based scheme truly lets the brand show its true colors, but how do you target the audience you want? Here are a few key tips you’ll need to boost your brand image.

Instagram offers a few options when it comes to ads, which mainly consist of the format whether it is a picture or video and whether you’d place it in the feed, explore, or story. Let’s go through the simplest way you’d opt for after your page has been set up. You have the ability to boost posts from your page directly, this is especially helpful if you wish to boost your followers. 

Since Instagram has a few key ad placements let’s talk about those, starting off with the stories. While swiping through stories and advertisements is seen to pop up, this ad can be image, text, or video-based with the option to swipe up and direct the user to the website/store. As for uploading a direct link to any comment section or story that won’t hyperlink itself, this is a sure way to do so. However, you can upload links to your page bio. Other ads include the main news feed posts, much like your normal feed, an ad can be presented in the signature box or 1:1 ratio format. These can contain carousel ads that let you post multiple pictures in a single post or a single video. The caption or text on these posts is substantially more considered to a story but you’ll miss out on the variety of colors and widgets a story offers. Collection ads also fit into this segment, which acts as a collage of images on one frame which allows the user to grasp more detail in one glance. The explore page shows the trending side of Instagram mixed with your personal interests, ads on here are similar to that of the newsfeed.

Though social platforms thrive on ad spend to help brands reach audiences and grow, certain organic methods are fairly common and useful as well. Instagram Live is an excellent example. You can broadcast events, Q & A’s, quizzes, discussion, and much much more from just one feature! This also allows you to go live with another user or brand to collaborate. Engagement can be boosted through the poll and slider options on Instagram Stories, which act as a fun medium for discussion. Similarly, the Ask Questions widget can be used for Q & A’s as well. Most influencers and accounts use stories as their daily mode of interaction between followers, reserving the posts for more priority content.

Facebook (Groups)

The reigning king when it comes to online connectivity and social media. Facebook practically coined the terminology used by current platforms and its early rise to its current peak is unmatched. Over the years Facebook has received multiple updates, often revamping the entire layout and introducing various tools as well as options to make itself more than just a fun way to talk to friends. Let’s dive in to see how Facebook works behind the curtain, and how you can market yourself or any brand using it.

For starters, you need to set up your page with all the necessary details – profile images and essential details about your services and availability are essential. This will help you present your page, and get an easy start with the marketing tips ahead. Facebook has several options when it comes to advertisements, so let’s get to them.

While posting on your page you’ll notice an option to boost that post. From there you can set the target audience, budget, and other details to get the most out of your spending. Similarly, videos and multiple groups of pictures can be boosted. Pre-existing posts will also have the option to boost or you could opt to boost a newly made one. 

Similarly, there are other ways to set up ads or boost your brand in general. In terms of ads, you can define a set audience or experiment with changes to see what sticks better. From there you can use ads to get likes, engagement, messages, and even direct leads, there’s essentially a model for each company type. Facebook ads can be narrowed down to very specific targets which isa big bonus, as you’ll be targeting those who matter most. Not only can you select your audience based on age, gender and location, but you can also shortlist them based on their interests, habits, likes and even the time they log onto Facebook.

With share options, you’re able to connect other social media networks from Facebook and post to your accounts seamlessly. This works especially well in coordination with Instagram and its stories, so you’re essentially getting the best of both! 

If it’s only increasing the number of likes that entices you, Facebook conveniently has an option for that as well. To manage all these ads and their varieties, the platform offers extensive analytics, and reports to oversee your growth. Also, not only is the network completely capable of advertisements and its management on its own but with the monstrous number of online tools and APIs available to link with Facebook, it completely raises the bar to another level!

With so much available under Facebook’s hood, that’s only a part of the whole story. A series of campaigns can be run without you having to spend a penny! These do however involve strategic planning and effort, yet the results are totally worth it. Like LinkedIn, Facebook has multiple groups that you can target based on location or type. These groups are a solid way to engage with the masses directly, posting regularly and keeping tabs could help you build a following that is completely organic. 

If you’re selling products, for instance, Facebook Marketplace and Buy/Sell groups could be targeted directly with Facebook being so populous and receiving billions of users each month, it comes as no surprise such techniques work out to be fruitful.

About the Author

Nabeha Latif

Digital Media Marketing Consultant

SparkZing.Net

Nabeha Latif is a Digital Media Consultant since the last eight years all while being a prominent influencer! Her vast experience in the digital hemisphere has cemented her as the go to Digital Guru. A major in Digital Marketing, She pushed herself onto the scene with a host of varying micro and macro projects, she is also actively involved in providing business development services related with marketing. A few key names which have grown onto new heights with Nabeha’s expertise include the likes of UNICEF Pakistan, Cesvi, Ali baba Inc, Nescafe Basement, NBC, EuroVillage. Nabeha has worked with Global People Transitions and Angie Weinberger from the early days and is an estimated member of our team.