Category Archives: Expat Spouse
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/

 

Virtual Lounge

Which Channels To Use in Order to be a More Effective

As the world changes and goes through the transition it is important to move with it on every level, as each passing moment brings new and improved methods/practices to sustain oneself. Similarly, becoming a Global Digital Nomad requires a person to be more social, adaptive, and flexible to accommodate the learning curve. Traveling to work in various and sometimes remote locations may make you a Digital Nomad, but how to make a successful career out of it is another story. Much like any other field, it requires prior knowledge to understand the core meaning of being a digital expert. So stick around as we delve into the digital world and the key platforms you’ll want to establish yourself on, all while working as a nomad!

YouTube

Top of the digital food chain when it comes to video-based content, a vital form of media in the modern world. Although reading content and gaining knowledge from articles and such is a key component, video content adds a whole new flair to the debate. It is easier to demonstrate a topic as a coach and it is much easier to understand with the help of visual aids on the user’s end. As we’re inclined to gain knowledge in the most efficient way possible, YouTube offers a host of content creators and trainers ready to break down topics for your understanding.

YouTube receives millions of views on a daily basis and gaining small traction with your content eventually leads to a mass following. The platform allows for the users to interact with the content by Liking, Commenting, Sharing, and even disliking (Something which other platforms lack). YouTube allows monetization for channels when they reach a certain subscriber count and watch-time, making it a perfect source of passive income.

Dishing out the right content for your audience may seem daunting, especially from a business standpoint. But it is important to understand the audience is built and studied, therefore presenting the key components of Digital Marketing will always attract the people willing to gain knowledge and enhance their skill set. Style of content is completely up to you and how you wish to present yourself, people may come for the learning aspect but may stay because of your training style.

If nothing else, watching a few videos on how to establish a new channel from YouTube itself may just do the trick! That’s the versatility it offers, we are all familiar with using Google to search our queries away yet YouTube tutorials allow for a more practical learning experience.

MailChimp 

Definitely a mode of media and content sharing that flows under the radar, but it is still so important that it makes the top of this list. Email communication remains one of the most direct ways for companies, brands, and professionals to communicate with their customers. There are no social platform restrictions (such as the word count on Twitter, the necessity of visuals on Instagram, and so on), so you can really experiment with your branding and hone it exactly to what works for you as a professional, or for the clients that you are representing.

Whether you’re running a retail brand or providing training or coaching services, having a planned newsletter not only gives your audience regular updates and reminders but also adds a layer of professionalism to your operations. Haphazard, untimely communication can sour the audience to your communications very quickly.

Newsletters involve sending members or subscribers news updates regarding the brand, events, and giveaways. They’re versatile and can be used to share a variety of different materials, for example, sending a link to new content on your website or an update to your services.

Newsletters in theory may seem daunting and a tedious process, however with the use of online tools such as MailChimp, it is actually a breeze! MailChimp is an automation platform as well as an email marketing service. Exactly the tool you should have under your belt! Using the platform is fairly simple as well, you can assign email recipients into groups and categories if you wish to supply niche content separately. 

Thanks to the latest applications available for creating and sending newsletters, you can even analyze insight into how your email marketing is performing. This insight provides a clear understanding of what type of content is clicked more often – including the frequency of clicks and views emails are yielding. 

Zoom

A relative unknown before 2020, Zoom blew up beyond their wildest imaginations at the start of the pandemic and resulting global quarantines last year. Zoom is a video conferencing software available on almost all major operating systems and capable of handling 100 users on one video call or even 1000 with the paid add-on. The benefits are plenty with the software and the user count is still growing as it is a free and simple to use service compared to the competitors who often had restrictions and limits – people being stuck inside their houses and working and socializing digitally through Zoom helped!

It’s not hyperbole to say that Zoom has in great part changed how we work remotely, with teaching, workshops, and training moving almost entirely to that platform. While large corporations and universities paid for the premium features to host large classrooms, Zoom’s free features are enough for you to establish video conferencing, meet clients online, or even conduct your services through the platform.

Zoom integrates smoothly with online calendars such as Google Calendar which is a great reminder of meetings and makes collaboration easy with the team. Please note that Zoom is my personal favorite but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have more options. If it doesn’t suit you, you can try Google Meet which is a tad bit less complicated than Zoom. Just remember to not pay hefty amounts on any video call subscription before checking a trial version first, especially when we’ve such amazing free options available.

Clubhouse 

Remote Working requires you to stay connected to the world and your social network, yet maintaining the connectivity can be a hassle more times than not. Clubhouse is a new platform on the conferencing and connectivity scene but its simplicity is what makes it stand out! With the emphasis put on having quality options rather than quantity, the audio-based platform provides blazing speeds compared to the market! By keeping their focus on audio-based communication, the value of words outweigh the visuals.

Clubhouse provides a platform to manage work without being bombarded with a host of customization and saturated features that go unnoticed. It’s a complete tool, packed with the essentials so a solid one-stop shop with great performance. It’s still in beta- version and invite-based only so I would suggest you get in now before they start charging for membership.

Clubhouse provides you access to team and classic company management, the integrated API option allows for a seamless connection when needed. The company iterates on its blazing-fast performance, which is a result of removing the bulky options and optimizing the necessities. The audio calling and conferencing takes place without lag which is a common theme with most platforms, and acts as the perfect tool for not only business discussion but workshops as well as creative sessions!

Users are able to join into the main workshop and later subside into smaller group conversations or teams to work seamlessly. You’re able to visit the participants’ profiles and learn more about them, which makes the smaller group division even more practical, this exclusive feeling is similar to that of a real Clubhouse which acts as the main appeal!

The platform is built with traveling and ease of access in mind with its easy-to-use features and fast loading speeds even on the go! Creating, joining, and hosting sessions are a few easy clicks away, and Clubhouse offers a secure server with only invited members given access to the audio chat! A key addition to any Nomad’s arsenal. You can join a room based on your interests and simply listen to amazing conversations happening around the globe. If you ever decide to talk on a topic of expertise (or anything random), make sure that you get co-hosts on board so that you don’t have to carry the entire session alone. Remember it’s a conversation-based tool so try to build an audience by providing meaningful audio content in the panel discussion sort of format. If any audience member wants to join, they get an option to raise their hand and you can let them in for questions or exercises.

As a Digital Nomad adapting to new platforms and their changes is key to staying relevant, so implementing these techniques with a combination of tactical strategies and straight-up hard work might just land you on that beach in the Bahamas – once the COVID-19 pandemic is finally contained.

Nabeha
Social Media Guru Nabeha Larif

About the Author

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.


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.

DIgital Nomads

Contrary to what many might think, the term Digital Nomad isn’t an invention of the 21st century. The word, in fact, was first introduced in the homonym book “Digital Nomad” published by Wiley in 1997.

However, up until recently, people tended to connect this denomination with names of fancy Facebook groups where a small number of privileged and tech professionals were allowed. This is because until ten years ago, the typical graduate who entered the workplace would be shown their desk and be tied to it thereafter. If on the one hand, a few digital-first companies were already offering the possibility to work flexible hours and/or from home, on the other hand most employees could not even dream of working from a paradisiac location ten thousands miles away from the company’s office.

Nowadays, digital nomads are becoming a trend. In Global Mobility we speak of “Virtual Assignees” and “Digital Nomads” now as new assignment types. Millennials, are going to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Inc.

In fact, in 2015, flexible remote work was already the top priority for Millennials and 85 percent expressed their preference for telecommuting 100 percent of the time (Flexjobs survey).

With this data at hand, it’s easy to see that we’re dealing here with a real new breed and not anymore a restricted circle of tech-savvy gurus. And at this point, it’s also easy to predict that the rise of this category of workers will obviously also have a strong impact on Global Mobility policies. 

The Six Points You Need to Make Sure to Check

Fatima is a young and determined woman who works as a freelancer. She has recently moved to Switzerland from where she continues to work, and she calls herself a Digital Nomad. If, like her, you too are a Digital Nomad and you’re about to or have just moved to Switzerland, this article might enlighten you on some fundamental technical issues that you need to be aware of in the Helvetic Confederation.

Despite this article being Swiss-specific, these points are worth considering wherever in the world you’re dreaming to live, either temporarily or permanently.  

This is an offer an overview of risks we see frequently. For deeper advice on your personal situation I recommend that you seek advice from specialists in the individual areas. I’m happy to introduce you to these specialists in Switzerland.

1 – Labor Law 

The labor law that applies to your case changes significantly whether you are classified as self-employed or employed. In Switzerland, being self-employed means that you work on your behalf, you are independent, and you assume the financial risk. You may decide on the type of company you build.

You will need your own infrastructure, you draw up invoices in your own name, you assume the risk of collection and you work out your taxes. Additionally, you decide on your organization and your method of working. You may outsource work to third parties and you work for more than one client. Based on this employed/self-employed differentiation, the aspects concerning your work permit vary as well.

It is as well possible that, due to different legislations across countries, the Swiss labor inspection authorities could qualify you as an employee of your current “employer” or “client”. This can happen even when in your country of origin your status is of self-employed or freelancer. If this should happen to you, you will need to provide various further documents to the competent authorities. 

Based on your host country you really need to familiarize yourself with the local employment law as well especially if you are planning to hire other people into your business.

2 – Immigration Law

If you share with Fatima the typical Digital Nomad spirit, you will probably travel often. Even during Corona-times, you will most likely travel more frequently than a traditionally employed person. For this reason, it’s important that you have the correct permits to enter the countries and actually work there. 

If you’re an EU / EFTA national not yet residing in Switzerland and working there over eight days per calendar year, you will need both a residence and work permit. If you only work here up to 90 days per calendar year your employer will have to register you via the online registration procedure. Usually, the permission will be given. However, you can then really only work here for 90 days in a calendar year. 

As a “third-country national”, you have to be aware that work visas are limited to quotas and they are therefore not so easy to obtain.  You are not allowed to work in Switzerland while on a tourist visa. You don’t want to get into trouble with the Swiss authorities.

The permits that allow you to work in Switzerland are L, B, C, and G. They have different purposes and durations. If you want to read more details about the characteristics of each permit, check our resources at the bottom. As an expat spouse you generally have the approval when you receive a B-permit. With the L-permit there is often a restriction.

Do you feel confused? Trust me, it’s normal. That’s why it’s always best to get advice from an Immigration Specialist. I suggest you contact Sonia Meier  of BecomeLocal

Special Digital Nomad Visas

You might be up-to-date already, but in case you didn’t know it, some forward-thinking countries have already introduced specific visas for Digital Nomads!

These visas are not for any Digital Nomads and every country has listed its own requirements and benefits, but it is worth it to check them out. Up to today, the countries that offer this opportunity are Barbados, Georgia, Estonia, Bermuda and Thailand, while Croatia is next in line. Check out our resources below if you want to find out more about the topic! 

With the Digital Nomad trend on the rise, Fatima wishes that Switzerland too will have this specific type of visa in the future, simplifying the bureaucratic burden she needs to go through.

3 – Personal Tax

Based on the Swiss federal tax law, you become a tax resident after living and working in Switzerland for a continuous period of 30 days, or after 90 days without earning any income. 

In Switzerland, you are responsible for paying your taxes. You are taxed only on the income generated in Switzerland and not on your worldwide income. This is regardless of whether you’re self-employed or not and it does not depend on whether you receive a one-time payment or a regular salary. 

It’s important that you learn to differentiate between your turnover and a potential salary that you are paying out to yourself. My most important advice is that you either find a good accountant like Joerg Blaettler of Winston Wolf or you learn accounting with a basic software such as Bexio.

4 – Corporate Tax

If you work for an international company without an office in Switzerland, be aware that your presence could create a “Permanent Establishment” for the company. This means that the company might have to pay corporate tax. If you decide that you want to keep  working from Switzerland, you should discuss this with them beforehand. 

If you own your own company and this is registered outside Switzerland, corporate tax issues could become even trickier, and you might incur in double taxation. Depending on the countries involved, treaties have their own specific clauses and you will have to look at your particular situation. 

5 – Social Security

For Digital Nomads like you and Fatima, it can become challenging to ensure at least basic insurance for retirement, disability or unemployment because social security is generally connected to the country of employment. 

The first thing you need to know is that Swiss social security is based on three pillars that I am going to briefly explain here. The first pillar is the basic insurance (old-age, survivors’, disability, and unemployment insurance): this is mandatory if you are a resident and earning an income in Switzerland.

If you are self-employed, you need to pay the full contribution through a self-declaration made to the authorities. If you don’t do this, the authorities will estimate and claim the contribution, and you incur a fine. 

Let’s focus on the pension scheme. When you reach the official retirement age, and if you’ve contributed for at least one year, you gain the right to claim the retirement annuity. Please keep in mind that the annuity is limited and calculated based on the years of contributions.

The second pillar is the employee’s pension scheme. This is mandatory and it covers the same risks as the first pillar, but it’s provided by the employer instead of the State. 

The third pillar is additional, private savings that you’re free to undertake or not, depending on your preferences.

And if you have a foreign employer? 

If you have a foreign employer who has the rights to apply for a certificate of coverage, they might be exempted from Swiss social security. If not, the foreign employer might have the obligation to register in Switzerland and seek for a first and second pillar solution for you while you’re based in Switzerland. 

6 – Health and Accident Insurance

As a Swiss resident, Fatima needs to have mandatory health insurance in Switzerland. She’s entering her third month in the country and her time to stipulate one is almost over. You have, in fact, up to 90 days to sign your health insurance contract from the moment you set foot in the country.

All health insurers in Switzerland provide the same benefits under basic insurance. However, if you want to be covered for other needs such as better hospital accommodation, legal assistance and so on, you need to add a voluntary supplemental insurance. 

In Switzerland, each person must pay health insurance premiums. The premiums are independent of the individual’s income but vary depending on age, residence and health insurer, so you are free to choose the health insurance company with which you wish to take out basic insurance.

If you move to Switzerland but still work in an EU/EFTA country, you must be insured in the country where your employer is based. This also applies if you are self-employed. In this case, it is not possible for you to purchase health insurance in Switzerland. If you feel lost and need guidance in making the right choice for yourself, we personally advise that you contact Ralph Endres of ExpatPartners or Domenico Bilotta at Helsana

As you figured out already, there’s a lot on the list of items that you need to take into account when deciding to work as a Digital Nomad for Switzerland. Having a clear vision of how everything works isn’t easy, especially if you need to understand bureaucracy in a language that you don’t speak well. This is why we always recommend that you reach out to a trusted expert in the field. If Fatima worked it out, you can certainly do it too! And remember it will be worth it, Switzerland ranks number 1 in the world for quality of life! 

Kind regards 

Angie Weinberger

Definitions

Digital Nomad

Online dictionaries such as Investopedia.com or Urbandictionary.com define Digital Nomads as individuals who are independent from their location by performing their work using “new” technologies, i.e. deriving their income by working remotely. A Digital Nomad is not required to commute to the employers’ office / headquarters to be physically present, as telecommuting is their preferred way of working. The typical digital nomad can be found in a myriad of locations, including using public co-working spaces, a home office or travelling around the globe.

Permanent Establishment (PE)

According to the OECD, it is a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on. The term includes a place of management: a branch, an office, a factory, a workshop, a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry or any other place of extraction of natural resources. A building site or construction site could also be a Permanent Establishment. However, tax authorities are adapting beyond this traditional definition. Overseas contractors, International Business Travelers (IBT), warehouse space, digital activities and so on could also create a PE.

Resources 

Giving back
Working from this hotel in Dubai? A dream coming true for us digital nomads.

If you need to make a self-employment declaration and you don’t know where to start from,  you can check these resources out: 

Social Security in Switzerland

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/p/2.02.d

https://www.svazurich.ch/pdf/Checkliste_se.pdf

https://www.svazurich.ch/internet/de/home/private/arbeitssituation/selbstaendig.html

How to Develop Your Business

Here is a lot of general business advice from us. We can discuss this further. Please email Angie for a first consultation.

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/growme/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/solopreneur/

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/GlobalMobility/global-entrepreneurs

World-Class Copywriting Courses

Ash Ambirge – The Middle Finger Project

Best Course on Building Digital Courses

Amy Porterfield

Best Podcast on Building a Global Expat Lifestyle

Sundae Schneider Bean

Dominic’s Advice for Swiss Compliance for Digital Nomads

https://feibv.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Dominic-Suter-MasterCourse-Human-Resources-and-Global-Mobility-Master-Paper-FINAL.pdf 

Details about the characteristics of the various Swiss work permits: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/work-permits/29191706 

More about Digital Nomads and immigration into Switzerland: https://newlandchase.com/digital-nomads-is-immigration-law-keeping-up-to-the-hype/ 

The guidelines published by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

Other Countries

More information on the application procedure, supporting documents and the requirements to obtain a Digital Nomad visa in the countries that offer this: 

Barbados: 

https://www.fragomen.com/insights/alerts/12-month-remote-work-visa-introduced

Georgia: 

The application process is not yet up and running yet but the government is updating their website

Estonia:

https://e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/ 

Thailand:

The SMART visa program is not only but also for Digital Nomads.

Bermuda:

Apply for their Work from Bermuda visa visit https://forms.gov.bm/work-from-bermuda/Apply