In our Digital Nomad Girls interview series, we feature interviews with Digital Nomad Girls from around the world with interesting location independent jobs. This month we meet Chelse, digital marketing agency owner & Facebook Ads whizz.
Hi Chelse! Please tell us a bit about yourself
Hey fellow DNGs! I’ve been a Digital Nomad since I turned 25 – when I had the sudden realization that I had only one stamp in my passport and that the monotony of sitting in the same desk, in the same office, with the same coworkers every day was draining my creativity and my spirit. Something was missing
After my epiphany, I quickly started researching the remote working lifestyle and shortly after, applied for a Thai visa. BOOM. This was it, I was finally doing it! Since then, I’ve traveled to 12+ countries (I think? They all blend together #DigitalNomadProblems) and have met so many incredible trailblazing women along the way, thanks to the Digital Nomad Girls community.
What is your location independent job?
I have been a part of the Marketing Agency lifestyle for 5 years, until recently when I decided to go for it and start my own business. I see a unique need for brands and businesses to embrace Social Media Marketing and Advertising by incorporating an out-of-the-box approach to traditional online marketing. As a Digital Nomad, I see how important it is to step outside your comfort zone and a regular routine to accomplish great things, and I can’t wait to share this mentality with clients that I work with!
How did you get into this line of work? How can others do the same?
I started working in Social Media as an intern at a magazine, followed by several more unpaid internships gaining experience and teaching myself the technical aspects of multiple publishing and analytics tools. Once I felt confident in my abilities, I began working for a full-service PR, Advertising, and Marketing Firm, followed by a Social Media Agency where I specialized in Digital Advertising.
Ever wonder why you get targeted for certain ads on Facebook or Instagram? It’s because people like me study and research audience profiles for specific products, and use that knowledge to determine the people most likely to convert as a sale. There’s an awesome psychology aspect to what I do, which is why I find it so interesting!
If others want to break into Social Media Marketing, I recommend meticulously teaching yourself the ins and outs using Facebook Blueprint or Facebook Creative Hub. However, the platform is always changing so it’s important to constantly stay up-to-date and be the first to learn and implement the latest techniques.
What motivated you to pursue a life as a digital nomad?
I have a constant sense of urgency and ambition. I’m always wondering how I can push myself and try new things, which is the natural progression that led me to be a Digital Nomad. Thankfully, I work in an industry that allows me the flexibility to work remotely. Even better, because it’s my job to be creative daily, what better inspiration is there than an ever-changing “office” location?
Did your friends/family/colleagues think you’ve gone crazy? Were they supportive?
Almost everyone in my life has been incredibly supportive! I come from a region where a lot of people stay in the same zip code their entire lives or have families at a young age, so it’s definitely a little out of the ordinary not to fit into that mould.
My Mom is the best and after the initial shock of initially telling her I wanted to spend 4 months in Southeast Asia, she’s been an awesome cheerleader as I’ve traversed the world. My friends are my rock and I’m so grateful that we make time to talk to each other as much as possible with varying time zones.
What do you struggle with most when you work and travel?
Many travelers I meet have a homebase or “spirit home” that they settle in. I haven’t found that perfect place for me yet, but I know it’s out there. Until then, I struggle with not feeling completely settled in places when I travel. But I’ve found little life hacks that have been helpful – like buying a scented candle when staying more than a few weeks in the same destination, or having a favorite café to work from where I can become familiar with the staff.
How do you connect with and meet people when travelling?
Meetups are an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals in the city you’re in! In fact, I am still friends with several girls I met at a weekly lunch gathering in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We’ve even traveled across the world to visit each other! But you don’t have to become friends with everyone you meet along the way.
I once read a blog post from “Adventurous Kate” recommending the power of wearing red lipstick and ordering champagne or cava at a bar and I can’t explain how much value I’ve gotten from that advice! Often if I’m alone, someone will approach me and we’ll exchange life stories for awhile, then say goodbye at the end of the night.
What advice would you give a girlfriend who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?
PURSUE. THE. MAGIC.
Seriously. You’re going to make up 1,001 reasons why you shouldn’t do it. It’s never going to be the “right time” and it’s never going to be delivered to you on a platter. Life doesn’t work that way. Decide what makes you happy, and if traveling and remote working is that thing, just go for it!
If it seems too intimidating, make a checklist of what you need to do and accomplish it in bite-sized pieces.
– Step 1: Research or apply for visa.
– Step 2: Talk to your boss.
– Step 3: Purchase a plane ticket.
Quick Fire Round:
When I feel lonely, I … Embrace my inner introvert and roll with it.
My favourite digital nomad location is … Sunny Las Palmas, Canary Islands has my heart <3
The one item I always pack is … Besides technology, hair gel for my crazy curls!
My favourite digital nomad tool/app/resource is … F.lux for working late at night when it’s dark.
In 5 years time I want to be … An acclaimed leader for Social Media Advertising strategy.
My all-time favourite quote is … “The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.”
Thank you SO much, Chelse for sharing your story with us! If you want to find out more about Chelse you can check her out at Hashtag Tourist or Recharge Social Media and connect with her on social media.