How to Work and Travel as a: Freelance Digital Media Professional
An Interview with Mili Ani from Mililand
Nowadays there are so many options for working remotely as a digital nomad there’s no need to be stuck to a desk job in your home country. Thousands of digital nomads are taking their careers on the road to work and travel around the world. Mili Ani is a freelance freelance digital media professional, originally from Israel but now she takes her work all over the world with her. You can follow her adventures on her blog Left My Heart In and on Instagram
The lifestyle of a digital nomad is a dream for so many people. So can you explain briefly how you make money online?
‘Making money online’ sometimes sounds like a mysterious and magical way to make heaps of money without working doesn’t it!? Well, while it is possible to make money online, unfortunately, it does (for me at least) require a lot of work.
I guess I would describe myself as a freelance digital media professional. My business, Mililand Digital Agency, is a one stop shop that helps businesses with their web presence. I can take an idea from scratch and turn it into a fully functioning digital presence. My work includes managing Facebook pages for brands, graphic design, programming, marketing, web design and much more…
The main work that I do as a digital media professional is managing social media for brands, this means that I work daily on their facebook pages and social media accounts. Sometimes it can take 2-3 hours and sometimes the whole day. I make sure that I am updated with both the client’s news, the local news and industry trends to ensure that the content will be relevant.
I also provide graphic design and I do a lot of web design: home pages, banners, ads, logos etc.. I use a Wacom stylus pen which means I need to have a good laptop. Programming is another part of my job, I either do it myself or have another team member who helps me to create websites. It’s important to have good people and other digital media professionals around you that you can cooperate with, especially when you are really busy with a lot of work.
And what made you decide to work remotely as a freelance digital media professional and how did you make it happen?
When I celebrated my 29th birthday I felt that something was going wrong in my life. It didn’t make sense to me to wake up so early, rush to the office and stay there until the evening. So I decided to take a year off and I dedicated my 30th year to rethink about how I want to live my life.
You know how sometimes when you make the right decision then the whole universe seems to help you?! Well, that’s what happened to me. The company in the gaming industry that I was working for (it was a great job!) was about to shut down, so everyone lost their jobs except me. They even paid me for 6 months just to be ready to come back to work in case they found a buyer for the company.
During this time someone I knew was looking for a dog sitter for a few months in his big penthouse by the sea, so I took the year off for thinking and fell into the biggest opportunity I had in my life because for 9 months I had a salary and didn’t need to pay rent so I had the chance to ask myself the question – “What if money was no object?”
What would you do if you had millions in your bank account? Well, travel the world was the first answer that I had. So I bought a ticket to India and at the end of my 30th year, I came back from India and decided that:
- I am not working for anyone else anymore. I decided I had to become self employed.
- I would exercise every day because what is a healthy mind worth in a weak body?!
- I decided to eat healthy and became a vegan
- I would study more and always be open to learning new things – its your brain gym!
- I wanted to be more creative, to write, take photos, draw, make seashell necklaces… what ever, just stay creative
Wow, quite a journey! So what do you like the best about life as a digital nomad and freelance digital media professional ?
I like it that I like my life again! Now, I can travel anywhere I want and make money while doing it, I meet a lot of people from all over the world and for me, as a ginger who gets bored quickly, jumping from one place to another every few weeks or months is a great way of living. I find it better to not own so much stuff, it’s less to carry – in your thoughts and on your back! 🙂
But nothings perfect right? Are there any downsides?
Well sometimes I am in a beautiful place with great people and all I want is to go the beach with them or something, but I have a deadline for a project. Being a digital nomad and working for yourself means that you need iron discipline to sit down and actually get the work done!
I also hate packing, but I’m getting better at it. Also, when you work and travel you don’t quite fit into the tourist frame nor to the local one. You usually stay longer in a place than the tourists but still you’re not really a local. Digital Nomads are kind of inbetween, outsiders, which has both good and bad aspects.
So what has been the greatest challenge?
I miss my friends back home but I have to accept the special but different way of life I choose for myself.
What do you wish you had known before you started working remotely as a freelance digital media professional?
The biggest freedom that it gives comes with a golden cage. Sometimes I am afraid that I could never stand going back to live like I did before with the office work, apartment and fixed vacations… but mostly I am just sorry that I didn’t start earlier.
So, what are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I want to start selling a product instead of my time. That way you can relax more and create more business relations in the places that I visit and so I could increase my client base while moving.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what tips would you give for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Think small! Every big and scary plan can be broken into tiny small and achievable steps that are easier to take.
If you can dream it – you can do it! 🙂
Thanks Mili! Best of luck with your business and your travels.
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