1. How did you started working remotely?
I left Germany in 2015 when I gave up my apartment, belongings and project management job to start travelling and follow the dream of exploring the world.
In the preparation process, I learned about digital nomads and realized that travelling could become more than a one-year journey, it could become a lifestyle.
I started working as a digital marketing strategist and SEO a year later and founded my agency in 2018.
2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?
Remote work offers the opportunity to collaborate with talented people from all around the globe. My current team is from Austria, Macedonia and the United States.
My clients are from Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States — most of them operate globally as well.
The fixed costs of my business are very low (no office infrastructure), which allows me to grow quickly and work with more team members and brands that I find inspiring.
3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?
I do believe that meeting people face-to-face is of incredible valuable. It changes the culture, dynamic and also the vibe.
So, I am aiming to organize meetings and events when we are in the same part of the world.
My previous team was also working remotely, but we met almost everyone in Bali and spent a few month together. The team members from Australia would come to visit, too. Our Bali adventures have been an inspiration and a common point for the team. They had a great sticker: “I love the people I work with. One day I will meet them in person.”
4. From which cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote?
I have worked with several in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and in Europe. My favorite city in the world has been Rio de Janeiro. But I think, I will always love this place — working or not.
5. From which type of place do you prefer to work?
What got me to manifest the location-independent lifestyle was coworking — a shared office space with a remote working community.
I first started coworking in Bali in a place called “Dojo”. It has been my (work) home for many months, and the community events have been what turned me into the marketer and entrepreneur I am today.
Today, I am highly inspired by “Factory” in Berlin and the amazing space and community they have created.
Coworking put me in touch with other people aiming for the same goals in life and business. I look for people who are trying to transcend classic paradigms of how work and business should look like. I met my previous business partner, friends, team members and clients in coworking spaces.
I grew my authority and brand from giving more than 50 workshops on SEO in two years. Wherever I travelled, I would give a presentation, whether in Bali, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague and Barcelona.
Today, I mostly work from home because of the many client calls and team calls I have. I don’t want to be THAT person constantly on the phone in a coworking space.
I am mixing it up with cafes and coworking and usually switch the place 2-3 times during the day. I still pick my travel destination and also my new one-year-home, Berlin, based on the coworking community and events.
6. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely?
I would love to live in Melbourne, Barcelona or Amsterdam for a while. Visiting Amsterdam this January has been truly exciting. For sure, I want to spend more time in Brazil and explore Rio and also other cities. As said, it is the one I lost my heart to.
7. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?
Honestly, I think it depends largely on team and company size — and transparency within the teams. It all comes down to productivity and output. Remote work can be equally productive to office work, maybe even more.
In my company, I know exactly who is doing what and what the impact on the client’s rankings is. I know exactly how my content creators, technical experts and backlink builders are contributing to our services and the results of the client.
Therefore, it is easy to know who is inspired, driven and eager to improve. People think that remote work means losing track of what team members are doing. But the reality is that you always know who is performing, going the extra mile and contributing.
You can see it in the quality of work in team members and collaborators, their communication, hitting deadlines, giving new ideas and suggestions, improving processes, supporting other team members, asking questions, challenging the status quo and trying to get involved. Remote work is a lot more transparent than you would think it is.
Remote work is not the issue. Lack of transparency and not having clearly defined outputs for work is always inhibitive.
8. Which tools do you use to work remotely?
- We use emails and Zoom video calls to talk with clients.
- Our documents are stored in Google Drive.
- The internal communication takes place in the chat tool Slack or Zoom calls.
- Tasks are assigned in the project management tool Asana.
- We use Wave for bookkeeping (Xero in the past).
- The Flow SEO website is built on WordPress, using Thrive Themes.
- And that is my tech stack for a location-independent business.
- For SEO, we use a bunch of tools, crawlers and software. Ping me for details.
9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?
Flow SEO is a German company, and we are paying tax in Germany.
10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?
Working remote is a new type of work, a new flavour and a new style. Installing Slack is not going to turn your team into a remote company.
Not every person wants to work remotely — or does so efficiently.
It is about finding those people who are passionate about the work and the opportunity to operate location-independent. Those who are eager to talk with other team members in a chat tool, those who are well-organized, self-motivated and disciplined.
Many people can see the beauty of working from home or anywhere in the world. And those who really want it have the passion and discipline to make it work.
Working remotely is an opportunity for personal freedom. To spend more time with family and friends (by less commuting), to live in the place you want to live (not close to the office) or to travel the world and explore more. There are one million reasons why working remote is appealing, and why people want to get out of the office grind and live a liberated life.
Remote work requires transparency, honesty and commitment. But it is so rewarding — for you, your team and your clients.
Being a service provider means being of service. And don’t you think motivated, happy and fulfilled people are best at being of service?
I couldn’t agree more!
We used to say: “We are the pioneers of a mass movement pushing the frontiers of business, marketing, body, mind and soul at the same.”
Join the movement.