What’s the best thing about freelancing or being a digital creative/nomad?
You get to work from anywhere as long as you have wi-fi and your laptop.
But if you’re new in town, it almost feels like when you started your business. You already know what you’re doing and you have a routine down, but now you have to start from scratch in a new city.
If you’re moving to the next town over or out-of-state, it’s a planned or last-minute move, your brain is doing too much trying to remember #allthethings when all you want to think about is does that Thai food spot deliver.
If you’re looking for a guide to help you handle your personal life + freelance business, you’re in the right place, doll face.
We’re going to find out how to make connections with the locals, build a client list, and get to know what the new city has to offer.
Before you move to a new city
After you change your address and forward your mail to the new address, make sure you update all of your accounts (insurance, banks, Paypal). Tell your close friends and family your new address.
If you’re selling anything on Craigslist or letgo, make sure to put up those items ASAP. If you’re donating items, don’t wait for the last-minute to schedule a pickup. Places like Goodwill and Salvation Army need about 2 weeks to pick up your items. And save all receipts from moving expenses.
Related: What to Know When Deducting Charitable Donations (Market Watch), Tax Topics (IRS), Tax Deductible Receipts (Chron), Tax Foundation, and find info about health insurance and taxes from Freelancer’s Union
Automate your social media posting and recycle your posts with Buffer + BoardBooster to stay active during your move.
On your website, don’t forget to put up “Now booking for [month]” then set up autoresponder or canned emails to respond to new leads.
Tell your current and former clients about your move. Give them a date to get in touch just in case they need you. Outsource business and website tasks so your backend stays up and running while you’re offline.
Related: How to Move a Sole Proprietorship Business From One State to Another (Chron), How to Relocate Your Business to Another State (Quickbooks)
Welcome home, boss
Give yourself a break
Don’t go into hustle mode just yet. Enjoy this break and chillax for a couple of days (or a week if you can) after you’re done unpacking. And read more Self-care Tips for Solo Bosses.
While you’re on break, be down with OPP – other people’s people. Tell a friend to tell a friend and connect with other freelancers and creatives. (A great way to get referrals for work if you’re looking.)
Related: How to Build a Network in a New City Before You Move (Levo), How to Start a Mastermind (and why it’s valuable to do so) (The Mission/Medium)
Related: 105 Relocation Tips (Area Vibes), 17 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving to a New City (Thought Catalog), Moving Checklist – 4 Week Countdown (Wheaton Worldwide)
Learn something new
Whether you’re picking up an old hobby or starting a new one, find a community college and sign up for a continuing education class.
Check out the local library and take a look at their community board for upcoming events. (While you’re there, sign up for a card. Bring your USPS confirmation form for proof of residence.)
Sign up to help out the lovely folks at the library. Become a tutor for the non-tech savvy folks or the kiddies.
Search Pinterest for places to go and people to see in your new city. (“places to go in [city]”). Type in your city in Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find out what’s poppin’ and who to follow. Find local groups on Linkedin and Facebook.
Don’t forget to bring your biz cards and leave one wherever you go. (Salons, barber shops, mom and pop shops)
For art + music lovers
Check out Ticketmaster, Last.fm, or Spotify to see when your fave artist is performing. Look up free music, art, or food festivals. Check out Spotify and type in your city to hear what your new neighbors are listening to. Search for local radio stations (“[zip code/city] + radio stations”). Or use TuneIn Radio app if you’re missing home.
Get updates from media outlets – subscribe to newspapers and newsletters or read WordPress posts from locals.
Add people, places, or things to do to your bucket list – Pinterest (secret board) or Pocket (tagged your new city so it won’t get lost in the shuffle)
Time to get to work
When you’re ready to get back to hustle mode (I seriously hope you took a break, friend), find a cozy spot to get back to work. Find inspiration here if you plan on working from home.
Or for those days you want to step out, head over to the local coffee shop or find a coworking space (The Mission/Medium).
Related: 18 Tips for Working Better From Home (Nelio Software), Secure your online business when doing remote work, Create a flexible freelance schedule (The Moderna), Daily Habits to Get Fully Booked (Betty Means Business), How to Create a Biz Schedule That Works for You (The Higgins Creative)
Make money moves
Before you start looking for clients, this is a perfect time to simplify and automate your client workflow. Start by learning how to onboard new clients faster with this post. And then sign up for the free 7-day email course to help you onboard and offboard clients.
After you get organized, think about any mini services you can offer to the locals (ex. website audits or consultations).
List a service on Craigslist. (Tip – It looks like CL checks your location by your IP address, so if you’re not in your new city yet, your ad will not be published.)
If you have an info product to promote, take time to revamp and (re)launch your product to get some extra coins.
Related: How to Get Freelance Clients to Come to You (Creative Live), Introverted Freelancers Guide to Finding Clients (Hands on WP), How to Find Clients in a New City, 55 Free Ways To Find Leads For Your Freelance Business (Forbes)
Take a look at what the local folks or agencies in your industry are doing. You can also reach out to them and see if they need any help. ([your city] + [your title] – “Atlanta Web Developer”)
Make updates to your social media bios and popular blog posts. Update your pages and add your new location or closest major city – footer, contact, home, about page, and author bio. Read more tips on updating your website.
If you’re using WordPress, update the site description (“Ms. Guery | Atlanta Web Developer”). And if you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, add your location to the “meta description” section.
Related: SEO for Bloggers + Increase website traffic (Conversion Minded), Improve local SEO with Google My Business (Yoast), How to Build Your Personal Brand (The Muse), How to Market Your Business and Why (Flywheel)
Don’t forget your goals
Make sure to stay on track with your goals. And here are some tips to keep you motivated: 8 Tips for Staying Motivated as a Freelancer + How to Motivate Yourself When You Feel Lazy AF
Follow this tip by Tola Shasanya from Levo: “Whatever you do, try as much as possible to put it down, even if it’s just for the sake of posterity. You’ll appreciate looking back at it years from now!”. Use Journey app so you can look back on all the good/bad/confused moments. Plus, you can add pictures to document all of those moments.
Good luck to you in your new city. And if you’re moving to Atlanta or already here, hit me up.
Featured image from Domenico Loia (Unsplash)