Find Out How Alex Vere Nicoll Runs An Internet Marketing Business From The Road
Alex, is an internet marketer who focuses on the travel sector, from Colorado and we're excited to have him on as our very first interviewee on Nomad Ned!
Please tell us a little about yourself, your background and what you do for a living?
I’m a half Brit, half Yankee who was born in London, but grew up in the mountains of Colorado in the United States. I began traveling a lot with my family starting as a child and over the years my itchy feet turned into a full-blown obsession with exploring this planet. For a living I run an Internet marketing business focusing on the travel and tourism industry. My company is called Kudu Network and we help businesses grow their visibility online using a combination of SEO, blogging, social media and local search optimization.
How do you primarily make money online? Do you have other projects that bring in revenue?
I make my primary revenue online by offering digital marketing services to my clients on a monthly basis. I also make money by doing some occasional freelance writing work and through affiliate advertising.
What made you decide to become a digital nomad?
I have a deep curiosity about this world and a strong desire to experience as much as I can during my life. My educational background is in marketing and I love working with technology, so my experience in online marketing came naturally. Once I realized there was potential to combine my professional expertise and passion for travel into a job, I worked hard to get the skills needed to start my own business. I’ve also had a strong desire to be an entrepreneur since I was young, so this combined with my passion for travel and online marketing was the perfect storm to become a digital nomad.
I see you have travelled to 54 countries so far. What country has been your favourite and least favourite?
This is a tough question as nearly every country has at least some positives and negatives. I have a very open mind and even the travel experiences that were difficult I usually reflect on in a positive light, so I can’t say there’s any country I went to that I completely disliked. In regards to my favorite country I would have to narrow it down to three. First, Belgium is where I did my study abroad in college and I have very fond memories of my time there. Second, Thailand was my first taste of living in Asia, as an English teacher, and completely changed the way I looked at life. Third, Colombia was my favorite country during a long journey through South and Central America, the people and variety of landscapes make it an incredible place to travel.
On average, how often do you stay in one city/country at a time?
Right now one-month stays in different places seems to work out very well for me. Any less time than that I find it hard to get a good feel and truly experience everything.
How do you prefer to work? Coffee shop, your apartment, co-working space etc?
I’ve never tried working in a co-working place just yet. I find a combination of working some of my time in an apartment and some of my time in a coffee shop to be a good balance for me.
Do you have a team you work with? How do you keep in touch with them?
I utilize contractors for various tasks of my business. I use three tools regularly to keep in touch with the people I work with. Email is my primary form of communication, secondly I use Google Chat often to keep in touch, and for a phone call I typically use Skype.
What are some problems you have encountered, working with clients remotely?
For the most part, the type of work I do is very agreeable to being remote. I would say the only problem I have is that I’m not available all the time by phone during regular business hours. If a client wants to chat I normally need to schedule a time so that I know I will have Internet and can use Skype. Clients rarely call out of the blue and they usually prefer to schedule a chat anyways, but this is the one difference I noticed between being remote and in an office.
Have you found it hard to grow your business while travelling the world?
Because I am targeting the travel and tourism industry to obtain new clients, I’ve actually found traveling to be beneficial to growing my business. My business strategy is all about building relationships, preferably face to face, so the more people that I meet the more potential business I have.
What advice have you for people thinking about becoming a digital nomad?
In my opinion traveling is one of the greatest joys in life, so if you have the opportunity to become a digital nomad I strongly urge you to try it. This doesn’t mean you have to leave home for 5 years crossing every continent. You can start small; maybe try a month in a different city of your own country at first to test the waters. If you feel comfortable with that then you can take the leap to a more exotic destination. Even if you don’t have the luxury of owning your own business, if most of your work is done from a computer you might be able to haggle extended vacations if you mix working and traveling.
What backpack do you use?
My backpack is a brand called Top Life and it’s 55L. I don’t even think this brand exists anymore because theirs nothing on the internet. It was actually a relatively cheap backpack I bought at a Carrefour in Belgium and its lasted a very long time!
What are some of the main items you carry on your travels?
- Macbook Pro
- Microsoft wireless mobile mouse 4000
- Parker ballpoint pen
- Small notebook
- Small travel journal
- Large quick dry camping towel
- Sympnonized NRG Premium Genuine Wood in-ear Noise-isolating Headphones with mic
- Canon Rebel DSLR
- Money clip wallet
- Amazon Kindle
- Small roll of Duct Tape
- Camping toilet paper roll
- High Deet Bug Spray Stick
- Handheld Mini Fan
- Combination Lock
- 4 Ziplock plastic bags
- One large vacuum packing bag (for keeping dirty clothes)
- 3 Copies of passport (to carry when you lock up your passport)
- 4 extra passport photos (for visas)
- Sanuk Sandles
- Tottenham Hotspur cap