Spain is the third favorite country in the world for digital nomads, and Barcelona is the most popular city for those who wish to work remotely while enjoying the spanish sun. If you're a digital marketer and are planning on experimenting yourself as a fully remote worker having Barcelona as your base in Europe, check this interview with our member Gabriel Draghia, founder of Startweb.
Can you give us a quick intro about yourself and Startweb?
I am Gabriel Draghia, the founder of Startweb, a fully remote digital marketing agency. Our main office is in Bucharest and the second one is, of course, here in Barcelona. I created the agency in 2014 while I was finishing a master’s in digital marketing at EAE Business School. I guess that I was inspired and motivated to open my own business both by my studies and by this lovely city.
Tell us a little bit about your development as a digital marketer and SEO professional. How did you start building your knowledge base and the first steps taken to build Startweb?
In 2010, I started working as digital marketer for a French company called Holosfind, managing French and Romanian accounts. I believe that my previous studies in Philology helped me very much because the SEO and the advertising campaigns use keywords and copies for the texts and ads. Digital marketing is one of the areas where one needs to balance the constant search for knowledge while working daily for your clients. You must be constantly searching for updates on the industry and renewing your certifications for Google Ads – with different branches - Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, etc.
What are the three key advices you would give anyone who wants to become an SEO expert?
Test, test and test the monthly SEO integrations, then apply your experiments. Basically, the SEO is built by 3 pillars: technical SEO (website speed, perfect snippets, website error corrections, etc.), website keyword optimization and backlinks from good quality websites. In order to get those backlinks, always try to publish on the web native articles that link towards your website.
You are a fully remote agency with clients in many different countries. What are your main tips on building a fully remote business?
Remote work is now regulated in all the European countries, and this is great for the digital nomads. I digitalized my business completely making use of a few tools for communication, content creation and advertising management. I always use digital signatures, online payments, cloud storage for all my professional data and a great task management tool called Clickup.
In terms of finance regulations for remote companies, I work with an experienced accountant, specialized on both Spanish and general European laws. One final tip: when working remotely, don't work from home if you stay more than 2 weeks in a city. Choose a coworking space wherever you are. It's a great way to help you focus on your work without leaving your social life behind, as you will find amazing networking opportunities. And of course, you will always have a fast Internet connection, good coffee and conference rooms to invite your clients for important meetings.
And what are the main challenges you face as a fully remote agency?
The digital nomads face restrictive country regulations and this concerns one fully remote agency like Startweb. Every new country you work from will represent new challenges and the freelancers or the agencies working remotely need to quickly adapt in order to better perform in those different markets.
How has being a part of a coworking space enabled you to grow on a personal and/or professional level?
I started working from coworking spaces in 2014 when I arrived in Barcelona. I guess that the shared offices have a special vibe that fuels me with positive energy to do my work. On both personal and professional levels, I can say that I literally found friends and clients at OneCoWork and the countless chats with other digital marketers sharing tips or asking for advice have many times enlightened my work. All these interactions allow me to grow and develop my business.
Want to connect with Gabriel? Find him at startweb.io