Elise Darma: Building a thriving community in the digital nomad age
September 4, 2018

Elise Darma is a popular Instagrammer, Influencer, and Entrepreneur who has founded a number of leading marketing, branding, and growth hacking businesses for influencers, freelancers, and digital nomads alike.

Through her businesses, InstaGrowth Boss, Canupy, and Freelance Biz In a Box, as well as her prominent social media accounts, Elise has developed a large global following of over 100,000 individuals.

As her businesses and follower community continue to increase, Elise has developed successful strategies to manage the challenges of growing multiple businesses and maintaining a thriving remote community in the digital nomad age.

Community Is Key

As many digital nomads and remote-working freelancers will know, the beginning stages of the entrepreneurial journey can be a very lonely road devoid of professional guidance and personal support.

Before Elise Darma became the successful Influencer and Entrepreneur that she is today, she experienced a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey.

Perhaps with a little bit of luck, a group of seasoned entrepreneurs in Elise’s personal network and community had her back 110%, helping support her personally and with her professional development.

Without this support group Elise believes things may have been a lot different and more difficult in the beginning stages of her entrepreneurial journey.

So, it comes as no surprise that Elise believes having a support network is paramount to surviving and thriving at the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey as a digital nomad, whether that is building one from scratch or joining a pre-existing network.

Looking past just the professional side of things, when there is bountiful support from others, there exists an imperative to disconnect from the digital world and realize the importance of human connection and community.

The Art of Community Building in the Digital Nomad Age

The best influencers always have the intentions of their community and the purity of their art and business in mind. They create a value system, they create a culture, and they ultimately create strong networks.

These networks provide community members the ability to meet lifelong associates, business partners, and friends. For Elise, this is one of the passions that drives her every day.

After she successfully started growing her brand and following, a strong community started building around her success, as well as a culture centered around helping each member on their own individual entrepreneurial journey.

From humble beginnings, Elise’s community has scaled-up rapidly to where she now boasts over 77,000 followers on Instagram and a large 8,000+ member Facebook support group of digital nomads and entrepreneurs.

Despite the massive scaling-up, Elise remains dedicated to her followers and community as she still personally responds to all questions, comments, e-mails, and direct messages.

Balancing the technological means to address her ever-growing following and community, while also maintaining as much commitment and connectedness to her community as possible, Elise Darma found the answers to these challenges in both daily live-streaming and in-person events such as retreats and workshops.

Lisbon Surf & Work Retreat

Hearing more and more from her community about the need for an in-person retreat and workshop, Elise decided it was time to finally experiment with the idea and put on her first event in a digital nomad hub city.

Thus, Elise’s Lisbon Surf & Work Retreat was born and set for June 2018. After working with Surf Office to deliver all of the retreat essentials related to event planning, co-working, and co-living in Lisbon, Elise diligently selected 10 attendees for the retreat on merit basis.

With only a 10-attendee retreat, Elise was able to maximize her ability to personalize the instruction and experience for each individual. As it was the first retreat she organized, Elise believes the attendees could see themselves in her, as someone who is experimenting with her business and being 100% transparent about each process.

After 7 days, 3 business classes, countless attendee hot seats, and endless adventure in and around Lisbon, the retreat came to an end.

“The retreat was a complete success”, said Elise, “The in-person networking and collaboration was really eye opening for me, as well as for the attendees. Everyone there had a full understanding of what each person was going through both professionally and personally on their own individual entrepreneurial journey.”

In just one week’s time the Lisbon Surf & Work Retreat left the attendees professionally transformed, refreshed with new knowledge, and inspired with new networks and friendships.

Based on her resounding reaction, we can safely say that Elise will be organizing many more of these in-person retreat and workshop community events in the future.

We’ve got a bit of insider knowledge that Elise’s 2019 retreat and workshop is undergoing planning as we speak, so keep a lookout on her social pages to see when the application process opens again!


As the golden age of digital nomading continues, there are major shifts in remote work trends that are continuing to transform the way people are working around the world.

With this, the importance of tactical and planned community building, organization, and meeting will become more and more essential for communities across the globe.

Organize a Workshop or Retreat of Your Own

Do you want to ensure that nothing goes wrong with your remote retreat/workshop? You can leave it up to us, while you sit back and relax, dedicating your time to working, teaching, and community building!