Besides stability, all small businesses are really only searching for one thing – Growth. The more clients you have, the more success they will bring and so it’s important to be consistently focused on ventures that are going to allow your business to expand. Taking your business global was once seen as a huge step, but nowadays, with the interconnectedness online business through Google searches and social media – going international kind of goes hand-in-hand with being online.
Analyze the market
However, that doesn’t mean that the process of attracting international customers is in any way easy. Before you dive into this, you need to have a quick look at the current state of the markets that may be of interest to your business. Is there a strong demand for your business in a particular region? Will that demand grow over time or lessen? These are questions you need to ask yourself. If you’re selling swimwear – consider marketing your business to regions of the world that are in Summer. If you are selling Spanish courses, you could consider marketing to countries that have vested interests in the Spanish language. This way, all of your hard work is targeted towards people that may actually be interested in your content, rather than wasting time on markets that have no interest. Do your research before hand and save yourself a lot of valuable time and energy.
Adjust your business when necessary
Naturally, if you want to take your business internationally you’re going to need to consider optimizing your website through a few online tools to ensure that your business is capable of making international transactions.
First, you need to consider having multi-lingual capabilities, on your website, in your marketing content and for your support staff. Customers aren’t going to be able to connect with your business if they don’t understand it, so using the research you gather from the first step – think about which languages you would most benefit from including in your services and content.
Payments systems are another important aspect to consider. How will your customers pay you and how will you receive your money? Also, some payment systems can be quite expensive to use, so consider which services are going to be the most cost-effective for you. You’ll also need to think about how you’re going to communicate with your customers. Stripe is a great tool to use for those looking for all of the benefits of PayPal, at a fraction of the price.
For basic selling of tangible goods, you won’t need a full communication system other than support, but for consultants or professionals selling services – you’re going to need to be able to effectively communicate in order to really build out your relationships and have an effective line of communication. Yondo are an all-in-one ecommerce software that allow consultants to make use of live one-to-one, webinar and video-on-demand software to enhance their business and diversify their range of services.
GEO Targeting & SEO
SEO will forever be an online marketer’s best friend. By adjusting a few things and making some tactful choices about keywords, tagging, metadata and titles, your business can really propel itself online, for more information about SEO read HERE. Geo-targeting your marketing is a great idea for a business looking for fast and proven results. It goes a step further than SEO and allows you to create variations of your websites, that are specifically targeted to an audience in a specific geographical location. This could be useful if you want to promote your websites in a different languages or even if you just have content or features that would be more relevant to specific areas than others and you want to focus on that. At the very least, it’s a great opportunity for you to experiment with different tactics to see which types of content is going to be more successful than others.
If you’ve spent a solid amount of time creating your marketing content, it makes sense to put just as much thought into when you’re going to post it. The best times for posting content are typically considered to be during break times of a working day such as just before or after work or lunchtime because that’s when audiences are going to be more relaxed and open to marketing content. But in an international context, you also need to consider optimal times for reaching different time-zones. If you’re promoting a 24hr sale to customers in Sydney- consider their time zone differences. Or if you’re crafting a post such as “The best Italian restaurants in New York” schedule it for the afternoon on New York time for best results.
Finally, you need to think about networking with industry leaders within your chosen markets. Networking in an online international context is still very much the same as interacting with local prospects online. It still involves getting in touch with people through social media, finding common ground and reaching out to them in a professional manner with a proposition. Linkedin is a powerful tool for this because it was created with the specific focus of connecting professionals from all over the world. Therefore, having a complete and professional linkedin profile is the first step to connecting with industry leaders and like-minded people within your industry. The next step involves being put in front of their audiences. Reach out to these people with valuable content marketing, offer an exchange where you put them in front of your client base in return. Collaborate on a project, exchange guest posts for your blogs, find some way to be useful to them. Entering into these relationships are always going to be beneficial for your business if you’re smart about the people you connect with.