I know how frustrating it can be to start looking for people who are interested in your business.
If you have a blog, I’m sure that you’ve experienced the frustration of having no readers during your first posts. I’ve been there.
It seems that all your efforts are worthless. You spend hours, even days, to come across with a great topic to write about, do some research, carefully write paying attention to SEO… And then nothing happens.
Probably you have overcome this stage and now you’re looking to expand your audience. I’m sure that you’d love to have an international audience and increase business visibility in different countries.
Isn’t this what every business with an online presence aims at?
Probably your website is already attracting an international audience, but you’re not making the most of these readers. You just have to look at your website analytics to see that it’s true.
Not everyone decides to take a step forward and start targeting an international audience. And after all these years working with businesses that are willing to expand in different countries, I asked myself: why are there so many businesses out there that aren’t making the most of this opportunity?
- Lack of information and resources.
- Fear of the unknown.
- Fear of not meeting the expectations of the new audience.
- Lack of communication skills in a new language.
In a nutshell, we don’t get out of our comfort zone and tend to think: “Ok, if we’re doing well where we stand now, why should we do something different?”
That’s why businesses with initiative perform better and take this opportunity that the rest is missing out.
Well, let me tell you something…
It’s actually not that hard. I’m going to take for granted that:
- You have your own website up and running.
- You have a presence in different social networks.
- You have an email list with your subscribers.
I have already talked about these three points and these are the basic requirements to increase business visibility and target an international audience.
Now let’s see what we can do with this.
8 ways to increase business visibility to target an international audience
Before talking about the specifics, we should bear in mind that we’re not starting from scratch.
Remember these old days when you had to start building a community for your business? You were doing bits and bots without a specific marketing strategy. You were getting lost jumping from one website to the next one looking for new opportunities, for people that are interested in your business.
Well, now you’re not starting from scratch. You have more resources and you’ve certain visibility within your audience. Let’s make the most of it.
1// Define your new audience
Every marketing action that we make to attract an international audience must be focused on the Ideal Customer Avatar created for this new audience. We can’t go back to the beginning and do bits and bots without any strategy whatsoever.
You need to know the needs of your new audience and see how your product or service can help them solve this need. Needs in different segments of your clients may vary and probably you’ll need to optimise your offers to make your service more appealing for your new international audience.
Remember, knowledge is power, and this applies to marketing and businesses.
2// You need new skills or connections to make it happen
When you try to expand your business or your visibility in this case, you should be equipped with new skills or connexions to maximise your results. You’ll find a lot of business obstacles to overcome at the very beginning. That’s why a lot of businesses give up and never decide to take actions.
- What language does your new audience speak?
- Can you communicate to them?
- What about your marketing message? Can be adapted to your new audience?
Behind all these obstacles there are new skills that you should learn or outsource to be successful. Make a list of all the new skills that you need and decide if you want to learn them or outsource them. For example:
Maybe this new audience doesn’t speak the same language than you. Are you willing to learn a new language to communicate with them? If not, maybe you should consider hiring a translator who can manage all the communications with your new clients?
Are you willing to invest time in doing a market research of a new audience or would you rather hire a marketer who can save you all this time?
Remember that outsourcing isn’t an expense, but an investment in your business. Make sure that you know when and how to outsource to achieve the best results.
3// Analyse your success and think about how you can adapt it to your new audience
As I’ve said before, you’re not starting from scratch. You already know what’s working and what’s not working in your business. This is great information when targeting a new audience as your chances of succeeding are higher – it makes sense, right?
Make a list of all your marketing actions that are actually working and think about how you can adapt them to your new potential clients.
4// Get your website ready to target an international audience
Your website is where the magic happens. This is how your new audience is going to find you. The starting point.
It must be optimise to address the needs and questions of new potential clients. You should consider translate your website so people can understand it. But you’ll also have to adapt the copy of your website to your new audience. Remember that every client segment has different needs and your offer may vary from one segment to a different one.
It’s very difficult to sell when people still don’t know who you are or what your business can do for them. That’s why you should grab their attention first, so they can get to know you and your business, and then you’ll be able to present your offer.
And this leads me to my following point…
5// Create a lead magnet adapted to your new audience
A lead magnet is a exclusive and valuable piece of information that you offer to your readers on your website in exchange of their details so you can reach them later on.
This is the most effective way to start collecting emails of people interested in your business so you can contact them with offers and exclusive information to keep them interested in your products and services.
Probably you have already created a lead magnet to expand your email list. Then, maybe you should consider translate it or adapt it to your new audience. This would be a good way to recycle the content that you have already created to start building your potential client database.
6// Use social media to spread the message
Now that you’re implementing a strategy to building a new email list for your new audience on your website, it’s time to spread the word. And social media is the best way to start.
However, you also need to do some planning before tweeting away.
I’ve been followed by profiles that only tweet in Russian or Arabic. I don’t speak any of these two languages. Do you think I’m going to be interested in their services?
Even if they approach me speaking in a language that I speak, I’m not going to following them back. What’s the point of having a feed with tweets that I can’t understand, right?
Make sure that you know how you’re adding value through the social media platforms that you’re using. You can promote your business, but your audience don’t want to see only promotional posts. And obviously they also need to understand the content that you’re sharing with them!
7// Become a public speaker
Come on! How can I become a public speaker?
It’s actually not that complicated. If you’re running your own business, I’m sure that you’ve already been invited as a guest speaker for a conference in your industry.
Well, it’s basically not much different. You don’t need to learn a new language, or know how to write a presentation in a different language. Just make sure that you have a conference interpreter by your side.
The difficult part is to find the perfect opportunity to be a speaker. But you can try this:
- Universities that provide degrees specialised in your industry.
- Specialised magazines.
- Chamber of Commerce of the country that you’re targeting – they normally organise conferences and seminars.
- Business directories:
- Networking groups: Meetup or Evenbrite
Remember that the sky is the limits. You find opportunities literally anywhere. Keep an eye on influential blogs to get to know when important events are taking place.
8// Network, network and network
I know it can be scary. Believe me, I’ve been networking in different countries since I left my country. Now I’m based in the UK and have to network with people who don’t speak my language and from different countries with different costumes when it comes to business.
You know I’m obsessed with being organised. Before overcoming this fear to network, I made a list of everything that scared me or things that could go south, and write potential solutions or actions to take to minimise risks – I told you I’m obsessed!
You can do the same if you’re scared of networking. If you think that the language or cultural barriers can be a problem, then I’d recommend hiring an interpreter specialised in business.
Try to research people attending an event beforehand and plan some questions that you can ask or things that you may have in common to connect with people easily.
In 90% of cases, businesses with visibility problems aren’t doing enough to expose their business to their audiences. We all tend to stay behind the screens of our laptops and expect a miracle. I’ve made the same mistake.
So I encourage you to actually take some action to reach as many people as possible from now on.