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How to Build an International Client Base

How to Build an International Client Base

Published by Programme B

Sales are, of course, a numbers game. The more prospects you reach out to, the greater your chance of at least one of them becoming a client. One great way to increase how many new prospects you are reaching out to as an international entrepreneur is to take your sales efforts to an international audience. You can do this even if the region speaks another language. With the help of overseas employees or a top translation agency that specializes in marketing, breaking into a foreign market need not be daunting. Below we’ll go into three actionable ways that you can do so.

Factors that Influence International Clients

If you want to build up an international client base, you’ll need to pay attention to certain core elements of your brand. First and foremost, you’ll need to offer a decent product at an appealing price. It doesn’t have to be the lowest price, but it does need to represent good value for money and be competitive. 

Next, you’ll need a trustworthy brand. This is non-negotiable. You’ll need a spotless reputation, a bunch of positive online reviews, and plenty of good karma on social media. 

You’ll also need to reach out to international audiences in the right language. Not just the correct languages for their countries, but the right tone, content that has a local focus and so forth. It’s not just a simple task of loading up a translator and googling facts about a country though. You need to carefully consider the language used and take some time localising your company for international clients. If you’re looking to expand into Germany for instance, consider the cultural differences in how you write about the brand, use the right kind of language and use a german grammar check to catch all the intricacies of the gendered nouns, this is the same for any language though. For clients to feel like they are valued instead of as a quick buck, the effort needs to be made to localise properly.

With these elements in place, you can start thinking seriously about growing your international client base. 

Three Actionable Ways to Build Your International Client Base

There are various approaches you can take to build an international client base. You could visit the countries in question and run seminars. You could launch a social media or TV advertising campaign. You could hire billboards. The options are many and varied. Below, we’ll look at three of the most popular. 

International SEO

If you have a website that’s available in multiple languages, you’ll need to think about international SEO. Connecting with overseas audiences requires you to spend plenty of time and attention on your site. 

Understanding which search engines are most widely used in each of your target markets and then undertaking keyword research based on each country is essential. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to climbing the rankings in multiple countries at once. Instead, you’ll need a detailed, focused international SEO strategy that you monitor and update regularly.  

Translate Your Content

What is an international entrepreneur? It simply means that a businessperson conducts their business activities beyond their own national borders. For instance, if you are a clothing seller based in the UK, you might branch out to selling clothing in Germany as well, for example. 

One of the top ways to build an international client base in the digital era is to localize a website. It’s especially popular for businesses that sell goods online or offer a service that isn’t location-dependent, such as software, online consulting, or remote education. You’ll need a top translation team behind you to handle the localization process for your website. Translation agency Tomedes has published detailed guidance on this topic, which highlights the need to work on the site’s layout, make sure the website is optimized to fit the new region’s search terms, help it fit with local regulations and practices like cookie notices, update the photos to make sure models fit local demographics and much, much more. 

The translation itself will also need careful attention. If you’re trying to build an overseas client base to get started on your international entrepreneur journey, you’ll need a translation agency that prioritizes accuracy and quality. A website is a great way to start collecting contact information and figuring out who would eventually become a customer or client. Contact forms for further information and entering information for free giveaways are some of the top ways to connect with people who could eventually make up your international client base. If you want them to be as effective as possible, the language you use has to be perfect. 


Email Marketing Campaigns and International Expansion 

One of the easiest and most direct ways to build an international client base is to start an email campaign. It’s a very effective way of reaching people all across the globe. In 2019, global email use amounted to 3.9 billion users. That figure is projected to grow to 4.3 billion users by 2023.  

Email campaigns are easy to manage through services like Constant Contact, HubSpot, iContact or MailChimp.  

An international email marketing campaign must:

  • Make sure the tone of the message stays the same, even in the new language
  • Keep track of the layout of the email so that it makes sense in the new language 
  • Avoid figurative language like idioms 
  • Identify anything that might be culturally offensive and remove or change it
  • Understand how email use habits vary in each culture and tailoring the email message accordingly 

With how much spam we all get, the second an email looks unprofessional in any way, it gets deleted. If an email is riddled with typos, it will be on a one-way journey to the trash folder. The average email open rate across all industries, according to Constant Contact, sits at 16.06% as of December 2020. You can increase those open rates by making the most professional and culturally appropriate emails possible.      


Where to Start with Marketing Internationally 

Marketing agencies help with much more than just the technical elements of expanding globally. If you wish to run ads in a new region that speaks another language, marketing expertise is essential. It can help with brochures, catalogs, sales letters, and a host of other marketing documents. In the digital world, it can even help you to build your international client base through social media posts.

Before breaking into a new market, a company may perform demographics surveys, conduct opinion surveys, see what is trending on foreign social media sites, or even perform A/B tests of websites. If the tests/surveys have to be conducted in another language, everything from surveys to reports outlining the data from the other language must be word-perfect.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels