Do you see marketing as promoting your products and services? If you answered yes, try reversing this concept to: Marketing is the act of creating need, whether it’s the creation of new ideas and products, or identifying long-term products and ideas. (Take your products and services and create a need). Don’t expect the marketplace to jump to you; you must create for the marketplace. This concept works domestically as well as globally. Let me explain:
Selling is the act of providing alternatives that fill the needs you’ve created. This concept works in your own country as well as in other countries, but in order to effectively market yourself globally, you must understand how your host country is different than your own.
Below I will highlight a few pointers to help you see how you can dramatically grow your business by refocusing how you present and sell yourself:
- Think from the outside in — meaning from your audience in, match your client’s needs to your products and service offerings. Don’t tell them how great you are; instead tell them why they will be better off having engaged with you. Pitch your work from the standpoint of the customer’s improved condition, not your own needs. No matter where in the world you work, this concept stands the test of time. Why? Because this concept is about building for others, it is a collectivist mindset and this way of thinking is recognized worldwide.
- Collect referrals — The time to get referrals is while you are in the job process and active with your client, not after you’ve left and the relationship becomes tepid. Tell your buyer that referrals are the growth of your business and ask if they would be willing to introduce you to colleagues, acquaintances, their trade association leaders and know that in large organizations referrals need only be to other departments or divisions. This idea works best in the US. When working abroad, however, you must tailor this concept and wait until you have established relationships with your new business partners. This process may take longer to develop when you are overseas. In some cultures, you don’t even ask, because if you have serviced your client well, they will automatically refer you.
- Look at your website — make sure it provides value, not boring advertising. Post interesting articles, provide interesting links to other pages on your site, offer products that are custom tailored to your audience.
This concept is widely accepted in foreign cultures where the mindset is “Do for the Group.” “Do your best to serve others.”
- Publish — from your audience’s prospective, combine their needs into your services and offerings. At the global level, this attitude appeals to almost any culture. Who wouldn’t want value that is especially designed to help?
- Leverage — Do not create anything that doesn’t have an end purpose. For example, a paper you write can be posted on your website, pro bono work can lead to publicity photos. Explore all areas where you can apply what you develop with the “Let me serve my audience mindset,” and you will become a magnet to people from all corners of the globe.
- Ignore the competition — Do not allow the competition to determine your marketing strategy your job is to create your unique niche, in which you become number one, not to pursue your competitor as an attempt at becoming better than them. They are already great at what they do. Find your specific area and develop that space so you can become the leader in your field.
This concept is never more important than in the global marketplace. Most collectivist societies seek professionals to do the things they can’t, but you must be the expert in your field. Many world cultures view experts and degrees and education as the cornerstone of credibility. So ignore your competition and work at becoming the best you can be. That expertise will take you far in the global marketplace.
I end this piece with my famous quote: “Remember – you are a foreigner everywhere except in your own culture.” © 2018, Candida Marques Global Arrival, LLC