If you work abroad as a self-employed person then part of the challenge is to make sure that you can find a steady stream of new clients. But is marketing for new work made more complicated by being abroad?
Although there are certain marketing techniques which you will have greater difficulty carrying out (brochure distribution, for example), there are plenty of low-cost and highly effective online marketing techniques that you could use to bring in new clients whilst you are in another country.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO is one of the most important online marketing techniques. It involves the practice of optimising your website to appear in the search engines when people search for specific keyword phrases, and it is an excellent way to bring in highly targeted visitors to your website.
The very minimum you will need to get started is a website, which you will need to populate with keyword-optimised content. You may then want to hire the services of an SEO firm to improve your SEO efforts so that you can find a regular stream of new clients in your home country no matter where you are based.
Blog and Newsletter
A blog is an excellent way to post regular content to your website for SEO purposes, as well as enabling you to build a community which can help you to win more clients. An example of a good business blog is CoffeeKicks, which was established by the SEO agency The H2 Company to provide help and advice as well as to improve its own SEO.
A monthly newsletter is an excellent way to keep in touch with your existing clients which will help them to remember that you exist and could encourage them to hire you more often. You can also work on growing your list over time, such as through providing a free informational download, and this repetitive form of marketing can lead to more clients.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
PPC is another way to find new business via the search engines, but instead of optimising your website, you are instead paying for adverts to appear on the results pages of internet searches. This can be a very effective way to bring in targeted visitors to your website, but you will have to pay for every click so the costs can sometimes mount up.
Google Alerts are a great way to where particular subjects are being mentioned anywhere across the internet. Google collects the information based on a keyword or topic that you specify and sends it back to you directly in an email, so you can find out about stories to write on your blog, as well as places where your company is being mentioned in order to respond. This could be a good way to find clients who may be searching for the services which you offer.
Twitter and Facebook are not just ways to stay in touch with friends and family when you are away. Set up a business presence on one of these sites or a similar social networking site like LinkedIn, start to provide regular content and you will be able to use the platform to build a community which can be a great way to generate new business leads.
Find More Clients Online
Online marketing is by far the best way to find new clients when you are working from abroad. If you have relied heavily on sending out physical brochures in the past then make the switch to online marketing to bring in new clients.
It is important to start to play around with new online marketing methods before you head abroad so that you can work out which techniques work best to you early on. That way you’ll be ready to take full advantage of them as soon as you arrive in your new destination.
For more on all of the above topics, please visit my SEO and online marketing blog Coffeekicks.com