Startup businesses usually have one big problem: finding clients. Most young companies will probably look to establish first a local customers’ bases, starting from friends and family and then gradually expand via word of mouth.
Yet, today’s world allows even the most recently founded startups to look for customers abroad since the very beginning.
Once upon a time, companies had to rely on a network of contacts, or to go through intermediaries such as banks and trade agencies.
Nowadays, technology has brought to startups four tools to find customers abroad with a small budget.
That may not be a surprise after all, but it is striking to know that many startups fail to set up a proper website.
Of course, Google does not have a lot of time for you and will not bring visitors to your site automatically. There are two things that you can do.
First, make your website as attractive as possible, so that when visitors eventually arrive, they will stay. The more people remain on your website, the more Google will think that it is good quality.
Second, try to compete on the right topics. If you make coffee, do not compete on the same type of the big consumer goods companies, but try to make a description of your product that is as unique as possible
The beauty of email marketing is that you can contact your potential clients directly. You just need their contacts, that you can find on Google, LinkedIn, or ad-hoc suppliers such as Apollo.
The main point about email marketing is that your message should not look like advertising. Try to make it as personal as possible, and use content marketing, not direct promotion.
This way your email will look more like a suggestion than a push to buy what you sell.
Social media platforms such as Facebook are widely used by individuals, startups, small businesses and large corporations.
As such, you have to follow the right strategy. Search for your target audience and try to give them quality content. Explain them why your product is better by using a ton of examples, such as videos where you show your product’s best features.
If you have a budget, you might even consider hiring out a couple of influencers that will describe your product to their followers.
If you do things right, customers will come.
Online marketplaces are the best place where you can find buyers without the frenziness of content marketing.
There are B2C marketplaces, such as Amazon, and B2B marketplaces.
B2B portals are online platforms where buyers and sellers meet to trade on the B2B market. The great advantage compared to a B2C platform is that you can sell large quantities to international wholesalers, instead of single shipments.
Another type of B2B website is the B2B e-partnering platform, for example Globartis. The beauty of these platforms is that companies meet not for a single trade but for establishing long term partnerships.
If you find the right distributor in your target country, you do not have to worry about selling products by yourself. Instead, you just have to supply what your new partner needs on a recurrent basis.