Tag Archives: International marketing

Image of hops. Why business is like beer

Why Business is Like Beer

How many ingredients are there in your business?

Restricted by the German purity law, German brewers can only use four ingredients – malt, hops, yeast, and water. There are only so many combinations and yet there are thousands of different beers, so how do they do it?

A line-up of craft beers in a bar
Just a few craft beers

Brewers are considered to be great chefs. As with all chefs, they take great care in selecting the perfect blend of materials, the precise variety of hops from a preferred region that delivers the flavour they want to achieve. A specific yeast that’s been cultivated from a centuries-old wild variety rediscovered in an old oak tree. Then you come to the brewing technique, which is equally important as the ingredients and sometimes the main reason the beer stands out.

Beer by the river
Prost!

Which means that along with carefully selecting the mix of ingredients, brewers need to analyse the production methods. The huge variety of beer stands testament to how successful this is.

Each beer is unique and now you know that it’s down to slight variations in the ingredients and process, you realise how much effort must have gone into brewing your favourite tipple. Let’s raise a glass to that, Prost!

What makes you different?

When it comes to your business, how different are your ingredients to your competitors?

Perhaps not much, if you’re honest. But as we all know, it’s what you do with them that counts and the subtle changes are exactly what will generate different results.

Two companies could deliver the exact same product at a similar price point and yet one is wildly more popular than the other because their clients love the sustainable packaging and extra attention to detail. Or the fact they receive a hand-written note and free sample with each order. Maybe it’s just because they know they can reach a living, breathing human at the end of an email or phone call rather than be pushed around an automated system that makes them want to scream in frustration.

And to consider another factor. When you invent new beer formulations using different types of yeast, you face new challenges. Process steps need adjusting, there are new microbiological risks.

Just the same as when you launch a new product or service, it may need tweaking to suit your clients’ requirements. If it doesn’t work straight away, you don’t throw away all that hard work and preparation, you see what else you can do to make it work.

Try an experiment

Think of your business as an experiment. A very hard-working, successful experiment of course.

Let’s say you consider little tweaks and adaptations to be part of the experimental design. You measure the results and conclude whether you took the best course of action or if you can spot any scope for improvement. Thinking about your marketing campaigns and product launches in this way makes you a lot less attached to the outcome.

And if you’re less attached to the outcome, you’ll be more open to improvements and new ideas, which can only get you and your customers better results.

Sometimes when you’re dealing with different cultures (and I’m talking about humans now not yeasts), you make assumptions. A problem a client has in Germany might not be focus of your client in Croatia or Britain, which means your marketing might be slightly off if you try to appeal to both domestic and international clients. Your perspective isn’t wrong, you’re just not talking about their biggest concern so you’re not capturing their attention. Get some input from your target market and adjust accordingly, try a new angle to get a better outcome.

How about trying something new today? Send me some English marketing that you’ve put out in public but doesn’t seem to be striking the right note, and I’ll suggest some tweaks  to generate more leads. I’m not going to suggest a wildly different approach (unless you want me to that is). Usually a subtle change of focus from the perspective of a native speaker and a few different word choices can make the difference between a reader wanting more or moving on to a different brand. Once the figures come in, then we can toast to your success!

Small Island Big Business, The Insider's Guide to Success in the British Market by Sarah Silva

Don’t Take Sweets From A Stranger, But A Book From A Friend Is Fine

Don’t take sweets from strangers!

Did your parents ever teach you that as a kid? Because if there’s a stranger lurking around the school gates with free sweets to entice you into their car, they’re clearly up to no good.

That kind of advice has stuck with many of us and when we’re offered anything for free, there’s a niggling feeling that something’s not right.

You have to let your prospective clients get to know, like, and trust you before they enter your world.

Now we’re friends by now. You know a bit about my life, my thoughts, and business… I even know a little about you if you’ve replied to any of my emails.

But even though we’re not strangers any more, I get that you still want to know why I’m offering my Kindle book for free for the next 72 hours (13-15.06.18). So this is why:

To boost awareness of me and my business.
To help more people do business with the British and do it better, more easily, and with greater returns.
To encourage more Amazon reviews (because they matter to rankings and all sorts of things for future sales), and
To dish the dirt on translators and interpreters – exactly what we do and how it can help you (because most translators hide away and you don’t know they exist).

Honest and open. If that sounds fair to you, you’ll want to know what you’re getting. So if you want to hear from someone who’s read the book and wrote a lovely review, here’s what Miriam had to say:

      “In her book “Small Island Big Business” Sarah shares her insights in terms of doing business with the British.
Throughout her book, Sarah breaks down cultural barriers which you might face when doing business in the British market.
As an entrepreneur myself, I appreciate that she gives practical advice which makes it easier to apply and implement to your own business. Big thumbs up for action-oriented advice leading to major results.
Furthermore, Sarah does a great job in explaining the importance of “identifying your ideal client” as well as “positioning yourself as an expert”.

You’ll benefit from reading Sarah’s book if you would like to get a better understanding of how the British mind operates. Sarah gives practical advice for everyone who wishes to grow his business in Britain.

You haven’t read Sarah’s book yet? – Order it today and share your opinion with us!”

You heard the lady, head to your local Amazon page and grab a free copy of Small Island Big Business, The Insider’s Guide to Success in the British Market. Share with friends and colleagues, and if you already have a copy, I’d love a review 😉

If you prefer the feel of a shiny new book in your hand and don’t do digital, head over here to order a paperback version directly from me and a free gift.

 

A Brit, a Pole and a Greek Cypriot went for a curry

Recently I was at my friend Agata’s house for a surprise birthday curry. Her husband had gathered her closest friends and I found myself one of two British people in the room. My favourite kind of meet up.

There are so many stories, how we all met each other, why we settled in the UK and why we stayed. Hint: it’s usually down to a man. (I include myself in this as I’d applied for a job in Heidelberg when I met Mark.)

Polish, Cypriot, French, British, talking about our absent Czech and Russian friends and eating Indian food washed down with Spanish wine. I’m sure we could have crow barred a few more nationalities in there somewhere, three of us also speak German.

But the main topics of conversation were our husbands’ lack of aptitude for DIY, our careers and new directions, our parents, lack of time, and car maintenance issues.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Your international customers have exactly the same concerns as you on a day-to-day basis. Of course there’s room for variation and the cultural setting has an influence but people are people are people.

In this group of friends we were all female, roughly the same age, with children, mortgages, spoke multiple languages and worried about issues such as:
how we are bringing up our children, when they would leave home (!), when we’ll have more time for the travel we love, how to keep fit and healthy, the ease of getting tyres changed, the impact our husbands’ work has on their health, family time etc.

A similar group of men would have different concerns – in fact the two men present had scuttled off to another room to talk about gadgets and watch sport. Yes it’s a cliché but true in this case.

Understanding your ideal client means getting detailed information on their age, gender, interests and what their worries, hopes, and fears are. This kind of information means you can talk to them on a level. It gives you your customer avatar, a persona of your ideal client and is the absolute foundation for all your marketing.

Plus, it allows you to get creative while knowing you’re still talking to the right people.

No more corporate zombie speak trying to please everyone. If you don’t know who your ideal client is, you’ll find yourself trying to appeal and talk to everyone.

You can’t get specific, you can’t be interesting.

And your reader might question whether you have the right service for them – in the absence of any direct benefits they will fill in their own version of reality. Potentially with reasons why your service won’t work for them.

The more you understand your ideal client, the more appealing you make your marketing, and the fewer doubts your reader will have.

If you’d like help understanding your British ideal client, let’s talk. We have the same hopes, needs and fears as you but the way we express them is slightly different. You’ve got the products and services, I’ve got the British market insights and native English skills.
Click here and tell me what you need to know.