In many ways it’s never been easier to trade abroad, with technology and globalisation enabling businesses to cross borders with relative ease. And with ‘Brexit’ just round the corner, companies are being urged to explore overseas opportunities more than ever.
Why? To ensure the country’s continued prosperity and influence on the world stage – with or without the EU.
At the same time, investment on our own shores is equally important. The UK has a long tradition of welcoming businesses from all around the world, with strong market demand and business-friendly policies making the country a key hub for all sorts of industries – and long may this continue.
That’s not to say moving into a new market is easy, with different cultural and working practices to consider. Marketing and PR can be particularly challenging, with careful management needed to adapt to stark differences from one market to another.
An increasingly popular solution is to use local freelancers when expanding internationally to provide local expertise on the ground. Here at The Work Crowd, this is something we’re increasingly seeing amongst our clients, both international companies coming to the UK, as well as UK companies setting up abroad. There are a few key reasons why they’re choosing this approach:
• Local knowledge and network – freelancers give you fast access to local market knowledge, such as consumer preferences and key target media. And with a number of years’ experience under their belt, they also come with a handy rolodex of contacts, so can introduce you to both journalists and influencers, as well as other local services you might need, such as translation and media monitoring.
• Flexibility – moving into new markets can involve a fair amount of trial and error, as you test and tweak your offering to the needs of the local market. As a result, you need PR and marketing support that is equally flexible, with the ability to scale up and scale down as the needs of the business change. With freelance support you can quickly take on the skills you need, without the same commitment as with a larger agency or permanent member of staff.
• Cost-effective – getting up and running in a new market can be expensive and it’s important not to let costs escalate to the detriment of your business operations elsewhere. Freelancers give you access to top-notch talent and experience but at a fraction of the cost of a more extensive resource. So you’ll avoid getting in over your head before the business is ready.
• Specialist skills – freelancing is booming around the world, which means that it’s easier than ever to find the exact skills you need for your marketing challenges. Whether you need support with marketing strategy, media relations, social media or content creation, the freelance marketplace gives you access to a wealth of expertise.
• Hit the ground running – when setting up overseas, it’s beneficial to start marketing and PR prior to your product or service being available, so the market is primed for your arrival. Freelance workers support this approach, enabling you to get started before you have any physical feet on the ground. Plus, freelancers are experts at getting up to speed quickly and efficiently, with minimum input required - leaving you to focus on your other responsibilities.
• Online tools – finally, with the tools available today it’s never been easier to source and manage the freelancers you need, from anywhere in the world. Whether that’s an online talent platform like The Work Crowd, instant messaging services such as Slack, or video calls with Skype and Google Hangouts, you can catch up with your remote team as often as you like.
With the rise of the freelance workforce, international expansion needn’t just be for huge corporates with big office budgets. By tapping into the wealth of freelance talent now available, and with the help of all the technology and communications tools at our disposal, businesses of all sizes can go global.
Looking for flexible PR, Communications and Marketing support? Our platform will match and connect you at no cost to the right freelance support to meet your business needs – register today!