Sunday, April 28, 2013

How to Build a Global Writing Business in 10 Steps

As a writer, you may find it a little intimidating to think about taking your writing business global, and it's certainly not a business strategy for the "faint of heart." In fact, with the competition springing up from writers all over the world - many of whom are willing and eager to work for what amounts to pennies on the dollar, you may wonder if there is even a market for your writing business in today's global market?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Having a global writing business gives your business a huge potential for growth and profitability - in spite of - or perhaps because of - the current world economy.

However, to be truly successful, you have to start by creating a global business strategy, because taking your writing business global is going to require an entirely new mindset and way of dong business.

If you're just starting out, you should add going global to your long-term strategy, and build your business locally and regionally, putting the "foundations" of your writing business in place first.

The "Foundations" of a Strong Writing Business

Let's talk for just a minute about what I mean by the "foundations" of a strong writing business and why they're so important.

Before you can compete in the global marketplace, it's absolutely vital that you build a strong foundation - in other words, you need to know and be able to communicate:

  • What type of writing business you have
  • Who your ideal clients are
  • What you bring to the table
  • Why you (rather than someone else)

You will be more successful in building a global writing business if you build a strong brand first. Being able to articulate who you are and what you stand for will make it easier for you to find your "ideal clients" - no matter where in the world they're located.

Understanding the Global Marketplace

As the owner of a successful writing business, you will discover there is an immense potential for both growth and profitability by going global - but there are also some pitfalls you need to be aware of and take into account - to increase your chances of success.

Thanks to the Internet of course, going global has actually never been easier. There are also a myriad of online tools available - such as internationally accepted shopping carts, invoicing software and Website or Blogs which make getting started simple and easy.

However, building a global writing business requires learning new ways of thinking, acting and promoting your business. Your potential clients in other countries may have different customs, concerns and even values when it comes to doing business. You have to be prepared to learn an entirely new business etiquette - and recognize and be sensitive to those "new to you" rules.

To truly succeed, you have to commit to taking bold action and fostering an international perspective and mindset. But at the same time, you have to be willing to adapt your current business process and mindset so that you fit in. Going in with the attitude that it's "your way or the highway" will definitely result in failure.

Here are the basic steps to take when you're ready to take your writing business global:

  1. Get Organized and Create Your Area of Expertise. Going global requires not only a new mindset, but you absolutely have to stay on top of your game. Put together a customer acquisition system. Create forms, promotions, write articles showcasing your expertise, start a blog. Get your ducks in a row before you start your global marketing campaign. This may mean you redefine or reinvent your writing business. (I don't mean lie, I mean creating an exciting new brand that works on a global level.)
  2. Choose Your Market: Decide what countries you'd like to build a presence in, and do your market research. Learn about the business climate, the etiquette, your target market, the industry, etc. Create an action-oriented business strategy based on your research, which
  3. Define Who Your International Customer Is. Just as in any campaign where you need to create a customer profile, it's important to have a strong picture of who your international client is, what they want, what they need and what's keeping them up at night. (This is also called the "Dominant Resident Emotion")
  4. Develop Your Marketing and Sales Campaign. Something many writers forget about (if you live in the USA), is that they don't have to be exporting tangible products, in order to benefit from free or low-cost government-sponsored trade shows, trade missions and international networking programs. Another idea is to look around for appropriate international associations or organizations that your international clients may be associated with - and become a member. And then, of course, online social networking opens up many new avenues for connecting with your clients as well.
  5. Set up a Schedule for Promoting Your Business, and Stick To It. Breaking into the global market is not difficult, but it takes continual and concerted effort. Don't expect to achieve your goals by doing a one-shot campaign.
  6. Insist on Excellence. When you get your first client, make it a business practice to always over-deliver and provide unprecedented professionalism. Delighting your clients will result in word-of-mouth referrals that will build your business faster than anything else.
  7. Have a Plan for Building and Expanding Your Business. Creating a global business means you have a plan for building your business. This might mean starting with one foreign country, or one industry in that country, and then expanding out over time. How you do this goes back to your strategy and what your own goals are. But be prepared to become a trail blazer.
  8. Get (More) Connected and Continue to Build Your Expertise. We have to face facts. As writers who want to compete in the global market, one of our biggest challenges is staying on top of the competition - the good, the bad, and the ugly. These days so-called writers, want to-be writers and out-and-out pretenders are coming out of the woodwork. While the Internet can help you build a rich and exciting and extremely profitable writing business, it also means that anyone can slap together a Website or blog and call themselves a writer. One of the best ways to counter these problems is to create stronger and deeper connections with your target market. Building your reputation as an expert in your industry or niche is another way. One way to do both: consider expanding your repertoire by offering online training, videos or teleseminars - and if you think about it, you'll be able to think of other creative ways to show up all over the internet as an expert.
  9. Use Your Business Plan as Your Own Personal GPS to Help You Stay on Course. Your business plan shouldn't be a static document that gets written once and then shoved into the back of a drawer in your desk. Your business plan should be the guidance system that keeps you on track for reaching your most important business - and personal - goals. So make it a part of your business strategy to schedule a time to look over your business plan and tweak it as needed so that you grow your writing business in a way that makes sense for you and what you want to achieve.
  10. Make Continuing Your Education a Part of Your Personal and Professional Mission Statement. In today's fast-paced and ever-changing global business climate, you absolutely HAVE to stay on top of your industry or niche in order to succeed - and help your clients succeed. But even more than that, continuing your education gives you new insight, ideas and tools to help you create a wildly successful and profitable global writing business and keeps you feeling positive, motivated and excited to get up in the morning, doing what you love!

There you have it. 10 steps you can start taking right now to build a global writing business. The Writer's Business Academy offers tons of free information, resources and tools to help you start building a wildly successful writing business right now...

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