TOP TIPS FOR EXPANDING OR MOVING YOUR BUSINESS ABROAD

MOVING YOUR BUSINESS ABROAD

Discussed on The Creative Hustle Podcast

Listen to the full session here!


1. SEO & ALT TAGS

Send new visitors in the right direction by outlining where you’re now going to be based.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to start working on your SEO as soon as you decide to make the move. Your website has to be kick-ass. Ensure that you are using important key words such as “Based in {your city}” and “{Your City} Wedding Photographer/Florist/Creative”
Google will then rank these keywords and list you under these search queries.
 I use “Halifax Wedding Photographer” in most of these scenarios.

Look at other vendors in your new area. Where are they ranked? What have they done to get there? By all intensive purposes, please don’t directly copy their text, but use that as a springboard to get you onto those search engines.

Repeating those Key Words throughout your site, Google will continue to pick up on these and increase your ranking organically.


These Key Words should be Header 1 on your Homepage, About Me section and of course, your Contact Pages.

In addition, in your blog posts, be sure to “TAG” your geographical location. Hosting services such as Squarespace, Showit and WIX will allow you to do this under your blog settings.

Include vital tags to help you get discovered.

Be sensible though. Don’t just THROW any old text into these pages or repeat yourself... this actually will work against you.


1B. MARKETING IN GENERAL


This means all collateral material and of course, my new BFF, Pinterest. Start pinning your work and if you don’t know what Rich Pins are; then learn.

Be sure to update your website often, blog, blog and blog some more. Keep creating content and if possible, batch posts that can be auto-published for you.


Get new headshots as soon as you can manage in your new place and take your followers on your journey with you.


2. CONNECT WITH OTHER VENDORS

One of the most vital things you can do when getting ready for your big move is to reach out to others in your industry and come from a place of value.
It might sound harsh or too direct, but offering to take them to lunch, or grab a coffee is only going to distract them from their work. Offer to take headshots or second shoot if you’re a photographer. Whatever you do, offer value and be authentic.



suggest collaborations and ideas that you think could work well for you both



When seeking out opportunities to meet others, start by looking for creative organizations that hold monthly catch-ups and ask to attend.

Networking events that get you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to other people in different industries can also be such a benefit. Attend conferences and get out there.


Here are a few of my favourites:


Rising Tide Society
Women in Business Nova Scotia

Finally, always always always carry your business cards with you. You never know who you’re going to meet!


3. FIND (& PAY FOR!) A VALUABLE MENTOR

Do your research and seek out professionals who offer mentorships. Some of my deepest soul searching was done when I found the right mentor who can hold your feet to the fire, be your cheerleader and steer you on the right path.

4. ASK FOR HELP

Moving is a big deal, there are going to be ups and downs along the way as you find your feet in your new location. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Be authentic and listen to your inner voice. If you’re struggling, reach out and get support.

5. MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT!

Use Facebook, Instagram and your mailing list to announce your relocation. Your existing clients will thank you for this heads-up. Remember to let all clients know what your new workflow is going to look like.
When moving to Nova Scotia, I had several UK clients that I had booked previously and continue to book. With clear channels of communication and being open about your process throughout this transition, you can avoid any awkward conversations.
Most of all - commit. Commit to these clients as you would have before, and in doing this, they will give you plenty of glowing testimonials.

6. GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION

When doing your admin for relocating, ensure that as soon as you know where you will be geographically located, get on Google Maps. Use your G-Suite Business Account to update hours of operation and your new address. Telephone numbers will be tricky to begin with, but ensure your email address and website is fresh and up-to-date so that people know where to find you.


7. ADVERTISE

Social Media is a powerful tool that is becoming more and more a “pay to play” arena. Consider updating your Facebook and Instagram locations and your advertisement target audience. You’ll want to start upping your game and Boosting Posts that specifically target your new home.
I started small and worked my way up; spending around $5 a day (that’s just a coffee!) and in doing this, more traffic has come through my site.


8. PRICE LISTS

I have had to learn this one the hard way.

I now offer multiple pricing lists in that client’s currency. For example, my UK clients continue to pay in GBP and my Canadian clients will settle any fees in CAD.
I’ve taken this one step further and have now converted my pricing structures to include offerings in EURO as well.

Wherever your clients are, make their lives easier and don’t make them convert their currency to suit your situation.

9. EMAIL SIGNATURES/OUT OF OFFICE


It’s natural that as you move, you’ll be setting up your new home and getting to know the way things work in your new surroundings.
Let potential clients know this by setting up an Out of Office with specific requirements and full details on when you’ll get back in touch with them.
In addition, don’t forget about your email signature!
If you use Gmail, check out Sarah-Ann Designs who recently posted about how she updates her email signature in an easy and comprehensive tutorial.

10. BUSINESS AS USUAL

Yes, you’ll be busy. Yes, you’ll have a million boxes to unpack and schools to source, and bank accounts to open and contracts to sign. But at the end of it all, try to maintain clarity in what you’re doing by approaching personal and business life separately.
We should all have a mentality that despite what is happening in our lives, we run businesses at the end of the day and our clients come first - heck, they probably contributed to your move!

This might be a bitter pill to swallow, so strap in....
We HAVE to keep running our businesses as if nothing else is going on.

Dedicate time to your clients, give them as much as you possibly can. You are in a market where every silenced phone call, every delayed email can set you back in thousands of dollars.


I was once told that every missed call is a missed sales opportunity.




So, you’ll be starting to wonder, “what fresh hell is this?!”
Honestly, be upfront with your clients, manage their expectations and go above and beyond at every possible opportunity.

XX

 

Jacqueline Anne is an International Fine Art Photographer based between Halifax, Nova Scotia & the UK. She specializes in destination weddings, elopements and portraits. Inspired by love of all kinds, her images are elegant, artful & authentic.

 
AdviceJacquie Whitton