How would I go about marketing my business model to potential clients in foreign countries?
Looking to start up an agency that places newly qualified and experienced candidates in the Oil & Gas, Mining, Maritime,and Energy sectors,on all offshore and onshore projects. Where should I start with my marketing efforts?
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Best approach is to contract an Industry heavy hitter, who knows the business, the terrain, the laws, the partners and customers, apart from having industry connects at various places. This shortens the learning curve.
Lots of good advice here. I want to focus on LinkedIn. One of the beauties of LinkedIn for your purposes is that the membership is global. Last time I checked, a whopping 64% of LinkedIn membership was outside North America.
It's important to see LinkedIn as more than a site to place resumes or search for them. More and more LinkedIn is becoming a site where you can build your brand as the go-to guy for specific services. That means regular updates ( and *not* all about you and your business because that's a serious turnoff). It means participating in groups, and actually engaging, again not just pumping out your promotional blurbs.
And use the feature LinkedIn now provides for you to be a publisher. Post interesting blog posts there to show you know something about the field you are placing people in and some of the challenges.
Build networks in target countries and companies. A recruitment headhunter colleague of mine is fond of saying "dig the well before you are thirsty">
From what I can see Scott you don’t seem to have a tested or proven business model to market to anyone just yet.
To realise your apparent desire to enter a fairly specialised HR market you must first gain a thorough understanding of how it currently operates locally. Then build and prove the commercial effectiveness of your alternative. Then, and only then will you have the capacity, resources and capital to research whether your approach is capable of being adapted and adopted off shore.
Stand before you walk - good luck!
The first business, to examine the business potential and sector trends of the country.
Professional services firms in general and Oil & Gas and Energy sectors in specific are always keen on getting the great talents into their organisations.
Having worked very closely with the HR Managers helping them to position their brands as the employers of choice I recommend you consider of the following:
1- Start by segmenting your potential markets. Segmentation will help you assess what market is likely to be more promising for specific industry, etc.
If we were to put it in the context of gas consultancy firms (LNG only) you would probably want to ask yourself the following questions: a- where are the LNG terminals? Which of these countries have terminals that are under construction? Which countries have reached their limits in term of storage capacity? and so on and so forth.
Answering these questions is not easy but you will end up building a map that is basically covering the world. The advantage is not there but rather in the indicators that the map will show highlighting the opportunities in some regions more than other. Repeat the exercise for all the industries you want to do business with.
2- Your next step and should you want to position yourself as the agency of choice then you should also put the same effort to build a distinctive database with the top candidates.
If you do that - this can become one of your strongest selling propositions.
How you do it? there are different ways of doing it. Channels and tools will change if you were targeting experts or newly qualified. I recommend you narrow down your focus. Be known for something that everyone will recognise you for. You will get more credibility and the word of mouth will spread faster between HR Managers.
3- Most of the firms have a LinkedIn Career page with two spots or more to place their own vacancies. You need to read their postings as they sometimes state that they do not wish to be approached by recruitment agencies. Obviously some recruitment agencies do not do a thorough reading and they end up losing the opportunity to register their services with these organisations. You can't afford these inconveniences.
4- Prepare a decent corporate communication material - the more professional the presentation the better
5- As Jeff said - Direct Marketing is of a great deal in this field. Other channels are definitely important but that should go within the mix that you are going to choose alternatively a marketing specialist can put the communication plan for you.
6- Do not go on Facebook - they don't appreciate that platform
7- Be on LinkedIn yourself. I know that investing in a page could cost some money but the awareness you build is really rapid.
8- Don't do the mistake that most of the agencies have done and regret it after few years. Go with a strong/professional image from the start. I am not saying pay a lot of money for design. All I am saying is make sure you have the right image that matches the professional level of the people you will be approaching. Make sure this image is consistent across all the platforms and channels of communication. Communicate with your potential on the same level. If we were to put it in a practical example (Imagine you schedule a meeting with one of your potential clients and you show up in shorts) - Your brand is your image. If you are wearing a suit then your brand identity should be reflect the same.
9- Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many industries as a start. Build a reputation and capitalise on it for growth.
Although it is a long reply but there is still a lot to do. If you need more information please let me know.
From experience start whit who and what you know networking with the right people is key. This way you can test and measure your business model, generate revenue and develop a foundation from where you can expand on. Start locally and move forward from there you may want to try to make connections with your local chamber of commerce.
Contact the companies that would hire such people and find out what they need and want. Then find out what kind of networking events are available and start attending those in order to connect with people who can offer advice about the country you are in.
Depends on what newly qualified and experienced candidates means. Are you acting as a employment agency?
If you are, then the question becomes what type of employees are you placing blue collar, white collar or both?
If no one knows of your company then all of your marketing activities must be directed toward awareness. That means direct marketing, advertising and alike.
Hi Scott ~
I have two suggestions. Having "grown up" business-wise in the placement industry, I'd recommend connecting with a placement firm locally to gain insight into the business model, unless you already have this knowledge. Regardless of industry, staffing services operate under basically similar structures.
Second, there is a wonderful startup out of Australia called Ampervize, http://www.ampervize.com which offers free, customized marketing tools and resources for businesses worldwide. I'm writing an article about them and will upload it within the next few days :-)
Hope this is useful. All the best to you ~
Why not start local first? Prove your business model. Build some revenue. Get some references and referrals. Once you gain some confidence that your model works, then you can branch out further.
Energy and Oil & Gas.
But, I am looking with a local view (Brazil).
Overall, may have other.
Mine, for example, in our country, are few.