difficulties of a digital marketer when moving to another country
It’s almost 1 year since I moved to London, but I never gave up what I was doing as a job back in Bucharest, and that means working in the digital marketing field. At the beginning, I didn’t quite have the time to think how it’s going to be for me, as a digital marketing expert, but one thing I knew for sure: that I wanted to do the same here in London. And I started at a small pace, doing a part-time thing and some freelance – at that time I was trying to finish my Master’s final paper. Three months after, I started working full time and kept the freelancing as a part of my life. All the time I felt it like a carousel (not like the 5g force carousel called Munich, but like an exciting but also frustrating carousel). And I learned a lot and I want to share some of my learning with you.
Here are some reasons why it’s difficult to do freelance digital marketing in another country than yours and how to change them into something good.
Even if you know the language, you’ll realise you don’t. You can miss the slang. You can miss some specific language for different domains; even you’ve been working (in English, in your country), you’ll see that some of the things can be completely new to you. Don’t panic, you can have the luck to work with smart people that have been working internationally (and the market is so multicultural too), that you can transform this difficulty.
Here are my recommendations: read as much news as you can on what you’re interested in. Not only digital marketing but about the domains on which you’ll be working on. Read speciality publications in the domain, and read not only online, but print too. Write as much as you can on that domain or subject even if you won’t publish it. Write on your own, for your own and your clients. And ask for feedback. Listed local radio – it’s an amazing experience.
You have to know the geography & the history of the place. I mean it. This is a serious thing that you have to start caring about. And I have one example for this one. Yes, you can find in google analytics the relevant data, but sometimes you need to know where the richest areas are, or buying habits based on areas. And sometimes you will need to know the history of that place – some brands will look for areas where are different communities, or maybe in some fields you’ll find that generating leads haven’t been tested and salesmen are a force that you’ll have to face.
How to surpass this difficulty: try to speak about your issue with locals, but don’t take anything for granted. Go to meetings and learn as much as you can. Ask for advice from local people within the industry. And do some good online research.
Don’t forget about the marketing calendar. Black Friday may be overrated in some places. Boxing day is a marketing thing. And St Patrick day is and is not a thing to celebrate. Pancakes day is really important for some industries.
How to transform that: this is quite an easy one. You google calendar can be updated, and you’ll have to see what the competitor brands are doing. And where – meaning checking marketing channels. Plan in advance and work closely with brand owners. Ask for feedback from all the people within a company (yes, you have to make some time for that too)
There is too much competition. Yes, there is. Branding agencies, digital marketing agencies, PPC, web design etc, etc, and of course freelancers. How in the world are you going to make it in such a crowded market?
Here’s my opinion on this difficulty: hey, check the opportunities. How many people and businesses need some digital marketing consulting? Yes, there are plenty of them. You can start looking your proximity – close to your office or close to your living area. My rule is not going for recommendations from friends because this is a grey area where I don’t feel comfortable. But if you can get all the people that you’ve worked with to recommend you, that can help you more than expected.
Other than this, the usual ones difficulties are: you will think that things are moving too slow (hey, your patience has to be your strength), you will need some spending budget (even peanuts are better than nothing), and of course you need the time to meet people – and this one I find it the most difficult one not because you won’t have the time, but because you will need to focus for the most important people to spend time with, in a place full of opportunities.
These are my thoughts and I must admit that I didn’t spend much time on figuring out which were my difficulties in the digital marketing field.
Keep doing what you love, and you’ll find your place,