🌎 How to Enter Global Markets on LinkedIn: Insights from Olga Bondareva

Marketing, Sales, U.S. Market

Are you looking to expand your business into new markets around the world? LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you connect with potential clients, partners, and employees in different countries and regions. However, it’s not as simple as just creating a profile and starting to post content.

In this article, we’ll share insights and tips from Olga Bondareva’s recent webinar with the Custom Software Marketing Institute.

Olga is a former social media lead for Central and Eastern Europe at Microsoft and the founder of ModumUp, a social selling and LinkedIn marketing agency. Olga recently shared her expertise in a webinar. 

Whether you’re a software development company looking to expand your client base or any other business seeking to enter new markets, this step-by-step guide will help you understand the nuances of LinkedIn marketing in different regions and how to effectively build relationships and trust with your target audience.

Step 1: Understand that the “Global Market” Doesn’t Really Exist

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when trying to enter new markets is assuming that there is one “global market” that they can easily tap into. In reality, each country and region has its own unique characteristics, preferences, and challenges.

As Olga explains, “It’s impossible to just enter the global market because the global market doesn’t exist at all. There are many different markets and all of them are unique and you can’t just enter the whole world with the same approach.”

Instead of trying to go global all at once, Olga recommends focusing on specific markets that have the highest potential for your business. This allows you to tailor your approach and messaging to the specific needs and preferences of each market.

Tips for Selecting Target Markets

  • Research the market size, growth potential, and competition in each country or region
  • Consider the language, culture, and business practices of each market
  • Evaluate the purchasing power and economic stability of each market
  • Look for markets where your unique value proposition can stand out

Step 2: Become “Local” in Your Target Markets

Once you’ve identified your target markets, the next step is to establish a local presence and build trust with potential clients and partners. This doesn’t necessarily mean setting up a physical office in each country, but it does require investing time and resources into understanding the local business environment and building relationships.

As Olga puts it, “You need to build your network and you need to build real friendship. For example, help people without expecting anything.”

Some ways to become “local” in your target markets include:

  • Partnering with local companies or system integrators that complement your services
  • Attending local industry events and conferences to meet potential clients and partners in person
  • Creating content and messaging that resonates with the local audience and demonstrates your understanding of their specific needs and challenges
  • Providing value and building relationships through small gestures like commenting on people’s posts or offering helpful advice without expecting anything in return

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Relying solely on cold outreach or generic messaging that doesn’t take into account local preferences and communication styles
  • Failing to build trust and demonstrate your expertise through thought leadership content and genuine interactions
  • – Expecting quick results or sales without investing time into nurturing relationships and understanding the local market dynamics

Step 3: Utilize Social Selling Techniques on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B marketing and sales, but simply having a profile and posting updates isn’t enough to effectively reach and engage your target audience. Olga recommends using a “social selling” approach that focuses on building relationships and providing value through personal interactions.

Some key components of a successful social selling strategy on LinkedIn include:

  • Optimizing your personal profile to showcase your expertise and build trust with potential clients and partners
  • Sharing valuable content that demonstrates your thought leadership and understanding of the local market and industry trends
  • Engaging with your target audience through comments, reactions, and personalized messages that provide value and build rapport
  • Leveraging your existing network for warm introductions to potential clients or partners in your target markets
  • Monitoring your LinkedIn analytics to track your progress and adjust your strategy based on what’s working best

Tips for Effective Social Selling on LinkedIn

  • Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to your connections and interactions
  • Personalize your messaging and avoid generic sales pitches or spammy tactics
  • Provide value first by sharing helpful resources, insights, or advice before asking for anything in return
  • Use LinkedIn’s advanced search and filtering options to find and engage with your ideal clients and partners
  • Experiment with different content formats like articles, videos, and polls to see what resonates best with your audience

Step 4: Adapt Your Approach for Each Market

While there are some universal best practices for LinkedIn marketing and social selling, it’s important to also adapt your approach to the specific preferences and communication styles of each market. What works well in the US may not be as effective in Latin America or Europe, for example.

Some key differences to keep in mind for each region include:

United States

  • Building trust and long-term relationships is key
  • Avoid being too pushy or salesy in your initial interactions
  • Demonstrate your expertise through thought leadership content and personal interactions
  • Utilize warm introductions and personal connections whenever possible

Latin America

  • Focus on building personal relationships and showing genuine interest in your connections
  • Communicate in the local language (Spanish or Portuguese) whenever possible
  • Be prepared to jump on a phone call or WhatsApp chat to continue the conversation
  • Expect a more informal and friendly communication style compared to the US or Europe

Europe

  • Adapt your approach to the specific country and language preferences of each market
  • Prioritize politeness and avoid being too pushy or aggressive in your outreach
  • Demonstrate your understanding of local business practices and cultural nuances
  • Be patient and invest time in building long-term relationships rather than expecting quick sales

Conclusion

Entering new markets on LinkedIn requires a strategic and localized approach that prioritizes building relationships and providing value to your target audience. By understanding the unique characteristics and preferences of each market, becoming “local” through partnerships and personal interactions, and utilizing social selling techniques to engage your ideal clients and partners, you can successfully expand your business into new regions and countries.

As Olga summarizes, “The idea here is going global by becoming local. Each market, each country is unique, very unique, and you need to learn about local specifics in terms of languages, legislation, psychology, communication, and marketing.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Research and select target markets based on their potential for your business
  2. Establish a local presence through partnerships, events, and personalized content
  3. Utilize social selling techniques on LinkedIn to build relationships and provide value
  4. Adapt your approach to the specific preferences and communication styles of each market
  5. Be patient and invest time in building long-term relationships rather than expecting quick sales

By following these steps and insights from Olga Bondareva, you can effectively use LinkedIn to enter and succeed in new markets around the world.