How to Expand Into Emerging Markets

New markets for services are difficult to develop.

Organizations within emerging markets require expertise and help from people with experience building programs in more stable countries. The following list describes the methods I use for expanding into these markets.

    • Find an advisor to talk with on a regular basis. Someone who is involved with international work.
    • Good graphic design is essential. I use Adobe Creative Suite to design my materials and website. You will become better at designing things the more you use it.
    • Your network ultimately comes down to an email list. You want to develop it in a way so you can reach-out to people with introductions, project ideas, partnerships for projects, etc.
    • You will need to find a translator (cultural interpreter) at some point. I found mine after a presentation. I needed feedback from the audience, and he helped me understand how my presentation was accepted. Afterward, I said that I wanted to do more presentations and I think we would make a good bi-lingual team.
    • Build your network outside of the usual business cards and meetings. Join regional and topical groups on LinkedIn. Go to those groups and hit the popular discussion tab. Browse through the recent discussions (no more than 1-month old) until you identify an interesting topic. Press like for the whole discussion and like individual comments. If you have something to say, comment yourself. Wait about three days, and then invite the members you want from that discussion into your network with the line: “I appreciate your comments in xxxx group, and I would like to make you a member of my professional network.” You will get 75% acceptance rate.
    • The best way that I have found to work with NGOs is by identifying an RFP for international work. Write a one-page summary targeted to Directors of Development. In your email cover letter, state that you would be interested on helping them win this project and you will even help them write the proposal. They will usually want to meet with you. This gives you something of value immediately.
  • A marketing folder provides a flexible way to leave behind materials after meetings and a way to deliver proposals. I put in training syllabi, article reprints, bios, letters, testimonials, etc. I mix and match materials for the occasion.


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