Working with international clients
Is it worth it? (yes).
As a digital agency, we’re used to working with businesses worldwide and enjoy meeting new people from different countries.
However, collaborating with foreign countries doesn’t come without its challenges, and it might not be for everyone.
In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of working with international clients, and how we go about doing it best.
What’s good about it?
It’s super interesting
As mentioned above, one of the best things about working with international clients is that the projects themselves are often unique and different from what we’ll do for local clients. Not only does that keep the output interesting, but it lets us understand more about other work cultures and how others like to do things.
Collaboration has never been easier
If there’s one thing that the Covid pandemic has shown us, is that remote working is not just possible, but easy as well. From sharing files in the cloud through to video conferencing and always-connected smartphones, working with international clients is no longer the challenge it used to be.
Creative thinking has no barriers
By working with different markets in different countries, we get to stretch out our creative chops. We get to work with other stakeholders and platforms that we ordinarily wouldn’t, meaning that we’re always learning and always growing as a result.
What’s still challenging?
No wonder how good technology is, it can’t do much about different time zones. While many of our clients are also in Europe, it’s not too much of an issue, but for those further afield, setting up meetings and deadlines is a little more challenging. For instance, ‘end of day’ may mean something very different in one place vs. another.
Face to face interaction
Sometimes, the only way to get a real sense of chemistry between agency and client is to meet in person. Not only does this help build a relationship, it also ensures that communication subtleties aren’t lost in remote communication methods.
Tips on how to work with international clients:
Having worked with partners in other countries throughout our entire operation, we’ve learned a few things on how to keep it all running smoothly:
Maintain communication – It’s easy for clients to feel a little distant from you. Update them through email a little more regularly to assure them that even though they are far away, they are just as important as local clients.
Keep a tight schedule – Set up regular calls and videoconferences to report successes and check in on campaign direction and performance. It’s easy to let things slip, so try to set something up regularly, such as once a week.
Visit if possible – If you’re doing a large project for a client, see what you can do to meet in person at least once. Although this may involve travel, it’ll be a great way to show your dedication to the account.
Pay attention to cultural differences – Before working with an international client, it’s best to understand how they prefer to communicate and conduct businesses. Some may be easier going, while others may require more formal interaction.
Know your legals – Ensure that you understand all legal and tax implications when working with another country to maintain protection if something goes wrong.
Agree on payment plans in advance – Research all fees you might have to incur with receiving money from abroad and have a formal agreement on payments. It will be a lot harder to chase late payments with foreign customers.
So, there you have it. International clients can be a fantastic opportunity for your business, but there are certain things to keep in mind. By maintaining good communication and transparent ways of working, both sides can come away as winners.
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