Time-saving hacks for breaking into the German market
Time has a way of flying by, doesn’t it?
Particularly when it comes to making changes in your business, it can sometimes feel like you just never have the time to actually make your big ideas a reality.
Maybe you’ve been playing around with the idea of trying to break into the German market for a while now, but you keep putting it off because you think you just don’t have the time or energy.
But then another year disappears in the blink of an eye, and you’re left feeling unsatisfied and frustrated that you haven’t taken the steps you’d planned to.
The first quarter of the year is already over, and that means it’s a great moment to take a step back and think about what you really want out of 2022.
To reevaluate and think about ways you can make your dreams for your business a reality.
Well then, I’ve got just what you need.
Here’s a list of time-saving hacks for breaking into the German market that will help you make the most of the rest of 2022, however short you are on time.
#1: Find and hire a marketing translator
A professional and very good marketing translator will be a key part of succeeding in Germany as a non-German brand.
Working with someone that’s experienced with helping brands like yours break into the German market will be a real time-saver.
You’ll know you can trust them entirely, so you can take a fairly hands-off approach and let them take care of transforming your words into compelling German.
But where can you find said marketing translator?
Well, your best bet as a small business owner is to look for a freelancer you can deal with directly.
Translation agencies are great for some things, but in this case it’s always best to have direct contact with the person doing the translating.
The best tactic for tracking down your perfect freelancer is using a professional network like LinkedIn.
Just create a post telling your network you’re currently looking for a freelance marketing translator for your business.
Include all the key information to make sure you find the right person for you:
● Language combination (English into German)
● Field: marketing
● Volume (include a word count or a link to content)
● Turnaround time/rough time frame
Then wait for people to respond and recommend professionals that would be a good fit for you.
People on LinkedIn like to be helpful! If they have someone in their network who ticks your boxes, they’ll happily recommend them to you.
Once you’ve got those recommendations, check out their profiles.
A good marketing translator is bound to have a polished profile that will give you a good overview of their skills and experience at glance.
Get in touch with them to ask about their availability and whether they think you’d be a good match.
You could even consider scheduling a quick video call to nail down the details and make sure you’re on the same page.
Try and work with someone kind, open and honest that transmits good vibes and makes you feel comfortable.
After all, harmonious working relationships always produce the best quality results!
#2: Get your website up and running in German
You probably have an English website, blog, newsletter, social media presence and some other content that could all be translated into German for your new audience.
But you’re wondering whether you need to get all of that translated before you launch, or whether you can prioritise certain things and leave other things for later.
The good news is prioritising is a very good idea if you’re short on time.
Focus on the most important thing first: your website.
This is your point of sale. Making it available in German gives customers the confidence and security they need to fill that shopping cart.
Once that’s up and running, you can start working your way through the rest of your copy and content to give your new customers an even better experience.
#3: Shout about it on social media
Now your German website is live, it’s time to promote your products and services to attract people to your website.
Consider running a German ad on Facebook or Instagram (social media channels your German customers use) that leads people to your German website.
Target any ads specifically to people in Germany, making sure they’re suited to your new audience.
Announce that your German website is live through your stories and on your grid so that none of your (potential German) followers miss it. Save these stories in your highlights, so that new people who come to your account, can also see them.
Now is also a great time to consider a special offer, like a discount for the first purchase your new German buyers make on your store.
Consider updating the bio on your social media accounts as well. Maybe include a little German flag emoji and “shop now available in German” or something along those lines.
That way, any new potential German followers you gain will immediately know your shop is available in their language.
Tip: When you get started, don’t worry about setting up separate German-only social media accounts. Stick with your original English accounts, and let your potential German followers use in-app translation tools for your content.
#4: Get testimonials from your first German clients ASAP
With your special offer, you’ll have your first German customers in no time at all.
Once they’re through the door and happy with the service they’ve received, ask them for a reference/testimonial to put on your website.
Include their name and location in Germany (city/town).
That will make the testimonial much more valuable for German buyers, because they identify far more with Steffi from Regensburg than they would with Jane from Sydney.
Plus the testimonial will feel much more authentic (for Germans) because it’ll be written by someone with a German cultural background.
If you don’t have German testimonials yet, that’s fine too!
But it’s definitely a good idea to gather them as soon as you can, as they can be a powerful tool when it comes to convincing your potential German customers.
#5: Hire a VA that speaks both English and German
Breaking into the German market and getting your first German customers will take some extra effort at the beginning.
If you juggle too much at once and start feeling overwhelmed, you’ll probably be tempted to throw in the towel after just a few short weeks.
To reduce the risk of that happening, hire an assistant to help you!
A bilingual VA (English – German) can help you with all the little (and bigger) things that keep popping up at the beginning: customer inquiries in German, implementing the German version of your website, creating ads in German etc.
Getting the help of a bilingual VA will be a relatively small investment that will make a huge difference to your experience of expanding into Germany.
They’ll be worth their weight in gold, taking the stress out of things for you and leaving you time to keep focusing on other aspects of your business.
If you get your priorities right and take things step by step, you’ll be building your German audience and making sales before you know it.
Get a translator and VA on your side, make sure your German website is water-tight and you’ve got a solid presence on social media, and start collecting those testimonials.
Germany is your oyster. Make 2022 the year you finally tap into its potential!