Traveling abroad brings out the inner cowboy in each of us as we explore unknown territories. It takes a “get back on your horse attitude” navigating all facets of international travel from transportation to lodging and ordering from the menu to fascinating cultural differences. On a recent European trip it hit me; how foreign travel is analogous to building your online brand. Before you embark on your journey, make sure to bring along the right tools to help you navigate your travels. Here are just a few of the essential items to pack that will make your journey fulfilling:

  • Patience: Traveling “ freestyle” or going it on your own requires a bit of trial and error to get you to your ultimate destination, especially if you’ve never been before. Hiring a tour guide to show you the back door secrets and hidden gems is analogous to hiring a digital agency. Who better to help you navigate than an expert that knows how to get to your destination and avoid getting lost along the way.
  • Expert Resources: If you decide to go it alone, be prepared with the right tools to help you navigate. Whether bringing a guidebook or notes from a previous friend’s travels, it’s important to learn from another’s experience. Similarly, applying proven best practices will only maximize your online efforts.
  • Currency: Traveling to Europe is much easier since the introduction of the Euro. One currency, open borders and unified travel have really streamlined getting around. Online you need to know your customer’s currency. Do they require testimonials or reviews prior to purchasing or do they simply want to engage with your customer service team? How do you engage them through social media to move them through the sales funnel?
  • Language: While many Europeans speak 3-4 languages fluently, conversing in digital terminology is similar to being immersed in a foreign country without a translator. Whether a new App, SEO terminology, software updates or a new social media platform, the digital marketing landscape is moving at hyper speed. Increase your rate of success by teaming with professionals that can translate the new rules of online business.
  • Culture: In many European countries people awake later, eat heavier lunches and often retire later in the evening. Many gather after work in public squares, piazzas, and parks to connect with each other. Learn the cultural habits of your online viewers, where do they frequent, do they check in first thing in the morning, are they visiting certain sites more often?

Packing for your journey ensures that you will be prepared to easily overcome any unknown obstacles that arise. With the right preparation and support team in place, you can assure your organization will effectively and smoothly reach its destination.

“ A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu