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How to Get More Clients Online Even If English Isn’t Your First Language

I’ve been asked this question about seven times in the past two days. Quite frankly, I found it a bit creepy that the same question keeps popping up from different people that come from various groups.

I mean, really? Seven times in just two days?

Is it all just a coincidence? Or is the universe telling me to write an article about it?

I think it’s the latter. 🙂

I get it, winning over clients online can be quite challenging especially if English is not your native language.

And I’m not saying this because I think everyone out there is racist. Far from it.

However, I will tell you that you getting ignored and declined because you aren’t a native English speaker might have something to do with how our brains as humans are wired.

To help you understand what I’m talking about, you can check out the word “Homophily.”

Homophily (i.e., “love of the same”) is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others. (source Wikipedia)

Apparently, all of us (and that includes you and me) have the natural tendency to love working with people whom we find similarities with.

What’s more? Most people aren’t even aware that they have this natural inclination. It’s because of this that some of your prospect clients are ignoring your emails or pitches because your name isn’t English sounding. They’re not ignoring or declining you with malice in their hearts (and minds), they’re not even aware that they’re doing it because of homophily.

And so the question becomes: Is this the end of the line for you? Are you really bound to fail at growing your business online simply because you aren’t a native English speaker?

The answer is a BIG FAT NO, of course.

If you know how to market your business effectively, you’ll still be able to win over clients even if you are a non-native English speaker.

Allow me to share with you three strategies that you can use that are so compelling; it’d be close to impossible for you not to win over new clients if you use them.

Let’s hop right in.
1. Offer freebies.
Backstory: I have a client that lives in Malaysia who wanted to succeed at freelancing sites like Upwork. As you can probably imagine, doing so can be quite challenging considering how the platform has bajillions of freelancers competing for the job openings.

What makes my client’s situation even a tougher nut to crack is the fact that the hourly rate he wants to charge is quite high even though he doesn’t have any positive feedback or rating on the website since he’s just starting. He was unwilling to lower down his rate (even for just a bit) so he’d remain competitive.

Here’s what we did:

Step 1: We created a client account on the website, so that we’d know how things would look on the clients’ end when freelancers apply to the jobs they posted on the platform.

Step 2: We posted a job that pertains to my client’s skill set (Web Development).

Step 3: We analyzed the job applications like maniacs, giving more focus on the cover letters of the seasoned web developers.

Step 4: We looked at the best practices that the freelancers were doing and took note of their weaknesses as well.

Just by doing the steps above, we managed to acquire boatloads of useful insights on how we’d be able to help my client succeed at getting more projects.

We were also able to formulate several strategies out of the insights that we’ve acquired which we ended up using.

Out of all the strategies that we employed, however, what brought us the best results was offering freebies.

You’ll be amazed at how most of the applicants do not offer freebies in their job application. The content of their pitches is almost always about, “I am awesome. Hire me.”

While we were a bit shocked at how the freebies-approach performed, in some ways, we also expected it because we were practically offering more value, giving our prospect clients the biggest bang for their buck.

Important note:
Don’t just offer random freebies. Think about the things that your prospect clients would most likely love to have based on their profile and the job description that they posted.

2. Be brutally honest.
Your prospect clients can smell insecurity from miles away. That being said, if you have that, “I’m not good enough because English is not my first language…” mindset inside you, the chances of you getting ignored (or declined) increases.

Instead of trying to fake it by adding a fake US address or profile on your website, just be brutally honest about how English isn’t your first language.

When reaching out to your prospect clients who are looking for native English speakers, you can send a message like this from the get-go.
“Hey (your prospect client’s first name). More than anything else, I know that you just need someone who can get the job done.

After all, if you’d hire a native English speaker that produces crappy results, I’m pretty sure that you still wouldn’t be happy, right?

While English isn’t my first language, I am confident that I can get you the results that you need. Allow me to share some of my previous works, so you’ll have a better idea of…”

Remember that honesty is important if you want to build a long-term relationship with you clients. Lying to them about who you are will only cause future problems for you down the line so don’t even attempt to trick them.
3. Use powerful copywriting techniques.
If you’ve got impeccable copywriting skills, it wouldn’t matter whether you’re a native English speaker or not; you’d be able to convince your prospect customers to hire you with your copy — it’s as simple as that.


While there are several copywriting techniques that you can use, I’d like to share with you three of my favorites:

1.Talk about your prospects’ problems, then rub it on their faces.
2.Talking about your readers’ problems will cause them to be emotional. It’ll remind them of the pain, hassle, and maybe even the anguish that they experienced while dealing with their problems.

When they are in the state of being emotional, it becomes a lot easier to influence them to hire you since people make the decision to buy based on emotion, not logic.

1.Add testimonials.
2.There are psychological mojos taking place when you use testimonials.

For one thing, testimonials can act as social proof that you (or your products) are worth having.

What do you think will happen to your prospects if they saw several of your previous (and current clients’) testimonials saying that your work is awesome?

They would most likely hire you, right?

That’s the power of social proof.

1.Focus on the benefits, not on who you are (or who you are not).
2.For the most part, you need to talk about the benefits that your prospects can get should they hire you. Because when you get down to it, your prospects are only interested in solving their problems or making their lives better.

To illustrate my point, let say that you just opened a business and you’re looking to get more sales.

If you were given an option to choose between: a) the President of the United States offering to give you a $1 project, or b) some unknown guy who’s offering you a $1 million dollar project; who will you choose?

The second person, right?

That’s because when you look at both offers, you stand to benefit more from accepting the offer of the second person (even though he isn’t well-known).

Case in point: Highlight the benefits that your prospects can experience from hiring yo instead of focusing on your credentials.

These copywriting techniques are so powerful that my community of non-native English speakers keep on bringing up how these techniques have helped them land more clients.

That being said, be sure to consider these tips when reaching out and chatting with your prospect customers.

What’s next?
Are there marketing strategies that you’d like to share with our community? If you answered with a “yes,” then the comments section is all yours. I look forward to reading your comments. Take care.

Author: Jimmy Rodela

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