5873977103_c18020c6a9_bA common question I often get is how do make a digital splash in the US?

Many Scandinavian startups have created great new products and services and are now looking into how to make themselves known on the other side of the Atlantic.

So how do you go about this? Taking on one of the biggest market economies in the world isn’t exactly a walk in the park. And you probably only have one shot.

But … I have the answer for all you brave Scandinavian entrepreneurs looking to make a splash in digital America.

But first, a few cautionary words along the way.

A Few Words Of Caution

Let’s first cover the basics. You need to have a great company and a product or service that people in the US (if only they knew about it) would be willing to pay good money for. With “good” money, I mean that enough people must be willing to pay what you need to run a successful and growing business.

This might sound like common sense, but yet I’ve seen many Scandinavian startups trying to strike gold across the Atlantic — without meeting the basic requirements above.

No matter how genius your marketing strategy is, it will never save you if the above isn’t rock solid.

Sure, you can go over there and “important people” will line up to tell you how great your company is. And they’ll probably impress the shit out of you, simply because the average American is so superior in the art of sales.

Be real. I’m not saying this to put anyone down, but the truth is that you’ll only be wasting shitloads of money if you’re trying to grab a market position that you’ll never be able to sustain.

But enough on the boring stuff. If you’re a true entrepreneur, you won’t listen to this stuff anyway. You have to give it a go.

My Best — And Only! — Advice

Maybe you’re looking into affiliate marketing. Facebook ads. Google Adwords. Blogger outreach. Content marketing. SEO. Most commonly, you’re looking for ways to be creative with whatever resources you have.

But here’s the key:

You need someone else’s web traffic. And you probably need to persuade them to give it up for free.

Maybe you have lots of venture capital to burn, but let’s be real. No matter how much money you have to spend, you’ll still be a small fish in a big pond in the US.

And you can try to be creative with your campaigns and make a killing in ramping up your existing community over there. But reaching critical mass even for a “viral hit” requires an initial burst of traffic.

Real traffic, qualified traffic. If you buy crap traffic it will cost you, but it won’t help you.

But there will always be sites, companies and influencers with insane amounts of traffic that, if they were to come your way, it would get you where you need to be. Building your own traffic up from scratch could be one way to go, but chances are your competitors will beat you. Simply because you’re too slow.

You could also create a viral hit that takes the market by storm while you just sit there and refresh your Google Analytics. But that’s more than a gamble; you’d probably have a better shot buying a lottery ticket.

The only bonafide way to get you there online is to have others sending their traffic your way. And they will only do this as long as this would be a win for them.

Put Your Digital PR Gloves On

Yeah, you got it. We’re talking digital PR. Get the influencers and the tastemakers to endorse you and send their highly qualified traffic your way. Get all the biggest news sites in your niche onboard. Partner up with bigger companies that already have substantial US audiences in your target group.

Simple and straightforward, yet so incredibly challenging each and every time.

Thanks to fellow Doktor Spinn subscriber Fredrik Näs over at domaintower.com for the question! Here’s a picture of a cool Manhattan highrise.

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