Your Main Problem: Lack of credibility in the US market.
Nobody knows you.
They doubt you'll stick around.
They're afraid they'll send you money and you'll disappear.
This is *after* they manage to notice you exist!
So you have a double challenge: first to reach your target market, then to assure them you're legitimate.
No one is going to hand you orders.
Either you need to partner with an existing US firm so you can gain the North American toe-hold you require, or you must qualify exclusively for companies that consistently hire off-continent outsourcers.
ASAP, get your marketing to include stories of helping people in North America.
Be ready to jump on a plane if necessary. Face to face gives a lot of credibility.
Work on what differentiates you from the zillions of other Russian devs out there. Why should someone hire you instead of...say...the next Russian dev?
And finally, learn how to sell. People are not going to come knocking, even if you do have the better mousetrap.
If you're interested in learning more about what you can do to mitigate these issues and go on the offensive, book a call with me.
Trust. You have to get in with someone who is embedded in the community (like myself) to have people recommend you and put out a few products at a greatly reduced cost to show what you are capable of.
I am the founder of Silicon Beach Young Professionals 22,000+ member group which is comprised of early to late stage startup CEO's, founders and digital executives who are always looking for trusted tech.
Until you have something out there (call it the cost of marketing) for the reduced cost for someone who can vouch for you it will be tough.
Help someone else and it comes back to you 10 fold. TRUST.
All the aforementioned tips are valuable. They are all critical for your success and in addition to some more parameters that I would include, they should be addressed in details in your international marketing plan.
Do you have an international marketing plan? A marketing plan will also outline the reasons that you've selected the USA market - a very big market with great potential but at the same time a very tough one to penetrate for foreign companies and very costly as well.
My recommendation is to prepare an international marketing plan - it will save you a lot of money, time and will assure that your sales and marketing activities are based on a sensible strategy.
Eastern European and Russian devs are very appreciated on remote on-demand markets like Upwork.com, for example. I personally hired a lot of programmers from Russia to work for US startups.
If you have a good portfolio, these kind of platforms have all the means to mitigate the payment risks - by intermediating the payment - until you'll get a good profile there with cool feedback and ratings.
No need for marketing and going there, just do your job well.
This is how you can get on that market.
In addition to the above --all great advice-- I'd like to add that you need to get them to like you.
That is the differentiator. You need to stand out, but in a positive way. You can't just be a "purple cow".
A customer first needs to know you exist.
Next you need to build trust.
Then they have to have confidence you can do the job.
And finally you have to be the one they want to hire.
Know -> Trust -> Confidence -> Like
All other things being equal, they will choose the one they like best, the one who they want to succeed.
If they're hiring an unknown, they will either choose based on price or preference.
To be liked, you need to have a personal connection. So put out a personality. And that doesn't mean try to please everyone. Because you can't. And by trying to not offend anyone, you will fail to express your personality.
Ask. I do some consulting for a major company that uses Russian Developers. The time difference works out great for the company.
You will build trust by getting more customers and using them as testimonials.
Bootstrap. Read "How To Get Rich" by Felix Dennis. Or better yet just remember the camel's nose in the tent story.
Listen, in any business you have to take some chances and some risks. Make sure you don't need a license and go for it. Remember, timid business people have skinny kids. Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar.
I am not trying to sell you on calling me. Really, I am pretty busy with my businesses and consulting. However, I need more info before I could have a greater impact in helping you.
Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.
Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN