Tip 1: Don’t include your home phone number / mobile / address on your business card – keep it blank then fill in the new number, address (see Tip 2 and Tip 3) when you arrive.
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Tip 2: If your email or online personal branding links (ie myname.com.au) is linked to a country specific domain, consider changing it to a generic one or perhaps even the host country domain. I’ve never done this as it wasn’t a high priority for me, but could be well worth a shot.
Tip 3: Consider purchasing a virtual office address for your mail. Obviously, this can be extended to start-ups and some or most of these virtual office centres also has coworking or office space leasing options.
Tip 4: Don’t hesitate to ask for help or get to the point of what you are aiming to do at the event or looking for at the event or meeting. From personal experience, Londoners are definitely accomodating when it comes to help, as long as you are focused with what you are setting out to achieve and upfront about it ie no faffing about. At the same time, there is only so much that second degree introductions can do.
Tip 5: On top of the previous point, not everyone can help you which is fine. However, there are going to be some people (small, thankfully) who won’t have any issues at all in taking advantage of you. So go with your gut about that person and get out of that situation ASAP. I’m kind of referring to unpaid internship work or dodgy volunteer or scoping projects / land grab at a free consultation leading to nowehere type of deals…
Tip 6: Try to live is central as you can to the city and/or close to where your industry ‘hot spot’ is (ie for those in the creative and digital industries, that would be central east London, Shoreditch area) and take advantage of the proximity. Less of a wipe out when heading out, going to events, arranging meetings. Yes, you may end up paying more for rent but I personally think it’s worth a try.
Tip 7: Refrain from maxing out your home connections, requesting for introductions. Be open to starting from scratch and making new connections.
Tip 8: Book yourself in to attend a major event, tradeshow or conference (there are different types for different budgets) to get a feel as to what the industry overall is like. In the first week, I went to Social Media World Forum Europe and was able to obtain an overview of what companies are involved in Europe, the UK etc.
Tip 9: On top of the previous tip, book yourself into some of the smaller, regular events and meetings. Depending on what city you are in, you need to be more prepared than usual back home because of the different transport systems, new locations etc. The bigger the area covered, the bigger the city, the more flexible you are if you live in or near the area (see Tip 6.
Tip 10: Keep your online social networks updated, however, could be a good idea to mention a bit about why you have moved to a new country. I find that this has been a very common question people ask when they find out and it’s mainly out of plain curiosity.
So these are some highly specific tips. Of course, there’s a lot more all dealing with all sorts of things like housing, budgeting, etc but that’s probably for another post.