14 Mar How Can Being Bilingual Boost Your Personal Brand?
In today’s global market, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is crucial for success. More and more companies are accepting globalization, thus making it important to know how to communicate in two or more languages. According to research, people who are bilingual have a higher annual household income, averaging at $10,000 more than those who speak only English. Additionally, more than 17% of people who speak at least two foreign languages make an average of $100,000 annually.
Apart from making travelling easy, being bilingual can also increase business opportunities as well as your professional status! Here are the reasons how fluency in a second language could boost your personal brand:
1. Increased Target Markets
When you learn a second language, your target market automatically grows in size. This gives you a global opportunity to market and sell yourself as well as your business! There are more than 500 million Spanish speakers in the world, making it the second most popular language on the planet. More than 50 million of that 500 million live in the US. Therefore, if you want to expand internationally or grow into new domestic markets, learning a second language gives you improved communication, more customers and widens your market capabilities.
Currently, there are more than 50 million Canadians who speak French as the first language. A significant number of those reside outside Quebec, representing a large client base. With the increasing global economy, there are more than 30 countries that speak French as their official language, creating over 300 million French speakers in the world. This shows the importance of learning a second language such as French to boost your business prospects.
China is another example of a country with an economy that is expanding at a very fast rate. Due to this exponential growth, Chinese is becoming increasingly popular as a business language. Moreover, the knowledge of a second language will help you negotiate better and close deals in a more profitable, all because of simplified communication, across the world.
2. More Marketable to Push your Personal Brand
Today’s business environment has become highly competitive. Being bilingual increases your market value, as well as your job prospects. Having diverse skills increases your employability and makes you a more attractive job candidate.
Bilingual employees are highly regarded and equally required in almost all areas of business. These include health care, law, education, business, criminal justice, and construction, among many others. Globalization is experiencing rapid growth and international markets are becoming interdependent. In light of this, the need for bilingual speakers is continuously increasing.
3. More Lucrative Opportunities
Research from Business Insider indicates that bilingual employees and business owners earn 10% more than those who speak only one language. International companies prefer working with individuals who can speak ‘their’ language, in addition to his or her mother tongue. Communication becomes easier with proficiency in foreign languages and aids in exploring new avenues, seeking opportunities and closing deals.
4. Instant Rapport with Clients
Learning and understanding a foreign language is not an easy task. Knowing the native language of your foreign associates gains you instant respect from them as they appreciate the effort and time you took to learn their language. Don’t be afraid to try out your new language even if you aren’t fluent in it as practice is the only road to perfection. They will appreciate your effort and it will portray that you are deeply invested in the new prospect.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages but, more often than not, you may encounter people who cannot communicate fluently in it. If you are marketing a product or service to such individuals, and you only speak English, then you will find that the message may not be successfully communicated.
In order to maximize your personal brand, or that of your business, in today’s global economy, you need to understand how business is done in foreign markets.
‘Think globally, act locally’.
Being bilingual equips you for exactly that. In a tough business world, it is important to make yourself more valuable to both your domestic and foreign clients, and to ensure a point of difference. In the future, you can expect to see the growth of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. There will also be a real demand for French, Spanish and German, as well as Japanese. Learning one or two of these languages will be of high importance and essential to your business success!
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