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Question added to topic Finding CustomersNovember 19, 2013

How Can I Reach Out to International College Students in the U.S.?

I'm working on a project at a mobile startup that would be perfect for international college students attending school in the U.S. that gives them free overseas calling for two months. I've contacted a number of major universities, both over the phone and via Facebook, but haven't gotten a response. Do you have any advice on how to reach this audience and the best way to communicate, whether it's via email or social networking, and what to say? I'm not even sure if contacting the universities is the right way in, and if not, is there a better way to reach these students directly?

Forget the universities. They are bureaucratic institutions that are a nightmare to deal with. Instead, go straight to the source — the students themselves. There are several ways I suggest you reach out and find them including:

Check out the blog site HackCollege.com. It ranked as #14 on the list of top 100 college student blog sites and offers students solid advice on everything from how to have a cool social life on campus to digitizing text books.

Follow Int'l Student on Twitter @intstudent. With over 8,300 followers, this tweeter is dedicated to providing students around the globe with information and advice about studying throughout the world.

As long as you are following its Twitter stream, follow the @intstudent link to its website, InternationalStudent.com, and pitch a relevant content-heavy article for its blog, along with a free overseas call giveaway it can promote on its site — all with links back to your site, of course.

Like and consider running an ad on sites like International Student on Facebook. It has over 22,000 likes and promotes practical advice.

Contact International Student Voice Magazine and advertise, submit a story and/or participate in its online hangout.

Lastly, if you don’t already have one, start a blog aimed at international students. Post high-value content at least twice a week, and regularly offer discounts and giveaways. 

Karen Leland is an author and president of Sterling Marketing Group, a marketing and brand-strategy firm based in San Rafael, Calif. Her book, Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business, is available at entrepreneurbookstore.com and other booksellers. Find Leland on Pinterest

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