Australian editing company taking English to the world
Young entrepreneur Brendan Brown started The Expert Editor and Global English Editing less than a year ago but the two companies are already taking off, thanks to the globalisation of English and the need for businesses to be understood everywhere.
Dynamic Export asked Brendan Brown how he came to start the business and why there’s such a market for English language editing in today’s business environment.
How did the idea for the business come about?
My roots are humbling as far as start up businesses go. I have always loved the English language, and I’ve got a background in writing, but the idea of a professional editing company occurred to me only recently. I was working ingloriously in a warehouse and you could say I was in a quarter life crisis. I decided to earn some extra money and stimulate my mind by editing student theses. All I had was a do-it-yourself WordPress website and a couple of badly designed flyers, but the demand was there. It took off pretty quickly and before too long I founded two professional editing companies that evolved to service business clients as well. The Expert Editor is an Australian based company and Global English Editing is focused worldwide. I now have multilingual websites and I’m expanding into the Chinese market.
Who are your current clients? What types of businesses?
My initial clients were all ESL students. I quickly realised that English is the language of globalisation, and millions of people around the world are struggling to write content in English. My current business clients include small-medium enterprises in China, Europe and Australia who all need help writing clear English content for their websites, marketing material, press releases and so forth. The aim is for these businesses to sound as fluent as native-English ones. We still help students with their theses and dissertations, and they come from around the world.
Do you assist Australian exporters heading into China and Chinese businesses coming into Australia?
We work one way, helping Chinese businesses express themselves effectively in English for a global audience. We’ve just begun the expansion, but we’re already fielding calls from Chinese businesses, big and small, that want to improve their English language communication. We chose China as the first area for expansion because of its sheer size. 300 million Chinese people speak English, to some degree, which is equivalent to the entire population of the United States. They need help in producing quality English documents, whether business or academic.
How are you planning to publicise the business in China?
Our strategy, in collaboration with our Chinese-American partner company, is to advertise on Baidu, which is the equivalent of Google in China. Baidu is a search engine with 80 percent penetration of the Chinese market, so it’s massive. You can’t have an online marketing campaign in China without Baidu. Unfortunately, although Baidu is almost as big as Google, its not nearly as user-friendly and it has taken us a month of negotiation and paperwork to get an ad campaign up and running. Of course Baidu is a Chinese language search engine, so we have created a Chinese language website.
Why is China in need of English editors?
With 300 million English speakers, China is a massive market for English editing. Businesses across China want their websites, marketing material and business communication to be in English, and some need considerable help in doing so. I think the globalisation of English puts Australia in a prime position to help non-native English speakers communicate more effectively. Editing may be a relatively niche area in English-speaking countries, perhaps limited to a university thesis or a business press release, but in China it’s an essential part of the process of communicating in English. China is clearly an internationally competitive country, but its English language skills are not.
Are you planning on expanding to any other world markets?
Not at this stage. We’ll take a wait and see approach to see how successful we are in China. But the business model is highly transferrable to other countries. English is the closest language we have to a world language, and is used by students, businesses, scientists, professionals and entertainers the world over. I think the demand for English language specialists to edit material for non-native English speakers will grow considerably in the coming years.