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What to Do with Your Back-End Products  | One Hour Translation

One thing I resisted for a very long when first starting to promote and manage my own translation services was the concept of my own talents and efforts as “products.” I don’t sell products, I thought to myself, indignant, I sell my time, which has enhanced value because of my training and knowledge as a translation professional. ... Continue

What's Your Unique Selling Proposition?  | One Hour Translation

Like everyone else, I sometimes grow very, very tired of marketing-speak and sales-speak. Sometimes talking endlessly about your content and your calls to action and building up client lists feels very exciting and sophisticated; sometimes it just feels like work. When you work at home, as I do, that means you sometimes feel like you’re always working, and not in the good gosh-I’m-getting-rich kind of way. ... Continue

Selling in a Saturated Market   | One Hour Translation

The translation services industry, just like any other, goes through cycles of being a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. Back in the early days of the Internet, when only a small number of people had access and most of them were at academic institutions, there was a sense that every September a horde of Freshman who’d never heard of the Internet would suddenly be given access and would need to be taught the traditions and behaviours expected of them. Something similar happens in the translation world, actually: In waves, people quit their jobs and decide to go freelance, and for a while the market gets saturated with under-priced, inexperienced translators. This means I go through a ‘boom/bust’ cycle myself, because these newbies will peel away some of my clients – who then come back, lesson learned. ... Continue

How to Magically Multiply Your Sales  | One Hour Translation

Okay, the word ‘magically’ up above is probably not accurate – there’s nothing magical about ads and marketing and sales, and there are no shortcuts or magic spells you can cast that will actually move the needle at all on your sales – trust me. I’m no sales expert, but I’ve been running this translation services business for years now and I’ve tried everything to increase sales. There’s no magic to it. ... Continue

Keep Your Sales Soaring  | One Hour Translation

Anyone who is in business for themselves knows that sales is a discipline that never ends. You make one sale to a client and there’s no guarantee they will come back again. Even if you’ve made a hundred sales to a client, there is always an equal chance they will shop elsewhere next time. You can never just sit back and relax and assume you have it all figured out, unfortunately. ... Continue

How to Make Marketing Go Viral  | One Hour Translation

The Holy Grail of marketing in the digital age is virality, which can be loosely defined as leveraging the sharing culture of the Internet (and even beyond) so that people are distributing your marketing for you – in other words, taking some of your content and acting as promoters for your brand without being paid or cajoled into doing so. The whole concept caught the marketers by surprise, actually; the initial ‘viral’ phenomenons were amateur productions that sought to do nothing more than share something amusing or interesting. ... Continue

Innovative Ways to Instantly Sell Your Products  | One Hour Translation

The title of this entry is a little misleading - ‘innovative’ isn’t exactly accurate, as what I’ll be discussing is really some old, tried-and-true marketing psychology. These techniques work, and that’s why they’re tried-and-true – it’s a huge mistake to assume that only new ideas are worth considering, or that all old ideas are played out. Sometimes there’s a very good reason why we’re still doing things the same way we did decades ago, just with new details. ... Continue

What You Need to Know about Typeface and Font Choice | One Hour Translation

On television, starting a business is often given a glamorous sheen, a snappy soundtrack, and spy-movie sensibilities. I’m reminded of the episode of Mad Men wherein the unhappy advertising executives plot to get themselves fired so they can legally jump ship and start their own company. The scenes where they manage the details are well-written, full of energy, and make business look very exciting. ... Continue

Selling Your Solution  | One Hour Translation

Aside from being a witty party guest and translation services guru, I am also a leading expert on marketing your small business. Okay, not really – I mean, I think I’m an expert in marketing, but certainly no one so far has asked me to write a book about it or to appear in a documentary on the subject. But I’ve run my own language translation business for a long time now, and I’ve managed to grow it annually and remain competitive, and through it all I’ve managed to avoid hitting the soup kitchen or borrowing from my family. ... Continue

Advice on Marketing for Agencies and Freelancers | One Hour Translation

People in all walks of life and all industries have some strange ideas of what marketing means or doesn’t mean. Most people assume marketing equates with advertising – that when you market yourself you buy some ads. This is a very limited idea of what marketing is, though; advertising is best and most accurately considered just one aspect of marketing. If all you’re doing to market your translation services or other business is buying some ads here and there, you’re doing just the smallest (and for most people, easiest) aspect of the work. ... Continue