Cold Contacting Does Work, but It’s Not Always Easy! - Part 2
Most translators marketing applications are delivered by personalized emails.
Most translators marketing applications are delivered by personalized emails. In general, online translation companies ask applicants to follow their instructions on their website: look for the ‘Employment’ link or one that states ‘Contact’ or ‘Freelancers’. From here you can send your application documentation to an email address supplied by the agency or, alternatively, complete their online application form.
If you’re using the personalized email approach for your application and you’re including a Cover Letter, it’s important that you keep it very brief. You might say something to the effect of: ‘For the attention of XXX Translation Company: my name is XXX and I’m an experienced XXX – XXX translator. I’m very interested in offering my translation services to your agency. I specialize in XXX and XXX and have XXX years of translation experience working with XXX types of clients. I am also certified by the XXX Translators’ Association, plus (add further credentials here). Please find attached my resume for your consideration. I’d love to work with you in the future and look forward to speaking with you very soon.’
Snail Mail or Postal Mail
In general, postal mail advertising works quite well with direct clients. However, the difference between applying to a translation company and applying to direct clients is that, with the translation agency, you’re not trying to convince the agency that they need your services, whereas direct clients may need convincing that you have professional services they can use. This means that a direct client may need more information from you than you’d be prepared to send in a cold email. By this, we mean a brochure detailing your services, samples of your translation work, and so on. And today we have online printing services that can produce very professional marketing postcards in a short amount of time: these marketing postcards are relatively inexpensive and they’re perfect for sending out to your potential clients.
Don’t Forget About Asking for a Personal Interview
Translators often overlook the fact that it’s quite appropriate to request a personal interview with local businesses, or even with clients from a city you may be visiting soon. Yes, it is still cold contacting, but many business owners prefer to deal with people they’ve personally met and spoken to, and a personal interview is an ideal opportunity for you to ask relevant questions about the business and to explain in person how you may be able to help them grow their business by using your translation expertise.
If you’re the kind of translator who presents well in person, regardless of whether you’ve been in business for a while or you’re just starting out, a great way to attract direct clients is to email a potential new client and ask if you can call on them and spend a few minutes learning about their business. The idea of this type of interview is to find out what the client’s needs are: with the right approach and by showing the appropriate amount of interest in their business, you could well obtain a new and loyal direct client!
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The translation industry is a relatively small one but it’s also a highly competitive one. Basically, do your research on a translation agency prior to making initial contact and it will certainly pay off; perhaps not immediately because there may not be any work available at the time, so just be patient. Your application must stand out above the rest, and by following these simple steps you should have no problem whatsoever in achieving your translation goals.