The translation industry is certainly not suffering, and that’s largely due to the fact that we’re living in such a connected world today.
If you’ve been struggling to get your freelance translation business off the ground, or perhaps you’ve been away from your business for some time and now you’re trying to revive it, or maybe you simply just don’t have enough work, there are various ways to get your business up and running again. These methods will range from applying to every translation agency you can find right through to preparing some really creative marketing materials and making sure you attend every trade fair for your target industry.
The translation industry is certainly not suffering, and that’s largely due to the fact that we’re living in such a connected world today. Most translators will say that they’re very busy. For the purpose of this post we’ll assume that you’re interested in increasing your marketing efforts because you really want to attract some high-paying direct clients, so let’s have a look at some ideas on how you can achieve this –
Approach Potential Clients and Request an Interview
We understand that this sounds very daunting, and there will be those translators out there who won’t have the confidence to take this step. However, asking potential clients for an informational interview on their particular business and how translation fits into their industry, can provide some interesting leads. Businesses you might contact include local translation agencies, association presidents, direct clients and so on. Suggest that they may like to join you for a cup of coffee and remember that this is an informational interview – it’s not meant to be high-pressure sales. These kinds of people are decision-makers, so go to them direct – don’t depend on meeting them at networking events.
Offer to Write Articles
You’re looking for direct clients, so offer to write articles for publications associated with your target industry. Of course, writing articles for translation industry publications is extremely worthwhile as well. A simple article titled ‘Best practices for purchasing translations in the legal/financial/pharmaceutical/automotive/building/whatever industry’ could well place you in the position of being an expert in that field, and we all know that there are publications out there for every imaginable area of specialization so your target industry will almost definitely have their own publication.
You’re the One Who’s Always Available
Market yourself as the translator who’s always available during those times when no-one else is: by this, we mean weekends, nights, holidays (particularly the period between Christmas and New Year’s) and so on. We know that international business never stops, and people of different countries and religions observe different holidays, so there will always be an opening for translators who are prepared to work the hours that no-one else wants to.
Visit Your Source Language Country
Put this one down to ‘a marketing trip’ - there are various services, such as Payment Practices, that can assist in finding good overseas clients. Contact the agency’s listed on these sites by email requesting an informational interview (this means a coffee or lunch at your expense), find yourself a cheap airfare, and set yourself up to achieve!
So the point here is, if you’re trying to grow your business you need to try something that other translators aren’t doing, and you’ll definitely reap the rewards. Yes, we understand that some of these strategies cost money, while others don’t. Some take a lot of courage, while introverts will have to find different ways of attracting new clients.