Marketing for Translators

September 2nd, 2016

Should translators market toward a specific goal, or should it become a daily task?

Marketing for Translators | One Hour Translation

The question of marketing crops up regularly in most translators’ lives. And the question is: ‘Should translators market toward a specific goal, or should it become a daily task’?

Most translators, particularly newbies, wonder how much time should be spent on marketing. Is there a certain percentage of a translator's working day that should be spent on marketing, or should translators market themselves even when they don’t necessarily need new projects?

How Much Translation Work Is Enough?

Of course, there’s no specific answer to this question. We could tell you that if you spend between 10 and 20% of your allotted working hours marketing your translation business you’ll never want for work again, but it’s not that easy. To start with, very few translators have the right amount of work; most translators would like a little more, yet there are many translators out there who have too much work.

So, how much is enough? As with any freelance business, there never seems to be just the right amount of work – it’s either feast or famine: when we have too much work we complain that there are just not enough hours in the day and when we don’t have enough work we blame it on the economy! Because we all have a family to support and bills to pay, most translators would suggest that having a little too much work is ideal because it reduces financial stress. And perhaps we’re all workaholics as well! Of course, when things do get tight from time to time, it does mean that both you and other translators are all competing for the same work, which is not an ideal situation.

If You’re Looking for Translation Work

However, the answer to the marketing question is quite simple: if you don’t have enough translation work then you should be marketing your translation services consistently, and by this, we mean every single day! Marketing must become a part of your working day, something you continue practicing just like if you had an exercise routine. It’s not something you do once or twice a week, it’s something you do every morning before your morning coffee, or every evening before you finish work for the day. Your job is to do your research and make contact with two, three, four or more potential clients every single day.

Marketing Towards a Specific Goal

If you’re one of the lucky few who have enough translation work most of the time, and you sometimes find it necessary to turn down work, then it can be a great challenge to market towards a specific goal. Perhaps you’re looking for new clients in a certain country or a certain specialization; perhaps you’ve always wanted to translate a book. Whatever your specific goal is, aim your marketing at that target.

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