Present Yourself with the Information Brochure
A brief discussion of the importance of having an Information Brochure ready to send out to potential clients and what such a brochure should contain.
Today I thought I’d take a brief break from the literal business of translation and talk about the business of translation – especially the business of being a freelance translation professional. After all, despite the fact that my break room is my home’s kitchen and my employees are in the form of a toddler and a Border Collie, I am a business and I have to run myself that way if I’m to make a living.
The most crucial moment for any business isn’t actually doing the work but rather getting the work. As you may have noticed, landing clients who pay well and offer steady work is not as simple as putting out your shingle and sitting back to watch the business roll in.
You must learn to market yourself. As a freelancer it’s the most important thing you do next to your actual work. If no one is aware of your services, then no one can hire you – it’s simplistic, but it’s amazing to me how often I find freelancers who seem unaware of this simple fact. You must get your name out there, over and over again. Build up a contact list, participate in Blogs and forums, apply for freelance jobs wherever you find them, and above all continuously burnish your resume and your list of experience and skills.
Finally, the most important aspect of landing new work is being able to instantly and efficiently state your skills and training. Because your potential clients will ask, and delays or mistakes in answering the query will cost you jobs. Your best bet is to have an Information Brochure on hand.
The Information Brochure
What is an Information Brochure? Nothing exotic – it’s sort of a fancy resume, except with a marketing twist. The reason it’s smart is because it saves you from writing out your sales pitch every single time someone contacts you about work and asks what services you provide – and it also protects you from making typos or other mental mistakes when you’re writing it out for the 15th time that day. Plus, it allows you to package everything in nice formatting and a professional sheen.
Your best bet is to create your Information Brochure as a digital file – a PDF, a Power Point files, or an MS Word document. This way you can easily attach it to email responses, and spend time perfecting the text and the formatting to make it look good.
At a minimum, your Information Brochure should contain the following information:
- The services you provide and the languages you are qualified to work in.
- If you provide other services aside from translation (proofreading, editing, etc.) make sure you specify this.
- A price list for standard services, plus premiums for rush turn-arounds and other extras.
- The software you use and the resources you usually pull from.
- A brief list of your experience
- A brief capsule of your education and applicable work experience.
Image courtesy resumesrightaway.wordpress.com
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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.