For any business to be successful they need to attract customers, and the translation business is exactly the same.
For any business to be successful they need to attract customers, and the translation business is exactly the same. The difference between translators and a business selling (say) kitchen gadgets, however, is that most suppliers of kitchen gadgets are selling roughly the same merchandise, and the only difference between suppliers is their service, brand, price, and possibly the supplier’s reputation.
And that’s why translation is so different to a business selling kitchen gadgets: each translation project is custom-made for a specific client, and even if two translations are of the same text, they still won’t be identical. This means that price is but one factor the client has to decide on when choosing a translation provider. Therefore, as a translation provider, your job is to convince a potential client that your translation skills and the service you provide to your customers is far superior to those of your competitors.
So, the question is this: What’s the best way of telling your story, of convincing potential translation buyers to buy your product – a way of reaching the largest possible number of people? In days gone by you would have placed display advertisements in the Yellow Pages, placed expensive ads in newspapers and magazines, and posted thousands of mail items. But today, because we have electronic communication tools, your job is so much easier. Perhaps the downside to this technology is that you now have a lot more competition for the very same translation customers!
Keys to Promoting Your Translation Services
In our opinion, the first key to successfully promoting yourself and your translation business is convincing potential clients of your professionalism. We know that there are millions of people worldwide who are capable of speaking one or more languages, and many of these people consider themselves to be translators, but the truth is that only a handful of these same people could handle anything but the very simplest of translation projects.
All Translation Work Must Meet Your Client’s Expectations
Good promotion means that you and your services must stand out from the crowd. But, of course, that’s just the start. The first translation you complete must meet, if not exceed, your client’s quality standards, because if it doesn’t, it will be the last job you ever receive from that client. The message here is that, regardless of how desperately you may need the work, don’t ever accept a job you’re not capable of completing to the highest standard. You can’t fake translation and it is preferable for you to lose a job than to lose a client.