Translators Struggling to Find Clients - Part 2
In-person marketing is a great investment for your freelance translation business.
In-person marketing is a great investment for your freelance translation business, particularly if you’re the type of translator who presents well in person. You never know when an opening will present itself – perhaps the regular translator has suddenly raised their rates, and this is unacceptable to the agency or direct client, so now they’re looking for a translator to fill that position. So, why not you?
Direct Clients and Translation Agencies: The Marketing Is Different!
Your marketing strategy for translation agencies should be entirely different to your marketing strategy for direct customers. The reason for this is that translation agencies fully understand what you do. They know the difference between an interpreter and a translator. They’re aware that they need your services. On the other hand, most direct clients know very little (or nothing at all) about translation, and it’s certainly not their fault. What they do know is that translation can be helpful to their business, or perhaps it’s even necessary for their business.
So, if you’re looking for direct clients, then it’s up to you to market yourself in such a way that potential direct clients will understand how you can help their business grow. Let them know how an English website could help their business; how your goal is to take the stress and hassle out of the translation process, and so on. You must focus on what the client wants, meaning what’s in it for them – at this point in time they’re not interested in what translation memory tools you use and how many words you’re capable of translating each day.
Be Selective When Marketing to Agencies
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced translator, we suggest that you be selective about the agencies you market your translation services to. If you’re a beginner you’ll be very tempted to market your services to every agency listed in the directory, but ideally, you’ll vet all the agencies you apply to buy checking their ratings on the ProZ Blue Board or Payment Practices before you apply for translation work. It shouldn’t be ‘work at any cost,' because sometimes the cost will be too high. You must value yourself as a translator and only work for agencies or direct clients that you know will pay for your services.
- Apply only to the translation agencies that have impeccable reviews.
- Contact translators in other language combinations and ask which agencies they’ve heard good things about, or who their favourite clients are.
- Do a Google search for your specialization, say, mechanical translations or non-fiction translations, and make an application to the agencies that advertiser those services.
Take the words ‘I don’t have time’ completely out of your vocabulary. We all make time for things that are important to us, so you can certainly spare 15 minutes each day to market your translation services. In that short amount of time you can send one or more emails to prospective direct clients, and 15 minutes is certainly enough time to apply to one or more translation agencies. In fact, you should spend a minimum of 15 minutes every day to keep your marketing flowing, so-much-so that it becomes a daily habit. This one little habit could well be the key to your success!
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International Translation Day is held in celebration of the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator widely considered the patron saint of translators. The International Federation of Translators is the promoter of International Translation Day, and has been since it was first held in 1953.
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.