Some General Marketing Strategies

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Here's some other marketing techniques to help you out in your marketing process. The first one is called a de. Now this is a good marketing strategy to keep in mind throughout the whole process. Those of you who study marketing might recognize this concept or maybe you remember it from Glengarry Glen Ross right before they mentioned ABC, they mentioned AI da. This is an acronym that stands for and this is from Wikipedia, a equals attention or awareness, I equals interest, d equals desire and a equals action. Now, at this point, this might start to seem terribly academic to many of you, but it's actually a strategy used by a great number of established businesses.

It gives your marketing efforts a clear direction and goal rather than merely getting views or telling friends and waiting for business to come. Marketing can never guarantee certain results but it helps to take marketing Seriously. So if established businesses are using this, then why not use the same tactic for your business. Once again, if you're going to do something, you might as well do it well. So if you're going to do marketing, you might as well do it like the professionals do it. So let's get into detail.

A once again, stands for attention or awareness, ie attracting the attention of the customer. Now you want to make people aware of you and of your services. Now, this can come from asking friends for referrals or cold contacting businesses, or just having a strong online presence, but in some way, attracting the attention of your potential client or customer. I stands for interest, ie raising customers interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits. Now when I mentioned benefits here, I mean benefits instead of features like traditional Advertising does, you don't want to say I can do this and that and that. And this, if it does not benefit the client, if you can speak five other languages, and if you're good at chess and snowboarding, the client doesn't really care.

All you need to show is that you are good in the language combination and in the specialization that the client is interested in, you can worry about all the rest later on. But if you're focusing on getting this job, you need to focus on what benefits them the most. Yeah, and by benefit, you should also think about what the client would gain by hiring you, I have one less thing to worry about, and therefore more time to focus on the rest of their job or in order to have a satisfied boss or end client etc. Another example of what you can do here is just contact the company and translate their About Us page without their asking. Then you can just say, hey, for this amount of money, I'll be happy to translate the rest of your website. This shows them right away that you can do it and also that you are interested in doing it and it makes their decision process very easy.

Even if it was something they were planning on doing only sometime in the hypothetical future. And this brings us to D, which once again is desire or convincing customers that they want and desire your product or service, and that is going to satisfy their needs. So here I would say to try to be more likeable or in some other way, make an emotional connection. Because this helps in making you the quote unquote obvious choice for the job. Offering one time or limited time discounts helps as well, since the clients will feel like they're getting a good deal. And quotes from satisfied customers in the past can also help.

My tactic here is to make myself the obvious choice. I want to show that I'm the best at whatever is important to them. So the translation and maybe the timeframe and the price and also that I'm a great person to get along with. So if I can satisfy most or better all of those criteria, then I become the obvious choice because why wouldn't they pigmy. And this brings us to the final A, which stands for action, ie leading customers towards taking action and or purchasing whatever you have to offer. Here, I would just make it very simple and easy for the clients to hire you.

Now, this will depend on what platform you're using to communicate with a client. But in essence, it means making it easy for them to do business with you. So this is basically your call to action. And generally speaking, a call to action should be an obvious choice once again, so you don't have 10 different links and options, all the same size on a website, but rather a clear button that says click here for free quotation or something along those lines. If you're talking to them via email, just say, I can do this, this and that and have it done by that a date. Once you give me your confirmation, I can start I eat just make it easy.

Now, as another example here of what not to do, I would say is I've dealt with other translators who've asked to be paid via physical check, or just had some complicated payment system without which they wouldn't work. And you don't want to be doing this. At this point, you just want to make it very easy for the client to pick you and choose you. And that is the AI da or Aida marketing technique. And hopefully, you can keep this in the back of your mind and it will help you with all your customers. Remember, when you start out with customers, each one of them will have a different pace.

So some of them might go through this whole process quickly, especially if they contact you for a translation ahead of time. Other customers that maybe you meet face to face at a networking event might take a lot longer. So you'll be at different stages with different potential clients at the same point in time. So just remember to keep this in the back of your head though, when you're dealing with each different client. Now this brings us to the chicken and the egg. Which is an odd name for something that happens not only in freelance translation, but in all freelance business and pretty much in all startup businesses.

So what is the chicken in the egg? Basically, clients want to know that you are good at translating before hiring you, right? But at the same time, you'll need a client before you can have a track record to show that you're good at translating. So how can you get the ball rolling? In other words, you need clients, but you cannot get clients without a track record, ie former clients, but you couldn't get a track record without clients, etc, etc. That's why it's called the chicken in the egg.

So how do you do this? How do you start the first client? Now these are five solutions I've come up with there might be other ones, but in my experience, these are the five solutions that I've seen, and that I've seen work. I will start with the solution that I believe has the smallest effect and gradually work up to what I believe are the better ones. So the first solution is SEO and online marketing. Now this includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

I call it the most boring and probably the most useless because all of you are going to try it and most probably with little or no effect. As you can see, I do it too. And I definitely recommend not neglecting it and you should have Facebook and Twitter accounts just so you can be available and be accessible. But at least for me, if I had to rely on these to get my clients I'd be starving right now. Now, these can all work very well if you already have a name brand out there like Coca Cola or you know, McDonald's, etc, etc. But if you're just starting from scratch, you should not believe that if you build it, they will come because they want and this is true even if you use SEO, whatever you want.

Learned about SEO. And once again, this stands for search engine optimization. Whatever you learn about it, other people are getting paid quite a bit to know more about it than you and also to beat you at it because in many senses, it's a zero sum game, you're all vying for a set number of eyeballs on the web. So it probably won't be worth the effort to you, since you're already concentrating on actually doing translations and other marketing techniques. Just as a personal example, I once actually paid another company to do SEO Marketing for me and I paid them close to 2000 US dollars. And it was completely useless.

In fact, I didn't give them their last payment, because I realized it was a complete waste of time, and they were showing no results. And I thought it was in fact pretty scammy. So, the second solution friends and family. Now once again, this is self explanatory. You should not be afraid to contact them. You never know what they need or who they know.

But you also don't want to be the person who bothers them about it all the time either. Now, these can be a great source for your first translation job. But as I mentioned in the active marketing section, they can continue to be a good source because even in the future, you might have friends and family who need a translation. And it's always good to be able to help them out with them. Solution number three, is to do jobs for low pay. At the beginning, you want to get clients so doing a job on the cheap can get your foot in the door, you should just realize one thing, no one's going to hire you for a cheap price now and then keep using you when you raise your price later on.

They might you know, maybe after a year or more of being their regular translator, but not anytime soon. So why should you do this? Well, you do it because you can get references and ratings from these first clients. You can tell them Hi, I'm doing this at way below market price because I would really appreciate a good rating, obviously if they're happy with your translation. You should also have a plan to have them rate you ahead of time. You don't want to complicate their life, they're already taking a gamble with a translator who has no references, so the cheap price that they're getting is still a risk.

So just make it as easy as possible for them to rate you later on. If you want to quote or WWE a rating on pros or a five star rating on Elance or Upwork, or whatever it may be, then just let them know upfront. Now, the importance of ratings leads me to solution number four. I mentioned doing a job for cheap and solution number three. So here I say do a job for free. If you're doing it for cheap, then why not?

You can tell the client you have the same reason as I mentioned for solution three and once again, you should try to make it easy for them to rate you. As I mentioned, this is based on the premise that ratings and referrals are worth more at the beginning since they help you with a track record later on. I should mentioned that some translators say this devalues everyone's translation. But I would counter that you have to start somewhere. And if you're worth anything, you'll be able to use these references and raise your prices later on. If after a year or more, you can't, and you find that you're not able to raise your prices or find clients for more suitable price, then maybe you should be working harder on raising the quality of your translations, or quite possibly searching for a different profession.

As harsh as that might sound. After a year or more, you might have to face this possibility. Now, solution number five is an important one and one that's very often overlooked, and that's to recognize opportunities. So with the question of the chicken and the egg, you should recognize when a chicken or an egg comes to you, as an example, and this is something that happened to a friend of mine. This friend of mine had been complaining that someone had contacted him too. Do taxes.

He was translating their tax statements and from French to English and the French client wanted to know if he could also file the taxes in the US. Now, my friend said no, because he's a translator and not a tax attorney. But then he later on he was going on to complain about how he can't find enough work. Anytime someone asks you to do something that you don't normally do, they are giving you an egg if this metaphor still holds. For example, here in this example, my friend who lives in the US could have contacted someone who does file taxes and asked if they might be interested in working together on translation plus filing. Then if it works out, it could be an excellent niche to offer prospective clients.

And I know it would have been excellent for this friend of mine because I know he works a lot with financial statements of various companies. And as a for a more personal example, I originally came to Taiwan, just to study Chinese for three months now. to basically take a break. But once I was here, I was contacted by lots of colleagues and clients and people that I dealt with all asking if I knew anyone who could translate to and are from Chinese. And so I decided, Well, why not? Let's look into it.

I got in touch with other translators here. And this eventually led to a coffee and my living here is four years later, and I'm still in Taiwan right now. So anyway, next time someone asks you to write an article or to do a transcription or even for artwork or some type of research, etc, etc. Anything else you don't normally do, you should recognize it as a potential opportunity.

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