Marketing for freelance translators. If you're a freelance translator, marketing is going to be a big part of your job. There are many differences between freelance translators and in house translators. Obviously, freelance translators work for themselves and in house translators work for an agency. In addition, a freelance translator has no boss and doesn't have to clock in. A freelance translator can pick his or her own hours, and can pick which clients he or she wants to deal with.
A freelance translator can even pick the location to work from IE a bedroom, a coffee shop down the street or even a coffee shop in Tuscany or anywhere else. However, an in house translator does not have to worry about finding new clients, things like that are taken care of by the translation agency. So as a freelance translator, you'll have to take care of the marketing yourself and you will be working on marketing in fact At the beginning, most of your time will probably be spent on marketing, I would recommend contacting at least 10 prospects per week at the beginning, but feel free to raise that to 20. Of course, there's no set formula and you can raise the response rates significantly by following certain steps, like those outlined in this course. But expect the response rate to be rather low in the beginning. Marketing itself should not be taken lightly.
If you're going to work on something you may as well work on it well, marketing done badly can be the biggest time waster of your career. And it can be so frustrating when it doesn't work that it will make you want to quit. So since you have to do marketing, it's best to take it seriously. later on. Once you have steady work and more regular clients, you'll dedicate less time to marketing, but it will never go away entirely. So this is important for all freelancers.
I've divided this into two main sections. The first one is active marketing, or marketing activities. You must continue to perform these activities may change over time, but there will always be activities. The second is passive marketing or marketing activities you need to set up once and then have them work for you. It's probably best not to rely too much on passive on passive marketing activities, but you shouldn't neglect them either, as once they were set up, they constitute little or no work and you never know what type of potential client they may reach. Another thing to keep in mind throughout this whole process, however, is that your goal is to find new clients.
This may seem obvious, but you can lose track of your goal when you're designing marketing materials or maintaining a blog etc. I know a translator whose blog morphed into a travel blog because he rightly thought that travel videos would bring in more views. And the view count did increase but not the number of clients. This was due to the simple fact that most viewers were not potential clients in need of translations. Active marketing once again, these are marketing activities you must continue to perform in an active manner. They may change over time, but they will always be active IE you will have to perform them yourself.
The first type of marketing should be personal contacts, or the two F's, which stands for friends and family. Presumably, you'll have told them about your new career as a translation professional. If not, feel free to let them all know. Most people are more than happy to help out and you never know who among them will need a translation or know someone who does. So feel free to let people know on Facebook, on Twitter, and do not neglect things like family reunions, etc. And remember, you can always offer a little bit of commission for jobs they send your way as well.
The next thing to turn to is your business contacts. If your career thus far has had to do with translations, and it shouldn't be too hard at all, If however you work in any other industry still worth a shot. Remember, it might sound intimidating, but you have nothing to lose and very much to gain. You can just send an email to past colleagues or clients or associates or contacts. And just let them know that you're embarking on a new career as a translation professional, and just to keep you in mind for future translation jobs. If, however, you're a student, or otherwise have no past colleagues, clients or associates, then chances are you still do have business contacts.
Being a translator means you deal with various languages and you've probably encountered plenty of people in both sets of languages who aren't friends or family. These can all be potential clients. In fact, you might have already performed the translation job or interpreting job as a favor or something of the sort in the past. So these people already know about your abilities, so why not approach them as well. Organizations are also very important for active marketing. You should join translation and language related organizations and This will mean your source and your target language, but you should also join organizations related to your specialty.
For example, if you specialize in financial translations, then find all the financial organizations in your area and join them. You might be the only translator in the room full of finance, ears and bankers, but what better way to stand out the next time they need any translations done, they will remember you. You can obviously join as many organizations as you like, but try to stay active in the ones pertaining to translation and your specialties. This means attending at least once a month or so you should look for upcoming events. Once again. These can deal with translations and languages or with your specializations.
For example, if you specialize in legal translations, find events held for lawyers and bars Association, etc. as well as events for legal researchers law schools and law school alumni and any other type of event tied to the legal field. Same goes for financial specializations, or any other specialization you might have. Obviously, you should also definitely not neglect Google. Remember, you can find almost any client via Google search or Bing or your search engine of choice. Obviously, your first step should be translation agencies.
But don't be afraid to contact end clients either. So if you're good at translating websites, why not search for web developers in your metro area, for example, or any other types of businesses that may lead to translations. This mean businesses that can either expand internationally or that might cater to tourists or foreign nationals, feel free to try zip codes instead of city names as well. Obviously, these will be cold contacts. So avoid sending group email to a bunch of them, but take the time to read about their business and to find the right person to contact within their organization. Another point you shouldn't neglect is online forums.
You can find plenty of these on websites such as proz.com and translators cafe.com But also on certain blogs, Facebook groups, Yahoo groups, etc. You should also search for these on LinkedIn. And don't forget to search for both translation forums and any other ones pertaining to your specializations. You can also find some good ones on Facebook. And don't forget to find out where people in your industry hang out online. And once again, when I say industry, I'm not talking only about translation, but also your specialization.
Many times people will post questions regarding translation terms or something similar, so feel free to answer these and join general discussions that may be going on. These can bring you new contacts in the translation world, as well as provide valuable sources of information. And don't forget to find forms relating to your specializations as well, even if they have nothing to do with translation per se. For example, if you specialize in real estate, find out where your local realtors real estate developers, property managers and architects etc etc. Go online for all their information. Another step to keep in mind your blog.
Maintaining a blog is a great way to create an online presence and new context, but it's also one of the most time consuming ways. The basic litmus test for this is if you want to write stuff, being a translator, chances are you feel comfortable writing. And if you like updating people on your progress your life what you learn or anything else, then by all means, set up a blog. If however, writing each post seems like a drag and finding topics to write about seems daunting, then maybe this isn't for you. You can set up a blog on a personal website if you like or on many free websites such as WordPress, comm blogspot or Tumblr. Don't forget to link your articles to LinkedIn and Facebook as well, where you can link them as posts in their own right.
Obviously, if you feel more comfortable speaking, you can also choose to make videos instead. Feel free to write up a few posts and experiment with your preferred style photos. Long posts short post colonial more formal, less formal, etc, etc. And then once you have some material, you should start searching for other blogs that are similar to yours. Here you can comment on their posts and possibly add to what they wrote or answer their questions. Usually these blogs allow you to link back to your blog and your profile.
You can also approach the blog owner to write a guest post for them and allow them to reciprocate. If they wish.