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Sunday, February 05, 2012



Information and Expectations

A great deal of marketing your freelance translation business is centered on providing information about its benefits. In the first section, we discussed the misconceptions about translation business that are most common and these present opportunities for articles that educate and inform prospective clients and the general public alike about the valuable role a translators plays in communications.

Marketing your freelance translation business via the Internet gives you a broad range of needs to address; it is up to you to decide where your talents are best suited and what level of work you want to perform.

Keep in mind that the service that you’re offering is not one that is highly understood and take the time to ensure that the details of what a translation assignment entails is made clear to avoid misunderstandings. This way your freelance career can be a profitable and enjoyable experience for both you and your clients.

Spreading the word about your freelance translation business takes organization, time, money and effort. Here are a few promotional tips worth considering:

• Assess your capabilities. Use the “matchbook” rule to write a description of what you do. The matchbook rule simply means that you should be able to tell anyone what you do in the number of words you can fit on a matchbook cover. Be confident in your abilities, but keep your description simple and concise, without industry jargon.

• Put it in writing. Take your description to the next level; add your contact information and have a business card printed. Promotion works on several levels and it is the act of repetition that makes marketing effective. You can verbally tell someone about your business, but people forget quickly. Follow your introduction with the presentation of your business card, and this creates a connection between you and the person.

• Start with a local focus. There are many businesses in your region that could use translation services periodically. Contact them and discuss their needs, and become the translator that they know to call instead of turning to the yellow pages.

• Contribute to the community. Translators are sorely needed by volunteer organizations online and in your community. Providing pro bono translations services will create goodwill for your budding freelance business and provide valuable publicity as well.

• Start a dialogue. Weblogs (blogs) are great promotional tools, and their interactive structure gives you an ideal format for engaging the translation business community as well as encouraging a wider understanding of the value of translation in all areas of communications.

• Request client referrals. Once you complete an assignment for a client, it is always a good business practice to send a satisfaction survey. This enables you to consistently improve your service and demonstrates your appreciation for the client as well. It also affords you the opportunity to ask for a referral, in addition to requesting permission to use their survey responses as a testimonial for your services.

• Recognize what people want to know. The “Q&A” format is one of the most overlooked sources of providing information in newsletter or web page articles. You can also conduct an informal survey and create articles based on the responses. There is also the method of creating a “serial” column which a good format to encourage visitors to return to your website frequently to see the latest installment of information. A free subscription offer on your website based on the responses to the questions provides you with a permission based method of remaining in contact with the person.

• Be determined. Marketing your business is just as important as keeping your skills up to date and being current with translation industry developments. Organize your time so that you can devote a consistent level of attention to all of these important tasks and you will be successful.

These tips will not create a flood of business clients overnight, however with consistent effort you will be able to increase your assignments to a comfortable level to sustain yourself. Eventually, by practicing the methods outline in this text you will be able to convert more clients into referrals, which in turn will produce more assignments. Referrals are by far the best way to obtain clients.

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