After I had decided to attend a Freelancer Box on Tour workshop on marketing for freelance translators in Bratislava during #hdsapt2014 I started thinking what they could possibly teach me there that I hadn’t already known. After all, I had studied marketing at a university, so it would probably be the same old stuff. Yes, we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter and other great social networks back then (I guess ICQ was closest to social media you could get), but the foundations of the marketing were laid down years ago and nothing much has changed since then. But (once again) I was wrong. Two nice ladies showed me how badly. So, what did I learn to boost my translation business (assuming I am good at translating, but only few seem to know)?
Know your place in the market
Thoroughly research existing markets, know your competitors, fellow translators and possible partners, find out about prevailing rates. And try to fit in.
Add value and create demand
There are many translators out there who are equally good, if not better than you. Think of an extra value you can add to your translation services. If you think you have something no one has offered in your market before, go for it. Try to convince your prospects it’s exactly the thing they have missed so far.
No matter how excellent you are, if they don’t know about you, they will not come. Create your own website, professional/personal profiles on various social networks and generate content that will make you more visible in the eyes of search engines. If you’re not on the web, you almost don’t exist. Try to show your skills and expertise, but don’t go overboard.
These are probably most important points I wrote down. But there is one more that ‘rules them all’: Never introduce yourself saying: “Oh, I’m just a translator”. Don’t forget, you’re a business just as your clients are a business, and you want to do business together.
Well, after I have summed up my key points, it’s time to start my homework. Because, as they say, homework is not the end, it’s just a beginning.
NOTE: The above ideas are not entirely my own. They are a summary of notes I took down during the Freelance Box on Tour workshop. My thanks go to @mstelmaszak and @rainylondon.