How to Market Yourself as a Translator
Last updated: January 20th, 2017 by admin
As a new freelance translator it can be hard to know how to get started. Do you keep knocking on the doors of translation agencies, only to find they don’t need you / pay you too little / only want someone with experience. Or do you try and approach potential clients directly?
If this was a multiple choice question, the best (or least worse) answer is “all of the above!”
No-one ever suggested that starting your own business would be easy, and starting a translation business is no different than any other. You do have to have perseverance and try whatever means available to get your foot n the ladder. The existence of the Internet is a double edged sword. Because of it you can market yourself nationally, globally even, but so can every other freelance translator hoping to get a foot in the door.
You’ve got plenty of time, so use it!
The good thing about not having much work at the start is that it does give you plenty of time to look around and market yourself. As far as getting work with a professional translation agency, for instance, there is nothing wrong with going to talk to the agency boss in person. What have you got to lose?
They may say that they have enough French / Japanese / Spanish translators already but there will come a time when their own translators are gin got go on holiday / have babies / have time off through sickness / move on and work for themselves. And then who is the agency going to ask to do a job for them?
Be selective about the agencies you contact
As a beginner, you could work your way through the translation agencies one at a time, but if you have already been translating for a while and have found work harder to come by, you could do a little research to narrow down the agencies that suit you better / are likely to have more consistent work / pay better rates. Check out the reviews of the agencies and find those that consistently get the better reviews.
Let potential clients know just what translation can do for them
Use a different approach when marketing yourself to a client directly. They will want to know why using a translator will benefit them and it will be your job tell them. These businesses and organisations are not interested in how you do the translation work, what gizmos or software you use or how fast you can translate documents. They want to know that they can understand more of what their potential customers want and how they can market their products to make more profit.