dandelionI’m alive! Well, just about. The last few months have been hectic: my move from Leeds to Brighton coincided with me acquiring four new clients that have kept me very busy. Translators can’t really afford to rely on their existing clients, and over the years, I have developed a simple strategy (so simple that it barely deserves to be called a strategy) that helps me get regular new contacts, which sometimes turn into clients. The idea of it is very basic: I have worked out the most efficient ways of attracting interest, and I concentrate on improving them.
My main tool is this website. I’ve struggled to update the blog recently, but even in its static form, it brings in around 10,000 visits a month, a fraction of which brings me work. This is how one of my new clients found me in October: she put “Traducteur de l’anglais vers le français” in Google and saw me on the first page of the results. A few emails and a short test later, she decided to trust me with her translations. The second client also came via my website. I remember that he first made contact with me in 2006 and the reason why I remembered him was that his comment was “I love your website and I want to work with you”. At the time, this feedback confirmed that I was on the right track, which was very helpful. Things didn’t work out back then, but he got back to me last month and we agreed to work together.
The third client is from Brighton. He sent an internal email to his organisation asking if anyone knew a French translator, which one of my friends picked up. We had a coffee together and I’m now involved in an interesting three-year project.
The fourth client was sent to me by a colleague who I’ve occasionally sent clients to when I’ve been too busy, so this is a nice example of translators networking and helping each other out.
Website, personal networking, professional networking. These are the methods that have worked best for me. I think the key to a successful marketing strategy, for translators and freelancers in any industry, is to work out your favourite method to make yourself visible, and to really focus on that. I was planning on diversifying my plan with my application to become a member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, but this effort seems to have been derailed… more on this in another post.
Dandelion photo by Neil.