Here’s a common question from other freelancers: How much time should I spend on marketing? A percentage of my time? A certain amount per day? Should I market even when I have tons of work?
The easy answer would be to say: spend 15% of your time on marketing, and you’ll always have just the right amount of work. But it’s not that easy, and as I’ve mentioned before, “just the right amount of work” is a goal that perhaps .01% of translators achieve. The rest of us have a little too little work, or a little too much work, and personally I’ll take a little too much, so that I’m not worrying about keeping the lights on.
My thought on this marketing question: if, in general, you don’t have enough work, then you need to market consistently, every single day. You have to work on it like practicing a musical instrument or exercising: you don’t shut down for the day until you do your 30 minutes of marketing, or you don’t get coffee in the morning until you contact three potential clients, and so on.
But if you have enough work all of the time or most of the time, or especially if you’re turning down work, it’s OK to market toward a specific goal. That’s what I do: I don’t market for 30 minutes every day; I market when I have a specific goal. If I want to find more clients in Switzerland, or translate another book, or any other specific goal, then I do a campaign aimed at that target.
That’s it! Over to you!