One of my favorite ways to identify potential new direct clients is by using job search websites, and it’s an especially helpful tool in the age of COVID-19 when it’s hard to tell if a company or entity is surviving, much less hiring. This technique applies even though a) these entities are unlikely to be looking for a full-time in-house translator, and b) you’re not looking for a full-time in-house job anyway. Let’s dig in.
Let’s say I translate for the travel and tourism industries–a particularly dicey sector right now. So I want to make sure that the companies I’m targeting are solvent. If they’ve recently posted full-time jobs on job search sites, that’s a good bet that they’re on solid financial footing.
I start by going to the Jobs search section of LinkedIn. By searching terms like “travel,” “resorts,” “hotels,” (etc.) I can see which companies have recently posted ads for full-time employees in that sector. The key here is recent postings–you want to look for companies that have posted jobs in the past couple of weeks, because their financial situation may be changing quickly.
Once I know that those companies are hiring, that gives me a “hook” to contact them, with a quick pitch such as, “I noticed on LinkedIn that you’re hiring staff for your location in Miami. In browsing your website, I noticed that you don’t currently have a Spanish-language version. As a professional English to Spanish translator specializing in the travel and tourism sector, I wonder if there might be a need for someone to provide English to Spanish translations of your marketing materials? Would you be the correct person to speak with about offering my freelance services.”
An even better way to do this is via specialized job search sites like Devex (NGOs/international development), BioSpace (biotech, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences), FinanceJobs (you can probably guess the sector), Patently, Museum Jobs, and…I could go on and on, but you get the idea. If an NGO, pharma company, bank, patent law firm, or museum is hiring for a position with an international component, that’s a good sign that they might need freelance translators as well.
If you’ve tried this technique or have other ideas of how to implement it, let’s hear about it in the comments!