It’s a great time of the year to do some marketing, when clients have returned from their summer break but before things get really crazy around the winter holidays. Here’s an important question to ask yourself before you start marketing: are you more interested in building relationships, or in just pitching your services?
Here’s what that looks like in practice:
-If you’re trying to build relationships with potential clients, you want to find multiple ways to connect with them, without necessarily offering your services. Maybe you follow them on LinkedIn and/or Twitter, you Like and/or comment on their posts, you put a Google Alert on their name so that you know what’s going on with them. Maybe you try to meet them at a conference, or attend an event that they might be attending. Your purpose is mostly to get on their radar screen and create a connection with them, rather than directly offering your translation or interpreting services.
-It’s also totally fine to just pitch your services. The most basic example of this would be to send an e-mail to a client who seems to need your services. “Hello Melissa, I hope you’re doing well. I recently came across your website while researching immigration law firms in the Boston area. I am an English to Spanish translator specializing in legal and official document translations. Would you be the correct person to speak with about offering my freelance services?”
Either of these methods can be effective; the problem arises when you’re not really sure which strategy you’re pursuing. You’re following clients on social media, but you’re never really interacting with them. Or you’re connecting with potential clients on LinkedIn, but you’re never directly asking if they need your services. The key is to pick one strategy and really pursue it.
Corinne McKay (email@example.com) is the founder of Training for Translators, and has been a full-time freelancer since 2002. She holds a Master of Conference Interpreting from Glendon College, is an ATA-certified French to English translator, and is Colorado court-certified for French interpreting. If you enjoy her posts, consider joining the Training for Translators mailing list!