Archive | April, 2015

Is there a single marketing strategy for every translator?

16 Apr

Is there any kind of one-for-all, one-for-every-business marketing strategy for each and every service provider in the translation industry? Moreover, is there one magic marketing “key” that will help open hearts and minds of every client we are pitching to?

Once I was convinced that there was. First, I thought that an MA degree in linguistics and translation studies would help me land a job in the industry locally. Soon I discovered that there wasn`t a single position in the city which would be connected with pure translation. I soon realized that I had to learn a lot of new skills and information. In turned out that MA was not this magic “key”.

The next step was to discover the world of freelancing. I compiled a CV (which now seems ridiculously heavy, with dozens of unnecessary details). Once again, I thought that what you needed was a “strong” CV (with as many details as possible). I thought I had finally found the “key”. Although I managed to find certain clients here and there, my marketing campaign lacked one thing – exposure, or visibility. A CV was (and still is) absolutely not enough. I thought once I post it in 5-10 places on-line, I will be flooded with phone calls and e-mails. No such thing ever happened, of course.

The last thing I did while still searching for this magic source of hordes of clients was to buy full membership at Very soon I discovered that I was not the only one out there. Each and every job post attracted dozens of potential translators. It was only natural that price had quickly become almost the only competition factor there.

Luckily enough, I came across some books about marketing. It turned out that there never was a single magic trick that you can use to find new clients. It is rather a combination of your mistakes and attempts made when searching for it. As Seth Godin said, all the creativity in the world won’t help if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame, even bad ideas. Buying a account and just bidding in the hope that you will be selected from 60 other translators? Lame idea. But when you realize that it is a bad idea, you start searching for new one. That is the process of constant change, not of the core brand of your business, but of the methods you use to show your brand to your clients.

Old options become ineffective, while new methods emerge every year. It is exposure, or visibility, that matters. Your name, brand and business should be visible as much as possible, since THIS is this magic source of clients. But It is up to you to choose the best way to stay visible.


You don’t need 100 clients

15 Apr

Brilliant! Another thought: you can come across your perfect, generous client any moment. That is a huge plus of freelancing.

Thoughts On Translation

A quick but important piece of advice, especially if you’re in the trenches of your first few years of freelancing. Raise your hand if you’ve ever lamented a lack of progress in your freelance business by saying something like, “The problem is that most clients won’t pay my rates,” or “The problem is that most clients don’t need someone who does my language/specialization,” or “The problem is that most clients want someone who can do large projects on short notice.” If you’re honest, you’ve probably said or thought those things at some time: I certainly did during my first few years in business.

But here’s the thing: to build a viable freelance business, you don’t need 100 clients. You need, I’m going to say, four to seven regular clients and then some occasional clients to fill in the gaps. When I looked over my accounting for 2014, I earned about…

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A Brief History of “Translation Industry” from Version 1.0 to Version 4.0.1

8 Apr

Patenttranslator's Blog

The long history of what is now often called the Translation Industry (previously just translation, or translation business) can be divided into a number of time periods of varying lengths based mostly on the technical means that were or are used for this particular vocation and business.

I would like to propose the following division of the Translation Industry into 4 time periods resulting in 4 distinct versions of the industry.

Translation Industry Version 1.0

Translation Industry 1.0 would cover a very long period of time, from the invention of writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt about 3,200 years ago, and in China about 1,200 years ago, up until about the year 1970. Virtually no technology, other than stones and chisels, and later ink, quill, pen, paper, dictionaries and typewriters, was used for translating for about the first four millennia.

All of the following periods of Translation Industry, from Version 2.0…

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