HOW TO CONQUER NEW CLIENTS
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Internet freelancing in the field of translation is a very special kind of business. It’s not enough to be an excellent translator with globally recognizable diplomas to succeed as a freelancer. You should also have a good grasp of essential marketing tips, you should have the notions of accountancy, be a good negotiator, have excellent computer skiils, know working with CAT tools and have special personal qualities.
I’ve been working as a freelance translator and an outsourcer and I’ve had a chance to evaluate the translation business from different points of view and undertsand what a translator and an outsourcer wait from each other.
When contacting an outsourcer you should “propose “ your translation services and not send “job applications”. You are an independent worker and outsourcers are your clients, you should propose your terms and conditions of work and not on the contrary. Talk about all conditions before taking the project, the terms and methods of payments, the use of CAT tools etc. Assure your client that you’re a professional.
To my mind when quoting on translation projects, it’s no use to send endless resume stating all your qualifications, because a busy outsourcer, receiving 400 bids on his project will hardly have a possibility to study all details of all profiles. You should attract your potential clients in a few words stating only the information relevant to the project. If you are specialised in technical translations don’t apply for legal projects. You’ll waste your time and that of an outsourcer and you’re unlikely to conquer a new client.
When choosing a translator on the proz.com the outsourcer pays a special attention to the number of positive freedback entered in your profile by your other clients and collegues. A verified profile with good credentials also tends to attract potential clients.
It’s very important to have some special personal qualities that will help you to succeed in your business. Be fast, polite, communicate in a business like manner, and know to recognise your mistake, if you fail to meet the deadline contact your outsourcer as soon as possible, be highly responsible.
When an outsourcer indicates that he/she prefers to be contacted by e-mail, don’t try to call him asking for work. Phone calling to my mind in this kind of business is not the best way to conquer new clients. A busy outsourcer is unlikely to pay attention to your call. If you still decide to call him, verify first the time zone of your outsourcer, to be sure you won’t wake him up in the midnight! You may say that it’s logic not to call in the midnight but you know how frequently it happened to me to receive calls at “unbusiness” hours.
Be fast with your responses, outsourcer usually have no time to waste. Late response may lead to the failure to win the project.
These are some simple but effective methods I’ve applied in my business and they are not exhaustive. Try them out and you’ll see they will help you to succeed in your business too.