Translators and Interpreters, Marketing is More Essential than Ever!

Here you can expect to find ANYTHING concerning translators, translation, interpreters and interpreting, in particular how best to market your services, as well as language in general Frequent entries on the art and science of translation, new ideas, thoughts and trends on work conditions, payment practices, terminology, syntax, demand and supply, a bit less “serious” topics, etc. This is a genuine, one-to-one conversation with an accountable, visible and honest friend This is not a company/corporate blog. It’s written in wy own words. I put myself upfront, honestly and completely: I make my own promises, personally, one-to-one. And I keep them personally, one-to-one. I have been a professional translator for well over 30 years, in fact since 1972 (Take a look at my profile one one of my websites at Translation marketing I am a wordlover and my 2 fields of expertise – translation and marketing – rely heavily on words Of course I may throw in an occasional “tangential remark” (TR), but it will always be more or less related to these 2 topics Words are the raw materials of my 2 “core competencies”, as they say now Talking about words, please note that I use them quite freely. So I hope you won’t be shocked if I tell you that this blog is for translators/interpreters with brassballs, or the female equivalent of that, whatever it is. Now, it seems you translators, in particular freelancers, are a nonchalant lot when it comes to marketing your services For example if you type “marketing translation services” or “translation service marketing” into Overture or Wordtracker, there are no results. Does this mean translators do not search for info on how to market their services? Don’t they search for marketing methods or ways to improve their marketing, get more clients, etc? Strange, that! Do you just sit and wait for potential clients to seek you out? Don’t you realize that your services must be “marketed” just like any other service or product? The truth is, it is a well-known fact that professional service providers are generally not overly keen on marketing (see Bob Bly, Michael McLaughlin, etc.), but translators/interpreters seem to be the most reluctant marketers of all professional service providers. Translators hate to “sell themselves” – maybe they are too shy, too modest 🙂 And there are very few books on the marketing of translation services (Alex Eames’ for example). Don’t worry, I am personally working on how to remedy the situation with my new system, specially tailored for my fellow translators: after all I consider it as my personal duty to help you capitalize on my 30+ years in the trenches 🙂 Posting your profile and CV on a translation portal or applying for a job with a Translation Agency is fine. But it’s not enough You have to be more aggressive, more “proactive”, that’s the word and also more creative. Consider your translation practice as a business, and market it in a more systematic way, just like any other business, create a SYSTEM (meaning: “Save Yourself Time, Energy and Money”) In addition to portals, directories and Translation Agencies, use ads, email marketing, article-writing, postcards, publicity, networking, forums, a powerful referral system and all the rest of it Set up your own website, which is a full-blown medium in its own right. Combine online and offline marketing, direct response marketing and image marketing Marketing is essential Believe me, being the best translator/interpreter in the world is fine, but it’s not enough. Just listen to these wise words by an expert, who really should know what he’s talking about: “Those who make the most money in any profession or service business – from accountants and ad agencies to window washers and Web designers – are those who are the best at marketing and selling themselves… not at performing the actual function or service.” (Bob Bly) Or maybe you don’t NEED any money 🙂

About translatorpower

The Cross-cultural Connector, The Global Mindset Advocate
This entry was posted in ads, Amsall, article-writing, Blogroll, Bob Bly, core competencies, CV, demand and supply, direct response marketing, email marketing, forums, image marketing, interpreters, interpreting, language, market your translation/interpreting services, marketing, marketing methods, networking, offline marketing, one-to-one, one-to-one conversation, payment practices, postcards, professional service providers, professional translator, publicity, referral system, service business, service marketing, syntax, terminology, translation, translation agency, translation marketing, translation portal, Translation service marketing, translator/interpreter, translators. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Translators and Interpreters, Marketing is More Essential than Ever!

  1. Tamer Elzein says:

    Yet one more GRRREAT article, Sall! I’m really amazed at how alike we seem to think on most of the issues related to the translation practice and industry.

    “Set up your own website, which is a full-blown medium in its own right.” That’s exactly the thing that I’ve been telling the Arabic translators that visit my website for a while now: Build your own Arabic translation website, and use it not only to attract potential clients, but to boost credibility, maintain rapport, and establish yourself as an EXPERT!

    And the best thing is that it doesn’t take a genius or a computer scientist to do that. At least, not any more. On the page that I just mentioned, I talk about the system that I used to build my own translation website, which only requires one thing for it to work: motivation. Long gone are the days when only geeks (like me, actually) could be professional sites that attract qualified clients.

    Keep up the great work, Sall! I hope you don’t mind my adding you blog to my Blogroll 🙂


  2. Thanks a lot for your cool comments, Tamer. I feel truly encouraged to note that there are dynamic and entreprising colleagues like you. I’m sure sure you’ve noticed that translators as a market are really “a hard nut to crack”, such a nonchalant, lethargic lot 🙂
    Regarding building a website, you can do it in an even cheaper way than Site Buil-it if you’re pepared to put in a little bit of work, for example by using WordPress as a fully-fledged CMS (Content Management Sytem). Buying your domain name and getting it hosted can cost you less than US$100 per year. Of course I mean, not… Well, I’m sure you know about all that!

    Once more, thanks a lot. Shukran!

    Have a cool weekend

    And let’s keep in touch



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