[This is a guest post by Louise Taylor]
As a freelancer translator or small translation agency, chances are you don’t have a written marketing plan. Marketing plans might seem like the kind of thing that only big companies need, but in fact even part-time translators can benefit from having one and a translation agency with two or more translators should definitely have one.
A marketing plan doesn’t need to be a huge document, so don’t panic. There are plenty of tips available on how to plan your marketing if you need some guidance. A marketing plan is intended to benefit your translation work, not take weeks of your time away from translating. It just needs to clearly map out what you intend to do, with realistic objectives and time-frames. Here are five great reasons why.
To clarify your goals
Knowing where you are headed provides a sense of purpose and encouragement. Writing a marketing plan can help with this as in order to write one you need to clarify your goals. Do you want to use freelance translating simply as a means to pay the bills, or do you plan to increase your client base exponentially until you have a team of other translators working for you? Work this out as part of your marketing plan and then set about working towards those goals in a focused way.
To increase your income
For many freelance translators, a top reason to write a marketing plan is to increase their income. This could be through attracting more clients, diversifying services or getting a higher rate out of existing clients. Writing a marketing plan will help you to assess which of these strategies you want to focus and the order to do it in.
To keep things professional
As a freelance translator or small translation agency, you are entirely responsible for the standard of the services that you provide. You already have to take a professional approach to your work and your finances and the same should apply to your marketing activities.
To avoid wasting time
Every freelance translator has busy periods and quiet periods. A marketing plan can map out activities and strategies to help you ensure fewer quiet periods and know how to respond to them when they do arise. This can save time wasted on ad hoc marketing activities when you panic because things are quiet and go into a flurry of directionless marketing that is likely to have little real impact.
To stand out from the competition
Every translator needs to stand out from the competition in order to be successful. You need to show your clients – and potential clients – why you are better than the others, or why your translation service is different. A well prepared marketing plan can ensure that you do just this.
For more information and help to create a marketing plan and get your year started right, check out the Quick Start Guide – 8 steps to a marketing plan for translators.
Do you have a marketing plan? How has it helped your freelance translation career? Leave a reply below to share your experiences with your fellow translators.
Louise Taylor is a freelance writer who writes for Tomedes Translation Service, as well as a range of online and print media.