In September, I had the privilege of presenting for the Israel Translators Association at their annual general meeting. I was flattered when the ITA contacted me again asking me to give a similar presentation for their annual conference in Jerusalem.
I’m told that translators have some interesting challenges when it comes to marketing. Although companies regularly employ in-house translators to deal with localization, a big chunk of the market is handled by freelancers who own their own business. In many cases, the client doing the hiring cannot independently evaluate whether or not the work done is of a high quality, so it isn’t as easy as providing a portfolio of previous work. Often, clients don’t understand that translators have specific areas of expertise – much like marketing and technical writers – and that hiring someone isn’t as simple as finding someone who can read and write the languages in question.
So what works well? Having excellent references. Demonstrating your understanding of a particular market segment (think med tech, or legal, or software). Exhibiting superior communication skills – after all, a translator is hired to communicate on behalf of a client or company.
I hope my presentation can shed a little light on using today’s web tools. While this presentation has been tailored to the needs of freelance translators, I think many of the strategies and action items are relevant to professional service providers.