Sorry I've been silent for so long! I've been really rather swamped in work lately, so yesterday was my first day free of translation. I'm thankful for the break. These past few weeks have been very busy and extremely stressful for me. I needed a break and I am enjoying one now. A couple more days, and I'll feel as good as new =)
Meanwhile, I decided to read some translation blogs (always happy to learn something new). A few days ago one of my favourite bloggers and translators finally reappeared after several months of silence. And she wrote about marketing for translators. Freelancers greatly depend on their marketing efforts, so they always have to think about new ways to make themselves known to their prospective clients as well as other professionals. Celine, the author of that blog, shares that her best marketing instruments are her website, personal networking and professional networking.
As I was reading her blog post, I started thinking about my own marketing strategy. And I figured out that I don't have one! Well, I do have a blog (a young blog, I just have a few readers), Facebook business page (it is just a fun thing for me as I really like sharing my experience, thoughts, and interesting posts from other blogs with my fans, the majority of which are my friends and colleagues), a website (it's a Google website, so I'm really surprized that somebody actually occasionally finds it and reads it!). But I don't have a strategy, i.e. I don't have a goal how many new clients I want to attract each year, how many words I want to translate or how many projects I want to do. I am more of a go-with-the-flow person I guess. And that probably needs to change. I need to think about that.
Well, as for the marketing instruments, my two main instruments are my two profiles in ProZ.com and free-lance.ru. As for both personal and professional networking, I totally agree with Celine, they are very important. I am very happy that I know many talented professionals, so when a client asks me if I can recommend somebody else with a specific knowledge/expertise, I usually know who they need. And there have been several cases when my colleagues recommended me to the customers and I got really interesting projects from them.
But I think that my best marketing tool is/should be my personal approach. I am not perfect in it yet, but I'm working on it. I really want my clients to feel welcome when they come to me, and then, when I send them my translation, I want them to feel happy about it and always welcome to come back. We'll see if that works! =)