The long, summer holiday period is almost at an end. Parents who work freelance are no doubt looking forward to the more regular schedule that September will bring once school is in session once more. However, September is far from being a time for freelancers to rest after the summer months. In fact, it’s the perfect time for them to redouble their efforts at finding new translation clients. Here’s why.
September is the perfect time to regroup after the disruption of the summer. With staff vacations over and done with, companies can get back into a normal routine once more. As such, it’s the perfect time for freelancers to pitch in their services.
With full staff teams back in place after the summer break – and with everyone feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after some well-earned rest, September is often a time for companies to start new projects, or to pick up existing projects and get them moving forward once more. Freelancers who flag up their services and show how they can help with those projects therefore stand a good chance of being noticed.
From a translation perspective, this means showing companies how they will benefit from your services. Read through the email or newsletter you plan to use to promote your services. If it’s full of sentences that start “I can do xxx,” it might be time to rework the copy. The focus should be on what the client will gain as a result of engaging your services, rather than simply a list of what you can do. If you can communicate to a potential client in 20-30 seconds the fact that they will save money, time and effort by using your translation service, they should at least keep your details on file for future use, if not use your services immediately!
Your initial correspondence should also highlight any specialist areas of work that you cover. If financial translation is your area of expertise, for example, be sure to communicate to potential clients that they aren’t alone in their struggle to prepare financial documents for their overseas contacts!
By the same token, if you offer associated services such as localization, be sure to let the client know this and show them how they can benefit.
Just as many companies use the renewed energy that September brings to kick-start new projects, so too can freelancers. Why not try a new client engagement strategy for the duration of the month and see what it results in?
Reaching out to people in a new way can be an effective means of picking up new clients. If you’ve never used LinkedIn, for example, then it’s well worth setting up a profile and spending a few weeks making connections. From catching up with former colleagues to see what they’re up to (and if they need any support with translation work) to targeting specific industries and sectors that suit your particular expertise, LinkedIn can be a great source of new business.
Marketing your services through LinkedIn also has the advantage that it doesn’t have to be too labour intensive. Once you’ve crafted the perfect pitch, you can largely copy and paste it, just personalising for each particular contact – just be sure that you do personalise it, for maximum impact!
September is also the perfect time to reconsider the tools that you use for your daily work. Have you kept up to date with the latest technology? Are there more effective ways of working, if you change the tools you use? Are there free tools out there that could help you to work more efficiently? (In our view, the Tomedes Summarization Tool ticks all three boxes, so is well worth a look!)
With summer almost in the rear view mirror, it’s time for freelancers everywhere to get their heads down and start working solidly towards Christmas. September represents a real opportunity to kick-start that work, ready for a bumper last few months of the year.
What will you be doing this September to pick up new translation clients? Share your plans below to inspire your fellow freelancers!