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10 ways to generate publicity for your freelance translation business

To get the word out about your business and your expertise, you can use publicity and public relations to gain a more prominent position in the marketplace. There are two ways to spread information about your business: publicity and advertising.

Publicity is something someone else writes or says about you and your company when you do something noteworthy and interesting. There are many business benefits from good publicity, but the most important is that it is much more effective than advertising when it comes to visibility. A media campaign is just a plan for how you will use publicity for your business.

Here is what publicity can do for your freelance translation business:

  • Bring traffic to your website
  • Get people talking about you and your business
  • Position you as an expert within your industry
  • Boost awareness of your brand
  • Establish your credibility
  • Make potential clients aware of you

So how can you create publicity for your freelance translation business? Here are 10 suggestions:

  1. Create a multilingual website in your language pairs to improve your online visibility. A website allows clients to come to you, instead of you to them. You can create your own message and look professional. You can show samples of your work and give potential clients an easy way to contact you. There are many free hosting sites with website templates, so there are no reasonable excuses not to have a website.
  2. Write press releases when something new and noteworthy is happening in your business, for example a new website, a certification, a new degree. You can submit your press release to local newspapers and to online public relations (PR) submission sites such as freepressrelease.com and others.
  3. Write articles for publications related to the translation and interpreting professions. You can also publish your writing on Ezine Articles (ezinearticles.com) and use file-sharing sites like Scribd (www.scribd.com) or Slide Share (www.slideshare.net) to post articles or presentations you have created. Article writing is a great way to spread the word about your expertise in a specific subject. Pick a subject that your target audience is interested in and that you know a lot about. You may have to do some additional research in order to round out the content, but as long as you are confident that everything in the article is as accurate as possible, you should be in the clear.
  4. Get others to write about your company by providing them with information, interesting facts and interviews. You can focus on the translation industry and contact reporters and writers for journals, blogs, etc. within the translation industry, but you can also look at industry-specific journals and blogs within your expertise, such as medical journals, legal blogs, import-export forums, etc. There is a service called ‘Help a Reporter Out,’ or HARO (www.helpareporter.com), where you can pitch an article or an interesting story and reporters can pick it up. A great way to spread your net wide.
  5. Network both online and offline. Online, you can network with fellow translators or your prospects through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and many other forums. Offline, you can network at branch expositions, chamber of commerce events, conferences, etc.
  6. Ask for referrals and recommendations from your existing clients. These are among the most powerful marketing tools you can put to use. Testimonials (written statements from customers) give past customers the opportunity to tell potential customers what they found most beneficial about you and your services. An endorsement from a third party gives you the credibility you need to build a larger client base. In essence, they do the marketing for you. Use testimonials in marketing by gathering praise from current customers and sharing that information in a variety of ways.
  7. Get involved with ITI (or your national association if you live outside of the UK), either locally or at a national level, and try to contribute in any way you can by volunteering. You will not only learn more about the organisation, but also become known as an engaged community member, and people will get to know you and share contacts and opportunities with you.
  8. Try public speaking. Another way to attract new customers, meet potential prospects, connect with potential partners, and become known as an expert in your industry is to engage in public speaking. If you feel like standing up in front of others is not even remotely a possibility for you, you might be missing out on some fantastic business opportunities. Most speakers are shy and feel insecure in the beginning but it gets easier with practice and it is often well worth the effort.
  9. Advertise your services. Advertising differs from publicity in that it is content you pay to present. Not many freelance translators use paid advertising because of the costs involved. However, others find that they can get some great returns with even a modest budget. You may decide to advertise your services in print publications such as industry magazines or translation journals. Or you may decide to place ads on industry websites, Google searches or Facebook.
  10. Create a media kit. This should contain information about you, your brand and your services in one concise package. It will serve as your primary resource to equip media companies with all the information they will need to properly promote your business.

Your media kit should contain a short biography about you and your business, with information on your background, education, awards and achievements. It should also contain several high-resolution images of yourself and your company logo, in addition to any other relevant products such as books or articles you have published.

About the author

Tess Whitty has been a successful freelance translator and entrepreneur for over 10 years and owns the company Swedish Translation Services. Her educational and professional background is in marketing and she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with other freelancers in the form of presentations, training, mentoring and consulting. She is also the author of the book ‘Marketing Cookbook for Translators‘, with easy to follow ‘recipes’ for marketing your translation services and achieving a successful freelance lifestyle, and the award winning podcast ‘Marketing Tips for Translators’. For more information, and to connect, go to www.swedishtranslationservices.com or www.marketingtipsfortranslators.com.

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