Category Archives: Business

Writing for your Target Market – by Jonathan Downie

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There are two kinds of writing for your target market…

There’s the kind that gets you featured in magazines your clients read and makes you money directly, and there’s the kind that gets you in the magazines and blogs they read and brings you publicity, which in turn brings you clients, who then pay you money to work for them.

Why Bother Writing for Your Target Market?

While there are as many ways to market your services as there are translators and interpreters, appearing in print and online, in publications your clients read, is one of the most valuable. Not every article will grab you a new client but every article will do three things:

  • Increase client awareness of you and your work

  • Increase your credibility and therefore open more doors to talk to clients

  • Improve your standing with the almighty Google.

Where should you pitch?

Those three benefits mean you should pitch to 4 kinds of places:

  • the blogs your clients talk about

  • the magazines they read

  • the influencers they already respect

  • the websites they visit that also have blogs

In short, you need to pitch to the places your clients visit regularly. If you don’t know where these are, you need to read the first half of my post on pitching. (The second half of that post, on how to write a pitch that stands a higher chance of being accepted too, might be pretty handy for you to read as well.)

From Pitch to Publication: One Story

So what does writing for your target market look like? Well, here’s one story of how a crazy brainwave became a high exposure article in an in-flight magazine….

writing for your target market

Six months from idea to appearing in print is not at all unusual. That article (here’s the link) has now been retweeted, shared on Facebook and read by an untold number of people. Since Flybe were flying more than 600,000 people per month in 2015, that one article will reach more people than I ever could. (Oh, and if you’d like my tips on how I use Evernote and a CRM to manage marketing opportunities like these, here’s the link.)

Concrete Results?

I’ve only been writing for my target market (and really pushing this strategy) for about three months, but I’ve been playing around with it for about 18. According to my CRM, in these past three months, I have…

  • Had 4 articles appear in magazines or blogs aimed at my clients

  • Landed 3 new clients

  • Discovered 16 potential leads to pitch to

On top of that, I am now in the top 10 google search results for “French conference interpreter” in three different countries.

While I’m still learning SEO myself, I did soon realise it was worth making sure that key blog posts (ones which might interest my clients) were tagged in WordPress with the phrases they might use to search for me. So, for example, my post with tips for clients who are changing interpreting supplier is tagged with “event interpreter,” “French conference interpreter” and “interpreting supplier” and combinations of these phrases appear throughout the post. I’ve also ensured that key phrases appear in the bios that every single editor asks for when you get something published.

In addition, I’ve had direct approaches from two more clients for new projects. Writing for your target market is probably not enough on its own as a marketing strategy. Personally, I brought it in alongside in-person networking and writing blog posts that answer the questions I think clients will be asking.

In short, you need ways to capitalise on the gains that writing for your target market brings you. That means getting out and meeting potential clients face-to-face. However, writing for your target market does make it far easier for them to find you, it makes it much more likely that clients will approach you and that they’ll listen when you approach them.

About today’s contributor:

Jonathan Downie is an Edinburgh-based conference interpreter, who runs Integrity Languages. Jonathan is the only qualified conference interpreter and conference speaker in the UK in the top 50 most influential event professionals on social media. In June 2016, he graduated with a PhD in client expectations of interpreters. Jonathan lives in Edinburgh with his wife and three young children. You can find him on Linkedin here and Twitter here.

Tracking Non-Billable Time

By | Business, Finance, Latest News, Translator Talk, Translators | No Comments

I say it a lot, but I like things to be easy. That’s not to say I’m lazy (okay, maybe it says I’m a little bit lazy), but I think we can all do with getting on with the stuff that makes us feel on fire and alive and, importantly, earns us money. I think we waste a lot of time (especially online) and if we only realised how much, we might be able to figure out some tricks, or get some help, to focus on the stuff we love. Read More

10 Ideas for Getting New Clients

By | Business, Content, Copywriting, Latest News, Localisation, Marketing, Networking, Translator Talk, Translators | 2 Comments

Happy New Year!

How has 2017 been for you so far? Have you been rushed off your feet with new clients? Or enjoying a leisurely easing back into working after the holiday season? Maybe you’ve been busy planning for the year ahead. Lots of colleagues I know fall into that last category – myself included. I’ve had several new projects, but mostly I’ve been using my time to work out my goals and plans for the coming year, and figuring out how I’m going to achieve everything I want. Read More

Colleague corner – client strategy

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During last month’s Let’s Talk Clients live chat, I trialled a new approach. As well as having panellists share their experiences and answer my (rather nosy) questions, I decided to gather some anecdotes and stories from colleagues about their client strategy. Funnily enough, despite all the different approaches, one of the common themes was colleagues’ reluctance to even call their strategy a strategy, and in my chats with them prior to the session, words that often came up were “luck” and “contacts”. Read More

Focus On: New Translators (Part 3 – Be a business)

By | Business, Latest News, Translation, Translator Talk, Translators | One Comment

Dear New(ish) Translators,

I delivered this talk as part of the MA in Translation at Queens’ University, Belfast, and decided to turn it into Part 3 of my Focus on: New Translators series, as a sort of an open letter. As you’ll see from most of my material, I’m big on openness in the translation industry. I think that new translators should start as they mean to go on, by putting practices in place that mean they’re running their business as a business, right from the start. So let’s get going. Read More

Sharing is…scaring (me)

By | Business, Business Blog, Health, Latest News, Translation, Translator Talk, Translators | 4 Comments

I’ve never been one of those oversharers *disdainful sniff* I don’t particularly like people knowing my business, it brings up lots of thoughts on dirty laundry being aired in public, support groups and crumpled hankies. That said, I hate secrecy (as you probably gathered from the Let’s Talk Rates live chat!) When it comes to being open and transparent and helpful, I am on it like a car bonnet. Providing resources, blogging and sharing information is totally my bag (baby) – and I love it when people I admire provide a bit of behind the scenes insight and show what really works for them….and what doesn’t. But when it comes to the emotional side of things, and a lot of the touchy-feely stuff behind the scenes, I’ve always shied away from *that sort* of sharing. Read More

Experience counts: pre-flight

By | Business, Business Blog, Latest News, Translation, Translator Talk, Translators | 2 Comments

At first glance, the title of this blog post might appear to be discouraging to newer translators (or for more experienced translators wanting to make a next step, or big leap.) I assure you, it’s not. This isn’t a post about how you have to have years of experience before you can “make it” as a translator (whatever your definition of “make it” might be.) It’s about the experience your clients have with you, and how it can make all the difference in their decision to work with you…and keep working with you. Read More

Whatever your requirements, I can work something out to suit your style. GET IN TOUCH

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