Writing for your Target Market – by Jonathan Downie

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.

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