Whether you’re a recent translation graduate ready to kick off your freelance career, or a translator with pluriannual experience going down a new career path; finding (new) clients is always a hot topic.
That’s what Starters SIG meetings are for: to discuss tricky questions and give answers. How? By sharing your personal experiences and knowledge in fun and informal virtual gatherings where members’ friends (and glasses of wine) are more than welcome!
This second SIG e-meeting took place on 1 October and it was a great source of inspiration. After splitting our group of 14 attendees into smaller ones, we openly talked about how we found our first translation clients. Needless to say, the most common answer was ‘networking, networking and more networking’. Word of mouth still seems to be a powerful, safe means of getting new clients. The renowned phrase ‘I know someone I would recommend’ is always a safe bet.
Other ways of acquiring clients?
Some found clients by attending multiple conferences by professional associations.
Danielle got her start writing blog posts for a tour company she worked for while also teaching at a museum. Anne used LinkedIn and Facebook groups to build a relevant professional network. Martina worked as a project manager first and then decided to switch to the other side. She found her first clients by contacting a lot of translation agencies.
You can indeed send hundreds of emails per day to the many translation agencies you have collected in Excel, but remember to personalize the content in order to stand out from the crowd. That’s what it’s all about, after all.
And you? How did you find your first clients and what’s your strategy to get new ones?