This question was raised many times during my webinars and discussions with freelance translators.
“Can I outsource my marketing activities?”
I think the question is repeated because translators know that marketing is important, but they are afraid to do it or they can’t do it consistently.
I outsourced my marketing activities a few times. I hired a part-time contractor to do it, and they did
But it was not easy to do.
In this article, I will explain a four-step process you can follow if you’d like to outsource the marketing of your freelance translation business.
This process is based on what I’ve done before, and you can replicate it if it meets your needs.
Step #1: Learn How to Do it
You cannot outsource something “correctly” if you cannot do it yourself. You won’t be able to judge the quality of the person who will do your marketing unless you do it first.
I had a recent discussion with a translator who outsourced his Google Adwords campaigns to a company – without knowing the minimum needs of a successful Google Adwords campaign.
The cost was huge, without any returns.
I am not a Google AdWords expert, but I know the basics. When he showed me the landing page they used, I knew it would never work.
But because he did not know the basics, he could not judge their performance. And he lost a huge amount of money.
Spend a few months doing your marketing activities. Send emails to new clients, publish in social media, submit proposals in freelancing platforms, and contact clients directly through their websites.
After doing this for a reasonable time, you will have an idea about what to expect when you outsource your marketing activities.
Step #2: Decide What’s Working Best
After spending this time, you’ll have an idea about what marketing strategies work for your freelance translation business.
Not all strategies will be good for you, and you’re the only one who can know what really works in your situation.
Check the success rate of each strategy you followed.
Calculate how many proposals you sent out, and how many replies you received for these proposals.
Calculate how many emails you sent, and how many replies you received for these emails.
Calculate how many calls you made with potential clients, and how many replies you got after these calls.
Know what really helps you succeed as a freelance translator.
Step #3: Document Your Process
This is a very important step.
While you’re executing your marketing activities, document the repeated steps.
For example, some companies require you to fill in an online application to add you to their database. Usually, these online applications have common questions and answers.
Write these repeated questions and answers down in an Excel sheet or a Google Spreadsheet.
Record your payment terms, language services prices, qualifications, and all other related information in a document and hand it over to the person who will do your marketing activities.
Write a document with your references, samples of work, CAT tools versions, and testing terms.
Maybe you need to write down typical replies you send to clients in different situations.
For example, sometimes clients need to know your past translation experience in a specific field. For these cases, write down one or two paragraphs about your major specializations.
Step #4: Hire a Freelancer to Do it
Now you’re almost ready to start outsourcing the marketing of your freelance translation business.
You can hire a freelancer to do your marketing activities for 4-6 hours per week.
You can find freelancers on general freelancing platforms such as Upwork. Be sure to check their background, qualifications and past projects.
Of course, you won’t find someone who has done similar tasks for language service providers, because this model is not common (but who knows?!!).
You may need to spend some time to train them and answer their questions.
Also, spend some time tracking their activities to check whether they’re following the process you have given them.
Freelance translators can outsource their marketing activities, but it is not an easy task.
You’re more familiar with the needs of your field, and you may find yourself spending many hours to respond to the person who is doing the marketing on your behalf.
My suggestion is to outsource this fundamental part of your business if you already receive a decent amount of work on a daily basis and need to expand to another segment, or if you’re moving from agencies to direct clients.
What do you think about this approach? Are you with it or against it? Let me know in the comments section below.