Last week I wrote about where freelance translators can find new clients, and the response was huge. I received plenty of emails and comments about the article.
Nevertheless, I felt something was missing because I know it is not enough to find new clients.
Marketing translation services may start with finding new clients, but it does not end there.
What happens next is the most important piece of the puzzle.
And honestly, I believe there are enough clients for all freelance translators, translation agencies and all language services professionals.
Finding new clients is only the start, what happens next is what make or break the marketing of any freelancing business.
In this article, you will distinguish the three important steps you need to take after collecting the names of new clients.
Step #1: Build a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a place where you save the data in an accessible place, either offline or online.
The job of the CRM is to log the clients' contact details and your communication with them. It is something similar to your phone calls history log.
As you may contact many new clients to offer your freelance translation services, you cannot memorize your situation with each one or who are you communicating with inside the client office...
Here comes the role of the CRM. You need to add information about your latest situation with the client, what are their replies to you when contacting them, you agreed on prices and other important information.
The CRM can be a simple Excel sheet, a Google spreadsheet or a simple software used by sales executives in companies.
Pro Tip: The CRM should at least contain the below data:
Company Information: where you log the company name, address, phone number, and website.
Contacts Details: This refers to the persons you know inside the company. Like the vendor manager or the marketing manager or other decision makers.
Status: This refers to your status with the client. Are you still negotiating cooperation? What are the agreed on prices?
Step # 2: Check If the New Client is a Good Fit
Okay, we all need to find new clients, but do they all match our needs? Furthermore, we may not be a good match for them.
You need to set standards for the clients you like to work with, and know if the client you find complies with these standards or not.
Your standards may include certain work environment standards, prices, payments terms, or even some cultural standards.
Once you find a new client, you need to execute your due diligence.
Check their website, search online about their reputation, know how they deal with their employees, check if they pay in time and if they work in your specialization. All these steps are essential for establishing a baseline for cooperation.
Pro Tip: Where to Do the Due Diligence
Scammers Website: You can use www.translator-scammers.com to check if the client you are after has any red-flags.
Proz Blueboard: for me, the best part about Proz.com is their Blueboard. You will find comments about how these clients deal with their translators and their payments.
Glass Door: If you work with direct clients, you will find www.glassdoor.com helpful. You can read reviews about the potential clients there and see how they deal with their full-time staff.
Step # 3: Follow up with Potential Clients:
You can not imagine how crucial is a follow-up in the whole marketing process. It can make it or break it.
May freelance translators think that finding and contacting clients is what marketing is all about.
Let me say it bluntly, the new clients do not bother about you. They can find another option for your services.
Yes, potential clients can now search online and find other freelance translators. LinkedIn and Google search are goldmines for them.
However, when you keep showing up in front of them, showing that your presence and services are constantly available, they will remember you and may forget about the other options.
Your competitors do not have enough tolerance to follow up with clients, because it is very hard to talk to someone and ask them to reply to your emails.
Many people think the potential clients are rejecting them, not their offers.
People are busy. They have zillions of things to consider. It is your job to follow up with them and constantly remind them about your offer.
Pro Tip: Example of Follow-up Tools:
Google Calendar: You can set a reminder in Google to remind you about a follow-up email or a call you need to make.
Todoist: This is a productivity application you can use. You can connect it to Gmail, Outlook and install it on your smartphone. Create a tab/project that contains the clients you need to follow up with.
Google Spreadsheets: You can simply add the names of the potential clients to a Google spreadsheet and follow up with them all once or twice a week.
Now, Your Turn!
I know it is not an easy task, but who said working as a freelance translator is an easy job? :).
You need to create a simple CRM for your potential clients to keep track of your activities with them. Also, do not forget to follow up with those who reply or do not reply to you.
Also, do your best to check the background of your potential clients to avoid any poor experience in the future.
Let me know what you think about these steps in a comment below, and let's discuss other steps you think are important to be done after finding new clients.