Where Freelance Translators Can Find New Clients: Three Proven Strategies

Finding new clients to work with can be a real problem for many freelance translators, regardless of whether they are beginners or experienced.

Beginner translators need to find clients to start their freelancing career, and experienced ones need to retain and search for additional clients to raise their rates or to work less and gain more.

Finding new clients for any business is not an easy task, but it is not an impossible mission. Without clients, no one can have a real business. And without more clients, any business will fail to survive the unexpected changes of any market.

 But where can you find them? In this article, I am going to list some strategies you can use to find new clients.

Industry News and Information Websites and Portals:

This is a goldmine for any freelance translator. These are websites that are specialized in reporting the latest news of the translation and localization industry.

They publish information about the latest trends, conferences, employment opportunities and other events related to the language services. You can use these websites to find potential clients and read about what is happening in our community.

You can even use them as a starting point to build relationships with potential clients.

For example, if you read about someone who was promoted in a translation or a localization company, you can send them a message on LinkedIn to congratulate them and start from there.

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Here are two websites that write about the latest news in the translation and localization industry:

Slator.com: their slogan is "Language Industry Intelligence". I really like them because they keep me updated about industry news with four to six articles per week. Their editors interview industry leaders and people who work for language services companies and direct clients.

Multilingual.com: This website writes case studies, white papers and has a directory with companies and organizations who provide translation and localization services. Also, they publish a magazine with articles and advertisements from many companies that can be potential clients for freelance translators.

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Conferences and events websites:

This is another online resource freelance translators can use to find new clients. In many cases, conferences about the language industry and other markets publish a list of main the attendees on a webpage or an online directory.

Usually they include the name of the attendee, their company, position and maybe contact information such as their LinkedIn page. You can find updated information about many potential clients.

Because you know they are attending a conference or an event, you can contact them to arrange a short chat during the event if you are attending, or email them or send them a tweet about your services. This strategy can be used for both translation agencies and direct clients.

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Below are some conferences or events you can follow:​

The American Translators Association Conference (ATA): The ATA is a well-respected conference in the language services industry. Find the names of attendees and check if you can contact them. Also, the ATA's language division can be a real resource of networking with other freelance translators.

The Locworld: This is another localization-related conference that can also be a place to communicate with direct clients. It is a very large event that is held each year in a different country. Many direct clients who are looking for language services professionals attend the conference to explain their needs and how they like to work with translators and other language services providers.

LinkedIn Search Filters:

There are more than 27 million company pages in LinkedIn and 30,000 of them are translation and localization companies!

LinkedIn is the perfect social media channel for the people who work business-to-business, like translation and localization services.

 You will not only find companies names, you will know who works in particular companies, and how large each company is. If you have a clear idea about your target client, you can easily set filters in LinkedIn to get specific search results. Using the advanced LinkedIn Search Filters, you can limit the search results to the country, the industry and the size of the potential client you would like to work with.
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Here are another two ways you can use LinkedIn to find new clients:

LinkedIn Groups: what if you can’t connect with someone on LinkedIn? You can send them a message using LinkedIn messages if you both are in the same group. Not too many people are aware of this feature.

LinkedIn Hashtags: You can use hashtags to find people who are interested in translation or localization services and start to build a relationship with them and then offer your services.

Your Turn Now!

You can use all of the above strategies to find new clients who are looking for language services professionals.

These strategies work for both translation agencies and direct clients. As you can see, all of this can be done using online tools.

You do not have to travel to find new clients or pay high costs. All you have to do is to work hard and learn how to communicate and build relationship with new clients.

Comment below and let me know what you think about these strategies and share any other ways you think language services professionals can use to find new clients.

  • Bouchra says:

    Interesting insights. Thank you!

  • Amani Said says:

    Dear Sherif
    This is very helpful indeed.
    I think I tried and still trying linked-in filtering, but I had no idea about the top 2 approaches that I shall definitely try today πŸ™

  • Mohamed says:

    Thank you very much. All these are outbound marketing strategies. Of course, there are many inbound strategies such as activities on social media. And of course you can give us more highlight. Thank you for your effort

    • Sherif Abuzid says:

      Thanks Mohamed. Sure, I will try to write something about social media, especially as there are many discussions about its uses.

  • Justine says:

    Hi Sherif, a technique who worked for me was to browse my Linkedin contacts who work in the marketing / publishing / tourism fields and look into their network of people. When I find potential clients, I send an email to my contact asking if they could introduce us – needless to say I personnalise all my messages and keep a humble approach. They’ve always referred me, as the trust element is already there and they’re happy to help a small entrepreneur.

    • Sherif Abuzid says:

      Hi Justin, that is a GREAT technique. I do this from time to time. Having people to recommend you and personalizing your messages can do magic. This can increase your success rate of working with potential clients. BTW: I had a look over your website, it is a nice one especially the about me page with your picture.

  • Fabiana says:

    Thanks again, Sherif! Great resources that I have already started using.

  • Thank you Sherif, I will give these a try! I just came back from a local medical writers’ conference, so I’ll have to see if that yields anything.

  • Supriyono says:

    Thanks for the tips. It helps me think with a wider perspective