One of the hardest parts of running a translation business is finding clients. Whether a freelance translator or small translation agency….
Time spent away from doing actual work is time not making money- and time not finding clients is just going to leave you empty handed.
Funny how that works…
Recently a freelancer shared her technique on how to simply and efficiently find more clients.
It seemed too easy and simple- I couldn’t believe it actually worked. This is why I want to share her approach with you.
She didn’t use SEO, pay per click, social media, or even local networking events to find clients.
Her best paying clients came through a very unconventional channel- but highly effective.
You’ll never guess what this freelancer was doing to get these high-paying, direct clients!
In this letter she was able to demonstrate her talent, creativity, and persuasive writing skills. It seems direct mail can be highly effective since it is a less crowded space to introduce yourself and your translation abilities.
Why bother prospecting clients via mail in today’s internet age?
When sending direct mail she was able to get a 11% response rate which included long-term, high-paying clients. Doesn’t seem worth it?
Let’s examine why this avenue is absolutely worth your time.
Some benefits of direct mail vs. email:
-Get their Attention- you can actually stand out of the crowd when mailing. Why would you want to send an email with an attachment that can be marked as spam or easily deleted? Your prospects are getting 100s of emails a day- so why should they take the time to read yours? Since hardly anyone sends mail these days- you can carefully put together a mail package presenting yourself and services.
-Customize your Mail Message-
With an email you can send an introduction note and hope they take that next step to open your attachment or click the link to see your online resume or site. With a direct letter you can include your resume, an engaging persuasive note, a sample of previous work, a business card, etc. Instantly you will have their eyes on all attachments rather than hoping for a click in their inbox.
-Focus on the right type of Translation Clients -
Sending snail mail forces you to be decisive when sending an introduction letter. Email can actually provide lots of problems since you can send it all over the world without giving much thought. With a direct letter you must choose companies that relevant to your skill or translation agencies that geographically closer to you. This may help in the long run to build good relationships.
-A client or translation agency may keep your info on file-
When sending a letter it can easily be filed for later when they have a job to assign. It’s difficult for clients to remember old emails or even dig through inbox history to find your info when pulling out your paper letter or packet is much easier.
Convinced yet? Using a low-tech method to land clients can actually help you stand out! If you’re still interested let’s see what to include in the letter.
Starting your Own Direct Mail Campaign
This is where you demonstrate your persuasive writing skills and your ability to care about your clients needs.
You should not begin this letter with your skills or qualifications.
If you want to get their attention- the letter must begin with a question that readers are sure to agree or say, “Yes” to.
You’ll want to focus on the BENEFITS of a client or agency working with you.
Any past clients experiences and or testimonial snippets would be a positive thing to include.
And finally include any professional experience, certifications, or skill sets once you have their attention.
A Mailing List of Prospects-
You can find prospects easily these days- the hardest thing is showing up when they have a need and presenting yourself in the proper way.
You can access business directories online or a local printed directory. Add your ideal client or translation agency onto a spreadsheet with contact info. Time consuming, a bit…but this will be very effective!
A Call to Action-
Make it easy for these prospects to get back in touch with you. Include your business card or even better a return addressed envelope with a stamp. Include a reply card that has several options for them to check- interested in working together and includes a spot for the best phone number or email to connect with them at.
The Follow Up-
This is probably one of the most important parts of freelancing or running your own business- following up.
Every few months touch base via email or phone call to this prospect list and let them know you are available and how you can help them with your services.
Nothing gets better response than a personal follow up. So take some time to write personal emails or to know who you are speaking with.
It can be tempting to do the mass email follow-up, but in my experience this is just too easy for prospects to ignore.
Give this low-tech option a try. My freelancer friend has gotten great results using the method described. Let us know your success below. What did you learn from doing this?