In a previous article, we gave you some tips on succeeding as a freelancer. Today, we will dig deeper into one of the most essential parts of a freelance translator’s work: building a network of customers. Translation is quite a competitive business, and looking for customers may be tough, whether you’re just starting out or are more experienced. But don’t panic: it’s possible to expand your portfolio of customers. Here are some tips to help you expand your network.

Rely on your personal network

Remember that you never walk alone in translation. We can’t say this enough: your contacts are one of the best ways to find new projects! It only takes one person who knows someone else who has a contact who is looking for a translator… So contact your former classmates, ask your friends, your relatives or even your hairstylist and ask them if they have heard of a company that’s looking for a translator. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business over and over again, your determination will pay off!

Use social media to develop your visibility

Most jobs can be found on the Internet nowadays, and the translation industry is no exception! An active social media presence can help you to expand your audience and promote yourself This is especially important in the case of potential clients, who will type your name on Google to see your CV and the services you provide. Create professional profiles on LinkedIn, Monster, Proz, and think about joining groups like Acolad Community too: you will find advice and articles for other freelance translators. 😉

What about creating a professional blog on translation/post-edition/languages? It’s true that it takes a lot of time to set a blog up, but having a blog can be a real advantage. Thanks to a blog, you will be able to show your digital skills and grab the users’ attention at the same time. This is a great chance to use your writing skills to attract clients!

Meet contacts at external events

After developing your community online, strengthen your community in person by going to events in your city or further away. Seize the opportunity to meet fellow freelance translators and translation agencies everywhere: meetings, meetups, workshops… Read blogs from other translators as well, to keep up with the latest trends in the translation world. So when you’re out at meetings, don’t forget to bring your business cards and prepare a catchy pitch for your future contacts!

Specialize yourself

Being multi-skilled is certainly useful as a freelancer. However, specializing in one or more areas that you love and master is far from limiting; it can be very profitable! This way, you will gain access to exclusive contracts that are only available for translators with strong experience in  those areas, and therefore more lucrative. You can specialize in areas such as economic and legal translation, website translation, or in more specific areas like vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics.

Do you have other tips for expanding your network as a freelancer? If so, you can share them with us on Acolad Community! 😉