how to get translation clients

How to Get More Translation Clients

Many translators are interested in finding out how to get more translation clients. In fact, most freelancers and most businesses are always on the lookout for new clients, because without new clients any business (including that of a freelance translator) is likely to fail.

Also, many translators have trained to be a translator, but are not experts in sale and marketing. Some translators therefore find it difficult to acquire new translation clients on a regular basis.

Translation Agencies or Direct Clients?

One consideration for translator is whether they wish to work with translation agencies, or direct clients or both. Many translators start by working with agencies. The rates may be lower, but the translation agency will take care of many aspects of marketing and talking directly with the clients, enabling the translator to focus more on the actual translation work.

Over time, many translators progress to working with direct clients, at least for part of their portfolio. This usually provides them with the opportunity to charge higher rates, but does involve more work. All of the marketing, invoicing, communication etc. will be managed by the translator.

What is the best approach? Well, to put it simply, there isn't one. For a translator the most important thing is to find the approach that works best for them. For some translators, this means a transition from 100% agency work to a mixed portfolio of translation agencies and direct clients. Other translators will never work with translation agencies, being happy to work with direct clients from the outset. Others still will start working with agencies and never have any desire to transition to direct clients.

How to Find New Translation Clients

There are lots of potential ways for finding new translation clients. Some are listed below.

10 Strategies for Finding New Translation Clients

Here are 10 tried and tested strategies for attracting new translation clients. Some of these work best fro translation agencies, others for direct clients and others still for both. 

1. Update Your Profile

Updating your profile is a key step in attracting translation clients. This is because many translation buyers find translators by searching the directory. If your profile is up-to-date and optimized, this will improve your chances of appearing in directory searchers.

Make sure to have your areas of specialization up to date and only include those that truly reflect the work you do as a translator. Ensure you use appropriate keywords in the bio section. membership and answering Kudoz questions will help you move up in the rankings.

Another point to consider is that, with it's over 20 year history, has very good domain authority and therefore if you optimize your profile, you have a good chance of appearing in google search for your chosen keywords.

2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Along with your profile, your LinkedIn profile is another key online ¨home¨ for freelance translators. Make sure your is up to date and focus on attracting potential clients. In other words, although your qualifications and credentials are important and should be included, you should also keep in mind how you can help your clients, and position your profile accordingly.

3. Create a Translator Website

Having a translator website is especially important if you are looking to target direct clients. They are likely to find you via Google search and you have the perfect platform to tell them about your services. Your translator website also gives you credibility, and you have the opportunity to include testimonials and reasons why a potential client should consider working with you.

4. Create Content on a Regular Basis

Gone are the days when having a static website was enough to attract clients on an ongoing basis. Google is looking to reward sites that update or add to their content regularly. So consider writing a blog as a possible client acquisition strategy. 

Over time, your posts will be indexed by Google and, if you use the correct keywords, you will appear in searches for terms that contain those keywords.

5. Get Google Reviews for Your Website

If you have a website, you can set up a Google My Business profile and this also allows you to get reviews for your translation business. Ask clients to submit a Google review after you have completed work for them. If your reviews are good, you will appear higher up in Google searches and attract a greater number of clients online compared with a website on its own.

6. Talk With Colleagues

Colleagues in the translation industry are amazing!

One way to get new clients is to share contacts with colleagues. For example, if you are an English to French translator, you could team up with a French to English translator and share potential clients with each other.

7. Attend Trade Fairs

Attending trade fairs is a great strategy for getting new translation clients. For many fairs, if they are related to your area of specialization (and not translator conferences) then it's likely you'll be one of only a few translators there - and perhaps even the only one.

These events provide a great opportunity for meeting potential clients and developing relationship face-to-face. A well-timed follow up after the event can help you to create real working opportunities.

8. Specialize and Reach out to Agencies

Specializing can help you to attract more client. In some ways that's counter-intuitive, but in practice many translators find that specializing helps them to attract more of the right clients.

This strategy can work well with agencies who are often looking for specialized translators. Search for the right agencies before applying - those that you know or believe have work in your area or areas of specialization.

9. Try Google Ads

Google Ads can be expensive if you are not targeting the right keywords, but long tail keywords are cheaper and can help you attract the right clients.

As a freelancer, it is probably not a good idea to target ¨Spanish translator¨ but ¨certified Spanish Translator¨ would cost less and likely give you better results.

To find out more about Google Ads, take a look at this course:

10. Join a Networking Group

Networking, whether online or in-person can help you to explore new horizons and meet potential translation clients along the way. Sign up for a local event or find an online gathering where you can meet people from different backgrounds. Many people and businesses have a need for translation services and networking will bring you closer to them.

To find out more about our training courses related to finding new translation clients, click on the button below:


Leave a Comment