Things to Avoid When Marketing Your Translation Service
Here are a few things to avoid when marketing your translation service
Every business needs to do at least a little marketing, and some need it a lot, especially if there is a lot of competition or the business is just starting up or targeting a new market. This general rule applies as much to the translation service industry as it does to any other. Perhaps this is the case even more so, because it is unlikely that most translation services serve a local market, like the corner supermarket or the nearby dentist or lawyer. They generally have to advertise online and their marketing message has to reach potential clients the translators will probably never meet in person through the power of the internet.
Having made the point about the importance of marketing what are some things to avoid?
- Avoid emphasising low cost
Professional translation services involve a number of key steps: translation, editing and proofreading. Stressing low prices implies that you are also offering a reduction in the quality of one or more aspects of the translation process or even omitting a part of it altogether. That’s not the way to win new clients and keep them, even if your marketing pitch attracts initial clients at first. It is better to stress the professionalism of your translation and explain the way in which a client’s documents are handled. Clients, in the end, will judge whether your translation is worth the money they are paying.
- Avoid relying on marketing alone
In the long run, clients will judge you on the quality of your translation work and not by how you describe yourself. Being a better translator will pay off dividends in the longer term as it will mean that you will keep getting more work from clients who need regular translation. Being a better translator may mean spending time not actually working on translation work itself, but is an investment in your future business. This means getting professional development, joining a professional association (in Australia, for instance, accreditation with NAATI is almost mandatory for much translation work), improving your knowledge of specific terminology such as legal or medical terms, asking for feedback from clients.
- Avoid emphasising how machine translation can cut down on translation time
Machine translation has increasingly been seen as a tool which helps routine translation work and can cut down on translation time. However, apart from the lowest quality translation projects it has to be used with caution. No MT technology or software yet can compete with human translation and if used too readily without spending time on editing and proofreading will mean you end up with a document full of errors and misunderstandings. This is only going to rebound on the amount of return work from the client you are trying to establish an ongoing relationship with.
- Avoid emphasising how you can slash deadlines
Deadlines are important to everyone and it is better to give a realistic deadline for the work you are given and then keep to the deadline you state. Again it should be emphasized that translation is a professional business and any reduction in time, like cost, can mean that some aspect of the translation process has been compromised. For example, if visa document translations are delayed, then it could cause a lot of problems for the applicant. But this applies to every professional translation service and not just immigration translation services.
Also, the worst you can do is to sell fast turn-around time and then continue to give excuses when you can’t deliver on time. Faster translation is better achieved by being a better translator – getting more familiar with the types of documents or projects that you are translating, familiarising yourself with the cultural nuances of the market to which the translation is directed towards.