When I heard about Paul Urwin’s new audio course for translators, I jumped at the opportunity to get my listen on. And I had a great time indeed! You’ll read why in my review below.
Let Paul Urwin’s voice be your guide on a focused, entrepreneurial journey through social media, sales, negotiating and general information about how to generate more money in your translation business.
Paul shepherds you along, letting you know when to do research, when to be patient, when to investigate the lay of the land, and exactly when to get that convincing voice on. He takes you through every part of the client-translator/business owner interaction, detailing step-by- step how to support client relationships successfully.
Because, “selling is helping”.
This comprehensive audio course comes with a sample proposal, quotation, Excel client monitoring sheet and more to help you get going. These sample documents will get any solopreneur salivating as they’re completed in great detail and are sure to come in handy for anyone who hasn’t yet made that six-page proposal quotation or multi-columned excel spread sheet for client contact follow-up and monitoring. Yours truly will be jumping on that bandwagon!
Let me take you a little deeper into my experience with the audio course.
We start off with marketing, because that’s what you do online or offline to attract clients – it’s what gets clients to your door.
Sales, according to Paul, results in more freedom and more money. Selling is converting a prospect (a potential client) into a paying client. It involves sending proposals, monitoring, and then the juicy bit, closing the deal.
Paul gives great tips for choosing a domain name and managing your website and explains Google ads step by step. I enjoyed this introduction to something I otherwise wouldn’t have investigated. It’s not about using or not using Google ads, but about education related to marketing for your business.
The course underlines the importance of meeting your clients in person. If you don’t live in the same area as them, this translates into talking on the phone or via Skype. It’s all about making a connection with your clients – in person if possible and if not, then electronically – to find out what they need. This comes into play with referrals, as well.
Paul teaches you how to make the most of your business, but first, you must have a top quality product. He focuses on support and education for someone who already has a high quality product, but who needs more sales, negotiating and client contact support. The only way to implement Paul’s how-tos is to consistently over-deliver with your clients. Sound scary? Start small! Get your work revised.
KEY POINTS: Referrals and Networking
- Emphasize referrals in your practice: shift from a passive to an active strategy by prompting people to refer you.
- You’re in the get-clients zone when you ask for and get referrals – it attracts clients to you and takes the ‘cold’ out of contact with leads (potential clients).
- Ask companies how they were referred to you.
- Always keep in touch with the person who gave you a referral – call and say thank you.
- Get together with local clients in person to see if they are satisfied and to remind them about your services.
- When asking for referrals, instead of, “Do you know anyone?” ask, “Who do you know in the translations industry?”
- Asking for referrals in person is the best way to go – have your pen poised when you ask satisfied clients for names of companies and people.
- Cultivate clients by being part of their community: attend networking events.
KEY POINTS: Sales
- You are NOT a Commodity. And translation is not a commodity. At a practical level, this involves emphasizing to clients that your translation is not interchangeable with another translator’s version of the same text. This is when you emphasize the value you bring to your client’s business and not simply what you charge per word, hour or project.
- Emphasize your uniqueness – why you are important and distinct.
- Explain your translation process to clients, spotlighting what makes you exceptional. For starters, this could involve telling clients that your process involves a reviewer and that two people will be working on their document to ensure the highest quality product. When you emphasize value, price fades away.
KEY POINTS: Closing and Negotiating
- Making a misstep here can be the difference between getting a basic contract (which is call for rejoicing!) and getting a well-paid contract with some – or even all – of your terms included. You’ll find suggestions in this section of the course that are indispensable if you deal with direct clients.
- Ask clients, “What is your budget for this project?”
- Some people and cultures expect a discount because it shows you’re willing to negotiate. So be prepared: set your discount maximum beforehand and don’t drop your price below that.
- Don’t offer a discount to people who can’t afford your services to begin with.
- Before you offer a discount, remind clients of why you are the best option. Sell on value – be clear about the value-adds you bring to the table.
- Condition the client: ask when they’ll send the text and when they’ll pay and factor this into negotiations.
- Let clients know you’re available over the long term to answer their questions.
My greatest takeaway from the course, besides a trove of tasty tips, is that quality is the cornerstone of your business. Quality is often a given in the business of translation, but it’s worth going over your texts and services and making sure that you’re over-delivering with insider cultural knowledge, subject specific expertise and impeccable service. When you’ve got that in the bag, you’re more than halfway there … to making more money as a translator!