One of the great things about working with direct translation clients is that following news and new developments across your areas of specialization is part of your job. However you digest news, organizing information you come into contact with can be a great way to stay on top of clients’ industries and to identify new potential clients for your business.
Check out these six small actions that make a big difference with direct clients.
- Care about your clients. What you used to see as ‘extra work’ is no longer as arduous when you care about your clients. You do it because you are attentive to the needs and success of their businesses.
The art show description that a client finished up on Friday afternoon and needs translated, polished and ready to print on Saturday? Delighted to help! Because I care about that art show and I know the promotional material needs to be ready. I also understand that many of these texts get written at the last minute.
That introduction an author you know has been asked to write at the eleventh hour? How exciting! I want them to look their very best, even if it means editing their text on Saturday night, or squeezing in a couple of unscheduled hours during a workday. With direct clients you need to be flexible and understanding. And whining is verboten. Simply move on to different clients if you are unhappy with what is expected from you or how you are treated.
- Call your clients. As Andrew Morris says, “Use any excuse to call the client.” The more you learn about clients, their work and how you fit into the mix, the better your creative collaboration will be, making it easier to add value.
- Organize feeds curated by you. Use groups on Twitter to sort clients into folders, for example, Clients to Contact, US Clients, Mexican Clients, Potential Future Clients. Sort relevant news into those folders and create multiple custom feeds all curated by you! Aim directly at your clients’ markets and follow news related to areas in which you would like to work. Reach out on Twitter – this can be as simple as favoriting or retweeting.
Just be there. Eighty percent of life is showing up, so you could say that twenty percent is going the extra mile. That is, the mile that comes after the eighty percent of showing up.
- Tip from Chris Durban: Sign your work. Direct clients want to know what you’ve done, what projects you’ve been part of, and what you’ve written. They might not have worked with a translator before, but they’ve probably worked with other freelancers. If you want to come across as a pro, get your name on your work and you won’t have as much convincing to do when you meet new clients. Instead, your work will speak for you.
- Keep tabs on all those devilish little details. Where do your clients come from? How did all the clients you have now find you? If they were referrals, who referred them? Have you thanked that person?
Support those who support you. I recommend thanking people, writing a note, or sharing something of theirs on social media when they give you a referral.
Keep tabs on the last time you talked to each of your clients. If you have trouble remembering details or if you have many clients, develop a quick-access chart for keeping tabs on them.
Did Jill from Sauza Tequila mention she loves mushrooms? Perhaps she might be interested in reading about huitlacoche, a type of mushroom that grows on corn. Make a note of it.
Here’s a list of tabs I keep on my clients.
- The last time they contacted me (if they don’t get in touch much, the last time I contacted them)
- The first rate they ever paid, along with rate increases year by year
- Favors I have done for them (not to remind them, but so I don’t forget)
- Referrals stemming from each client
- Testimonials from each client
- The details of each project:
xl8: date, contact person, name and description of project, word count, rate (words or hours), total, total with tax, time spent, date paid
1nt: date, contact person, location and name of event, time spent, rate, some quick notes to remember what the event was about, comments on the speaker, etc., total, total with tax, date paid
- LinkedIn: Zero in on potential clients or people who can introduce you to or refer you to clients in areas you’d like to explore. Browse their contacts and their contacts’ contacts. Look them up. Learn more about them on online. Go ahead and browse all 500 contacts and 500 more and 500 more …
Ask clients for advice at the right time. My clients help me a bundle when I ask them for advice, but it’s important to do it at the exact right time. Check back with Lingua Greca for tips on when to ask clients for advice.
Header image credit: Pixabay