End the feast or famine cycle and take control of your business. Instead of hoping work crops up or waiting for your clients to get in touch, introduce yourself to your dream clients and wow them into working with you.
It was the same story over and over.
I kept telling myself it would be different next month but always fell back into the same trap, taking on too much work to satisfy the voices in my head: “They might not come back if you say no again”, they whispered. “You might not have much work next month so just take what’s offered now”.
I’d run myself into the ground, cramming my limited time with translation projects to please my clients and make my income goals. All the while frustrated that I’d overloaded myself yet again, settled for less than ideal projects, and left myself with no time to find better clients.
The clients I dreamed of were going to pay better rates, give me longer deadlines, and were generally lovely people with interesting projects. Crucially, working with them would mean I could work less for more money.
When I had time, I dabbled in online and offline marketing. I attended trade shows, industry conferences, spoke to my clients, joined mastermind groups, took courses.
My dabbling screeched to a halt when I realised my dream clients were never going to come to me. They didn’t know specialist translators existed, or where to find them. Most of the time they found a local translation agency and had to make do with translations that just weren't good enough.
When I talked to my best direct clients, they told me they’d had problems finding the right people and asked me for recommendations when they needed different language pairs or extra support. And when I recalled how I started working with them, usually it had been me who had contacted them.
Before that, they hadn't even known I existed.
Enter direct marketing
By combining physical post with sales letters and fun little extras, sending emails and speaking to some of these potential clients in person, I created a marketing approach to let my dream clients know that specialist translators for their industry do exist.
After discovering Chet Holmes’ proven Dream 100 concept, I adapted it for my own purposes, time and budget, and created my own version for a small, targeted list of 25 potential clients. And then I ran two smaller campaigns. Each campaign has resulted in new clients. And the translators I've guided through the same process are also getting great results.
Want to join me?
From my two most recent direct marketing campaigns I’ve made detailed notes and have created a course to answer all your questions and guide you through the process. I've already made the mistakes, so you don't have to.
Discover how to run a successful direct marketing campaign that you’ll be able to implement time and again to gain new clients. You’ll get all the details and support you need as you run the campaign over 12 weeks, starting from September. Everything you learn you’ll put into action straight away so you can see for yourself what works and what you can adapt.
This course is ideal for you if:
> You have one or two direct clients already and want more of the right kind: that's a great place to start because you know what you want
> You don't have oodles of time to figure out everything by yourself – you can follow my campaign and I'll show you how to adapt what I do
> You like sounding out your ideas with colleagues and those who have achieved the results you want rather than second-guessing yourself every step of the way
> You like the idea of a marketing campaign but want more details and like a structure to follow. I've got the structure and extra resources ready to save you time
> You've already got a list of potential clients (take a look at my mini-course if you haven't) but haven't done anything with it yet
Let's get you talking to your dream clients.
Hi, I'm Sarah Silva,
German to English chemical translator of over 12 years, author, and direct marketing enthusiast. My mission is to help you market yourself to the right kind of clients. I'll give you the structure, share my marketing materials and provide support and guidance at every stage. You just need to bring yourself, a large helping of enthusiasm and a determination to take action. Can't wait to market with you!
I know you could run a direct marketing campaign yourself. I also know that I had a ton of questions before running my first campaign. I researched a lot, spoke to experts, read a pile of books and trialled different approaches.
Total overkill perhaps, but this idea had been swirling around my head for over a year before I actually got started. So when I did start I put unnecessary pressure on myself to do everything perfectly. Because these were people I wanted to work with and I worried I was going to mess it all up and blow my one big chance.
I'll let you into a secret. It's not a one-time, pressure-filled opportunity to impress your ideal clients. You get to talk to them multiple times, in different ways. Forget pushy sales tactics, you'll be offering helpful information and focusing on your contacts, they'll be happy, even excited, to hear from you.
-> Step-by-step guide with relevant tasks for each stage of the campaign. You’ll know what to do, when, and have all the information you need to get started and start talking to your dream clients
-> A suggested schedule that I’ll be following so you can market alongside me at the same time, while helping your current clients with their translations. You'll need to allocate more time at the start and then a manageable amount while you maintain your current income.
-> Insights into my results and responses. I’ll show you my sales letters, offers and packages for inspiration as well as the results and responses to each one.
-> Samples of marketing that I’ll break down to show you what works and what could be improved. If you’re feeling brave, send your marketing for me to review in the group. I’ll be kind but I want you to get amazing results so you’ll also get tips for improvement.
-> A discussion group in Slack where I’ll post extra resources, you can share ideas, ask for help and support – and celebrate each other’s successes.
-> 12 weeks of guidance, help and support. You won’t get bombarded with information and then left to fend for yourself because questions and challenges usually crop up once you get stuck in.
-> 4 x Q&A calls where you can ask any questions and discuss marketing strategy as you implement your campaign and get responses.
New Clients... Tick!
Patricia Sorin, English to French translator
I started sending some warm e-mails some months ago, but I didn’t know how to go further. We now have a real plan with structured steps. It helps a lot!
I just received a request to quote a potential project of 40 PDF pages coming in mid-February...
Unbelievable! I was just hoping for a little answer, even a negative one and I have to quote a big project.
One week later: I have just received another positive answer from an NGO. They asked me to translate a 1500 words blog post for Tuesday.
Puts Theory into Practice
Emma Surridge, German to English technical translator
I've done quite a few courses on marketing to new clients for translators in the last few years (I've wanted to branch out to direct clients for a while now but have always been too lazy/comfortable/nervous to do so).
This is the first course I've done where I've actually put theory into practice and I feel like I've made real progress - regardless of whether this round yields new clients, I feel like I've taken an important step and will be able to continue down this route in future.
Heike Holthaus, Specialist Patent Translator EN<>DE, Michigan
I am currently working on this course with Sarah and can highly recommend it. Sarah is always there with helpful advice and great ideas. Her enthusiasm is contagious and motivating.
The group setting is fantastic as we share our successes (and failures :)) and learn from each other.