Diversifying Your Translation Marketing Channels to Increase Revenues How to Market Your Language Services translation jobs
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Diversifying Your Translation Marketing Channels to Increase Revenues

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Would you like to earn more money? If you provide translation services for a living, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, and the answer could be as simple as diversifying your translation marketing channels.

Whether you already work for a translation company and are looking to diversify, or are just starting out and weighing up your options, this article has something for you.

The growing need for freelance translation talents

The translation industry is growing rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% job outlook rate between 2008 and 2018 – much faster than the average job outlook rate. Statista, meanwhile, predicts that the global language services industry will jump from a value of US$49.6 billion in 2019 to $56.18 billion in 2020.

The ever-increasing need to globalize content is doing much to drive this growth in demand for freelance translators. Website and software developers who want to expand their marketing reach need to create local versions of their digital assets. As such, website localization and software localization services are sought around the world.

This presents an excellent opportunity for making money online if you're good with languages. Those who translate for a living have numerous channels at their disposal when it comes to marketing their services.

Channels for making money as a freelance translator

Whether you provide marketing translation, website translation or legal translation, there are clients out there looking to connect with you. One way that they can do this is through directories and marketplaces. You could also choose to work with one or more translation agencies. You could even set up your own translation company. Let's take a look at each of these options.

Working with directories and marketplaces

Directories are an online place for translators and those who need translations to connect. Individuals and businesses that need translations can list job postings, while freelance translators can create profiles that detail their language expertise and any specialist areas of translation that they cover. It is up to the individuals concerned to agree on rates and the form of payment.

Marketplaces, on the other hand, are giant global job boards. Much like directories, they connect those looking for translations with translation experts who can meet their needs. However, they go further than simply making it possible to find a translation partner; most provide set payment systems and terms. The largest marketplaces, such as Upwork, also provide payment protection systems for freelancers, ensuring that those who provide quality translation services receive payment for their work.

Both directories and marketplaces can provide rich pickings for those who use them. There tends to be an element of ‘paying your dues' while building up your profile (usually by taking a couple of lower-paid jobs to get you started!) but once up and running, these marketing channels can lead to increased revenues for those who use them regularly.

Working with translation and localization agencies

Another obvious place to start when it comes to working as a freelance translator is with a translation company. Many agencies within the translation industry rely on freelancers as a core part of their translation process and many freelancers rely on agencies for regular income, even accounting for the fact that agencies tend to have higher overheads to cover than most translation directories and marketplaces.

Say you offer French to English translation. The translation agency will offer French translation to international clientele as one of its services. It will undertake the marketing work required to find clients, set up payment systems and deliver a dedicated customer support service. All you need to do is ensure you speak exceptional English and French, translate the documents you're given, then invoice the company.

While working with a translation agency is easy, it's not the only way to sell your freelance document translation services. If you're already picking up work through directories and marketplaces, and translating for one or more agencies, you could take things one step further and investigate how to start your own translation services company.

Starting your own translation or localization agency

If you've already got work stacking up from your various translation marketing channels and you're committed to human translation (rather than machine translation), then it could be time to look into how to start a translation company. Whether you dream of providing universal translation services, complex localization expertise or simply servicing a couple of language pairings, learning how to create a translation company could be the start of something big.

To start your own translation or localization agency, you'll need to think carefully about the kind of company you want to form and the tax implications of that decision. You'll also need a website (ideally with a content production schedule to show off your expertise as the company grows), professional marketing materials, financial know-how, strong IT skills and a positive, dynamic approach to work – as well as outstanding language skills!

You'll need to budget carefully, work out how to cover periods when you're away and make sure that you deliver the kind of exceptional customer service that keeps clients coming back for more. If that sounds exciting, then starting your own translation business might just be the right move. If it sounds like too much hard work, it might be best to increase your revenue through the other translation marketing channels we've mentioned.

Author Bio

Ofer Tirosh founded Tomedes – a translation and localization agency – back in 2007. Since then, he has grown the company to serve clients across the globe.

Published in March 2020.

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