Now that we have our businesses ready to face our very first client, we will have to focus on who are we going to address our products to and where can we find our first client and how to attract his attention.
Explore your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA).
We have to get to now our clients if we really want to understand what are they looking for, what are their needs and where can we find them.
Without this avatar, our marketing material and business strategies won’t be adapted to out public, will be generic and won’t be as effective as they could be. As much as you get to know this avatar, you will learn how to address every message to your clients and how to write to attract their attention.
What should we include in our ICA research:
- Personal details: name, age, marital status, address, occupation…
- Emotions and believes: fears, ambitions, hobbies (does he like reading? what does he read? which magazines/books?)
- Dreams: what are his dreams? what obstacles can he find? how can we help our client to overcome these obstacles?
You can find more information in this worksheet.
Do your market research.
Knowledge is power. Now that we have our own Ideal Customer Avatar, we have to get to know our market place, our competitors and our clients before focusing on finding the first one.
- Research your competitors: What are their strengths, weaknesses and fears? How can your competitors have an influence in your business? How could you overcome this obstacle?
- Research your market place: How is the offer and the demand working in your market place? Where can you find your clients? (Think about events related to your fields of expertise where you can get to know some clients, directories, specialised magazines that may admit any type of collaborations, guest blogging, etc.) What business opportunities can you find in your city/country?
- Research your clients: Now that we have a clear idea of what type of clients we want for our business, it is time to know where are there and how can we reach them. Explore any type of events that they are likely to attend. You should have a look a the Chamber of COmmerce’s website of your country/region, they normally organise different types of events and they are normally at good price. If you bear in mind your Ideal Customer Avatar when you first introduce yourself to a prospective client, you will have a lot of chances of winning a new customer for your business. You can also explore translation-related platforms such as Proz and Translators Café. I don’t really like them because of the high competition, but you can find some good applications there, such as the blue board of Proz. Besides, you never know when your first client is going to appear, don’t close any door yet!
- Research your own business: Get to know your strengths, weaknesses and fears. What can your do to get rid of those fears? What can you do to strengthen your weaknesses? What opportunities can you find to improve or add value to your business? (CPD, university studies, conferences, professional associations, etc.)
Here you can find a worksheet that will help you out to do your market research.
Communicate with your clients.
After all, we are communicators, so we have to be able to get our messages across. Let’s see what tips can we use to make our messages more effective.
- Face-to-face: I think that this is the most effective way to transmit our message. Prepare some business cards and a good sales pitch. Do not talk about how good you and your business are; talk about how can your business help your client to succeed.
- Cold emailing/phoning: I don’t think it is as effective as the face-toface communication. However, it could effective if we approach our clients with emails and calls personalised and addressed to each of them. Take your time to gather some information about your client. (At least, try to figure out the name of the person who you are going to talk to!) Don’t send dozens of emails with your CV attached, direct clients prefer evidences of how good our services are, try to send a well crafted email with your portafolio instead and remark how your clients can take advantage of your services.
- Market your message: Think about places where your clients will be likely to read the message that you want to transmit. Consider printing leaflets or publishing an article or an ad in any magazine related to your fields of expertise.
Now it is up to you! Explore every possibility and find the first client for your translation and interpreting business.