Guest post: How to market your freelance business

Welcome back to our guest series! Today, we welcome back a guest who has already contributed to our blog, Tess Whitty.

Welcome, Tess!


Your Marketing Plan

Creating a plan might scare you, bore you, inspire you or excite you. Whatever your reaction, what’s in your plan will determine the success of your marketing efforts.

No marketing means that your freelance business will experience feast and famine periods, so making a plan, defining what you want to do with your business and where you want to take it will help to make the work coming in more consistent.

When you develop a marketing plan, you are taking a professional approach that brings opportunities to build relationships with clients, instead of being someone solving an emergency the night before a tight deadline. You market to clients who need and value your services, and you follow up with them to keep yourself fresh in their minds. Your marketing plan opens the door to a whole new type of relationship with clients.

What Is Needed in a Marketing Plan? 

Consider the following steps:

1. Define your current situation

2. Find your target market and ideal clients

3. Decide what services to offer that will help your targeted clients

4. Develop SMART goals

5. Create a marketing budget

6. Define marketing tactics

7. Schedule marketing activities

8. Track and follow up

A market analysis is a great place to start your plan. We can’t go to market without knowing what to bring for the customers in that market. Similarly, in translation, we have to find out who needs our services, but in this case, so that we can bring our offering directly to them. Translation after all is not a commodity, but a service that provides value to clients. And your marketing efforts need to reflect that. At this point you may want to consider the following questions:

What is my market?

Who are my customers?

Who am I competing with?

What is my unique selling point?

Making a marketing plan involves knowing the potential businesses involved in what you are buying and selling. Before deciding on the actions you’ll be taking to reach these clients, you need to understand their businesses and how you can bring value to them.

When you learn about your competitors, keep an open mind. Some great relationships can come from working with other translators – and this can benefit you and your clients over the long term.

Your marketing plan consists of information about the industry, sector, type of company and branch of knowledge that you want to work with. This information gives you insight into your customers’ needs, paving the way for you to provide value to clients who need cross-cultural communication. When you understand your ideal clients, you can create a connection by approaching them with something you know they need. Your next step: customizing your marketing to their needs so that they recognize you as an asset to their business.

Learn more about how you can do this in my Quick Start Guide and you’ll be on your way to a successful freelance career and lifestyle!

Thank you for contributing, once again, to our blog, Tess!

About the author
2013-09-24 12.29.09-2Tess Whitty is an English-Swedish freelance translator since 2003, specializing in corporate communications, software and IT. Her educational and professional background is in marketing and she is a popular speaker and trainer at conferences, sharing her knowledge and experience in marketing and freelance business. She is also the author of the book “Marketing Cookbook for Translators”, with easy to follow “recipes” for marketing your translation services and achieving a successful freelance lifestyle, and the award winning podcast “Marketing Tips for Translators”. For more information, and to connect, go to

4 thoughts on “Guest post: How to market your freelance business

  1. I think your point number three is probably the most important thing to keep in mind: Decide what services to offer that will help your targeted clients. Sometimes too much is offered, for too many. Keeping it simple is not as simple as it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

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