Marketing For Translators And Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The Five W's



The Who, What, When, Where, and Why...Marketing for Translators and Interpreters

Now that we have explored a little bit of the internal and external factors of marketing, in this third and last installment of the marketing three-part series it is all about your clients, your services, and you.

These are the last pieces of your marketing puzzle.

Here we will review the 5 w's: the who, what, when, where, and why of your marketing.

First, take a moment to visualize where you want your business to be in the next 5 years, then plan your growth around that.  To help you, answer the following:

WHO is your target market?  Define your ideal client.

Your ideal clients should be those who are interested in buying a service rather than a commodity, those interested in quality rather than fees.



Always keep the big picture in mind when catering to individual client needs.



Get to know what motivates your clients, their problems, needs, and wants.

Don't sell them, help them.

Help them make money.

Help them save money.


An ideal client answers your questions, concerns, and comments in a timely manner.  

One who gives you resources to help you provide them the best service.  

A good start with a new client would be to accept a small job.

Begin small to build up trust.

Because we all know, trust is the foundation of a good business relationship.

In the end, your client base will be built on your reputation, trust, relationship, quality, and professionalism.

Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net


WHAT will you charge?  Establish your fees.

Charge what your services are worth.

When you charge correctly, this gives you motivation, and makes you more productive.

Establish your service fees fairly, within your experience, credentials, skills, and expertise.

Compete on quality rather than costs alone.

If you respect your services and are proud of the quality of your work and want your client to feel the same way, then your fees should reflect respect, quality, and professionalism.

If quality is your standard and you are committed to improving, you should consider guaranteeing your services.

Ultimately, the quality of your services is your reputation.

Your reputation justifies your fees.

And you alone establish your fees.


Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net



WHAT will your services entail?  Define your services.

Your services should address the client's needs and help them reach their goal.

Look at your services through your client's eyes. 

What are your clients trying to accomplish?

Are they trying to make money, save money, reach new markets, or all of the above?  

Help them get there.

Think of it this way, our services are the bridges that help clients reach their destination.

Ensure that the services you deliver are of professional quality.

Always convey meaning faithfully, accurately, and impartially, following a strict code of ethics.

Keep and protect client information confidential always.

Translate the amount each day that will result in your best quality. 

Verify and proofread all your work so that you may deliver publish ready translations on time. 

Interpret only the amount of time each day which will result in your best quality.

One place you can define your services is using a service contract.

WHERE will you draw the line?  Choose your clients and jobs wisely.

If you stay within your areas of expertise you will tend to make less mistakes, it will be more enjoyable, more productive, and it will take up less time to complete.

Only accept jobs that:

  • Give you enough time to produce quality work
  • You are familiar with (within your expertise, subject area, etc)
  • You love, fascinate, and engage you
  • Pays your fees
  • You have the time for
  • You have the credentials, experience, knowledge, and qualifications 

Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net


WHY not go above and beyond?  Great customer service.

Great customer services means:

  • Treating your clients, colleagues, and services in a professional manner.
  • Being open and honest in all communications.  Regularly communicating with your client, answering their questions, concerns, and comments as soon as possible, even when delivering difficult news.
  • Informing and describing the complexities of your services to your clients in a professional, friendly, respectful, and tactful manner.
  • Being open and flexible to changes made by your client. 
  • Troubleshooting for your client.
Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net

WHERE will you focus your attention?  Competitor v. Colleague.

If you still have not done so, it is time to view those in your profession as colleagues.

If you are a true professional, you should be competing on quality rather than fees alone.

Don's worry about the competition because everyone has something different to offer.

Focus on your clients and services.

Give back when you can, because what goes around comes around.

Keep in touch with fellow colleagues and clients, get to know them.

Build real business relationships.

Send projects to your colleagues when you can't take on a job and hopefully, if you know them well enough, one day they will return the favor.  

Freely support, mentor, guide, advise, share ideas, knowledge, and experience with your fellow professionals and clients.  Of course there are a few things we can't discuss, like fees.

Never criticize online or offline a client or fellow colleague.

Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net








WHEN do your marketing efforts end?  Follow-up, feedback, and referrals.


After you have completed your services, it is a great idea to thank the client with a personalized hand-written "Thank You" note.  



The key here is to keep good business relationships.

A nice touch would be to include a small gift to be remembered by, for example a coffee mug, calendar, pen, pencil, magnet or tote bag (personalized if possible, including your name, logo, phone number, website, email, etc).  


Also as important, after each job ask your clients for testimonials, reviews, feedback, ratings, and referrals.  



Learn from your mistakes and turn them into positive actions.

Keep in touch with your clients to maintain or develop your relationship.  



Email or snail mail thank you cards or other occasion cards to the client every few months so that they may remember you when they or someone they know needs your services.

Finally, just as you never stop learning, your marketing efforts will never end, so even when excelling continue taking it to the next level.

Marketing for Translators and Interpreters, Part 3 of 3: The 5 W's | www.elingual.net

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my posts. Please if any of my blogs inspire you, give credit where credit is due.  Let's be fair, honest, and professional. Let's help each other be great and stay great!

Feel free to connect or email me, Carmen Arismendy.  I'm a professional Spanish interpreter-translator and founder of eLingual.Net.  I started the eLingual Network because I could not find a fair, no middleman, no job bidding, ethical, and transparent meeting place for translators, interpreters, and clients online.  The website is in beta phase and by no means perfect but it's a step in the right direction.
eLingual.Net's mission is to spread happiness worldwide through happy translators, interpreters, and clients.
For the professional translator and interpreter, this means no middleman, no job bidding, the freedom of setting their own fees, having control over their services, and who they choose to work with.
For the clients, this means working directly with ethical and professional translators and interpreters committed to quality and value.
Join our happy community, let's work together!

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