Michelle Vranizan Rafter’s blog, WordCount, has an excellent post about ways to promote your freelance writing, most of which are applicable to translation as well.
When it comes to things like blogs, e-newsletters, podcasts and even websites, part of the appeal for translators is that the market is quite open. While some demographic groups (moms, artists and political junkies, to name a few!) seem eager to write and podcast as much as, or maybe even more than people want to read, translators are amazingly reticent about putting their thoughts out there. So, it’s comparatively easy to draw a lot of readership or listenership to what you’re doing.
Of the tips that Michelle offers, I also strongly agree with her advice to attend conferences and visit clients in person. As largely web-based workers, I think it’s tempting for translators to think that e-mail does it all, without the need to even get out of your pajamas. In my own experience, every face to face encounter I’ve had with an existing or potential translation client has more than paid for itself.
Lastly, Michelle’s advice about “being the best at what you do” is fantastic. Bottom line, being a compulsive overachiever is very good for business when you’re self-employed. Take a look at Michelle’s post for more excellent tips on marketing!