Wondering how to find direct clients by meeting them in person at industry conferences? I recently interviewed a translator who did just that, and I think we can all learn a lot from her experiences:
Joanne Archambault is a French to English translator based in New Hampshire; she grew up fully bilingual in Canada and then earned a PhD in biology and an MBA from universities in the U.S. After a 15 year career in the medical research industry, Joanne was ready for a career and lifestyle change and decided to explore translation. She initially focused on general medical translation, but soon found an untapped niche in the orthopedic implants industry–the people who make artificial knees, hips, etc. In just over three years, Joanne has developed a booming business as the go-to translator for her target clientele: French orthopedic and trauma surgeons and small to medium-sized orthopedic implant companies.
I first met Joanne when she took my Getting Started as a Freelance Translator course a couple of years ago, and I recently interviewed her about her main marketing strategy: attending the annual convention and trade fair for orthopedic and trauma surgeons in France. This interview is fantastic if you’re looking to break into the direct client market using this type of strategy. Joanne describes exactly how she found and prepared for this conference, what she did while she was at the conference, and how she followed up with contacts afterward. As Joanne says in the interview, attending this one event (in 2010 and 2012) has taken her base of orthopedics-related direct clients from zero in 2010 to three in 2011 to twelve in 2012, with these clients now representing 45% of her total freelance income. I got a ton of new ideas from Joanne’s answers to my questions, so don’t miss this if you want to target direct clients by attending their industry conferences.
Here’s the link to the interview I recently did with Joanne. Just click the arrow and the recording (about half an hour) will stream directly off the site:
And some links that Joanne mentions in the recording:
Joanne’s French website: Traduction Ortho
Antidote, the French editing software that Joanne uses when e-mailing French clients
Also, here’s the French postcard that Joanne brought to the orthopedics conference: