Digital marketing for interpreters

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the Chartered Institute of Linguists to talk about digital marketing for interpreters.

I had a great time at the event, where I met lovely colleagues, and enjoyed both Jonathan Downie‘s presentation on how to get your content into your clients’ publications and Meg Dziatkiewicz‘s talk on websites for interpreters.

My presentation revolved around the basics of marketing, and the digital marketing tools that can be used to promote your interpreting business online. Here you can find a summary of my presentation, and the slides I used.

Why digital marketing for interpreters

We are living in a digital world. Half of the world population is online, and they spend a huge amount of time surfing the net. Chances are that your dream clients are online too, and if you want to be noticed, you have to be where they are. Being online does not only give more visibility to your business, but also increases your credibility. When I hear about a company or brand I instantly look for them online. If they’re nowhere to be seen, I feel they’re not committed enough, and I’m less likely to buy from them.

Having an online presence can also help you establish and communicate your personal brand, which I’ll talk about in detail in a future post. All of this should lead to gaining more clients and, consequently, more sales… and what’s not to like about that!

Marketing strategy is like baking a cake

The first thing to think about when you design your marketing strategy is what you want to achieve, your objectives – the cake. These will determine which ingredients (the marketing mix) and tools (marketing activities) you will have to use. Digital marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Another crucial element to keep in mind when designing your strategy is your target client: if you’re baking a cake for a vegan, you know you shouldn’t use eggs and dairy, right? The same principle applies to marketing strategy. Try to define smaller targets so that it’s easier to get to know your clients and their behaviour. Make sure that you are where they are, both online and offline. Speak their language, and get to know how their world works. And finally, find out what they need, and be the person who can meet that need. You can find out more about your target clients by looking at their websites, social media profiles, as well as reading their newsletters. Research is key!

Digital marketing for interpreters

There are many tools that you can use to put your marketing strategy into practice online. Having your objectives in mind, choose the appropriate tools to achieve those objectives. Define SMART goals that will act as milestones to track your progress. Measure the results of every activity you carry out to make sure you’re not wasting your time. You should choose your metrics on the basis of your goals. Finally, evaluate whether these activities are giving you the results you want, and review your strategy based on this evaluation.

Another crucial aspect of digital marketing for interpreters is, obviously, the target client. Knowing where they hang out and how they communicate online will help you find the tools that you can use to reach them, and will also tell you how to use them. For example, if you interpret for financial institutions, Instagram might not be the best social platform to use. Conversely, if you mainly work for the fashion industry, Instagram might be a great way to reach the right people within the industry.

Finally, integration is key: you should be able to use multiple tools together to achieve your objectives.

The magical recipe doesn’t exist

You may think that this is all very general, and that there must be a secret magical recipe that I don’t want to share. The truth is: there is no magical recipe. Digital marketing for interpreters has many variables, and what works for me might not work for you at all. It all depends on what you do, who your target clients are, what you feel comfortable with, and what you want to achieve with your activities. It may take some time and a good amount of trial and error to find your strategy, but you can definitely achieve good results and grow your interpreting business.

You can flick through the slides I used for this presentation below, or head over to my Slideshare profile to download them.

How do you carry out your digital marketing activities? What do you find most challenging about digital marketing for interpreters? Share your thoughts in a comment!

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