Building your business through your network

While it doesn’t come naturally to all, it really is worthwhile: I have recently discovered that most of my work comes in from word of mouth, both from my personal and professional networks. During a recent meeting of the Eastern Special Interest Group (SIG), I discussed this with 3 other SIG members. We tried to assess the degree to which our work comes in through word of mouth and to put a name to those mouths.  In other words, which categories of our professional and personal networks work best in bringing our services to our clients’ attention?

To take this a step further I will be asking SENSE freelancers to complete a short survey about how their work comes in. The results of this survey will be presented during my short conference session.


About the facilitator

Sally Hill is a British biologist and edits scientific manuscripts and teaches scientific writing. She also translates from Dutch into English and does the odd bit of writing.

Sally started off her career in science. After completing her masters and spending 5 years in a molecular genetics lab, she realised she didn’t want to be a researcher after all and turned her hand to teaching: she taught biology at secondary schools in both Dutch and English. But after 10 years, she decided that teaching wasn’t for her either and took the plunge to give up the day job and start out as a freelance translator and editor in 2008. She hasn't looked back since!


Keeping your clients happy

Finding new clients is always a challenge. Keeping existing clients is just as important. The simplest way is to keep them happy and give them what they want, without compromising your standards - or your rates. This presentation - though related specifically to the translation business – is just as applicable to other language service providers because let’s face it, a client is a client…

Running a translation business in 24 languages my company has many different types of client, each needing a different approach.  ‘One size fits all’ is not an option, but it’s surprising how easy it is, with a little imagination,  to ensure that your clients won’t dream of going anywhere else. Based on personal experience, an open mind and a sleeve big enough to hide a few tricks up, I will try to give some tips so that when you finally get that new client, you won’t lose them after the first assignment.

A little bit of software goes a long way and I will explain how we use a very simple system to make it so easy for the client to keep sending us work. You can even have a free version to try it out for yourself.


About the facilitator

 Nigel Saych is the owner and director of Interlex Language Services, a translation company he started 11 years ago with just one client and one language pair. Although the company has grown to an organisation using almost 100 freelance translators, he still has that original client and still spends most of his time translating, not managing offices. He has given presentations at many conferences throughout Europe, delights in being a maverick and firmly believes that creativity is more effective than entrepreneurship.