You’ve been there.
Telephones keep ringing. Your mailbox is overflowing, deadlines are piling on deadlines and you’re too rushed off your feet to even think about anything other than work.
Other times you just find yourself idle, just staring blankly at the screen. Perhaps even panicking a little while waiting for gigs to cover your bills.
Painfully familiar? The never-ending roller-coaster of the feast-or-famine cycle of work is stark reality for many freelancers, translators included. How to break out of it?
Do the shopping before your cupboards are bare
Start with a marketing strategy. Try to identify your target market and figure out how to reach out to those clients. Take every opportunity to market yourself and seek new clients to keep the pipeline flowing. The key aspect here is to do it all the time, and not just when your work sources dry up and you’re desperate to take any project that comes your way.
This one is closely linked to marketing. In today’s world gaining recognition as an expert in your field is a necessary element in every success story. And this is where networking comes into play. The expansion of the social media channels has made it much easier to build your online presence. Facebook or Linkedin give you immense opportunity to find potential new clients as well as other fellow translators, which comes in handy both when you look for new projects or feel snowed under with work and think about outsourcing.
Look for long-term client relationships
A steady source of recurring work is a great way to beat the never-ending feast-or-famine work cycle. Having long-term clients who will send regular work your way will help you maintain income consistency and is considerably less stressful than going from one individual project to another.
Ask for referrals
If your existing clients are satisfied with the quality of your work, asking them for referrals might be a good way to get the ball rolling. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. The more people know about you, the higher chances are that you’ll land new clientele.