How to Market to Different Audiences and Expand Your Translation Business
You already know that identifying your target audience is important.
But what happens if you have more than one target audience?
Some translators have many specialisations, which means it’s not always possible to define one specific market for these services. Such circumstances call for audience segmentation.
Audience segmentation: A process of dividing people into different groups based on product or service usage, behaviour, demographics, and media use.
Knowing your target audiences makes your marketing efforts more focused. In turn, customers will feel more receptive to what you say and be more likely to use your translation or interpretation services.
Before we go into that, let me just emphasise one thing:
Don’t worry about alienating all the other potential clients
It’s okay to have different messages to different potential clients. You don’t need to be confined to one specific market but you also don’t want to appeal to “everyone”.
“Everyone is not your customer” – Seth Godin.
By creating different messages, different pages on your website, different email campaigns and using different social media for different audiences, you’ll have the chance to reach a wider market and attract a regular flow of business from different specialisations.
Let’s say you want to target both the HR person of a large business and small business owners … you absolutely can! You just need to think about how.
Tips on targeting different audiences
ONE: Define your main specialisations
Start by establishing your main specialisations.
Are you a legal, financial and environmental translator? Do you offer both marketing translations and legal interpretations? The contrast really doesn’t matter that much. What matters is that your specialisations are clear from the beginning, so you can start building your customer avatars around them and attracting your ideal clients.
TWO: Build personas of your favourite clients
A buyer persona is a description of your favourite customer.
But you don’t need to stick to one. In fact, it wouldn’t be wise to do that. Someone who needs legal translations isn’t going to have the same needs as someone who seeks marketing translations. That’s why building personas of your ideal customers can help you understand their wants and needs and enable you to reach them.
Here are some questions to ask for each sector:
How old are they?
What is their salary?
What is their profession?
Where do they live?
What are their goals?
What do they like doing?
Which social media do they use?
How do they find translators?
Feel free to elaborate on this. The purpose of this exercise is to get you thinking and visualising ideal clients, so you can move on to the marketing side of things.
And just so you know, it’s okay to have a few ideal clients for one specialisation.
For example, if you offer marketing translations, you may want to target marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, and NGOs in addition to translation agencies. Build a persona for each target sector and let this serve as a foundation on which you can build your marketing messages.
THREE: Split up your marketing messages
Now that you’ve defined your specialisations and your target markets, you can begin marketing your services.
- Dedicated website/landing pages
It’s not uncommon for translators and interpreters to have several specialisations. The way you can target them differently is to devote a page on your website to each. Start by making your homepage a “shop window” for your offer based mostly around the benefits and features of your services – a quick glance, and guide different audiences to different subpages or landing pages relevant to them.
Alternatively, if you have two or three specialisations but want to target three different audiences for each one, you could create separate sections of the same page that are written in a way that would attract your ideal client. Keep your avatars on hand so you can refer back to them at any time.
For example, if you want to attract both law firms and translation agencies, they would require different approaches. You could focus on how your translations could help boost the law firm itself for the law firm client and for the agency, the style would be more general and focus on how reliable you are as a translator and how your services would benefit their clients.
It’s just a simple example but I hope you get the idea!
If you have some time and budget to invest, creating separate landing pages and directing clients from different specialisations to appropriate landing pages might be a way to attract them in a more targeted way.
- Different email templates
One universal email template to all clients in all segments won’t be as powerful as a carefully mapped, targeted email for one audience segment. Every company, agency and organisation want to feel like you’ve put in the time to learn more about their needs. It’s just easier and more human to establish rapport this way. The personal touch is always appreciated! Drawing from your research, tailor your email template to each sector so that it best addresses their wants and needs.
For example, an email to a legal audience would need to be far more formal and succinct than an email to a tourism/hospitality company. On the other hand, as a marketing translator you could approach emails in a whole different way and go full creative. Your email to a marketing agency could be a way to show off your marketing skills, whereas your email to an NGO would possess a more serious tone and appeal to emotions.
Every audience requires a different approach!
- Social media communications
LinkedIn is a great place to reach out to and connect with potential clients. As are Twitter and Facebook. Still, you need to approach them in the most appropriate way to yield the best results. Think about where your segments hang out and actually look for translators.
If you want to work with more agencies, you could research them on LinkedIn, connect with HR people and scope out their job offers there. If you want to work with authors or publishers, you would contact them directly and adopt a more personal approach or join Facebook groups or literary memberships. You can probably connect with an author on a more personal level than an HR person. So keep all of this in mind when writing down your approach!
- Google ads
It’s definitely worth considering paid ads for specific services such as certified translations, thesis translations, website copywriting etc. It can be really effective for targeting audiences composed mostly of individuals searching for specific translation services that they can use.
How do you market to different audiences?
Do you implement any of the above tactics for targeting different audiences?
I’d love to hear how you market to different clients and how effective it’s been for you. If you have any tips, please share!
And if you want to dig deeper and work on your ideal client avatar and marketing approaches, we just launched our Marketing Academy – check it out!