This book review is a guest post by Karolina Łachmacka. See the page Books on My Shelves for more reviews. There are also links to reviews on other blogs and a comprehensive reading list on Books on Translation & Interpreting.
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In Pavel Elin’s concise yet information-packed ebook, he convinces readers that effective email marketing is not only possible but can also bring some rewarding results.
Linguists are often either introverts who are uncomfortable with putting themselves in the spotlight, or they just don’t have a clue about how to approach marketing. There is a wealth of information out there, and linguists can most likely adapt the tips and tricks in ebooks and blog posts to their needs and industry-specific environment.
This ebook, however, offers some concrete instructions and methods you can easily adopt and then run with. It really is a roadmap, as the title suggests.
The Marketing Goals a Freelance Linguist Needs to Set
The ebook starts with the chapter entitled “Freelance linguist marketing goals”. In the first sentences, the author convinces readers that although many question whether cold outreach still works, this method is still alive, and does bring results.
One of the author’s three main principles is that freelance linguists need to rely on regular customers and also obtain some one-off clients to earn a regular salary.
It’s a logical assumption. The author then tries to examine what clients want more closely. According to Elin, clients consider a set of qualities as standard. This introduction aims to be the start of the roadmap promised in the title.
Elin convinces readers that adopting some sort of routine is good for your business in the long run as it helps you act predictably, so you can plan accordingly. This is called a customer cocktail, and it’s hard to disagree with the author that routine and repeatability help you to achieve your goals and to become more certain about what comes next.
The Power of Small and Regular Steps
In the second chapter, the author again insists that regular practice is better than doing something intensive yet irregular. According to Elin, it’s better to take some small steps every day than finding yourself involved in performing tasks once in a while.
The author believes that regular practice will bring you noticeable results and should be undertaken even when you have a busy schedule and your portfolio includes several clients you consider good.
Good Days and Bad Days
What’s very interesting in this ebook is that you get an idea there’s a specific time when emails should be sent. The author presents different aspects of this approach. In this concise yet practical piece, he explains how to organize your strategy of contacting clients.
Collecting Data: Your Ultimate Guide
In the third chapter, the author focuses on collecting the data of potential customers. He emphasizes the importance of first obtaining the data and then putting it in order, so we can follow up on some actions.
The author then presents an easy overview of how this data should be collected. I believe you can use this method or implement something similar, depending on your needs.
The author also shows readers step by step how to find the information they need. I found it particularly helpful because the process of finding your “ideal client” isn’t so easy, even though many claim it is.
Additionally, you’ll find some useful tips on how to grab the attention of potential customers by asking them questions, or what the right job titles of people of interest are.
Elin also includes a diagram with a small roadmap on how to find the right person to contact. It’s logical and simple to read, so it should make the whole process easier and faster.
How to Write Emails
The fourth chapter in this ebook is on the process of writing emails. It’s the meaty part after first preparing the base.
Elin emphasizes the importance of not having the same approach for direct clients and LSPs. This should be the default, yet I believe that we translators often forget these two customer types vastly differ from each other.
For example, LSPs will have no trouble understanding the differences between source and target languages; however, when talking to direct clients, we should remember some things sound alien to them.
The author then gives us a step-by-step guide on how to approach a variety of clients. Again, the notion of a roadmap is truly accurate here.
Personalization Is Key
It’s hard to disagree that you should never underestimate the power of personalization. Perhaps you know this feeling when you get an email from a project manager who calls you Mary when your name is Kate. Although it might just be a mistake, you sometimes can’t shake the feeling this was a mass email with many addressees.
Elin emphasizes how important it is to personalize your email. I totally agree. It’s a case of respecting your addressee and building a solid foundation for a business relationship.
What I totally love about this part is that the author provides you with several options to help you get it right. You have a complete guide with example passages. It’s very logical and easy to follow and adapt to your needs.
I also appreciate that the ebook even contains some recommendations on the structure of your email address, with some options listed.
Processing the Results
After showing readers how to write their emails, Elin describes how to process the results. He also shares an insight into when it’s time to change your strategy because you aren’t getting any results.
In chapter 6, the author shares six scenarios that might happen after sending an email. He gives some tips on how to proceed in each case.
Elin also gives some advice on how to follow up on emails, which he considers quite a forgotten and neglected aspect.
The Bonus: an Excel Database
The author supplements the information he provides with practical Excel sheets. They will save you a lot of time, or they could inspire you to create your own.
This ebook is a short yet powerful resource for many freelance translators. What might be misleading is that Elin addresses his target audience as “linguists”. And yes, I understand the generalization, but I don’t think this ebook is especially good for teachers, for example. It’s definitely not for them.
However, I would recommend this ebook’s content to every single translator and/or interpreter. Why? Because it’s packed with original tips some of us are not even aware of. It’s short and concise, full of practical advice and solutions you could easily adapt to your needs. Plus, the content is not repeated again and again, and the database provided comes in handy.
Karolina Łachmacka is an English-to-Polish translator with a specialism in marketing, HR and the pet industry. She is also an SEO consultant and content marketer who runs a blog on online business. When she is not translating or writing blog posts, she enjoys the company of her Maine Coon cats, reading, and trying to gain as much knowledge about the world around her as possible.