As an independent interpreter, you’re also a small business owner. That means building a client base is of the utmost importance. Yet many interpreters miss out on a proven way to get more clients: reaching out directly. While language service providers, interpreting portals, and associations are all excellent ways to find opportunities, you may face stiff competition. By reaching out directly, in addition to using those methods, you’ll cast a wider net. Here’s how to do it:
Identify a target group of customers in a target region.
Let’s say you’re a medical interpreter who works in the Los Angeles area. Start by making a list of organizations that may be a good fit. These could include:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Private practices
- Rehabilitation centers
- Non-profit healthcare organizations
Create a spreadsheet of potential clients and their contact information.
Next, conduct an internet search and review the organizations’ websites. If they look like a good fit, check for a point-of-contact. Depending on your industry, titles may include:
- Vendor manager
- Assistant manager/Executive assistant
- Office manager
- Department manager
If no employees are listed, check out LinkedIn. Free add-on tools such as GetProspect can help you retrieve someone’s email through the platform. Or you can use a similar free email add-on such as Clearbit. If you still can’t find someone’s email, use the Contact Us address or the online form.
Write a short, personalized email.
Start with a clear subject line, give a quick introduction, explain why you’re contacting them, and highlight what sets you apart. Here’s an example:
Subject Line: Medical Interpreter – Spanish/English – Experience in Pediatrics
My name is Jane Smith, and I’m a certified Spanish-English medical interpreter who specializes in pediatrics. Throughout my 10-year career, I’ve helped numerous patients and their parents in hospital and clinical settings.
I recently read a story about how ABC Children’s Hospital is facing an interpreter shortage, so I decided to reach out to offer my help. In addition to onsite interpreting, I accept video remote and over-the-phone assignments, including emergency calls.
I have attached my proposal for your consideration. Do you have a few minutes next week to discuss your interpreting needs?
Jane Smith, Certified Medical Interpreter
Attach Your Proposal and Send It Off.
Your proposal can include your CV, portfolio, diplomas or certificates, and any references or recommendations. If you have a website with this information, you can include the link instead.
After you send the email, be sure to add the date to your spreadsheet. This will help you keep track of the organizations you’ve contacted and help you remember when to follow up.
Direct clients are busy, and hiring an interpreter may not always be a priority. Given that, following up with a gentle reminder is a great way to stay top of mind. Trying following up every few months or when you have something to share. It can be as simple as letting them know that you completed a new certification or training or that you’re extending your hours during a holiday weekend.
Manage Your Business with an Interpretation Platform.
As your business grows, staying organized will be more important than ever. Fortunately, Boostlingo’s interpretation platform makes it easy. You can manage your onsite schedule, accept on-demand remote requests, and track your earnings all in one place.
Want to try Boostlingo for yourself? Contact us today for your free trial!