Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Services Can Translators "Upsell"?

I've recently read up on marketing my services better. A few articles in a recent New York Enterprise report and elsewhere got me thinking that simply translating text may no longer be sufficient to get enough work at prices that let me live in New York City.

"Upselling" -- or adding products/services (for a fee) to consumer's core purchases -- seems to be the word of the day (or year). I can't seem even to shop for groceries anymore without the cashier trying to sell me something I don't want or need. Sometimes this can border on the ridiculous as when a toy store cashier tried to sell me batteries to go with a simple old-style board game.

While I will not subject my own (prospective) clients to the kinds of hard sell I experience in stores, I could be offering additional services on my website and in my marketing materials. So what services would it make sense to add?

  1. Besides translating a website's text, I could update the source code pages with the new text, adjusting table width and similar code as necessary.
  2. Besides translating a PowerPoint presentation's text, I could adjust the layout and text sizes to make everthing fit.
  3. Besides translating a whitepaper's text, I could translate the flowcharts contained in the paper, resizing text as necessary.
  4. In addition to accepting Adobe PDFs as source format (a necessary evil in our industry, it seems), I could provide the completed translation in that format, as well, with the original images intact and properly placed.

I could provide all these services with relatively little extra investment (except for buying MS Visio), although I would have to become more adept at some of the software involved. For example, I know basic PowerPoint features (and have created PowerPoints before), but I'd have to play around with the program some more to get up to speed on more advanced features. Similarly, I have used a previous version of MS Visio, but would need to teach myself the current version.

There are certainly other services translators could add to their core business, including working with other file formats (such as FrameMaker); writing the source text, as well; providing a country-appropriate layout for the text (probably more applicable for translations into right-to-left or top-to-bottom languages, such as Chinese or Arabic). I might explore some of these next year.

So what's your "upsell" -- or what could it be?

PS: I will be attending the tekom conference next week in Wiesbaden, Germany, and visiting family in Austria, so postings for the next few weeks may be more sporadic.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.It seems that marketing strategies this days are tough.That's why I can't see machines taking over the jobs of human translators in the near future, as they have done with so many other professions (remember telephone operators?)
    These machine translators are ok when all u need is a quick understanding of a some rather simple text, but if you are running a business, or otherwise depend on accuracy of a translation, using professional translation services is necessary.


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