Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Referrals Are (Sometimes) Great

I was recently referred by someone I know from one of the groups to which I belong to a potential client. That's wonderful, isn't it? Well, it turns out the potential client needed languages in which I don't work.

Obviously, I didn't communicate clearly enough to my networking contact what exactly I do - and in which languages. This led me to thinking about how I approach networking. Basically, I attend events, try to have something useful to say and hope for the best. Not the best way to go about this and apparently not well directed, either.

In his The Marketing Plan Handbook: Develop Big-Picture Marketing Plans for Pennies on the Dollar, Bob Bly talks about crafting an "elevator pitch" -- a very concise, yet compelling, statement about exactly what I do. My attempts to come up with such a statement seemed rather forced and "marketingy". I hate being marketed to, so how can I inflict this on others?

But marketing - especially marketing through networking - is the name of the game if I ever want to work with end clients (and get paid accordingly) rather than agencies. Since I attend both events within the translation community and those in the larger technical and business community, I probably need more than one such "elevator pitch". I don't need to explain to translators the difference between translation and interpreting or the fact that I only work with a very specific language. On the other hand, contacts in the technical community will know that working with technical material doesn't mean one is equally adept at marketing copy.

So what's your "elevator pitch" (or pitches)?

1 comment:

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