Over the past year or so I’ve talked a lot about marketing niches for translators. I’ve also received many emails from visitors to my website asking me about how to find a profitable niche.
With all due respect, we need to clarify a few things before we have any further discussion on this topic.
What is a niche market?
It is a specific defined group of potential clients you try to sell your services and products to.
The purpose of target-a-niche marketing is to stand out — plain and simple!
If you’ve been in the language business for a while you know what I’m talking about; translators are literally everywhere. How do you tell them apart?
It’s too easy to get lost in the crowd when you are just another one of them.
There are plenty of benefits associated with translators picking the right marketing niches. But having a profitable niche doesn’t guarantee success for your business.
It’s your ability to produce results in your area of expertise that counts. Having a niche is not an excuse to ease up on improving your language skills. It only means you’ve got to know something more about your specific subject(s).
Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect niche for marketing:
1- Look within your passion
The day-to-day translation work can sometimes get to be tedious, so it helps if you can choose projects that interest you. What to some are standard, boring problems become interesting challenges when you are passionate about the task at hand.
You’ll be more motivated to solve any situation, to smooth out difficulties and find ways to meet the needs of your clients.
You can also save time and resources that can go towards building on the existing base of knowledge you have. And the most important thing is — you may already have some critical contacts to build your business network from.
Consider other factors such as your education background, training history and previous employment when you look through available marketing niches for your translation business. The subjects you are passionate about may not have a sufficient demand to create enough profit.
On the other hand, financial pressure sometimes has the potential of changing the way you feel about your passion. You may want to realistically assess the pros and cons before you make your decision.
2- Demand created by clients
Passion alone cannot create a successful business. Without the market demand, picking marketing niches are pointless. So how do you know what the demands are among your target market? You need to do some thorough research to find that out.
– Ask your clients, past and current;
– Talk to your contacts;
– Read newspapers and pay attention to new business trends;
– Join professional and business groups etc;
– And brainstorm regularly with likeminded people.
I’m so amazed at the fact that many translators ask me about what marketing niches they should choose instead of talking to their own clients – the very people who are the lifeblood of their business. Nobody knows you and your business better than yourself.
Remember it’s not just about a certain subject that you’re going to translate. You may want to be a generalist in translation while providing virtual assistance to other small businesses.
This is a very profitable niche too. There are plenty of winnable niches if you look hard enough.
3- Your language skills come first
Before deciding your niche, make sure that you are a qualified translator or interpreter. I can’t stress enough the importance of improving your language skills on a regular basis. Work on your writing and verbal communication skills in your working languages.
Any niche talk is pointless if you don’t reach a certain level of competency with your communication in writing and in speech. It’s the very tool that helps you earn money. Without these language skills, all your marketing efforts may be fruitless.
Having said that, I understand that everyone starts from somewhere and that’s OK. To become the best we have to first know where to improve, and do it.
A positive attitude and old fashion hard work will go a long way to making major strides in building your business, one brick at a time.