Several translators contacted me lately asking for advice on how to write an introduction for their translation service business.
A well-written business introduction letter not only can spread the word for you, it also helps attract new clients and boost referrals. But it’s also an under-used tool for many self-employed language professionals.
You don’t have to restrict an introduction letter to the beginning stage of your business.
As a matter of fact, you can send out a letter of such nature at any phase of your business development or growth.
You can call it an introduction letter or an update letter as you wish, but the core purpose is the same:
Rally all your supporters around you and motivate them to help you in any way they can – bringing referrals; giving you new ideas; pointing you to new opportunities etc..
So let’s put the focus on how to write an introduction that speaks to the recipients so that they just feel they have to help you. Here are my 3 rules: be yourself, be specific and be grateful.
1- Be yourself
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. While proper business letter format is necessary sometimes, you want to take a more personal approach when you reach out to your friends and supporters.
You want to sound more you and not like every other business out there. Forget about your obsession of big fancy words and start write in your own personal language that you normally use to communicate with your friends in person. You’ll be surprised at the positive response that a personable tone generates.
2- Be specific
Ever wonder how to write an introduction letter that triggers the most wanted response? You ‘ve got to be specific in many ways.
- First of all, you have to address your letter to an individual personal
If you send a group letter, chances are you’re still going to get some replies, but probably not as many as you would like. People need to feel that you are speaking to them directly.
- You also have to ask for what you want
A mistake people often make is that they don’t ask for anything. Well, guess what? You probably won’t get anything either. They may feel happy for you, they may even wish you all the best, but they won’t do much until you tell them exactly what to do.
See here for an example:
I hope this letter finds you in good health. I’m writing to inform you today that I just launched my English Chinese translation service business last week. As some of you may know I have 8 years of previous experience working as a Mandarin/English translator and interpreter.
Right now the core service I’m offering is Chinese English legal translations. I can also outsource translation work in most other major languages. If you or anyone you know need my service, please call 12345678.
If you ask me, this is exactly how NOT to write an introduction. Here’s how to write an introduction the right way:
How’s it going? Last time I talked to you, you were going on a trip to Spain. I’m sure that must have been an amazing trip. I’d like to catch up with you over a coffee or lunch next week if you have time.
I’m writing to let you know that I’ve just started a translation business. Even with 8 years of translation and interpreting experience under my belt, being my own boss is something new to me. (yes, I’m a bit nervous.) I’m specialised in legal and business translation. Can you help me spread the word out there?
Mary, if you know someone that might need translation service would you please let me know? I won’t let you down. Also as I always appreciate your honesty and wisdom please let me know any new ideas or thoughts you may have. I will let you know how my business goes in a few months time.
P.s. I will give you a call next week to arrange our coffee date.
See the difference in the two letters? Being yourself, being personable and being specific always wins the race.
3- Be grateful
Think you know how to write an introduction letter now? Don’t forget to add one more thing – be grateful for any support and any business you get from others.
Never take anything for granted. Always remember to show your gratefulness both in words and action. When you do that you will attract more clients and more business will come your way.