How To Find Your Target Customer For Your Freelance Translation Business

As a freelance translator, you don’t just offer translation services, you are to solve a problem. People hire freelancers for certain reasons – to reach certain goals. E.g. freelance designers are hired to optimize the design for user-friendliness and higher conversion rates. Freelance writers are hired to help rank higher on search engines, to drive traffic and to make sales. Therefore, we can assume that freelancers are hired to give the target customers rather a benefit than just a service.

The question how to find target customers for freelance translation business has been touched upon quite a few times by Dmitry Kornyukhov & Simon Akhrameev, Tess Whitty, Marta Stelmaszak, Chiara Grassilli. In my article I would like to see the problem in a new way.

Freelance Translation: Service or Benefit?

It is not just about the translation service. It is about the benefit that your target customers will get from your translation services. Once you have defined what benefits you offer, you can get a better idea of who would hire you to solve their problems.

Let’s start by listing out the types of problems you solve. You can do that through brainstorming:
– big businesses
– small businesses
– individuals on a budget
– what industry
– what country
– etc.

E.g. your main field of expertise is tourism. Let’s investigate what kind of problems you can solve with your tourist freelance translation services by searching the web, particularly forums and check what people are inquiring, what kind of issues they come across. You can start off with a Google search query like this:

inurl:forum “travel agency website” “help”

What this is telling Google to do is search for websites that have the word forum in the URL, “travel agency website” as an exact match phrase in the content AND the word “help” in the content too.


Check this comment out:

freelance translation business

This guy has launched an online travel agency. He has sold a few tickets for friends and family. He set up FB and Twitter accounts. But still the business doesn’t go viral. He wants his travel agency to go to the next level, expand, sell the tickets to many customers, because his business goal is to drive target audience, start receiving inbound calls and finally sell tickets.

Here, he outlines the problem. His business is ineffective; he does not have new customers except for his friends and family. He does not go viral online. He wants his website to go to the next level because his goal is to increase sales.

He wants a good guidance. He is looking for someone who could help him improve the situation and boost his business. He is looking for someone who could drive target audience and increase sales.
That’s a lot of golden information for a freelance translator! Let’s type in a more specific search query and see if others are having the same problems:

inurl:forum “travel agency” “increase sales” help

And there are 99 results. It might not seem like a lot, but look at all the results. They’re all hyper-targeted to a specific audience’s needs.

freelance translator analysis

This should tell you that there are a lot of people with this specific problem.
You can have multiple markets, and you can change who you market to as your business and skills evolve.

If you’re struggling to identify your target market as a freelance translator, put the above tips to practice. Organize your questions and ideas in a Word document, spreadsheet, or other area to really dig into the suggestions laid out here.
Have a target market in mind? Let me know where you’re at in identifying your target market by leaving a comment.

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