A basic lesson to start working for the local market, individual clients included

A basic lesson to start working for the local market, individual clients included

When I first started working as a freelance translator I focused mainly on translation job boards such as Proz and applied for translation agencies directly.

Even though I had some success, I needed to increase my income. To do so I choose a niche to specialize in and target individual clients and the local market.


What encouraged me most to work for individual clients and the local market is that most translation agencies are in constant search for cheaper freelancers. Thus, even if you do great work for them, they will replace you to increase their profit as soon as they can.


A web presence that targets your local market will boost your income.

This year 40% of my income came from the local market mostly individual clients.


So, first step is to:


I- To pick up a niche or micro niche.


Here are basic prerequisites:

-A subject that I enjoyed reading about and search to expand my knowledge.

-A subject that I already have prior knowledge and that interests you on a personal level

-Not very competitive

-Resources available through the Internet


II- Write an ad in local online classified

This is a simple but efficient way to increase your income. I have been using it for around a year and I confess I was surprised by the results. Keep in mind that you have to renew before it expires.

III- Take your time to create a detailed LinkedIn profile


3.1 Use proper headline that describes what you do exactly


French to English translator specialized in app localization

-Make it clear and easy to understand. If the recruiters don’t understand it, they won’t ask for clarifications.


Let’s just give a simple example of how I complicated things and lost opportunities.


Instead of using the simple and neat word of “translator” I used “linguist” this word is not very common. After changing it to “translator” I was contacted more than once in LinkedIn.


3.2 Personalize your LinkedIn profile URL


Account & Settings => Privacy & Settings => Edit your public profile. On the right find =>Your public profile URL’,


It will look more professional when you customize it. To do so changing it go to Account & Settings => Privacy & Settings => Edit your public profile. On the right find =>Your public profile URL


3.3 Set up an awesome LinkedIn background image


Make it appealing and relevant to the services you offer.


Go to Profile=>Edit Profile => Add a background photo.


3.4 The right LinkedIn profile picture


Not larger than 10MB

Ideal pixel size 400 x 400


Check this previous post, section 1 Build trust with your picture


3.5 Use keywords that to optimize your SEO in the skills section


In my case, my LinkedIn profile is in English. English is the third language in Tunisia.

Potential clients and Tunisian rarely search in English. As a result, I have to create a web presence in the French language as it is often used by clients in Tunisia.


IV- Use the local site equivalent to LinkedIn 


First, they can have better ranking in the local SERP (search engine result page), second as explained before it is more strategic to create a web presence in more than one language.


4.1 If there no such site create a portfolio and CV website


Using Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, or Jimbo. The most used and the most successful platform among these sites is Wix, its popularity is always on the rise.



For more details read this article that compares these platforms.


It goes without saying that investing in a website is worth every penny as you will:


  • Get a professional email address
  • Look more professional (your site won’t have the, for example, “.weebly.com” in your domain name)
  • Fully customizable (you can add any functionality you want)


Here is a link to a company specialized in creating websites for translators.


Or here is a tutorial to build a website yourself.



5- Use a business card: 



A valuable marketing and networking tool that will increase your referrals. The business card contains all the necessary information and it is more personal. It can be used and reused as it can be handed from one prospect to another.


Create a business card with style and give other a sense of your work and personality.

If you feel that you can add an important idea to this post, add a comment below.




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