Studies have shown that 80% of B2B buyers research companies online before they buy. For translation and localisation sales teams this represents a huge opportunity to reach out and connect personally with prospects and engage early on in the sales process.
In this post I’ll cover the top 5 places to find translation buyers online, and how to engage and connect with them without the “hard sell”.
LinkedIn is the worlds première social network for professionals, and as such represents the single biggest opportunity for translation companies to connect with translation buyers.
The first step to prospecting on LinkedIn is to make sure that you have an up to date, professional profile. A great guide on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile can be found here.
Once your profile is up to date, you’ll also need to make sure the same can be said of the translation company you represent. Your company LinkedIn page should be active and updated regularly. You can find tips on how to optimize your company LinkedIn page here.
Now you have an up to date profile and company page, it’s time to start prospecting. A great place to start is to join translation and localisation groups.
Joining these groups gives you the opportunity to engage in conversations around translation and localization and raises your profile among buyers. Once you’re a member of a group you can also see the groups members and search members by company if you have a particular organisation in mind that you want to research.
Once you’ve found the right prospects you can follow them to be notified of their updates and, if you have a LinkedIn pro account, send them an introductory In Mail.
The overall goal here is to become an active part of a community, demonstrate expertise, and produce posts and updates that cater to the kind of questions your buyers are asking.
Prospecting on LinkedIn takes time and effort, it’s no simple task and shouldn’t be underestimated, however if you put the work in, LinkedIn is a great place to find translation buyers.
Quora is a question and answer website, people post questions and experts post answers. Answers are voted on by members of the community and the best ones rise to the top.
Like LinkedIn, Quora is a great place to establish yourself as a translation and localization expert, and is a great way to find out the kinds of questions prospective buyers are asking. A quick search for translation returned some interesting results.
When you answer questions on Quora and people upvote them you can see a list of people who did which can give you another potential source of sales leads.
Quora is also a great place to get ideas for posts to other networks like LinkedIn. One technique is to provide short, succinct answers to Quora questions and then provide a link to a longer, more detailed result on your company blog or LinkedIn profile.
Reddit is where I got the inspiration to write this post. It’s a full of interesting communities of people focused around sub reddits. Most famous for pictures of cats, Reddit is also a great place to find great to talk to people in your line of business. I subscribe to r/marketing, here’s the thread that inspired me to write this post.
Reddit has a translation subreddit, but I’d recommend looking elsewhere for people who might be interested in buying translation and localization services.
Here’s a list of sub reddits you should check out:
As with all social channels the aim when looking for new customers is to engage with the community. Avoid posting links to blog posts on your company website unless you’re also able to add your own advice to threads or questions. Sub reddits are moderated and posting links without engaging personally can get you banned.
If you come across a particular user you think might have in interest in translation and localization, as with LinkedIn, you can save them as friends and see if they post relevant content that might spark a conversation.
Meetup is a website that allows anyone to start groups and organise offline events. Meetup is organised by city and features hundreds of groups of people who meet to talk about all kinds of topics.
A quick search of the site should deliver a number of business focused groups which represent an opportunity for you to network with professional who might need translation services.
Meetups are also a great way to get feedback from the market, finding out about people’s experiences of translation vendors, good and bad point and potential opportunities.
A good way to raise your profile is to put yourself forward for speaking slots. Lots of Meetups have monthly rounds of speakers who talk on a range of business related topics. If international expansion is one, talking translation and localization is a great next step.
Blogs are a great way to find groups of people engaged with subjects related to translation and localization. A quick search of Google returns The 50 Best International Business Blogs You Aren’t Reading Yet, and also the Top 25 International Marketing Blogs That You Should Be Reading.
It’s guaranteed that of these 75 blogs, some are looking for writers.
Writing for blogs is a great way to raise your professional profile and allows you access to an audience of potential buyers. I’d recommend that all sales and marketing people blog for that fact alone.
I’ve deliberately stayed away from searching for “translation and localization blogs” since these are almost always blogs from other LSP’s. “International Business” and “International Marketing” are a better bet since these blogs are likely to be read by your potential buyers.
Getting yourself featured on one of these blogs requires effort, a good guest post offer and persistence. Do your research, find out what’s happening in different international markets, are companies expanding, are businesses realising new opportunities overseas? Kiss metrics has a great post on blogger outreach here.
Writing on these topics for business blogs and connecting them to translation and localization has the potential to spark conversations with potential customers. Make sure that anywhere you post you always ask for comments and feedback and make sure your professional contact details are clear so that readers can easily find you.
In this post I’ve tried to cover the basics that will help get you started with online prospecting. I’d love to know your thoughts. There’s always more to say so if you’ve got a question, or have your own techniques that you want to share, leave me a comment or drop me an email to email@example.com.