The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020 - 17

seem to be spending money right now
doesn't mean no one is.
Yes, some industries and companies
are experiencing a huge downturn,
but others are not. Even those that
are struggling are looking for ways
to be creative when it comes to their
own marketing. So, why not build a
partnership to help them revive their
businesses? By marketing your
business appropriately now, you can
not only show up for your clients
when everyone could use some
additional support, but you can set your
translation or interpreting business on
the path to forming and maintaining
long-term stability.

If your messaging is
appropriate and you're coming
from a place of service, clients
will see you as a helping hand,
not as an opportunist.

HONE YOUR MESSAGING FIRST
Messaging is always key when it comes
to marketing, but now, more than ever,
it's absolutely essential to get it right.
If your messaging is appropriate and
you're coming from a place of service,
clients will see you as a helping hand,
not as an opportunist. While we surely
all want to be the former, proper
messaging is vital to avoid being
the latter.
During a time when everyone is
struggling, the best way we can help
our clients-both now and all the
time-is by solving problems. The key
to your messaging lies in how you solve
problems for those you serve. Only you
know what messaging is appropriate
for your ideal clients. Only you can
determine the right messaging for a
scenario like the current crisis.
Whatever approach you take, it's
important to recognize the current
situation. Don't avoid mentioning
COVID-19. Instead, call it out.
www.atanet.org

Everybody is thinking about this
right now. And while your messaging
should not focus solely on COVID-19,
acknowledge it while keeping in mind
that you have something of value to offer
that's relevant.

CURRENT CLIENT APPROACH
Craft a brief, but sincere, email to clients.
■	

Ask how they're doing.

■	

Let them know that you're available
to help with anything urgent. If they
have something related to COVID-19
messaging to send their clients,
colleagues, or employees, tell them
that you'll put it at the front of the
project queue.

■	

Avoid a direct sales pitch of any sort
unless what you're offering is relevant
and can help them right now.

Pretty simple, right?
When you write to clients, don't do so
expecting a response. That said, I would
be willing to bet that you'll receive at
least a few. Even if there's no offer or
mention of projects or assignments in
the pipeline, your clients will be happy
to hear from you, to experience some
normalcy and a friendly face in their
inbox. I mean, couldn't we all do with a
kind message in our inbox these days?
It's important to remember that
everyone is stressed and working doubletime in fewer hours right now. My own
work dried up for about a week or so,
but once clients seemed to get settled in
their new remote routines, my project
flow picked up again. Of course, my
messaging helped. Here are two messages
I sent to clients and their responses:
Outbound message #1:
Good morning, XXX and YYY!
I hope you are both well. I know things
are a little unpredictable right now related
to the ever-changing situation of COVID-19
in different areas, so I just wanted to
let you know I am thinking of you and
hoping your organization is remaining
relatively unaffected.
If there is anything I can do to help
regarding translations pertaining to
COVID-19 (or in general), please don't
hesitate to let me know. I'll be happy to

put any related projects at the front of
the queue.
Stay safe and healthy! I know we are
looking forward to returning to "normal"
whenever possible, and I imagine you are
as well.
Take care!
Madalena
Client Response:
Thanks! We really appreciate the checkin and hope you are staying safe and
healthy, too.
We actually have two COVID-related
items we'll need translated relatively quickly
as soon as we get internal content approved.
Thank you for moving those to the front of
your queue when they come-we're working
frantically on them ourselves.
Wishing you and yours all the best,
YYY
Outbound Message #2:
Hi, XXX!
I hope you and your family, as well as the
entire ABC team and their families, are well
and staying healthy. Since we just wrapped
up next quarter's content, I wanted to check
in to see how you're getting along in this
hectic time.
I saw that you were able to reuse the
content from the blog post I provided on XYZ.
Wonderful! I was curious to know if it would
be helpful for me to write a few blog posts a
month for the next few months.
The goal would be to drive more traffic
to ABC's site, as well as to take some work
off your plates. I know that most people's
schedules have been thrown for a loop these
days, and I would be happy to work on
them for you. If I can be of help to you all
and remove any added stress that content
creation might be causing during this time,
when I know there is so much else going on
in addition to routine business, please don't
hesitate to let me know.
Warmly,
Madalena
Client Response:
Hi Madalena,
Thanks for checking in! We are all doing
well at ABC, just adjusting to this new
normal we are in. I hope you and your family
are doing well and staying healthy as well.
American Translators Association

17


http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020

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