So you’ve been approved to work with an agency, and have maybe had a couple offers of work, but what can you do to ensure these offers keep coming in? Below we’ve outlined some tips of effective ways of maintaining a good relationship with a translation agency.
Now, here’s a bit of a disclaimer – as a personable, friendly agency, the tips outlined are things that WE appreciate from suppliers, however unfortunately there are agencies out there who won’t feel the same way. But don’t worry! It can’t hurt to try and get in touch with staff members at agencies you’re signed up with, and it will quickly become obvious if you’re wasting your time! But why even try? We’ve outlined in a previous blog the value of standing out and marketing yourself, and this is a very important part of that. Besides, if you’ve gone to the trouble of filling out a lengthy application form then you may as well do your best to try and get some work out of it!
The first step to take is to engage with the agency. Get in contact to introduce yourself – remember picking up a phone (though scarier) and actually speaking to someone is far more effective than sending an email which can easily be overlooked. Even better (if you’re in the area) is visiting the agency in person. You may want to arrange a good time with the agency to do this. We love having our suppliers come and visit us for a cup of tea/coffee and a chat, so next time you’re in St Albans…
Social media is another way of getting in touch with an agency. Add them on whatever you use and like/share/comment on posts (please leave a comment on this blog and like us on Facebook!).
Keep an eye on networking events and conferences agencies are attending. These present good opportunities to introduce yourself in a professional environment. Atlas Translations hold Open Days for suppliers twice a year. Come along, meet the Project Managers! You’re so much more likely to receive assignments if people can put a face to the name. We have suppliers who come to every open days and are so familiar by now we see them as part of the team rather than freelancers.
Keep in touch with your agency and send them frequent (perhaps weekly) updates on your availability. Just by chance, the person you’ve just emailed may have received an urgent assignment in your language pairing. Suppliers often think that this would be annoying for the Project Manager but trust us, it’s not. And it’s a great way of getting your name known by the members of staff! If you do email saying you’re available, please do remain contactable, and perhaps stick an automatic out of office message on if you’re not. We have suppliers who email us telling us they’re available, only for us to email them 10 minutes later and not receive a reply – not the best way of maintaining a good relationship!
Above all, be friendly. These are people you’re dealing with, and (in most cases) not some soulless, faceless corporation. We understand it can be frustrating to sign up with an agency and then not receive any assignments, but what will make this worse is getting upset/angry and complaining directly to the people you want to work with! Instead, give the agency a call for a friendly chat, reminding them you’re available for work and what it is you do. Being polite and friendly will go a long way to forming a long lasting successful working relationship with a translation agency!