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Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Difficult Second Album

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: December 16, 2016

Everyone gets excited about the start of something new and the first job for a new client is always a good one. But what happens after that?

Once you have set the bar and delivered for the first time, where do you go next? Of course, consistency is key and everyone likes to get excellent service every time but what happens when your work is so good, it is taken for granted?

To become the “go to” person or to go from being great to getting referrals, you have to learn how to go from great delivery to stand out performer. Just as no band can make their entire career out of a single album, no provider can truly build a business on just delivering one way for a single client.

You are going to need to grow and create and innovate. The same tools what landed you job #1 will need to be refined and even rethought to land job #2. Seasons and fashions change and it takes skill to keep growing through them all.

Here’s a very concrete example. I soon realised that doing one good job for a specific agency client is no guarantee that you will ever be called again. If you want to get another assignment, you will need to follow up and make sure you are still as visible as you were before. It’s hard work but the results are always worth it.

So where has complacency set in in your business? Which of your clients have lost their passion for what you are selling? Maybe it’s time to try something new.

The Business Clients Call for the Hard Stuff

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: December 9, 2016

What type of interpreter or events manager are you? Do you get the run of the mill, straightforward stuff or are you called in when it is tricky?

There will always be simple work in every field and tons of people to do it. If you locate yourself at the high volume end of the market, there will be lots of opportunities but just as much competition. There both service and rates matter. With the importance of each of those dependent on the client and assignment.

At the tricky end, there is less work but much less competition. Some of your colleagues won’t want to even touch those projects. If you deliver on them, you win yourself not just praise but great respect and more negotiating power.

How many interpreters can confidently deal with live media work? How many event managers can deal with a multilingual, multi-strand, multi-site conference?

The people who get called for the hard stuff will always be in demand. Are you one of them?

By the way, if you are looking for interpreters who can deliver challenging assignments with aplomb, let’s talk.

The Intellectual Dishonesty of “Only”

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: December 7, 2016

Content Marketing is not the only kind of marketing left. Only ¬£10 per month is still ¬£120 per year. There is not “only” one way to work with interpreters.

Whenever someone wants to minimise a downside or blind you to alternatives, they will use “only”. The truth is, there are always many options and many routes. Nothing is ever as simple as it looks.

There are several ways to organise events and all of them will give different results. There are several ways to hire interpreters – each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Anyone who tries to tell you that their way is the only way that works is not telling the full story.

Instead of looking for the only way or the price that is only the same as a cappuccino, strip off the qualifiers and read again. The truth is often uncomfortable but it should never be ignored.

Think off-centre

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: December 2, 2016

What is the biggest problem your business faces right now? Do you need more new clients? Do you need to improve your market position or reduce costs?

Most business problems have typical solutions. Buy in temporary expertise, pay for advertising, create a campaign.

But sometimes the very fact that everyone is trying the same things reduces your chances of success. If everyone pushing for a slice of the agency market or the wedding pie, making your mark will be a hard slog.

Yet, when we really think hard and process our experiences, new and untested strategies can appear. Where are your competitors not marketing that might still offer a lucrative source of work for you? What communities are you part of where your skills may be in demand? What additional products or services can you offer that are unique to you?

Thinking off-centre means deliberately looking for creative strategies and revealing questions that will open new doors for your business. If you are in the middle of a competitive market and there is pressure to squeeze margins or suppliers, it might just be what your business needs.