When you aim for more:

How to find your first direct customers for localization projects


‘I know already how to localize websites. But how do I find customers in this field?’

Maybe this is the question that crossed your mind on your freelance translator’s journey.


And maybe your first idea was to apply to localization agencies to benefit from their customer base.


Is this the only way? Is there something else you could do to promote your localization services? 


Absolutely yes!

Focus on direct customers. Think about businesses or organizations that might need a website in your language.


How to find them?


Let’s have a look at these two simple methods:



Method 1: Google Alerts


Step 1

Subscribe to Google Alerts to find out which companies are planning to enter your target market. They will probably need to localize their websites and marketing materials. Your goal is to find a small or medium business that is based in the same country as you or is expanding to the country of your target language.


For example, if you translate from English (UK) into German (DE), you can set Google Alerts to receive new articles with keywords such as ‘enters the German market’, ‘opens new offices in Germany’ or ‘is planning to enter the German market’. Of course, you can set up your alerts with German keywords as well.


Step 2

When you receive an alert, read the news article and check if the company would be a good match for you. Find out how to contact the marketing department or use the contact data provided in the press release. Then send a short message via e-mail or LinkedIn.


Congratulate on the move to the new market and subtly ask if they need help with adapting their content to your culture. Don’t be pushy or salesy. Your main goal here is to establish the relation.


Step 3

Connect with the right person or business on social media. Engage with your identified lead (again, without being too pushy) or follow up on your e-mail after a while.


Step 4

If your leads are interested in your services, you can provide them with your brochures or present your portfolio. Another idea is to schedule a very short call explaining how you can help your potential clients adapt their websites to your language and culture.


Step 5

Use your sales and negotiation skills to close the deal. ?



Method 2: Find serious mistakes


Step 1

Use Google again, but this time for different purposes. Search for websites that are already available in your language and offer content of subpar quality. Many small businesses use Google Translate plugins to display their website in another language. There are also many websites that contain serious mistakes, even though no machine was used to render the text. For example, there could be typos, special characters might be missing or the style could be poor. This is your field to shine.


Step 2

Contact a marketing department or send your message to the general company e-mail. Explain that you found issues on the website that could negatively impact user experience. Subtly suggest that you can help to remedy linguistic and/or visual errors. You can also show an example of how you could amend the copy by presenting the version ‘Before’ and ‘After’ your brilliant corrections.


Step 3

Now proceed as in Method 1 above. Don’t be aggressive, don’t expect too much, connect via social media and make sure you can prove your expertise when your potential customer expresses her interest in collaborating with you.


Now, next time you feel like attracting more website localization customers, you’ll know where to start!


P.S. If you want to learn more about localization and promoting your localization services, have a look at my online localization courses.