|Ewa at a local networking event (on the left)|
5. TALK TO PEOPLE, and again, I don’t mean pitching. Just be open-minded and ready to mention (if the circumstances are right) that you have your own business and you do this and that. Try to do it in a chatty way – no presentations at this point. Mind you, people who work from 9 to 5 and who are surrounded by other people who also have fixed working hours are fascinated by (or at least very interested in) freelancers’ lifestyle.
6. BE SPONTANEOUS. I get very interesting jobs purely by accident. These ‘accidents’ though were triggered by my spontaneous actions, where for example I popped into a Polish shop (in the UK) and had a chat with the owner who ‘accidentally’ was looking for a translator. Another time, I gave my business card to someone from a non-profit organisation, during the open days in October last year. Today, someone from this organisation called me and said that some of their clients need their diplomas and certificates to be translated, and she asked me whether they can refer those clients to me. Oh, yes please, thank you very much!
These are a few of the things that I have observed and experienced for the last several months. Before that, I had not been aware of the power of networking and making contacts. Now, I am more open minded, prepared (business cards in my bag and even in some pockets) and ready to make contacts, wherever I go. Clients are everywhere, not only on Proz. or TranslatorsCafe. Who knows, a (free) entry in a local directory might get you a loyal client that will stay with you for years.