I have been reading many discussions in my LinkedIn groups and most center on a particular common need : How do we market our services. In a pool of many professionals with the same qualifications and /or language pair, how do you stand out from the crowd? We have all heard about branding, specializing and finding your niche and although it is a very big part of the marketing strategy, networking for me, and lots and lots of it, has played a crucial part of my business. All of the above would not be valid if you did not do your part of putting yourself out there and be known. I know it sounds obvious but what I see from these LI groups , is that it is something that not many are doing. Done right, this is where you establish yourself as a professional and are able to set yourself apart. Face to face meeting and building relationships are still the name of the game, always was and always will be regardless of profession. Given that we are in a profession where selling our services is key, it goes without saying that this should be the major part of your strategy. It is true that you have to hand out 500-600 business cards to get one client or potential client, but that is the nature of the beast in any sales position. In the long run, the contacts that you make if you follow up and nurture your clients, they will become a source of referrals and continuous work. It is already well documented that people like to do business with people they know and trust, so why not establish that. For this reason, the initial follows-up is important because it establishes a rapport and it bridges the possibility for a future meeting. By doing this, it already sets you apart as a professional and not just a translator. It demonstrates seriousness about your business and profession and they may see you like that as well. Taking into account that you must have other sources and avenues until you build your full client base, I do find it quite amazing that the most effective (albeit the most difficult) is the one that is not fully practiced. Networking and establishing relationships is the name of the game for me and for any business willing to grow.