How Eva Stabenow Attracts the Right Clients with her Freelance Brand
Like many freelancers, marketing doesn’t come easy to Eva Stabenow, MA. A freelance translator since 1995, Eva uses her freelance brand to attract the right type of clients “without the heavy lifting of self-promotion.” Her company is Wordplay Translations LLC.
“My brand creates trust and instills a sense of confidence in potential clients and colleagues. I stand out from other translators,” says Eva, who helps her clients develop linguistically exact, impactful and culturally appropriate content for the German and U.S. markets. She specializes in medicine/pharma, health, fitness/wellness and skincare, and marketing, digital marketing and software/app localization.
Here’s Eva’s current brand.
Freelance Brand Increases Referrals to the Right Clients
Most of Eva’s new business comes from referrals and her brand helps her get those referrals. “Using my logo and my tagline in business communication, even with colleagues, puts me top of mind when something in my realm comes up,” says Eva, who is an American Translators Association-certified translator.
A Compelling Business Name Helps Attract the Right Clients
Eva started developing her freelance brand soon after she launched her freelance business when she was developing her first website. She started by choosing her company name, Wordplay Translations. Since most freelancers use their personal names, having a compelling business name helps Eva stand out and attract more and better clients. Her husband, who’s a musician, brainstormed company names and helped her come up with Wordplay Translations.
Here’s what Eva’s first business card looked like.
Logo Helps Attract the Right Clients
In 2003, Eva moved from Germany to the United States. To attract the right clients, she needed to develop a new website. “I asked a friend who is a musician and a graphics designer to do my website. He wanted a logo for the website,” says Eva. Another friend, who was an artist and printmaker, developed Eva’s logo, shown here on her second business card.
Updated Logo Reflects More Dignified Tone
By 2008, the focus of Eva’s business had changed and she hired another designer, referred to her by a colleague, to redo her logo, website, and business cards. In 2012, Eva refined her logo again, taking the dog out. “I got feedback that the dog logo was too cutesy,” she says. A colleague had referred Eva to this designer too.
The Right Colors
Eva chose two colors for her logo and branding:
- Burgundy/maroon, which she had been using before, as the main color
- Sand as the secondary color on her website.
She chose these colors because she liked them, and because sand wasn’t as stark as bright white.
“I had never thought about the effects of color or what a logo should contain when I first developed my brand and logo,” says Eva. She knew that she wanted a bold, bright look, but toned it down because she wanted to create a sense of interest and reliability and trustworthiness.
When Eva later learned about color theory, she found that her choice of burgundy/maroon as the main color fit her personality and brand. According to the website The Psychology of Color, burgundy/maroon means that a person:
- Values individuality and being unique
- Is introverted and seeks value in time alone
- Shows unconventional thinking
- Wants to express her/himself without seeking attention.
Burgundy/maroon also increases energy in a thoughtful, dignified, and controlled way.
Tagline Builds on Company Name and Logo to Attract the Right Clients
The designer learned about Eva’s business and came up with a tagline, “Communicating Ideas Across Cultures.” A tagline is a memorable phrase or sentence that helps your target audiences understand what you do. A logo with a tagline is the main way you show your brand. A logo is an image, symbol, or other design to identify your services.
“Communicating Ideas Across Cultures” helps Eva express how she is different or better than other freelance translators. This isn’t unique, because all good translators communicate across cultures. But by using this idea in a tagline, Eva positions herself as different from and better than other translators. This helps her attract the right clients.
As Eva worked with her designers over the years, she realized that she wasn’t communicating well with them. “I was able to tell them what I didn’t want, but hadn’t yet learned to communicate what I did want,” she says. “They must have been incredibly frustrated with me.”
Updated Branding Attracts the Right Clients
In 2012, Eva developed the branding and logo that’s she’s using now. This time, when she hired a designer, she was better at communicating what she wanted. “I was able to emphasize that intercultural communication/cultural appropriateness was more of a focus than exactness (differentiation from “technical translations”), and the need to balance two specializations: Precision (medical, health, IT/localization need) vs. appropriateness/creativity (marketing/advertising need).”
Here’s Eva’s current business card, with her current logo.
Eva had also learned that while feedback from others was helpful, she had to trust her instincts.
“If you listen to everyone, you’ll wind up as confused as I was. You know what you like – and you’re the one who has to live with the result,” she says.