This is a guest post by Sidse.
Being a skilled translator, or having a talented team of translators is a must if you want to succeed in the world of translation and interpretation.
However, a thing that is generally overlooked when starting a business, or starting out as a freelancer is that talent isn’t always enough. You can be the best in your field, but if people haven’t heard of you – they’re not going to hire you. So how do you make sure that people know who you are, what you do, and why you’re the right wo/man for a specific translation job?
Marketing might be nothing but a daunting business term to you. Unfortunately, you don’t have a choice but to crack on and learn some basics on how to market yourself and your top class service.
If you’re doubting your entire existence and pulling your hair out at this very moment, don’t worry. Here’s an actionable 5 step list to marketing your translation services as a freelancer or a small agency. Good luck!
People generally believe things that they can see, more than things you tell them. In other words, you can either write ‘I’m a talented translator’ or write a small case study and show them some high quality work that you’ve done. Which do you think is most convincing?
Your portfolio should be things you’ve translated, your qualifications, a copy of your CV, associations you’re a member of, personal information, and whatever else you think might be relevant for potential customers.
If you want people to find and hire your services, a website can be an incredibly important asset! A site where people can browse who you are, what you charge for your work, what kind of projects you’ve worked on in the past etc. will help convince potential customers that you are the one for their job.
Setting up a website doesn’t have to be hard. There are different ways of doing this and it all depends on your budget and what you require from the site. Wix.com and wordpress are two very popular sites. Both platforms are easy to use, and you should be able to make up a website quick and easy. If you’re wanting something more professional, and have some budget set aside – then hire a web designer or a digital agency to do the job for you.
Social media is a great way to let people know that your services are available. Register for all the networks that you can think of, but don’t spread yourself too thin when posting updates. Pick two or three networks that you want to put some efforts into, and then do so consistently.
Invest a few hours into getting your LinkedIn profile up to speed with your career. We live in an increasingly digital world, and LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing professional networks. When you apply for a job, or pitch for an opportunity it’s highly likely that someone will Google your name. If you have a LinkedIn profile, it’s likely to show up on one of the first pages of Google (that is if you have a fairly unique name). It’s an easy way to guide people’s expectations, and let them know who you are and why you’re good at what you do.
The dreaded networking. Is it really that important? The short answer is yes. In a world where everything is digital, putting a face to the emails, the 140 characters and a website can be extremely powerful. Sometimes, even just showing up puts you ahead of the curve!
Competition is tough, and you need to stand out. Attending industry events and other networking opportunities can help you do just that.
Reviews are golden nuggets. As soon as you’ve got a few great reviews people will automatically associate you with some good quality work. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to write a little review at the end of your job. If you’ve done well and completed the task as expected, people will most likely say yes.
Another thing you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for, is referrals. Let your clients know that you are looking for more clients, and ask if they will spread the word if they hear of anyone who needs a job done. It’s an easy way to be introduced to new folk and clients, and again – if you’ve done a good job people will usually have no problem referring you on.
So there you have it, 5 actionable steps to marketing yourself as a freelance translator or your small translation agency. Crack on, and good luck!
I’m Sidse and I am a writer for Global Language Services Ltd. Global Language Services Ltd. is a translation and interpretation agency. Though based in Scotland, our reach goes way beyond the northern UK. We are always looking for new talent, so if you’re on the job hunt feel free to get in touch.