Friday, 25 March 2016

BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE

I recently celebrated one year as a freelance translator (hurrah!).

During the first six months or so, I worked almost exclusively with agency customers (for whom I completed an application process). Recently, I have also been working with some direct customers (who I mainly found through contacts and recommendations).

My work flow has gradually become very healthy (by mid-February, I already had orders taking me through to the end of March). I even find myself regularly having to turn down work with my agency customers due to a lack of availability. However, I decided that as my company is maturing, so should my online presence.



There are two main reasons for this:

1. To have a more professional image,
2. To attract more customers searching for the services I provide, by being more visible on the web.

With this in mind, I recently took the following steps:

In addition to this blog, I already have a (very basic) website, which I plan to develop over the coming months. I have been meaning to set time aside to do this for a while, and thanks to a very busy March, now is the time I can really afford to.

I have also been making an effort to connect with more people on Twitter and follow subjects and causes related to modern languages, and translation in particular. In doing so, I have learnt a great deal, discovered interesting blogs and networked with more people in my industry. A fellow translator, Eric Hansson (@erik_hansson), recently created the #xl8promote hashtag as an initiative to promote professional translators. If any of you would like to take part, send him a direct message and get your name tweeted!

I also recently wrote a guest post that was published on Nikki Graham’s blog, in her series on Translation MAs: http://nikkigrahamtranix.com/2016/03/11/the-benefits-of-an-ma-in-translation/. Hopefully this will help people understand the importance of education and training in our profession and provide potential translators with information on the courses available.

To round it all off, I have just created a Facebook page for my business (https://www.facebook.com/translatingmatters). I am hoping this will direct more traffic to my blog and website.

If any of you have any hints/tips/experiences to share related to building an online presence, feel free to comment at the end of this post!

Happy Easter!






Wednesday, 3 February 2016

LONG OVERDUE!

Firstly I’d like to wish my fellow translators a belated happy new year, and apologise for my absence from the blogosphere these past few months - the end of 2015 was very busy for me, with plenty of work coming in after the summer period. 

As this blog is dedicated to sharing my experiences as a (relative) new-comer to the world of freelancing, here are some of the things I have been up to over the past few months and the lessons I have learnt. Hopefully these lessons may be of use to other translators who are new to freelancing.

Continuing Professional Development

When you work for yourself, it is easy to get comfortable when the jobs start coming in and you are invoicing a decent amount every month. However, in my opinion, it is important to keep learning and add new strings to your bow! Personally, I find that sitting at a desk all day translating can sometimes be a little solitary, so I decided to invest in my company (and myself) by attending training organised by a translation company. In late October, I went to an introductory one-day workshop on voiceover work in London. This full day of training was beneficial to me on many levels – the content was interesting, the trainer had many connections in the industry, the course meant leaving my home and talking to people and I was able to meet other translators and network. I am planning to attend the second part of this course in April, before attempting to put this training to use. I have already told some of my agency customers about this training, and they have expressed an interest! So go on, go out, meet new people, learn something new and show people reading your CV that you are constantly looking to pick up new skills! 

Word of Mouth

In my last blog post I mentioned that I had just picked up my first direct client. Since then I have been working for another two direct clients and have been in discussions with respect to potential work with a few more. I would like to say that this was down to my hard marketing efforts, but that would be untrue. In fact, the last few months were so busy that I didn’t have the chance to work on contacting new leads as I had planned. The new clients I picked up actually found me though contacts of mine (former colleagues and former contacts from my teaching days) who recommended my services. Although I do intend to put more feelers out for direct clients this year, my experience goes to show that it is important to network, stay in touch with people and generally do a good job so people will remember you.

Now that I have been freelancing for almost a year, and have determined that I can pay my rent, feed myself and go out and enjoy life, my next step will be to make some time to grow my business and expand my customer base. Watch this space!