As a freelance translator, there has always been an issue of getting new direct clients or, at the very least, receiving job offers from translation agencies. But, unlike the in-house translators, being a freelance translator means to stand on your own two feet and make yourself known in this business. Here are some steps that might help you before you broke into the freelance translation scene:
- Make an online presence
There is always a concern among the freelance translators that setting up a website requires a fortune, especially if they hire an experienced web design specialist or a company to create such a website. However, you can always build your website without knowing how to code and free of charge.
To put it simply, you can create a website with Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal, by using one click installation. To be honest, maybe you have to pay around 10$ a year or so, at least at the beginning. At any rate, it is preferable to hire a specialist or a professional company to do the work as this website will reflect your business image anyway.
- Build a blog
It is of primary importance to have a blog to establish a credibility in the translation field. By updating this blog at least once a week with a fresh piece, you will cut your way through building readership. Of course, this blog has to reflect how professional you are. Try to avoid writing pieces with grammar and spelling mistakes!
You shouldn’t post long pieces; rather, try to write quick posts in the 200-300-word range. However, those posts should be as unique and sui generis as possible. Don’t forget to link to other relevant blogs, not to mention to comment on other blogs as well. Beware that having a blog will say a lot of things about how passionate and dedicated person you are pertinent to your translation work!
- Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Needless to say, social media platforms are now a key part of every marketing strategy. They will essentially help you to market your business better. Your freelance translation business is no exception. As for Facebook, you have to create a Facebook business page, and you can always track your page performance. Also, you can resort to paid promotion methods to boost your business and increase your reach, such as using Facebook ads.
On the flip side, you may use Twitter to share opinions and ask for advice.
By so doing, you will definitely increase the number of followers. But, try to spend 10 to 15 minutes reading your Twitter feed every day, not to mention to post a few updates a day.
For LinkedIn, you have to set up a professional account, if you don’t have one, so you can gain a lot of credibilities. It will give a glimpse into your education background, qualifications and relevant experience. Try to have a strong profile and put a professional picture of yourself as well.
- Update your CV
Your CV will be one of your most important marketing tools. Try to keep it always updated and include only the relevant job experiences corresponding to your field of expertise and translation business portfolio. Make sure that the translation agencies or even direct clients want to see that you have put effort into your job application and CV, so don’t underestimate this powerful marketing tool.
- Other tips!
You have to create a strong translation portfolio on some important translation websites such as Proz, TranslatorsCafe and TranslatiorsBase. Moreover, you must have a business card where you can explicitly mention your contact information, professional email address and your title as a professional translator. Aside from the necessity of being a member to professional organizations, you can always use printed brochures and flyers, write newsletters and marketing letters to be mailed out to potential clients, and the like to market your translation business.