I recently took a big risk!
I quit my day job to focus all of my time and energy on establishing myself as a translator. My multi-pronged approach is aimed at creating a foundation for a healthy freelancing business.
I am sharing it with you because, firstly, I am confident other translators (experienced or beginners) will find it useful, and, secondly, it will save them some time sifting through the web like I had to do.
Social media: In 2016, social media is integral to new translators. It shows that you are serious about the industry, and you can use it sell your brand, what makes you unique. I was getting overwhelmed by and spending too much time on social media. Then, I read this article on The Open Mic, and realized I need a plan. So, I took notes and created a similar strategy. And, for my LinkedIn profile, I recreated it to tell my story, instead of reading like a resume, per Anne Diamantidis recommendation during this interview for Tess Whitty’s marketing tips podcast.
In-person CPD: I highly recommend in-person CPD. I just finished an advanced French translation class at Bellevue College. While it was difficult to wake up on Saturday mornings, I was always thankful I did because I got hands-on practice, as well as feedback from the teacher, an experienced translator and project manager. My classmates and I also connected, and now we can depend on each other for support on many levels. Next up, I am attending a local workshop put on by NOTIS, the NW chapter of the ATA. The title is Dissecting French Contracts. I know that it will increase my skills, and, as a result, I will have more to offer clients. Plus, I get to be in a roomful of like-minded individuals, which is always motivating.
Website design: I cannot afford a web designer, yet. So, I designed my own. It was important to me to ensure it looked as pro as possible for clients. I used two major resources: a slide share by Tess Whitty, and the 12 critical elements every website home page must have.
Communicating with colleagues: We’re all in the same industry and face similar challenges and experience similar successes. However, I had been hesitant to contact colleagues, afraid I would be a bother. It turns out though, that translators are usually open to discussion, telling their stories, and sharing tips. I recommend using an icebreaker – I like your website; I’m thinking about going into your specialization, tell me about it; I like ___, too, want to talk about it?; I read your blog post about ___, etc.
Future: Next, I am going to sign up for some webinars. On ECPD, I will start with one titled The Business of Owning a CAT Tool. Then, I will move on to webinars in my areas of interest. ProZ also offers an abundance of on-demand webinars. Many translators use ProZ as a job-finding resource. However, I find it more useful for communication with other translators. So far, I’ve just used the terminology search, but, I recently created a list of webinars that I would like to take through them.
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