10 self-marketing tips for freelance translators
Your LingoProfile: 10 self-marketing tips for freelance translators
We just launched our free LingoProfiles, which get listed in our translators directory, and now you can then create your own for free to showcase your work as a freelance translator. We have received countless feedback from our early testers, and compiled a few tips and tricks on how to improve your profile and make the most out of your presence on LingoHub. What follows are 10 useful tips for freelance translators like you, to help you make your LingoProfile stand out, especially now that we have ended the sneak preview phase and the profiles are discoverable in a search and directory listing, so make sure it looks great!
1. Your Profile Picture
Your LingoProfile is a very visual-rich website at first view. The most important part therefore is your picture. Make sure you select a great-looking picture that shows both your personality as well as your professionalism. Be individual: You should pick a situational photograph over straight profile shot. Smiling is a good idea. For the artists among you, maybe a black and white version of a picture looks even more refreshing, but don’t apply too much Instagram, that will not convince a visitor. Lastly, experiment a bit, make sure it is cropped correctly and looks great in conjunction with the other information on your profile. You can try a few different pictures to see which one works best.
2) The Description Text
The first 140 characters of your description text will be shown at the top of your LingoProfile. Therefore, make sure the first sentence already captures the essence of what you want to communicate (who are you, what do you offer, what are you looking for). Continue providing some detail on your professional history, interests and special skills. Do not forget to mention what it is you are looking for. As we only allow five areas of expertise as tagged keywords, you can then use additional space in your description to outline a few more areas where you currently work in or have worked at. An example would be: “I worked in the nutrition industry for a while so I also translate products in food, health, diet, fitness and cooking” (notice how this includes a whole array of additional keywords). Please write in full sentences, make it a clear and cohesive text, and ensure that there are no spelling mistakes. We will offer the option of providing a translation of your description text soon, for now, the Profiles are in English.
3) Your career portfolio
At first sight all the options must be a bit off-putting, but once you had a look at your profile, you will understand why all this information about schools, degrees and work experience is so important: it will provide a well-rounded picture of you as a professional to potential customers. Fill out the most important things, like language degrees, foreign work experience, additional coursework, seminars or anything else that will convey your skill, expertise and professional background. Sell yourself, do not be shy. You know you are skilled, it is just a question of communicating that properly. Have the courage to leave out things that aren't relevant.
4) Your Certifications
In many countries, you can obtain certificates as a language professional in a variety of areas. Should you have any, please provide them. In the search for quality and trust, many customers have confidence in certificates. Language associations or professional unions sometimes issue these, as do government bodies and courts, especially in the area of legal translation. In the future, our directory will allow filtering search results by certificate, so make sure you include yours if you have them.
5) Pimp your channels
You probably have a few other online channels you use, so why not provide links to them? As a great side effect, this will add some color symbols to your profile and signal to visitors that you are web-savvy and connected in your business. Many translators include at least links to their personal websites and LinkedIn page. Note that these are just links, there is not integration or data sharing involved when you include those. Most interesting are LinkedIn, Twitter and personal blogs.
6) Link to your profile
This is probably one of the single most important things to do if you want to increase your profile's search engine ranking. Wherever you can, link to your LingoProfile (on your Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website etc.). Search engines like Google work that way, and rank your profile higher afterwards. We will provide some buttons for that in the near future.
7) Tell your story!
Focus and consistency go for LingoProfiles just like they are a valid advice for CVs: tell a story, don’t just list things. Imagine someone visting your profile, will the reader get a good idea of your person and professional background? Sometimes it makes sense to just leave out really unimportant or unrelated things, but go into more depth with items that are important for you in marketing your current career goals. Think about what matters to a potential customer, not what matters from your perspective.
8) Projects Portfolio and Samples
You have the opportunity here to add some stand-out freelance projects you have done in the past or that you’re currently working on, including some sample translation. This comes in especially handy for translators working in marketing, as slogans and convincing language are some of the hardest thing to localize. Projects are distinctly such you have done as a freelance translator, they are not employments. Space here is not an issue, but it is enough to include just small parts as references here. Most importantly, these project listings should convey experience and skill. Sometimes quantity isn't everything, so leave out projects that are not as exciting or relevant.
9) Your languages
Lastly, one of the first things you probably filled out was your native language. On LingoHub you can add up to two native languages. If you speak more languages, please use the description text. The language pairs then are those languages that you actually offer translations in. Please also list the directions that you offer, most translators translate into their own native language(s) only. Many languages have local varieties, so be specific! Once done, on the great map you see at the top, we will then color the countries you cover linguistically. That way, a potential customer can see right away the benefit of hiring you!
One thing we are doing is optimizing the profile for search engines. To optimize that on your end, we suggest a username as close to your real name as possible, as it will also be part of your profile URL. Another reason why your username should be very close to your name, is to make it memorable, and to reflect professionalism. Good example: “tomjones”, bad example: “t-dog1981”.
Many thanks for reading, and I hope these tips help you give your profile the finishing touches. Do not hesitate to email me with questions, and I assure you we will keep you posted on upcoming changes to LingoHub. These are exciting phases of our project, and it will become a lot clearer very soon where we are headed. We are immensely proud that you're a part of this project and hope you follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, Linkedin or Blog to read a bit more about what we're doing.