How to Optimize Your Online Presence
Workplaces and Social Media
The translator workplaces and associations that you join will likely allow you to create a profile or website that you can personalize to emphasize your credentials. These might include: services offered, continuing education and certifications, past experience, specializations and other relevant information such as software proficiency or web design. You may also have a professional website in your own name, but any attempts to optimize your online presence is extremely beneficial to the contemporary freelance translator when finding work.
Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin are a great way to reach a large, widespread audience. However, some of the best ways for a translator to reach their specific market is through websites and personalized profiles. Especially when first starting off, you will likely be using a competitive translator auction process to get jobs. Potential clients may have a number of translators bidding, so you will want your website or profile to stand out above others so that clients are certain that you are the translator for the job.
Optimize Your Online Presence Via a Personal Website
One of the best ways to optimize your online presence is via a personalized website, which shows clients your level of professionalism and dedication to your field, and will come up through searches for a translator in your areas of specialization. Whether you make it yourself or you hire someone to do it, your website will demonstrate your abilities as a translator (and possibly as a web designer), and should easily provide potential clients with pertinent files such as your CV and portfolio. It must be attractive and contain any and all information that highlights your skills and areas of expertise; your domain name should reflect your level of professionalism. With your own website you have more freedom to show off other talents or specialized knowledge that may influence your skills as a translator, such as voice over, photography, video production or subtitling knowledge. You may choose whether or not to show your rates, or you could allow potential clients to upload a document to the site and receive a quote including your rates and turnaround time. Your personalized site should be up to date, and offer viewers your contact information. These are definitely key points when trying to optimize your online presence.
Of course, there isn't just one avenue to travel down when trying to optimize your online presence. When using a professional translator workplace as a means of promoting your business, you are able to create your site using pre-made prompts. You don't need to know any HTML yourself. You are also provided with beneficial tools such as profile completeness--which gives translators information on what could be added to their profiles to help them attract more clientele--and will be granted access to similar translators’ profiles to use as reference.
Many translator workplaces will also offer paying members credential verification at an additional charge. This means that the workplace will confirm your reported credentials so that potential clients don't have to. Confirmation can then be displayed on your profile (some clients prefer translators whose credentials have been substantiated). Through some translator workplaces, past clients are able to display their willingness to contract you for jobs in the future. With a strong profile, you will likely find that clients will start to contact you directly, instead of you having to bid on jobs.
The Auction Process
Translators receive many of the jobs that are posted on translator workplace websites through an auction process, so it's vital to know how to optimize your online presence on such profiles. The poster (who may be a student, agency, company, client, another translator, etc.) will post the job on the site with relevant details such as the field of the translation or job, number of words or duration, and budget and turnaround information, as well as any other information deemed necessary like CAT tool specifications or formatting-- there may even be a test translation to submit. Any translator that sees the post and qualifies to do the translation is able to bid on the job, or send the poster a quote detailing turnaround information and rates, as well as a synopsis summarizing qualifications and experience, so it is somewhat competitive.
While most potential clients will contract the most qualified translator for their specific translation, with the best rates for their budget, it is not uncommon to see jobs posted with budgets that are outside of the current acceptable industry rate standards. It is up to you as a translator to decide whether or not you want to accept a job that will not pay you your desired rate, but do keep in mind that accepting rates that are unrealistically below standards demeans our profession and lowers industry rates for us all.
So hopefully this article helped you learn more about how to optimize your online presence. If you are serious about your translation career and exercise these tips on how to optimize your online presence then you should be able to get on your feet in no time.
– written by Ryan Becker