Social Networking: LinkedIn
Promoting Your Translation Services Via LinkedIn
LinkedIn, unlike Facebook and Twitter, is the one place to create professional relations and find jobs. Agencies and individuals in the industry have a LinkedIn account and they use it either to promote themselves or to find people to hire. At its core, LinkedIn is a network to connect professionals all over the world. By joining this platform, you will have access to other translators in your area, jobs, news, and information that will help you stand out as a translator.
One of the advantages of LinkedIn is that your profile works similar to a website domain, which, by adding relevant keywords and niche content, you can take advantage of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Besides, your colleagues or employers may add recommendations to your profile to improve your reliability. Always include links to your other profiles or websites, articles you have written, seminars or presentations online, etc. If you link your blog to your LinkedIn account, the new posts will be automatically displayed on your profile.
If you are affiliated with an important translation institution, such as ATA or Translators Without Borders, display their icons in you profile. This will show that you are active in the translation world and it will increase your online reputation.
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Maximizing Your Professional Profile
When updating your LinkedIn profile, try to keep it as consistent and concentrated as possible with field-specific information. That is to say, do not include irrelevant information, such as cooking classes you recently attended to (unless food and diary is your area of expertise). It is better to have a short and consistent profile than a large and diversified one.
Groups are another great feature in LinkedIn. Many job vacancies are posted in relevant groups. You can also use the job feature to find jobs, but since translation is only one of the fields in LinkedIn, you may not find as many translations jobs here. If you join Spanish language groups or Spanish translation group, you will have access to job opportunities posted by members of that group. One good strategy is to open a debate or post a question on a topic you are an expert on and lead the comments. This way you would gain reputation and will be known in the field. Also answer questions related to your fields of expertise. Joining groups also allows you to invite people from that group to connect with you and you will be able to send messages to the members of the group although you are not in their network of contacts.
Optimizing Your Opportunities
You can learn about the latest news and trends in your area by joining the groups of different institutions. To illustrate, the group of Instituto Cervantes of the Spanish Language Division of the ATA. You will be able to discuss linguistic and professional issues, and keep updated on the activities of other members. If you are a freelance translator, you will find interesting resources and tips in the “Freelance Translators Lounge” group.
The Advanced search of LinkedIn is a great tool to find people and agencies to send invitations and add to your network of contacts. You can also find clients in your fields of expertise. These companies may be potential clients on your fields.
Send friend request invites and accept invitations to connect with people. However, you should not accept invitations from people you do not know. This is very important for protecting your profile. There are several articles on LinkedIn that will provide you additional reasons for this caution.
Also with the Advanced feature, you can find project managers and professionals in your field. See what groups they are in and join those groups. Comment on their posts. You can do a lot for free. But if you are willing to pay, LinkedIn offers lots of options to promote yourself, such as LinkedIn Ads, which allows you to place ads in important pages in LinkedIn. Using this component and strategy, you can expose your profile and services to a greater audience.