Languages play a key part in majority of cultures throughout the world. They are at the very heart of both; social affairs and the business world. Although languages can be a barrier in communication for some, whether in day-to-day activities or during their international escapades, for others, they are a direct source of income and a way of life.
Being a professional translator or interpreter requires not only an in-depth language knowledge, which exceeds the typical knowledge of even a native speaker, but also a thorough understanding of a given business field – whether it’s marketing, legal or the medical sector.
In return, working as a certified translator offers a sense of freedom and being your own boss; choosing who you wish to work with, where and when you wish to work or the jobs you wish to undertake. Some of the most talented and experienced polyglots are easily able to earn over £5,000 each month by providing translation services.
Nonetheless, these perks come at a price – the more seasoned linguists will tell you that only the most passionate and dedicated language experts will be able to handle this demanding job and make it their career, allowing them to earn such salary.
There are two main directions a certified linguist can take; either working as a freelance translator directly with clients, or working through a translation agency, which then provides the clients. There is indeed a great number of translation agencies which work with professional linguists, many of them, such as Certified Translations TS24 or ‘Language Reach’ offer a variety of jobs from some of the largest and well-known companies in the United Kingdom. Cooperating with such translation agencies allows linguists to work with interesting materials and fulfilling projects.
Nonetheless, one of the most difficult aspects of working as a professional linguist is…well, starting. At the beginning, trying to find customers and agencies to work with can be rather daunting. For that reason, we have prepared a list of factors and aspects which can help you in your translation career and which will allow you to find and approach potential clients, whether you choose to work through an agency or directly with the customers.
- Create your own website
Globalisation and technology developments allow people to connect with ease, and this is a great opportunity for accredited freelance translators. By owning your own website, you will be able to attract more potential customers and build a stronger audience. A website will also allow you to clearly describe your services and any particular sectors you specialise in.
As you gain more clients, a professional website will become an integral part of your brand. This helps in building a stronger image and in portraying yourself as a translation expert, giving you further exposure.
Another great advantage of owning your own website is that it will let the customers find you directly through search engines, such as Google.
- Social Media
Social media are a truly fantastic tool for increasing your audience and finding new potential clients. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Instagram – such platforms will allow you to easily showcase your expertise and grow your brand significantly.
Additionally, if you keep a blog on your website, you will be able to share the articles you have written with your followers, consistently increasing relevant traffic to your website.
Social media platforms also let you to create ads and sponsored content. By doing this, you can target a very specific audience with a relatively small budget. This can be a truly significant stimuli for your business, especially in the early stages when each customer is essential.
- Be productive
Not having too many clients to work with at the very beginning of your translation career isn’t something to worry about too much. In fact, that’s the case for most linguists providing certified translations. In order to grow your customer base, you must stay productive.
You can do that by posting articles which can inspire your audience, or which allow your potential customers to find you directly. Publishing articles and posts on your blog & social media platforms in the languages you cover will allow you to smoothly showcase your expertise, creativity and professionalism. Additionally, by regularly writing posts, you’ll be able to grow your following and client base.
- Be efficient and organized
When it’s time to contact people, using email campaign is the best way to outreach a large number of potential clients in a short period of time. Building your database of the potential customers and translation agencies will allow you to approach contacts and showcase your expertise easily.
Nonetheless, its essential to remember that you won’t be the only one emailing them. Translations agencies receive tens, if not hundreds, of similar emails each week. As a result, it’s absolutely vital to ensure that your email is well-written, concise and professional. It’s crucial to mention the most important information; your rates, specialities, languages covered and typical turnaround times.
- Be accurate and reliable
Being accurate and reliable are perhaps the two most important aspects of working as a certified linguist. By providing precise translations, you’ll be able to create a strong brand and encourage customers to come back to you regularly with their translation requirements. This can be especially significant with business clients, who may require language services on regular basis.
Another important aspect to pay attention to is your responsiveness. The language industry is extremely fast-paced, and often services are required within the matter of hours.
Being responsive is considered an extremely important factor by the translation agencies when it comes to working with freelance translators. Ensure that you are able to respond to emails and phone calls immediately as this will guarantee steady workflow in this competitive environment.
As you can see, the early stages of working as a professional translator can be indeed quite frightening. The lack of experience and clients can seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of patience and hard work, your customer base can grow significantly. Keeping the customers is yet another challenge…