I recently celebrated one year as a freelance translator (hurrah!).
During the first six months or so, I worked almost exclusively with agency customers (for whom I completed an application process). Recently, I have also been working with some direct customers (who I mainly found through contacts and recommendations).
My work flow has gradually become very healthy (by mid-February, I already had orders taking me through to the end of March). I even find myself regularly having to turn down work with my agency customers due to a lack of availability. However, I decided that as my company is maturing, so should my online presence.
There are two main reasons for this:
1. To have a more professional image,
2. To attract more customers searching for the services I provide, by being more visible on the web.
With this in mind, I recently took the following steps:
In addition to this blog, I already have a (very basic) website, which I plan to develop over the coming months. I have been meaning to set time aside to do this for a while, and thanks to a very busy March, now is the time I can really afford to.
I have also been making an effort to connect with more people on Twitter and follow subjects and causes related to modern languages, and translation in particular. In doing so, I have learnt a great deal, discovered interesting blogs and networked with more people in my industry. A fellow translator, Eric Hansson (@erik_hansson), recently created the #xl8promote hashtag as an initiative to promote professional translators. If any of you would like to take part, send him a direct message and get your name tweeted!
I also recently wrote a guest post that was published on Nikki Graham’s blog, in her series on Translation MAs: http://nikkigrahamtranix.com/2016/03/11/the-benefits-of-an-ma-in-translation/. Hopefully this will help people understand the importance of education and training in our profession and provide potential translators with information on the courses available.
To round it all off, I have just created a Facebook page for my business (https://www.facebook.com/translatingmatters). I am hoping this will direct more traffic to my blog and website.
If any of you have any hints/tips/experiences to share related to building an online presence, feel free to comment at the end of this post!