One of the best ways to improve your translation reputation is to get published.
If you want to improve your translation reputation, some of the best ways of doing this are to get published, deliver lectures, or even hold workshops. Find out what local or national translator communities exist in your area, and make sure you get involved. Offer to write for their publications, become active, even deliver a lecture. This may require doing some volunteer work, but along the way, you’ll be gaining a reputation that will make you very attractive to high-profile clients.
Create Your Own Brand
If you’re a freelance translator looking for direct clients, then why not create a brand around your business? You need to be noticed, and direct customers have to discover you. All professional translators should have their own website. It’s not imperative that you maintain a blog, but it is imperative that you have a web address. Your website is like a physical address because it’s where people can find you. And because it’s the home of your business, it must make a good impression on your visitors. Make sure that the content on your website is informative, appealing, and current. If you do like to blog, you can spice up your brand by building a community around your business. Aesthetics, meaning the professional appearance of your website, and the ideas, suggestions, and arguments put forth on your site all help to make it appealing to your target market. It’s also how you get noticed!
Even if socializing is not exactly your thing, you do need to get social and start professional networking. Both your clients and potential clients need a way to connect with you, and you need a way to interact with them, and that’s why many people have both Facebook and Twitter profiles. LinkedIn is another great professional networking website where freelance translators can connect with each other: there are thousands of members in many translation groups, all available for you to learn from and interact with. Some of these groups are specifically set up for publishing jobs.
Create Profiles on Translation Cafe and Proz.com
These are professional sites created for translation clients, and this includes direct clients, to look for professional translators. You’ll get maximum benefits from these sites if you purchase a membership, but the general consensus as that these sites are well worth the money spent. Remember that, when you create your profile, create a complete, informative profile!
Ask for Recommendations
Don’t hesitate to ask your satisfied customers to give you a reference, because most customers are more than happy to give you a recommendation. But, you may have to ask for it! Tell your happy customers that you’d appreciate their endorsement, and offer some of your business cards for them to spread around. Obviously, the relationship you have with this client must allow for this kind of request, because nobody likes a pushy translator! Being too pushy could well put your relationship at risk.
Learn How to Communicate
Our suggestion is that you read at least one book on business negotiation and communication. As a translator, you spend the majority of your time sitting at a computer, but if you’re going to put yourself out there to meet with people who can help grow your business, then it’s important that you make a good first impression. There are many good books out there that will teach you how to become a good business negotiator and communicator. For that little bit of extra confidence, read one or two of these then go and make your first contact?
Do You Live in the City?
If the answer to this question is ‘yes,' then you probably have more opportunities than other translators. There are many kinds of industries in big cities where you have the potential to meet foreign investors looking to localize services and/or products. Be on the lookout for new foreign investors, and work out who the existing foreign investors are in your city. Make good use of the city where you live!