This article represents a wrap up of 2017, it also sets some practical solutions to improve my translation business.
I – Social media presence
A Facebook page may seem pointless but it will bring you clients if you keep maintaining and updating it. Personally, I had my first income from my Facebook page after 1 year. Do not get discouraged if people who get in touch with you ask for free services you have to behave professionally and explain that you are running a business.
This is a tutorial that will guide you step by step to create a Facebook business page. You can download a high-quality cover picture from unsplash for free and use Canva instead of photoshop for photo editing which is straightforward, online, and for free.
+ I have 2 Facebook pages that I update regularly
+ I had income from these pages
+ I respond to all my clients and potential clients
– I don’t always connect to Facebook and sometimes I respond after hours.
↪to respond faster to Facebook Page messages I activated email notification, there are other options such as auto-reply messages and more.
– Facebook pages SEO is not well crafted.
↪For example, one of my Facebook Page named Fakhri Azzouz (my name) and the URL https://www.facebook.com/linguist.com.tn/ it is not SEO optimized.
↪Write a more descriptive name and URL to attract more clients.
↪Write Facebook my story in French, English, and Arabic for both pages to target clients who use different languages.
↪Use hashtags and proper keywords when sharing posts on my Facebook pages.
II – Tools
+ I kept investing in my tools (software and hardware) like the latest SDL software, professional OCR software (OmniPage), automatic spell checkers, a new PC, and a larger screen. If you have a home office and you are not a digital nomad a desktop PC is a great choice as it is easier to upgrade, faster, more durable, and cheaper.
+ I bought a Lenovo S510 ThinkCentre as it is designed for small businesses, unlike IdeaCentre which is for home use. It is essential that you do a lot of research before buying your PC. If you are not techie enough ask people who are knowledgeable about PC hardware online or offline.
+ I added 4Go of RAM too since I use many software at the same time and open a large number of tabs in the browser when I work.
↪ The tools I may need in the future are a UPS and a software that encrypts my work folder.
Besides, to be as reliable as possible I have backups that are:
↪ Both a restore point and a backup system files drive are created.
↪ I have a laptop with necessary linguistic software installed and ready for use in case there is an unexpected issue on my main PC.
↪ In case there is an issue with my internet connection I have two backup systems ready for use.
III – Online visibility/ presence
I should not neglect to create more public profiles on different websites and platforms to have a better online visibility. Even though this seems like a no-brainer, it is effective knowing that only one client can generate a considerable amount of revenue as in the law of the vital few.
To improve the probability of finding good clients who bring regular work I should be systematic:
↪Keep track of the sites where I created a professional profile to update my profile when needed. That is to say fine tune my profile, availability, and rate.
↪Create profiles in French and Arabic websites. These sites can range from directories, professional social network, and freelancing platforms.
IV- Spontaneous application
– Not applying consistently.
The solutions are simple, I need to:
↪set a Google Calendar alerts and apply at a specific time and day of the week.
↪I don’t need to overdo it applying for 2 to 3 hours a week is enough.
– Applying spontaneously to translation agencies without including important information like specialties, rate, and experience.
↪Include specialties and rate in the subject line of the email.
↪Avoid to attach your CV and write a short summary of your career using bullet points and underlines such as:
* Native Arabic + English and French
* Rate starting from XXX EUR per source word
* Hourly rate starting from XXEUR
* I translate 1000-1500 word a day
* I work on weekends and from 10 a.m to 9 p.m GMT
Sending emails is only applicable when translation agencies do not offer the option of applying directly from their website. It is often advised to write a summary of your CV as agencies receive a large number of emails daily from freelancers and they don’t have time to read each CV.
Finally, I need to ask a few project managers that I worked with to be used as a reference even though my ProZ account shows clients and agencies that are willing to work again with me.