Popular freelancers have more work. They are well-known, recommended, referred to when needed. This sense of professional popularity, or fame, boosts productivity, self-confidence, and in the end: income. Who wouldn’t like that?
The best news is that we all start from zero. We all come to the profession at some point and have to work hard to gain recognition. We need some courage, good branding, and a list of things we have to do. Below you can find a list of things I did and I recommend every freelance translator should do, inspired by this article on Freelance Folder. The best thing about items on this list is that they’re all interconnected: one causes the other. A colleague inspired by this post run a survey among translators and interpreters and presented her results in a great infographics. Have a look!
1) Attend an event
There’s much to be said in favour of attending events. The general rule is: go to as many events as you can without negative impact on your work. Appear here and there, network with some people, look out for opportunities.
What I did: I went to an event organised by the Interpreting Division of the Chartered Institute of Linguists on interpreting for the media. It led to 4, 6, 8 and 9.
2) Volunteer to help out at an event
Being on the other side of an event is a great experience. You’ll learn how things work, but you’ll also meet many people behind such events who are always worth knowing. As an organiser, you’re also perceived as more experienced and more knowledgeable.
What I did: Only recently, I volunteered to help at Websites for Translators’ stand during Language Show Live. It led to 8, 5.
3) Join an organisation
Becoming a member of an organisation is a very wise step. You’re joining a group of like-minded people and you can add your expertise to their experience. It doesn’t have to be a translation or language-related organisation. Perhaps you could add an extra angle to other markets?
What I did: I’ve just joined Chartered Institute of Marketing. I’m hoping to do 1, 2 and 4 with them to start with.
4) Write an article
By researching a certain field needed to write an article, you already become richer in knowledge and experience. It becomes your field of expertise. When the article gets published, you’re also acknowledged. It drives publicity. There’s a wide range of options, from online to printed.
What I did: I wrote an article for The Linguist on social media following 1. It lead me to 8, 9 and 10.
5) Write an ebook
Whether you want them to pay for it or not, writing an ebook is a great marketing opportunity. There are so many unexplored areas of translation (or working as a translator), that writing a short text can be exciting! You’ll also be able to prove that you’re an expert in your field.
What I did: I wrote an ebook on CVs for freelance translators. It led me to 4, 7 and 9.
6) Join a committee
Many organisations rely on help of their members. By joining a management committee you get involved in important aspects of the profession, you can bring change and have impact on your industry. It also makes you look more professional in the eyes of your clients.
What I did: I was invited to become a member of the management committee of the Interpreting Division of the Chartered Institute of Linguists following 1 and a co-head of the UK Chapter of IAPTI. So far, it led me to 1, 2, 8.
7) Write a guest post
If you’re not blogging yourself, writing a guest post to be published on somebody else’s blog can bring more traffic to your website and more attention to you. It’s an excellent way of showing that you know what you’re doing. In the end, someone else published something you wrote.
What I did: I wrote a guest post for Wordyrama just this week. Considerably more traffic on my own website!
8) Give a presentation
It has a range of benefits to a freelancer. First, you become recognisable. Second, they take pictures of you that you can use to market yourself. Third, you practice public speaking (boosts confidence needed to talk to clients).
What I did: Following 1, I approached one organisation and gave a presentation on social media in the languages industry. It led me to even more presentations, 4, 9 and 10.
9) Run a seminar
Running a workshop or a seminar is a great idea to earn more money. There’s nothing bad or wrong about monetising (or capitalising) on your skills and knowledge. If you have unique knowledge or experience, share it.
What I did: I run a few workshops on social media in the languages industry, both online and offline. It led to 8, 10.
10) Get interviewed
After you’ve done things from 1 to 9, I’m sure someone somewhere will notice you and want to interview you. It’s a brilliant opportunity to present your whole profile and experience, and use it later in your marketing. Well, I don’t know a client who’d turn down a translator who has been INTERVIEWED by someone.
What I did: I was interviewed last week in a new Rock the industry series. I’m still thinking what to do with it, besides bragging about it to my clients!
Now you tell me, what did you do to become more popular and capitalise on that?