Announcing the new service agreements tool Reply

Good Monday, everyone! The site team is happy to announce the new Service agreements tool designed for site members:

SATballoons service agreements →

The service agreements tool allows members to:

  • create and store standard service agreements that you can use in any working relationship,
  • send service agreements to other parties, discuss terms with them and agree on conditions before any projects are assigned, and
  • keep an online record of agreements you entered into to prevent potential disputes –or solve them quickly– or to simply use them as reference.

Any member can create service agreements. Site users can only be invited to review and accept them (not a member yet? Join now →)

You can check this new tool by clicking on “ service agreements” above or by mousing over the site’s “Tool” menu tab and clicking on “Service agreements”.


More information is also available in the FAQs section.

Hope you find this tool useful and that it helps you to improve the way you work. Feedback below is welcome.

Happy translating!

Getting the most out of industry events: Part nine Reply

This is the ninth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (click here to see a full list of previous posts). As explained in the first part, tips are grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!

After the event

Tip 9: keep in touch


Coffee break during the 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy

Translation industry events represent a great opportunity to meet potential clients and collaborators. However, meeting them and taking to them during the event may not be enough to get them to remember you and to later contact you for collaboration. So, what can you do to make sure event attendees you met and that may become clients keep your name in mind? Let’s see…

  • Send them a nice-meeting-you email: if you did your homework during the event, you should have a few email addresses and business cards in your briefcase. Send a short email message to colleagues that have the potential of becoming business partners or clients (those who work in your expertise fields and language pairs, or those who own or work for translation companies). Let them know that it was nice meeting them and that you hope you can collaborate in the future. Make sure you are clear about the services you offer and that they may use. What’s important here is that you send them a personalized message and not a general one that you may send others as well.
  • Add them to your social networks: search for potential clients and collaborators who attended the event in social and professional networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When doing so, just make sure that your profile is a professional one or that the posts you make and that they see are related to the services you offer (most social networks allow you to set visibility and privacy permissions).
  • Add them to your chat list: if you use chat software such as Skype, add potential clients you met as contacts. This may increase your chances of being contacted by them for rush projects or for projects for which they don’t have anyone in mind.
  • Include their names in greetings or gift list: if once in a while you take some time to thank your clients or send them a card or a gift (for Christmas or New Year for example), make sure you include potential clients’ names in the recipient list as well. This will let them know that you keep them in mind and help them to keep your name in their mind as well.
  • Invite them to future events you plan to attend: if there are any future events that you are planning to attend and that you believe may be of interest to these potential clients or colleagues, make sure you take a few minutes to invite them and show them that you are willing to see them again. You may invite them via email or social networks as long as your message is short and to the point.

In general, keeping in touch with potential clients is easier than meeting them for the first time. So, if you managed to leave your shyness aside and make an impression during the event, you should be able to stay connected afterwards, increasing your chances of getting collaboration requests and even making new friends. In the end, and as Socrates puts it, be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.

How do you keep in touch with potential clients and collaborators?

Share below.

The next –and last– part in this series will provide you with one last tip to get the most our of industry events. Keep in touch!

Getting the most out of industry events: Part seven 1

This is the seventh post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (click here to see a full list of previous posts). As explained in the first part, tips are grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!

During the event

Tip 7: target potential clients and collaborators

While most language professionals attend industry events to learn and have fun, many also understand that investing in attending a conference or a seminar represents a great opportunity to meet potential clients and collaborators, and so increase their client and colleague database. At industry events, there will be other freelance translators and interpreters, but there will also be company representatives, sponsors and professionals who work for companies that may be hiring. So, if you are looking to meet new clients, these are the attendees you need to target. But how can we approach other attendees and find out whether they are freelance translators who, like us, are just there to learn and have fun (and probably meet clients too) or potential clients? Let’s see…

Start by approaching attendees one by one, or in groups, and open conversation. Questions such as “what services do you offer?” or “do you work for end clients or mostly agencies?” may already give you an idea of whether the other attendee is a freelancer like you or a professional working for someone else (a potential client).

Let the other person know the services you offer, the language pairs in which you work and your fields of expertise. Even if the other person is not a company representative, it may be a freelancer who can invite you to collaborate in future projects (or even send you projects they cannot handle). If the other person represents a company, information on services, languages and expertise is also relevant. In both cases, if the other person gets interested in what you have to offer (i.e. they ask questions, they follow-up on what you say, etc.), make sure you don’t leave the conversation without giving them your card.

In the case of sponsors, approach their sponsorship stand and familiarize yourself with their services. Some language service companies prepare application forms for conferences, others just invite you to leave them your contact details.

Finally, it is good practice to do some homework before the event to learn who is attending and prepare a list of potential clients and collaborators in advance. You may even contact them before the event and make arrangements to meet in person. See tips on how to plan your event here.

In the end, what matters is that you make the most out of your conference fee investment. Industry events tend to attract a good number of people and it is possible that you get a job offer from the last person you thought you would. Just make sure you are ready for the opportunity. Keep a small pile of business cards in your pocket, smile and you are all set!

Have you ever met a client or a collaborator in an industry event?

Share below.

Stay tuned! The next part in this series will explain the importance of sharing your feedback once the event is over.

Getting the most out of industry events: Part six Reply

This is the sixth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (click here to see a full list of previous posts). As explained in the first part, tips are grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!

During the event

Tip 6: make an impression

Attending an industry event means meeting a good number of people for the first time. And it’s not just people you are meeting, these are individuals who have the potential of becoming clients or collaborators in the future. So, you will want to make a good first impression and be remembered once the event ends.

But how can we make sure we are ready to make a good first impression on these potential clients and collaborators? Here are some tips: 2012 regional event in Lyon, France

Dress for the occasion: the first thing people will see when meeting you is you. At first sight, these people won’t know who you are, the experience you have, the services you offer or anything related to your personal or professional background. So, a good starting point for getting people interested in you is to reflect your professionalism with the appropriate outfit. Clothes, jewelry, make-up, etc. are taken into account by those who don’t know us when making an initial judgement. Business casual is probably what you want to wear for a conference, whether you are attending or presenting at one. For men, it may be easier than for women. However, both can be comfortable, fashionable and professional at the same.

Watch your body language: when talking to someone for the fist time, make sure your body language reflects confidence. Make eye contact, keep your hands to your side or in your lap, don’t bite your fingernails or a pen, try to sit or stand up straight, but relaxed (you don’t want to look like a robot either!), and smile. All these will tell the other person a lot about your mood and yourself.

Listen: when approaching someone, do so with genuine interest to know them. Don’t just talk about yourself, but also –and most importantly– listen to what the other person has to say. Ask questions, comment on what your interlocutor says, show interest and, with this, become interesting yourself.

Be yourself: even when the purpose of event networking is professionally-oriented, you don’t need to be promoting yourself and selling your services at all times. Not everyone will want to discuss rates or CAT tools, and some people may even get annoyed at receiving unsolicited resumes. Sometimes the best way to promote your business is to not do it at all and just be yourself. Use your intuition to know who is looking for colleagues to work with, who is looking for service providers or who is simply attending the event to learn more and have fun.

Close on a good note: whether you have nothing else to say or the conversation with your interlocutor dragged too long already, try to end it positively to increase the chances for future conversations. Make a closing remark about one of the topics discussed (“I’ll read that book you recommended then.”) or apologize for having to do something else, but let them know that it was good meeting them and give them your business card. You may also make use of your body language, offer a handshake or grab your purse.

It is said that you will never have a second chance to create a good first impression and industry events are no exception. The first impression someone has of us may be the result of their experience and the environment. However, we can add to these by doing things right the first time.

Do you know any other tips to make a good first impression?

Share below.

The next part in this series will suggest tips to gain new clients and collaborators during an industry event . Stay tuned!


Getting the most out of industry events: Part three Reply

This is the third post in a “Getting the most out of translation industry events” weekly series. As explained in the first part, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!

Before the event

Tip 2: plan your event

Attending an industry event should be more than just showing up. Yes, signing up and being there are important, but these two may not pay off if not supported by some serious planning. Mind you that planning here does not entail flight and hotel booking, or finding a good friend who is willing to water your plants. Planning your event means preparing yourself to learn, network and have fun.

iStock_000017671802XSmallIf you are planning to attend an industry event, here are some tips for you to start making your own plans:

  • Carefully pick the sessions you will attend: check the conference program and the learning objectives of each session. Keeping in mind your own learning objectives and your business plan, sign up for sessions that will provide you with information that you don’t have and that could help you to improve your work and expand your business (i.e. presentations that you could not give yourself).
  • Prepare questions: once you have signed up for sessions of your interest, prepare a set of questions for which you would like answers. You may ask these questions during the QA portion of the session, or to the speaker during a coffee break or at lunch.
  • Know the speakers: familiarize yourself with speakers, know their names, their background and the presentations they will be offering. Remember that, even if you are not attending a given speaker’s session, you will still have plenty of opportunities to network with them and discuss topics of interest to both.
  • Know the sponsors: in general, translation industry events are sponsored by companies that are also part of this industry and that may offer a wide range of solutions to language professionals. Find out who is sponsoring the event you are attending and what they offer. Do they sell language services? If so, are they hiring? Do they sell translator software tools? Which ones? Can you get a demo for free?
  • Spot attendees with common interests: if there is a list of attendees available, search for colleagues working in your top language pairs and fields of expertise. Get their names and, if possible, contact them in advance and make plans to share a drink. Meeting with colleagues who have the same specialization could help you to learn more about your niche (rates, volume, types of clients, etc.).
  • Share your plan with others: now that you are familiar with sessions and have signed up for the ones that interest you, and you know the speakers, the sponsors and a few colleagues with the same interests as you, share your plans with other attendees. Let colleagues know the sessions you are planning to attend and why, the questions you would like those sessions to answer, the speakers you can’t wait to meet. This will encourage other attendees to do the same and set the tone for the event before it even starts. For more pre-event networking tips, see Getting the most out of industry events: Part one and Getting the most out of industry events: Part two.

Remember, if you want to optimize the value of attending an industry event, making plans before attending is as important as showing up that day (if not more!). Think of your plan as a strategy to achieve a return on your investment of time and money into an event. In the end, you will attend an event to network, but also to learn how to do your job better and more efficiently.

Do you make your own plan before attending industry events? 

Post below.

The next part in this series will discuss tips to develop a marketing plan before attending an industry event depending on your goal(s).

The unique experience of organizing a event 1 events are virtual or in-person gatherings that represent the most powerful concentration of the mission statement by providing opportunities for translators to network, learn, expand their businesses and have fun.

To date, there has been thousands of events, virtually and in different cities around the globe. These events include powwows, conferences, workshops, you name it!

But what makes events different is not just the many event options available, but the fact that they are are organized by and for language professionals. Plus, they are less formal and more intimate than events in other industries, and planned in such a way as to be affordable and easily accessible.

Why organize a event?

Most event organizers agree in that organizing a event is a truly unique and rewarding experience. For them, events represent a fantastic opportunity to be challenged to do something different, learn new skills, make contacts with companies, associations and other major players in the industry. Furthermore, event organizers may find that the exposure gained by organizing an event enhances their translation business and professional profile.


“Organizing the 2013 international conference made me develop skills I never knew I had in me, gave me the opportunity to know some great professionals from other companies and areas of interest and to make some new friends, apart from the fact that having mentioned this organization on my CV and profiles all over the net, has helped my clients realize that they can rely on me as far as organization and responsibility goes!”

Paula Ribeiro, organizer of the 2013 international conference in Porto, Portugal.

Whether it is a powwow, a conference, or a workshop, if there are language professionals living in close proximity who are interested in learning, networking, expanding their business and having fun, there is the opportunity for a event!

Can I propose a event?

Sure you can! If you would like to organize a gathering of professionals for 2014, just complete the event proposal form. staff will review your poposal and contact you to discuss different possibilities available.

Fore more information on events, click here.

What’s in a good business name? 5

As a  recent poll shows, while the majority of translators offer their services with their own names (68.5%), there are still professionals who choose to do business with a completely different name (22.4%) . Some may go for an invented name, others may simply add the words “Translations” or “Language services” to their real names. Still, it seems that coming up with a good business name requires some thought and time, especially if you are just starting out in the business and still building up your professional identity.

If you are in the process of naming your business, here are some tips for you to choose a memorable and winning business name:

  1. Define your client:  decide the type of client you would like to attract (clients in a given field, clients in a given country, etc.) and think about what you want your client to understand from your name.
  2. Check competitors’ names: navigate the web and familiarize yourself with business naming trends and requirements. Would you need to add “Inc.” or “Ltd.” (or none!)? Would you call your business a “Bureau”?
  3. Use short, but powerful and descriptive words: make sure the word(s) you choose for your business name are descriptive enough and that the entire name is easy to spell and to pronounce.
  4. Check for name availability and similarity: confirm that the name is not already in use or that there isn’t a similar name that may be confused with yours. Check social media for profiles that may be using the name you want and possibly taken domain names.
  5. Check for possible translations and connotations: confirm that your name has the same connotation in other languages and that it is not considered offensive or vulgar in other countries or cultures.
  6. Narrow your options: try to come up with a list of 5-10 names and then narrow it down using the criteria listed above until you choose one name, a business name that you will have to use for the rest of your business life.

Once you pick a business name, it’s time to let the world know that such business exists. Register your domain name and get your website running, get a logo and some business cards, invite clients and colleagues to network with your business. Choosing a good business name is one of the most important branding strategies you will have to apply when creating your business image, business presence is what comes next.

More on business naming and branding:

Do you have a business name? Please share it below!