10 strategies to expand your translation business: Part 5 Reply

This is the fifth post (already!) in the ten-part series that provides information on ten different strategies for staying competitive and growing your translation business.

Fifth strategy: Expanding your knowledge

Knowledge acquisition and business expansion go hand in hand in the translation market. Improving translation and business skills is a must for any language professional, specially if they want to meet new clients and increase their income.

Professional translators should never stop looking for new ways to expand the list of services they can offer to clients, learning how to use new translation tools and software, for instance, and constantly improving their language skills, and expanding their knowledge on translation essentials and theory.

How can I expand my knowledge at ProZ.com?

ProZ.com offers different types of training courses, webinars and educational resources available to translators and interpreters. Take training courses on:

Learn more about ProZ.com training sessions here.

What other ways of expanding your translation and business knowledge do you know? Have you ever taken a translation-related training course? Were you able to apply what you learned later on?

Make sure you check the next post in this series on Staying abreast of industry news and trends, to be posted in the next few days.

10 strategies to expand your translation business: Part 4 Reply

This is the fourth post in the ten-part series providing information on ten different strategies for staying competitive and growing your translation business.

Fourth strategy: Becoming a trainer

Language professionals who have specialized knowledge find that offering training on those topics is also a powerful method of networking and promotion, and an additional source of income as well.

How can ProZ.com help me to become a trainer?

It’s simple! ProZ.com provides translators and interpreters with all they need to share their knowledge and experience with others:

No previous knowledge on e-learning technologies needed.

  • Tools. ProZ.com provides you with tools to create and deliver your course content.
  • Guidelines. Comprehensive step-by-step guidelines to create your course from scratch.
  • Assistance. Personalized assistance by experienced ProZ.com staff.

A robust e-learning infrastructure to deliver your course.

  • Audience. Reach the largest audience of translation professionals in the world.
  • No Investment. No money or software investment needed. ProZ.com provides e-learning tools and platforms at no cost.
  • Multiple formats. Multiple delivery formats. You can choose the one that is most suitable for you.
  • Robust plataform. ProZ.com handles registration, promotion, sales, refunds, customer support, and certificates of attendance.

Create a new line of income for your business.

  • Profit sharing. Earn profit on sales per event conducted.
  • Royalties. Content creators also earn residual royalty income from the sale of their content.

Learn more about the different course delivery formats available to trainers at ProZ.com here.

What other ways of promoting your business while sharing your knowledge do you know?

Next part in this series: Expanding your knowledge. Stay tuned!

10 strategies to expand your translation business: Part 3 Reply

This is the third post in the ten-part series providing information on ten different strategies for staying competitive and growing your translation business.

Third strategy: Mentoring

A good number of well-established translators have chosen to take on an apprentice and have found that this provided them with a useful means not only of sharing their experience, but also of finding new partners for growing translation teams.

The mentoring of translators starting in the translation industry gives professional translators the chance to distinguish themselves as experts, generating trust among potential clients.

Can I mentor through ProZ.com?

A mentoring program has recently been re-activated for members of the Certified PRO Network who are ready to share their business and working knowledge with other site members. Find more information about the ProZ.com mentoring program here.

Have you ever acted as a mentor? What advantages or disadvantages have you found in mentoring?

Don’t forget to check the next part in this series to be posted in the next few days on becoming a trainer.

Are you making the best use of social media for your business? 8

A common perception of social networking sites is that they are good for socializing with friends, family, and strangers, “goofing around”, and not too much else. But social media and social networking sites (such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.) have been growing in popularity and utility for businesses for some time now. Many professionals are viewing these as tools, taking advantage of them, and using them to build their business. Freelance translators are no exception.

Some translators still seem reluctant when it comes to using social networks as a marketing tool for their businesses (see these poll results from 2009 and 2010). Some are testing the waters, and others have already become adept at leveraging key networks with good results.

Social networking communities provide an opportunity for you to contribute your opinions, interests, and skills on the Internet. They can help you recover, maintain, and build your professional business network. Among the most frequently cited benefits of using social media as a marketing tool for your business are:

  • Enhancing your online visibility
  • Advertising your name, personal branding and/or services on the Internet
  • Detecting and utilizing information that can help you grow your business
  • Strengthening your relationships with clients
  • Building an online reputation
  • Reminding your clients that you exist
  • Distinguishing yourself from the rest (by adding/aggregating valuable content)
  • “Entering the dialogue and the 21st century”– not using the Web for networking and prospecting for business “leaves you in the cold”
  • Building up a defined and selected network of like-minded and skilled colleagues
  • Getting your comments and opinions about translation-related topics indexed on Google and other search engines (on Twitter this can be done through a careful selection of “hashtags” like #xl8,  #L10n , #languages)
  • Staying abreast of the latest news and trends in the industry

Image from WebTreats ETC

Other benefits of social networks include:

  • Knowing what your colleagues are up to and following their tips on, and experiences in, translation
  • Finding out about interesting industry blog posts (and promoting yours!)
  • Following the news from one place (as opposed to going to and browsing every site and/or blog on the topics in which you are interested)
  • Receiving help in real-time (Twitter is a good example of this)
  • and having fun

Of course, it is important to start on the right foot. Here are some tips that may help you have a pleasant online experience:

  1. Be clear on what you want to achieve for your business overall.
  2. Build a user profile that is a snapshot of your skills and of the services you offer (this is what your potential clients and colleagues will see). Keep your professional profile and the activity you engage in with that profile professional.
  3. Find out what is out there and invest your energy in the social sites and/or groups that reach your target market or networking needs.
  4. Define and know your criteria for accepting social connections with colleagues and clients and feel comfortable with it (compare the difference of adding a valued, professional connection to simply adding an unknown name to a list of contacts.)

And remember, social networks can be your diary, your address book, a daily newspaper, your online ad and more. It is up to you!

Useful links:

What about you? How are you leveraging social media for your business? What other Do’s and Dont’s have you encountered?