What’s so great about social media anyway?
Over 2 billion active social media accounts. 28% of all time spent on the internet is via social media¹. There is an audience out there for everyone on social media.
It will come as no surprise to you to know that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are the top four social networks. Now I am not saying you need to go out there and sign up to all four platforms (that is for you to decide) but each can have a positive influence on your freelance translation business. Today I will be focusing on Twitter and LinkedIn, two platforms I feel are best suited for your freelance translation business needs.
Twitter is a great platform to get your business seen and heard. Here are just some of the ways you can use Twitter to enhance your freelance business:
Find and follow prospects and fellow translators – Do you have a wish list of who you would like to work with? Find them, follow them and start replying and retweeting their content. Remember to follow translation influencers and start engaging in conversations with them, as the more conversations you take part in, the more likely you are to be noticed. This may seem very time consuming, especially when time is money and there is a deadline looming, but even spending 30 minutes a day will slowly start to have a positive impact for your online presence.
Twitter lists – You can decide whether you wish to have your Twitter list public or private. Once you have identified who you wish to follow, Twitter lists enables you to group these people together, resulting in a stream of content of people/agencies you have targeted that you can engage with.
Search for jobs – Using keywords in the search function such as “translation jobs" or “#xl8 jobs" can help you discover new business opportunities. There are also accounts such as @Translate_Jobs, which showcase opportunities.
Use hashtags to amplify your message – Hashtags extend your reach and filter your post into a conversation around this topic. Hashtags currently used in the translation industry are – #xl8, #t9n, #g11n and #l10n. You can also join in some light-hearted conversations by identifying incorrect translations you have discovered using #badtranslation.
Did you know Tweets are also indexed by Google’s search engine? This is another benefit of using the platform as your tweets are now discoverable in a Google search, extending the reach of your freelance translation business.
Have you got a LinkedIn profile? No, you should consider the benefits of this professional social network:
Optimize your profile – Your professional headline should include “freelance translator", “freelance translator (add languages)" or a line about your business. Optimizing your profile summary and experience with keywords such as freelance, translator, your CAT tool (SDL Trados Studio… I hope) use and some of your skills, will enable your freelance business to show up in search results.
Connections – You can import your existing email database to connect with your clients and people you already know. Once connected, this opens up your network to new prospects or people you are already networking with on other social networks.
Groups – Joining industry related groups such as SDL Trados Studio users, Translation and Localization Professionals Worldwide and Trad Online create opportunities to network, meet and be seen by potential prospects. These groups also have jobs boards, which could lead to a potential opportunity for your freelance business. Also consider joining groups related to your specialism, for example finance or medical.
Publish posts – Do you have a blog? Great news, by using the publish post feature you can share your content on LinkedIn. Not only will this create more exposure for your freelance business but it also shows your writing skills and translation industry knowledge.
Contacting prospects by InMail – To access this feature, you must have a paid membership. However, this feature enables you to send a message on LinkedIn’s internal mailing system to anybody. For example, if you identify a list of prospects, you can now directly get in touch with them on LinkedIn. Whilst a paid option may not seem attractive, think of the ROI if you win new business through this method of directly targeting prospects.