Many of us dread, or are at least skeptical of, things that are “good for us.” Experience has shown us that if something is healthy or “good for us”— exercising more, eating vegetables, reducing our sodium intake, drinking less alcohol—it’s not only going to lack taste, it’s going to require a bit of sacrifice.
You may not want to hear this, but networking is “good for you,” especially if you are a freelance translator.
Networking may be healthy—not to mention, absolutely necessary—but that doesn’t mean freelance translators have to swallow their souls, sacrifice taste, or become extroverts to do it. If you’re not sure where to start building your language translation network, one of the easiest places to get your feet wet is by using our favorite social networking tool, Twitter.
Here are five simple ways to make Twitter work for you.
I’ve been following a handful of blogs and Twitter users for several years now. While I appreciate all of the useful professional advice I glean from their tweets and blog posts, I also love getting a glimpse inside their personal lives.
For example, I follow a certain teacher-technologist named Richard Byrn. At the beginning of every month, he recaps his most popular blogs of the month. In addition to this, he always includes a photo of his dog Max and a short blurb about him. I don’t know why, but I always look forward to hearing how Max’s month went. If I haven’t been to Richard’s blog in a while, you better believe that his tweet about his pup is going to remind me to stop by.
Twitter is a great tool for spreading the word about your blog and translation services, but never forget that social networking isn’t all about you! Start retweeting other language translator’s tweets. This is an easy way to generate content and provide your followers with useful professional information. Furthermore, it’s a great way to nurture relationships with fellow language translators.
Make your “follows” count
I recently read an article revealing that 46 percent of the users following American pop star Katy Perry are fake; that amounts to a total of 46,550,588 “people” who are not really people at all. What these pop stars and the marketers paid by the record company fail to understand is that social networking success has nothing to do with quantity. It’s all about quality.
Spend your time following (and being followed) by the people you are genuinely interested in: other language translators, friends, agencies and potential clients.
You’ll often see tweets that include some random wording preceded by a # or hash symbol. This is a “hash” or “hashtag,” which is a way for people to keep an eye on things in Twitter. If you want to look at who is discussing “#freelance translator,” you can search for all the messages that have “freelance translator” out there in the Twittersphere. This was you can track conversations and see who is discussing the same things as you.
By using hashtags, you’ll make it easier for other people with similar interests to find your content too.
Start a blog and use Twitter to promote it
Language translators are in the position to make or break the reputation of their clients. One way to showcase your expertise to clients (whose credibility lies in your hands) is by writing about it on your own blog.
Write about your business, your experience in the field, and offer tips to other translators. This is one of the best ways to drum up business, establish relationships with other people in the field, and highlight your knowledge and experience. Most of the free blogging software out there has plugins that allow you to automatically tweet when you publish a blog. Use it!
If you're looking for more ways to up your networking power, we highly recommend checking out our on-demand webinar, Who Knows You? How to Build an Effective Networking Strategy!