Translating is a profession that requires much more than just skill in order to gain employment. To be recognised in a field that is potentially open to any fluently bilingual person, you more often than not have to go the extra mile in order to get ahead. This is when networking becomes a translator’s best friend as the possibilities it opens up are indeed, endless. Social media has made networking, for any purpose, much more easy and effortless than the practices of the dark ages of a decade ago. Promoting yourself online isn’t just an added bonus when it comes to finding work, it is now practically essential.
LinkedIn and Facebook are creating enormous opportunities for professionals to promote themselves; these are two platforms that translators especially need to take advantage of. If you work as a translator then you have the potential for employment across the globe. You have a skill that could be required by anyone from anywhere, depending on their needs. Connecting with these people via the Internet will ensure that your expertise in language is accessible to those who require it. As a translator, your online presence needs to grow in order for your employment opportunities to expand.
As corporate translation companies develop and recruit more freelance translators, you need to ensure that your name is known and your reputation is a good one. If you speak an incredibly intricate or specialised language then promoting yourself via social media is a great way to reach a wider audience. There are many companies who have websites where you can select from hundreds of languages all on the same page – they are practically one stop shops for all language needs. If you can find work with one of these companies then that’s great, over time as you demonstrate your skill and reliability they will send more work your way. Work of this nature is of course never guaranteed and making a living this way can often be unpredictable and precarious. If you have additionally established yourself as a freelance translator then you have increased your chances of a consistent income.
One of the best ways to get started when it comes to networking as a translator is to set yourself up with a website. This might sound obvious to most but it isn’t a tool that everybody is using. A website is a great way to have all of the relevant information about yourself and your services in one place. You can even show examples of your work and talk about your qualifications and experience. A website is also a great place to have references from other people who have previously assigned you to complete translation work. Once your website is ready you can then create profiles on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google +. As you add more friends and share more information, you will soon start to build a community of people who are interested in your services.
As you spend more time networking and developing your community online, you will see an increase in the amount of people interested in what you have to offer. You now have the potential to reach anybody around the world and to build a working relationship with them. The Internet is a fascinating and extremely useful thing; when it comes to networking ensure you are making the most of its capabilities to make the most of yours.
Natalie Jones is a recent graduate of Creative Writing and Journalism from London Metropolitan University. She is working as an online marketing intern at Quicklingo, where she is currently discovering the complex world of SEO and Social Media Management. She has also worked as a freelance writer for a variety of online publications.