Translators, Self Marketing And Social Media
Translators, self marketing and social media – How Social Media Can Boost Your Career
Today we are talking about social media platforms, and how they can help you to build your career.
Whether you are already a freelance translator or you’ve just finished your studies and you’re starting to work, you must know that your success depends on one main factor: how many people know you. This might seem too definitive, but think about it: you can be the best translator in the world, and yet if nobody knows you, no one will call you and ask for your services.
I recently read this great article by Konstantinos Stardelis where he’s saying that freelancers should always spend at least 25% of their time in self-marketing.
This might seem a huge amount of time. The problem of freelancers though is that they have to take on all those roles that in a company are carried out by different departments. And among these tasks there is marketing. On the other hand, this is also what makes the freelance path much more exciting than having a single role.
For those who don’t really understand the concept of marketing, let’s simply say that marketing is the set of actions that make the difference between been anonymous to be known, from not having clients nor visitor to your website to having people finding you and calling you. With marketing you not only promote yourself but you build your reputation. And this become much easier if you use social media.
Most translators want to translate and not to deal with tasks such as marketing or accounting.
I’m afraid if you want to work as freelancer, you cannot separate these aspects of your job, and this is something you must be aware of before you start.
You have to think about it before starting because you might not be happy to do it. If you don’t feel comfortable in marketing yourself, it’s maybe better to work as an employee.
And yet, even if you are looking for a job as employee, social media platforms can be handy.
Over the last twenty years rules of labour market in Europe have deeply changed. Hiring halls, where people used to go to ask if “there is any job”, don’t exist any more. Yes, there are job centres, but their effectiveness is very limited. Most companies today want to know who they are hiring. Most companies, moreover, want people with ideas, proactive, not simple executors but people who come up with new suggestions and open new paths. Social media platforms are simply the best tool we have to show who we really are, and what we have to offer.
Some years ago I worked as recruiter for a few months, and I can confirm the stereotype: CVs are all the same. It’s difficult for someone to stand out from the crowd only by showing a CV. It’s like trying to look different by wearing a uniform in a group of people wearing the same uniform.
But with social media you really have the opportunity to show the market what you can do. The four basic social media platforms a translator should use in my opinion are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus.
I also like very much Soundcloud because I use it to upload my audio interviews. This is something no one else did, and it made me different. The secret in fact, is doing something unique, that becomes your signature.
If you’re not very keen to put private information on-line on purpose, consider that we are all already doing it. If you have a Facebook profile, if you comment under your friends’ photos or in forums, or if you do anything on-line, you are already making your information public. But usually people don’t realise it, and don’t select carefully what they put out there. So we can learn to do it better. We can select the information we want to be on-line to create a positive image of us. Because the first thing a recruiter does when you apply for a job vacancy is to google your name.
So if you have a Facebook profile full of photos where you’re drunk at parties, I’m afraid this is not going to impress recruiters nor clients. You might think it’s cruel, but this is how it works. People who hire you want to know who you are. Because they don’t want to lose their time with someone who looks not responsible, committed or trustworthy.
I’m not saying that a photo on Facebook shows who you really are. But it surely gives an idea, especially to recruiters who spend maybe 20 seconds on your application and then they move on.
My point is: whether you want to be a freelancer or an employee, people want to know who you are before working with you. So consider using social media to your own advantage, and use it to build a good online reputation.
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