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Freelancers & social media: do we really need to be everywhere?
Thread poster: Alessandra Martelli
No Sep 19, 2012

No we don't. Maybe in alisnaisa...

 

Alessandra Martelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:13
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A question of balance Sep 19, 2012

Thank you Maja, Anne, Tom, Tomás and Angela for sharing your thoughts.

As Anne pointed out in her thorough answers to Maja (and I couldn't agree more with what Anne shared)

The most important IMO is that we choose what we want to do/not do and expect with and from these tools - and we are happy with the way we do it


it is all a question of balance - and my aim was to point out that social connections, in any form, should be used with caution or, as Latins said, cum grano salis.
In marketing IMO there are no "musts". You can choose not to use some of the tools out there (with social media being just one of the many channels you can pick), but if you do pick some you need to evaluate what/when/how before starting out, because a bad marketing action could actually be worse than no action at all.

Down to Tom's questions about results, keeping and nurturing contacts using social media amongst other channels brought some interesting working opportunities to my attention over the years. Also, some of my peers from time to time recommend my services as a translator/copywriter to their peers, so - yes, some work also comes from those social channels (although it is a small percentage of my total workload).


 

Maja Źróbecka, MITI  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:13
English to Polish
+ ...
Stats go up ;) Sep 20, 2012

Funnily enough, another company contacted me via LinkedIn yesterday, so, Tom, let' make it 3 now

Maja


 

Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:13
English to French
+ ...
Being happy with one's business decision Sep 20, 2012

Alessandra Martelli wrote:

The most important IMO is that we choose what we want to do/not do and expect with and from these tools - and we are happy with the way we do it


it is all a question of balance - and my aim was to point out that social connections, in any form, should be used with caution or, as Latins said, cum grano salis.
In marketing IMO there are no "musts". You can choose not to use some of the tools out there (with social media being just one of the many channels you can pick), but if you do pick some you need to evaluate what/when/how before starting out, because a bad marketing action could actually be worse than no action at all.


Hear, hear!
it's like everything: as long as you're comfortable and happy with the way things are as you decided they should be, and as long as you do not feel the need for more, then there's no reason to do more and no so-called social media expert should try to convince you to register on this or that platform. It is YOUR business, YOUR decision.

If you have enough clients and make an income with them that you judge comfortable and you're happy with the way your business is, then there's no reason for you to start investing time in social marketing.
But one should also respect the fact that other translators decided to invest a minimum amount of time in there because they are starting in the industry, or because they are struggling to get clients or for whatever reason. I'm tired of regularly reading in the proz forums intolerant posts saying that social marketing is "useless" and "stupid" and that it's a waste of time. Each translator is different and unique and so is his/her business.


 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 09:13
French to English
Getting linked back in Sep 20, 2012

Just wanted to thank you, Alessandra and Anne, for your forum posts these last few days (including your articles, Anne).

Reading them made me realise that I wasn't getting enough out of LinkedIn. So I have taken the time to brush up my LinkedIn profile and send out some personalised contact requests, keeping in mind the various advice that you two have given. I must say that the network of people "linked in" to other professionals that I remain in contact with is indeed interesting
... See more
Just wanted to thank you, Alessandra and Anne, for your forum posts these last few days (including your articles, Anne).

Reading them made me realise that I wasn't getting enough out of LinkedIn. So I have taken the time to brush up my LinkedIn profile and send out some personalised contact requests, keeping in mind the various advice that you two have given. I must say that the network of people "linked in" to other professionals that I remain in contact with is indeed interesting, and many of the people I contacted have been receptive to my invitations. As many of the contacts from my former professional circle have become my direct clients, their contacts might turn out to be direct clients, too.

LinkedIn is a good way to find them, but it is only a beginning: citing the work that you've already done that is closely linked to their own work is the magic charm that really gets their attention.

It is refreshing to rediscover this site as a very personalised way to indirectly canvas, so thank you for the inspiration.



[Edited at 2012-09-20 08:39 GMT]
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Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:13
English to French
+ ...
Glad to read that! Sep 20, 2012

VeronicaCoquard wrote:

Just wanted to thank you, Alessandra and Anne, for your forum posts these last few days (including your articles, Anne).

....

It is refreshing to rediscover this site as a very personalised way to indirectly canvas, so thank you for the inspiration.


Hi Veronica - thanks a lot for your kind words, I'm glad you felt inspired and that it motivated you to get back to LinkedIn

To give some idea, you may want to check out the on-demand video of a past webinar on LinkedIn grood practices (http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/5932-linkedin_good_practices_for_translators) or my upcoming one on LinkedIn profile optimization (http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/7156-build_yourself_an_optimized_linkedin_profile)
That was the direct advertising moment of the day

VeronicaCoquard wrote:
LinkedIn is a good way to find them, but it is only a beginning: citing the work that you've already done that is closely linked to their own work is the magic charm that really gets their attention.


And that's the way the cookie crumbles... It's like real life networking - you initiate the contact, talk a few minutes, exchange business cards, follow-up a few weeks later, and maybe, months later, that person will contact you because they need your services.

Cheers and good luck!
Anne


 

Maja Źróbecka, MITI  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:13
English to Polish
+ ...
This is a great thread! Sep 20, 2012

I love all your comments and think this is the first very to the point post on social media and specifically LinkedIn.

Anne, I also do not like when people say that social media is stupid without trying it first, but I have to openly admit that I used to think the same

Everything changed when I put some heart to it and really started to think what it I can do for me and vice versa.

Hope thi
... See more
I love all your comments and think this is the first very to the point post on social media and specifically LinkedIn.

Anne, I also do not like when people say that social media is stupid without trying it first, but I have to openly admit that I used to think the same

Everything changed when I put some heart to it and really started to think what it I can do for me and vice versa.

Hope this thread will carry on.

Maja
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Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:13
English to French
+ ...
Ahem! Sep 20, 2012

Maja Źróbecka, MITI wrote:

I love all your comments and think this is the first very to the point post on social media and specifically LinkedIn.


Probably because it is one of the first threads on that topic that hasn't been succesfully trolled (yet).. it's really great to be able to exchange on that topic in a constructive way, I could not agree more

[Edited at 2012-09-20 09:58 GMT]


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:13
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
concrete, tangible translating jobs Sep 20, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

I would be interested to hear if anyone can report any concrete, tangible translating jobs obtained via social media.


Yes, I've had two through Twitter followers. However, I think they were the result of a combination of strategies that seems to be working for me.

First, I'm quite active on Twitter, but keep it limited to strictly professional tweets (well, OK, except for this morning when I must confess I diverged slightly off-topic!).

Second, I started a blog in May and I think that this has been fundamental in conveying my knowledge in my particular field (medicine). So when people check my profile on Twitter, they see a link to my blog.

Third, I have linked up Twitter with my ProZ profile and my own website by using a Twitter widget that is customised to only publish tweets that I have favourited. That means a constantly updated stream of "serious" medical/translation tweets that I have picked out. It's great because it doesn't involve any extra time, whereas Twitter and blogging certainly do!

Emma
@GoldsmithTrans


 

Alessandra Martelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:13
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, ladies Sep 22, 2012

Hi again ladies and thank you again for sharing.

Veronica, glad you found a bit of inspiration within this thread.
LinkedIn is the most challenging channel to me - in the last few months I worked on it to make my profile better, but I think I still have some work to do, and this thread is providing me with some good food for thought about it.

Maja, I loved your
Everything changed when I put some heart to it and really started to think what it I can do for me and vice versa.


I think this approach is a win-win in most settings - engagement can be hard to mantain, but adding some passion to it boosts both efficacy and quality of our efforts. After all, it is our decision whether to engage into something new or not, so being passionate about what we do is a key element is the decision-making process - at least, it is to me.

Anne, thank you for sharing your expertise and valuable tips with us

Emma, thank you for sharing your experience (and for your blog, which I read frequently!)

Cheers,
Aless


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
thanks to all Sep 22, 2012

Well

I have read your links Anne, I really think I must be more active especially in twitter, starting immediately:)


 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 09:13
French to English
Update, a month after making some contacts Nov 20, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

I would be interested to hear if anyone can report any concrete, tangible translating jobs obtained via social media.


It's been about a month since I last made the effort to "go fishing" on LinkedIn, but there's news.

I just wanted to report that the few hours of networking I spent on LinkedIn at the time are beginning to pay off -- and I haven't even been back to LinkedIn since, as I've been busy with other work. However, one of the contacts that I made about a month ago has requested my services for a very interesting project, and that counts as something. (This is actually the second quote that has been requested of me following my last "fishing trip", but this time I truly sense that it's going to work out.)

This entrepreneur started out by requesting an interview on my experiences in the tourism field in China (as he is involved in developing fashion and tourism there) and I agreed to be a guest on his blog and reply to a series of questions relating my translation of the Michelin guide to China / Hong Kong last year. I figured it would be a fun way to get some coverage, but that I might not hear from him again. Well, he certainly kept me in mind for work, and now has requested my services for documents on an upcoming fashion project.

This goes to show that LinkedIn is not time wasted: contacts are there for the making. Of course not all of them will pan out, and you have to follow up and be willing to "play" a little, but it's a lot more interesting than applying to agencies, sending in CVs for underpaid job offers or just complaining ad nauseum about how you can't find direct clients. After seven years of freelancing experience -- good, bad and ugly -- I am coming around to this type of marketing, in addition to making "real life" contacts (such as attending trade fairs). It might seem futile, but every so often you'll turn over an opportunity to "become someone's translator".

So take heart!


 
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