Here is how to make use of blogging and translation to build your reputation as a freelancer.
We live in a brave new world of freelance employment. Whatever the sector, people are freelancing in record numbers. There are already more than 57 million freelancers in the US alone, with half of the workforce projected to be freelancing within the next decade.
For those who are just starting out on their freelance careers, the competition can seem fierce. Workers who have already been freelancing for several years have the advantage of an established client base and plenty of demonstrable experience, which means they can likely charge higher rates than those just starting out, having already paid their dues. However, that’s not to say that newbies can’t find other ways to build their freelance reputation. Here, we look at blogging – including using translation services – as a key method of building a strong freelance brand and reputation.
People create blogs for many reasons. Some use them simply as a record of their personal journey, to share with family and friends. Others start blogs with revenue generation firmly in mind. For freelancers, as well as potentially achieving both of these goals, blogging can also be a way to showcase their knowledge and establish their authority in their chosen field.
A clever, well-presented and well-written blog post is a great way to share information. Freelance workers can use this to their advantage. A freelance translator, for example, could use their blog to talk about:
And so on and so forth. The blog can showcase their expertise, including knowledge of any specialist areas and services that they offer. It can also provide reassurance to potential clients on the translator’s standards and general approach to work.
Of course, freelancers don’t have to be language translation experts in order to use a blog to their advantage when establishing their freelance reputation. At its core, the blog needs to demonstrate the freelancer’s skills and convince potential clients to use their services rather than those of a competitor.
For many freelancers, a blog also has the potential to reach a global audience. Logo designers, website builders, social media experts… all of these and more can freelance across international borders with ease, as their work is conducted almost entirely in a digital workspace.
Using translation services as well as blogging can, therefore, be a way to reach out to many more clients. English speakers still sit at the top of the table when it comes to languages in which the internet is used. They are followed by Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Indonesian/Malaysian, French, Japanese, Russian and German speakers, in that order. As such, a freelance Croat (for example) logo designer who blogs in Croatian, could do much to enhance their reputation by using a translation professional to make the blog posts available in English. Suddenly, their blog can be read by over a billion additional people – that’s a lot of new potential clients!
Of course, what goes up can also come down. Freelancers who use blogs to build their reputations up need to deliver services that maintain those reputations. Just as the internet can be used as a promotional tool, it can also act as the opposite. A freelancer who provides a sloppy, underwhelming service may still blog about how amazing they are, but negative reviews on sites like Facebook can quickly undermine anything they say.
As such, it’s essential that freelancers get the fundamentals of their service delivery right if they are to succeed. The growth of freelancing has meant the growth of competition, and only those who commit to providing a superior service will find themselves able to command the best rates and build up a following of loyal, happy clients.
Freelancing has many advantages over full time employment, but it isn’t always easy to get started, particularly for those who lack relevant or demonstrable experience in the sector in which they want to work. Finding clients can be a tough business involving low initial rates and long hours, but it doesn’t have to be that way for long. The sooner freelancers can build up a solid reputation, the sooner they can put their rates up and start being a little more selective about which clients they work with and which projects they take on. Blogging and translation can’t magically make that happen overnight, but they can certainly help to speed the process along when undertaken as part of a carefully considered freelancing strategy.
Louise Taylor has been working with translation company Tomedes for more than five years. She is passionate about freelancing and the lifestyle that it can provide. Louise enjoys writing about languages, freelancing and writing – preferably all three at once.