Blogging isn’t for everybody. But if you’ve considered blogging but are too shy to press “Publish”, here are some translator-specific tips to help you over the hump. Remember, the more translators who blog, the larger the pool of expertise we have to draw on, and the more we all learn as a result. And y’all know I’m about the learning, right? 🙂 [Read more…]
Social Sunday: RSS Readers
A quick overview of some of the ways I use my feedreader to manage information from a range of different sources (5 mins). [Read more…]
Sharing social media secrets*
I like projects so I’m going to start a new one. I think it will be fun, and I’m hoping it will catch on.
Starting tomorrow, I’m planning to post a series of screencasts to demonstrate how I use various web 2.0 and social media tools. They’ll be no more than 5 minutes each, aimed at fellow language professionals, and pretty rough and ready in format (suffice it to say you won’t find it hard to believe I’m a translator, instead of a movie producer). My aim is simply to share things that I find interesting, or that have worked for me as I’ve built up my freelance practice over the past 5 years or more. [Read more…]
Presentation on social media for translators
Want to hear our presentation on social media for freelance language professionals?
Philippa Hammond and I used the power of d’internet to record the audio of our talk from the ITI Conference and then align it with the the slides in a SlideCast (relish it: yet another wonderful social media term). It’s a stripped down version of the actual event as there is no live demo or video feed, but have a look anyway and let us know what you think. [Read more…]
ITI Conference round-up: a social media perspective
This is a round-up of my experiences of the ITI International Conference in London this year.
This year was only the second since 2003 that I did not attend the conference in person. I did seriously consider arranging a trip back to Europe based around the conference, but last year decided to focus my resources on events around the Asia-Pacific region instead. Then late last year, Philippa and I were invited by the organising committee to present a paper on social media, based on our own experiences of applying these tools to our everyday business activities. The idea was that we could also demonstrate some of the possibilities of web 2.0 by working together and ultimately, presenting, with me based in Brisbane and Philippa in London. It was an exciting idea and Philippa and I got to work. [Read more…]
7 ways NOT to use Twitter for business purposes
There are a million articles out there on how to use Twitter for business purposes, most of them based on Chris Brogan’s post on the topic. A few of them are great, most of them are dross, and a small number go so far as to actively irritate me. In response to the ones that fall into that last category (!), here’s my take on how I think translators, and professionals in general, should NOT use Twitter. [Read more…]
Using Twitter to micro-blog live
Check out Philippa Hammond’s write-up of the Translator as Strategic Partner Conference over at Blogging Translator. Philippa was micro-blogging live over the conference weekend and has used her updates as a basis for her post. A fantastic example of how to use Twitter in a professional context.
More than that though, her post contains some really useful nuggets of inspiration. Try this on for size:
Jost Zetzsche, of Toolkit fame, spoke about our age-old idealisation of the patron saint of translators, St. Jerome. We risk being constrained by this idealisation of a translator who, let’s face it, innovative as he was at the time, was born c. 347. Instead, we need to roll with the times and think about the true purpose of our texts…
Great write-up, Philippa!
We have translators who blog, Twitter, and social network. It was only a matter of time, but finally we have translators who podcast! [Read more…]
Twitter: this director's cut
Sometimes it can help to actually *see* someone using an application to grasp its possibilities as they may – or may not – apply to you. I’ve already written about where Twitter stands for me in the grand scheme of social media things. Here are three little screencasts to give you a quick visual overview of how I use Twitter. [Read more…]
Social Media for Freelance Translators
I first wrote this post in 2008. A lot has changed since then but it is still one of my most popular posts. I believe this is because shows that platforms may come and go, but the principles of a sound social media strategy stands the test of time. Read it with this in mind, and enjoy!
I went to a conference for solo business owners recently and the question on everyone’s lips was ‘Do you blog?’ Well, yes, I do actually. Micro AND macro, as it happens.
There seems to be a lot of mystery around the business benefits of social media, including the ways in which it can be applied to meet various professional goals*.
So in an attempt to contribute to the discussion, here’s how this humble translator uses WordPress (macroblogging), Twitter (microblogging), LinkedIn, Proz, and a whole raft of other online bells and whistles in her day-to-day work.
(Bear in mind that this process often changes as I tweak, measure and experiment.)
- I converse with other people, both inside and outside my field, via this blog and by regularly following and leaving comments on other blogs. I use Google Reader [now defunct: try Feedly instead] as a feedreader to subscribe to other blogs, which means I can see at a glance when a new post has been added to one of my ‘favourites’.
- I ‘flesh out’ my online persona even more by participating in relevant blogging communities. Tools like Technorati and MyBlogLog help with this, although there are plenty of others which do the same job.
- I use the likes of LinkedIn, Ning and Proz as relatively ‘static’ shop fronts, with links back to my website. I’m not worried that keeping a lower profile in these communities will lose me clients, because I’ve discovered that my target clients don’t tend to look for their translators in these places anyway. This won’t be true for everyone, of course.
- I share snippets of interesting content with other professionals via Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Twitter. This is for when I don’t have the time or inclination to write an entire blog post on an issue but I’d still like to guage reactions, or when I want to share something that doesn’t really fit the scope of my blog. And it’s fun!
- I occasionally contribute to relevant group discussions on various Google, Yahoo and Proz forums. I’d like to make this more of a focus in the future, but generally I’m trying to move away from email and lengthy discussion threads which take a long time to sift through (unlike the RSS feeds in my feedreader). Translating involves enough keyboard pounding and text trawling as it is…
- Twitter is my watercooler. I can eavesdrop on chatter in areas that interest me, get quick answers to certain kinds of questions or thow out ideas to test the waters for reactions. I like the perspective I get on things here because it’s not just translators, and best of all, it’s all kept to 140 characters or less 🙂 Oh, and this is fun too.
- As all roads lead to my website, I use Google Analytics to measure the impact of the online tools I’m using. I’m very conscious of not wasting my time and this means I know exactly what return I’m getting in terms of interest in my services, etc. I’m working at improving this all the time.
- For me, Facebook is strictly friends only. I’ve made a decision not to bring work into it because it annoys me to see other people tarting themselves about in my downtime. Likewise, Bebo is family only. And yes, my family is large enough to warrant an entire online networking application dedicated to staying in touch 🙂 [update: Facebook has refined its targeting features and the division between friends and colleagues has become less clear. I now have a Facebook Page for my business]
Most importantly, I see these tools as a simple compliment to my overall online and offline activities.
For example, my ultimate marketing goal is to make it easy for various interested parties to find me. When they do find me, I want their positive image of me to be reinforced across a range of channels. Then, I want them to be able to contact me directly and quickly so we can do the deed, so to speak 😉 As a plan it’s far from perfect and there’s lots I’d like to do differently. But let’s face it, it’s not rocket science either. (I have similar goals around being part of a community of like-minded professionals.)
My advice to translators on making the most of social media, and indeed web 2.0 in general?
First, be clear on what you want to achieve for your business overall. Then, dive right in and give it a try.
If you get stuck, read this. If you’re still not getting it, or if you get it far too well but still lack a valid business reason to surf the web all day, then read Read Brian Solis’s Essential Guide to Social Media. Keep experimenting and referring back to your original business goals. Above all else, ignore the conspiracy theorists, new-technology scaremongers and social networking naysayers and have FUN!
WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS?
If you want to read some more about making social networking work for you, check out:
– a great post from Scot Herrick’s Cube Rules: Joining social sites – the criteria
– an excellent podcast called Facebook for Professionals from Duct Tape Marketing. It’s not exactly how I like to use Facebook (as outlined above), but Mari Smith has plenty of practical examples to explain how small businesses can make effective use of social media.
* This post is based on a couple of discussions I’ve contributed to recently. See:
– Jill Sommer’s asks some great questions over at Musings from an Overworked Translator: Do you Twitter?
– Nick Pawley’s query on LinkedIn prompts some interesting discussion about using SEO / online marketing to increase your translation business
– Flying Solo article Is social networking for us? captures the mood of many