The freelance translator’s guide to getting started with social media

Nowadays it seems like everyone and their dog is tweeting, facebooking, friending and liking to their heart’s content as social media becomes a cornerstone of our personal and business lives. But if you’ve avoided venturing into the fray so far you might be missing out. Whether you want to attract new clients, connect with colleagues, make friends or learn more about the translation industry, social networking can be a great way to do it, particularly for self-employed freelancers who often work from home. Here are some hints for beginners on how to use social media professionally.

Firstly, get strategic before you get started. Choose the sites you sign up for with care rather than attempting to set up profiles on 20 all at once. Facebook is particularly friendly and personable, Twitter is great for high-speed interactions and fast moving news, while LinkedIn is hugely popular with businesses. As you’re translating between languages, don’t neglect to think about foreign sites that your potential clients or contacts might use, for example VKontakte, the wildly successful Russian site.

As you build your profile, keep your desired professional goals in mind. With a smart photo or logo and a well-written bio or ‘about’ section you’ll be off to a great start. Then add quality content little and often to attract genuine contacts, who will want to stay in touch because you’re always posting interesting things.

Finally, make sure you have good online manners. Don’t just promote yourself endlessly as it’s tedious and annoying, and don’t mix your personal and professional life, although a human touch is always welcome. Instead, get involved in online conversations, share things you find interesting, and approach new people with genuine conversation. Slowly but surely your online community will grow, you’ll learn new things, meet new people and watch as your business blossoms.

This is the summary of the article published in MultiLingual magazine under title “What social networking can do for translators” by Oleg Semerikov. More details at

You can also read the full article in our ebook The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Freelance Translator.

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