Can social media be of any use for freelancers?

Can social media be of any use for freelancers?

Many translators raise the question of whether professional social media profiles are of any use to them for increasing their visibility to existing and potential clients. I would certainly nod, but you have to know why and how to use them to achieve your goals. Let’s have a closer look.

Why a professional social media profile is useful

It may happen that a vendor manager/recruiter will find your five-year-old application, accompanied by an outdated CV. Chances are that you have grown professionally in the meanwhile –  if you maintain proZ, LinkedIn or some other professional profile it may help you get hired.

Social media also prove useful while searching for translators that are not yet in a vendor manager’s database. It is highly likely a vendor manager will find – while googling – your proZ or LinkedIn profile if it is well structured, because search engines highly rank these sites. Again, that may help you get hired.

Things to keep in mind while creating a profile

Less is better. It is hard to maintain and update three or more profiles, so after some time you’ll probably abandon some. Abandoned profiles do not help you, quite the opposite. Therefore:

  • Make a list of all such profiles.
  • Update them annually.
  • Deactivate those not in use. There’s a good chance that a vendor manager will find an abandoned profile where you had listed a rate which you once worked for. This will not work in your favor while negotiating a current rate.

Use keywords. A vendor manager often uses keywords while searching internal databases or the Internet. Keywords are words that carry crucial information about you, it is wise to use them. Here are a few examples of keywords:

  • Target language (German, DE)
  • Language pairs (EN-DE, English-German)
  • Services (VO, interpreting, translation, revision, editing, DTP, transcreation, localisation, SEO)
  • Fields of expertise (tourism, banking, UI, telecom, legal)
  • CAT tools (Across, Trados Studio, Transit, Memsource, MemoQ)
  • Education (PhD Physics, MSc Engineering, BA Russian language)

Do not forget to add contact options. Believe it or not, vendor managers often face professional profiles with no option to contact the represented person. No email address, hidden contact data, not allowed to send a message via the portal … One has to be creative while searching the web and often it is very difficult to find a proper contact for a particular person. If you want a useful profile which will drive clients to you, make it easy for people to contact you.

To sum it up
  • Do have a professional social media profile.
  • Less profiles is better.
  • Update your profiles.
  • Use the keywords that best describe you, your services and expertise.
  • Make sure it’s possible for people to reach out to you.

Author: Miha Knavs, Vendor Management Team Leader