Social media for translators is a must, right?
I mean, it’s the rage. It’s where it’s at.
If you’re not on social media, you’re a pariah.
A odd duck.
Someone who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.
And that’s just not having a personal social media presence.
If you don’t have one for your business, then forget about it.
You might as well give up now, close up shop, and head back to the hills.
Because you’re never going to succeed without having a presence on all of the top social media sites.
Or at least that’s what the “experts” would like you to believe.
But is that really the truth?
Do you need an account on every top social media sites in order to make a buck as a translator?
If you’re trying to succeed as a translator, should you be worried about updating your Twitter feed, posting your newest YouTube videos, or updating your Facebook status?
If you are, you’re doing it wrong.
Social Media for Translators
There are websites out there that track social media usage, and they all have different rating systems for determining which social media sites are most popular.
Let’s see which ones (if any) are relevant to translators. And not just relevant, but game changers that you absolutely need to succeed.
Everyone knows what Facebook is and what it does. There’s no need to explain it.
When I think of Facebook, I think of my Grandpa posting weird old people pictures, or my mom posting pictures of the grandkids, or people that were once my friends posting outlandish political rants.
But I don’t think of business.
When I’m interested in buying a pair of pants, I don’t research on Facebook.
When I need an editor for a book I’m writing, I don’t look for one on Facebook.
And nobody is going to be looking for a translator on Facebook, either.
Some people might not consider YouTube a social media site per se, but it is.
People share stuff.
Other people comment.
It’s social and it’s media.
But again, it’s not for translators.
Again, think of what you do on YouTube.
You either look at videos of people doing crazy stunts, or cat videos, or listen to music.
If you’re in the minority, you might look at it for reviews of products.
But I’ve never seen a review of a translator on YouTube. Nobody has certainly ever reviewed me, and I’ve been translating for over 20 years.
Ah, the Twitter.
Always a good distraction from what’s going on in your life.
Most personal accounts are garbage.
Most business accounts are terrible.
Some people get Twitter.
Those people are fun to follow and they are building their brand by using the service.
If you know how to use Twitter, you can build your brand. But you have to be confrontational, controversial, a bit crazy, or all three.
And most translators, while they might be a bit crazy, are almost never controversial.
And as a group, we’re downright boring.
So Twitter isn’t going to build your brand that much.
And even if it does, it won’t get you any translation business.
Are you posting pictures of your translations?
I didn’t think so.
Plus, that’d be the most boring Instagram account in existence.
The front page of the web, or whatever the hell its tagline is these days.
It’s an interesting site.
Lots of place to waste your time.
I’m particularly fond of the Today I Learned subreddit.
I mean, I never knew that “Hoser”, as popularized by Bob & Doug McKenzie, dated back to when the Losers of outdoor hockey games in Canada had to hose the surface of the rink to make is smooth again.
But yeah, a waste of time.
There are people talking about all kinds of weird shit.
And even normal shit.
There’s even a couple of decent translator/translation subreddits.
But frequenting them won’t get you any more clients.
I’ve gotten some traffic to this site through posts where others have mentioned an article I’ve written.
And that traffic is nice, because the audience I’m catering to with this site is translators looking to be successful as freelancers.
But those posts aren’t bringing in any clients.
See the post on Instagram above.
Out of all the social media sites, LinkedIn is the only one worth spending time on as a translator.
Now, that doesn’t mean you spend the entire afternoon, or even half an hour on the site.
It means you figure out a specific time each week where you’ll spend a few minutes updating your information and reaching out to companies on the site.
The thing about LinkedIn that makes it different from the other social media sites is that it was specifically designed to connect job providers with job seekers.
Or in your case, connecting service providers (translators) with those who need that service.
Now, that’s not the only thing LinkedIn does.
There is plenty on there that will waste your time if you get sucked in to it, just like translation forums.
That’s why you should follow this three-step process for using LinkedIn:
- Sign up for an account
- Fill out your profile
- Log on once a week and connect with businesses in your niche
You shouldn’t spend anymore than 15 minutes a week on LinkedIn.
Any more time than that and it’s a sign that you’re wasting time.
Don’t fool yourself.
Anything else you spend your time on is time spent not building your business.
Is LinkedIn going to bring the clients running to your door?
But what it will do, and what you want it to do, is to open up a dialogue between you and potential clients in your niche that might be looking for a translator in the future.
That’s social media for translators.
And planting that seed enough times will lead to a harvest eventually.
But remember, you just have to plant the seed.
You don’t have to stand over it and watch it grow for three hours every day!
Until next time.