Marketing Through Social Network Engagement - Know Your Market for Language Professionals

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Slator blog published over a year ago was prompted by discussions about market changes that have some interpreters confused about how much to charge and the actual services they are providing. The blog touches specifically on Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) services being recorded and lack of market standards regarding compensation for the use of the interpreter's intellectual property. Although that is an interesting discussion there is little this Blogger can add to the conversation already underway on multiple social venues. However, market changes like the increased demand for remote simultaneous interpreting and the need to address the use of the interpreter's intellectual property beyond the live interpreted event give us an opportunity to discuss how we can market ourselves by engaging in service discussions with our network.

Whether you decide to charge or not for the use of the recording of your interpreted renditions, or for the use of exact or fuzzy translation matches, changes and controversy give us a unique opportunity to leverage the discussion to rebrand, repackage, and market our services in a way that appeals to our ideal clients. In this blog I will briefly touch on a couple of ways in which you can market your services as a language professional (interpreter or translator) and will provide some examples of how I would leverage opportunities, like the one introduced above, to connect with current and prospective clients and remind them I exist. But first, you have to have a network to reach out to.

We all know that developing a network is a very helpful way of marketing your services. It is simple, the more people you know and know you, the more likely you are to get work. However, developing and maintaining a strong network can be tricky, you do not want to seem too pushy or uninterested.  

There are two primary network groups you should target: colleagues and clients (current or prospective). 


Most interpreters or translators are likely to already have access to a network of colleagues met through professional organizations (like ATA, NCIHC, AAITE, CHIA, CATI, IMIA, etc.) or social media groups. However, when we think about marketing our services, we seldom think about accessing our network of fellow interpreters and translators. Yet, a strong network of fellow professionals can be crucial for getting more business and expanding our client base.

Referrals from other interpreters or translators can be the most effective way to acquire new clients. If our colleagues are aware of our skills and services, they will be more likely to recommend or refer us to potential clients in need of our services. The key is to leverage or create opportunities like social media discussions about charging for the recording of interpretations and differentiated pricing for Translation Memory matches (or repetitions) to connect with colleagues who share our perspective and who would be able to then refer us to clients looking for specific pricing models. 

How else are colleagues going to know who to recommend for a Machine Translation (MT) Post-editing project or a recorded RSI assignment in our language combination, if they do not know our stance and preferences when it comes to MT post-editing or RSI recording?


An area of our network that is often lacking is current and prospective clients. Unless our clients are also very active in professional organizations for interpreters and translators, we are unlikely to have a social media connection to them. 

WARNING: Connecting to clients on Social Media can be dangerous if our social media channels do not reflect our professional persona. 

Customizing your LinkedIn account can help us showcase our skills and experience to a wider audience. A professional profile that includes a clear and concise summary of our services, experience, and specializations can be a first step to connecting to current and prospective clients. In addition to our profile and detailed summary, our posts can help inform our clients about our rates and strategies for overcoming market trends. 

For example, once we have connected with clients on a professional social media account, we can post our thoughts on the importance of leveraging technology like translation memory to expedite turn-around times and consistency across documents, and add a message about new hourly or differentiated pricing models we have designed for our clients which leverage technology to provide the best possible quality and rate.