Websites are absolutely essential to modern-day business and since they no longer have to cost a lot of money or require specialist IT skills to build, there’s no excuse for not having one.
Marketing is all about visibility and for freelance translators with a potential market spanning most of the face of the earth and doing the vast majority of work via email, the internet is the best place to find customers and, perhaps more importantly, for customers to find you.
How do customers go about finding translators?
Let’s be honest, how to most of us go about finding all kinds of products and services these days? We use the internet. We put key words into a search engine and browse through the top 10, perhaps 20 results. And when we look through these search results, what it is we are looking for? We’re looking for information. We want to find out as much information as possible about the potential product or service provider to see whether it is or they are a good fit. In fast-paced modern life nobody has the time or the patience anymore to call even 10 names on a list in the yellow pages or even in a translation association directory to ascertain which of these people can provide the service they require.
Your website is your opportunity
Your website is your opportunity to provide that initial information a potential customer will use to decide whether you are what he is looking for and whether he will contact you. Without a website you are just another name on a list. These lists (particularly translation association lists) may give you the opportunity to mention your specialist field and language combinations but that is all. Your website is the place where you can distinguish yourself from other translators and tell potential customers why they should work with you.
Alternatives to a website
There are, of course, alternatives to a website such as having a LinkedIn, Xing or Facebook profile but in my mind these should be extras which you use in conjunction with your website. They can work as great tools to funnel potential customers to your website too.