Standing Out, or the Art of Becoming an Outstanding Translator

By Andrew Morris, Morristraduction
This article was originally posted on the Alexandria Library’s blog

Gummy Bear Stepping out of LineThere’s a fair amount of victim culture in our little world of translation, between the evil ghost of Machine Tourism hovering in the wings, the rapacious agencies, (oh and don’t get me started on the Big Guys), the constant lament about the crowded market place, and the ever-present refrain about how fees are being driven down.

My goodness, it’s carnage out there. So much so that it’s possible to throw your hands up and say “With things that bad, what can a translator possibly do to survive?” If you’re that way inclined, that is.

But I’m not that way inclined. And my answer to the question is simple. “Everything”.

When I started out I’d never heard of multi-language vendors, I wasn’t familiar with the term machine translation, and I certainly knew nothing about the lurking monsters and the clouds hanging over the industry, if some of the prophets of doom are to believed. I simply began by working on what I had to do, creating my own space, in a tiny village in rural France, and doing it as well as I could, and the rest gradually fell into place. And it’s not over yet…. I’m just getting into my stride.

The fact is that your life as a translator is in your hands, not anyone else’s and certainly not “the industry’s”. Realising this is about making the shift from victim to agent, from someone at the mercy of “market forces” to someone who decides that from now on, they are in control, and they will call the shots. It’s about understanding that your own professional world, with all its ups and downs, is nothing but your own creation.

Always assuming, of course, that you’re actually good at what you do, and that you haven’t missed your real vocation, somewhere along your journey, which was to become a trapeze artist, a concert cellist or a master baker of cupcakes.

So rather than trying to change the whole world, if you work on your own little patch of it and become the best translator you can be, showing yourself in the best possible light, and pushing yourself to grow, you will stand out. And that’s a promise. Not only that, you will thrive and watch your professional life begin to develop in ways you never even imagined…

How am I so sure of this? Because it’s exactly what happened to me in the five years since I first became a translator. And I’ve seen it mirrored in countless other colleagues since.

Now don’t get me wrong. Getting ahead and standing out from the crowd doesn’t mean trampling on other people. There’s room for everyone, all standing out from each other. It simply means finding your unique niche and letting your own individuality shine through.

So forget about who else is out there and what they’re up to: just work on yourself as a professional practitioner and the rest will follow. When your own vision is stronger than the other hectoring, doubting or complaining voices around, and when you do what inspires you, in a way that inspires you (or, as someone once said, ‘You tap-dance to work’), then you will soon see that people can’t wait to get what you have.

Of course along the way there will be challenges, obstacles and experiences that may initially appear as mistakes or even failures, but are in fact the most valuable feedback you can have. It’s part of the game. Who wants an easy life anyway?

My forthcoming webinar with the Alexandria Library will identify 50 of the many practical and easily applicable ways in which you can stand out just by changing your own professional practice as a translator. But it starts with a shift in mindset, which is the basis for all that follows. We will begin by examining your values and deciding what you want, before going on to explore the best ways to brand and showcase your unique contribution, to attracting (and keeping) clients, the organisation of your working life and finally professional development and continued learning, but all connected to your fundamental understanding of yourself, your unique contribution to the world of translation and your vision.

Believe me, building a successful business takes enterprise and hard work, but it’s not rocket science. The secrets of success are in your hands. And in your mind. And the fact that you’ve read this far already shows you have the enthusiasm, commitment, drive and energy to start exploring ways of doing so, perhaps not for the first time. This commitment is something I share, and I’m looking forward to working with you towards making your mark. Join me on April 2nd and watch those opportunities unfold.

Andrew’s webinar: “50 ways to stand out as a translator” – April 2nd, 2014, 120 minutes (English).
For more information and to register: click here


AAndrew Morrisbout Andrew 
Andrew Morris has always been captivated by languages and the mysterious secret worlds they open up. This led him initially to a degree in modern languages at Oxford followed by a long career in language teaching and teacher training. But when in 2009 a series of chance(?) life events dictated it was time for a major change, a lightbulb flashed in his head… ‘Why not translation?’
It was a leap of faith… apart from a fascinating correspondence course for translators, his CV as a translator on the first day of his new life was a totally blank sheet. But with lots of hard work, some luck, a dollop of inspiration, a drop or two of perspiration and a hitherto undiscovered entrepreneurial spirit, things slowly began to fall into place. Now, fewer than five years later, he heads Morristraduction, a thriving boutique agency, working both with other agencies and major direct clients with a primary focus on culture and travel, and outsourcing to a regular team of 20 hand-picked colleagues. Business has grown by 475% in that time and the future looks bright…
But we never leave the past entirely behind, and Andrew’s constant search for new experience along with his background as a teacher and trainer have led him to reconnect with his training skills, offering webinars with the Alexandria Library as well as tailored one-to-one Skype coaching to translators at various levels of their careers…

Medical/Pharmaceutical Translations 2012-2013 Trends

Weather Vane with Dollar SignBack in January 2012, I made the following forecasts for 2012 compared with 2011.

  • A higher volume of work
  • An increase in rate levels for qualified translators
  • The social networks growing in significance
  • The specialised ‘tools of the trade’ are required as ever, but the definition of exchange formats and workflows needs to be driven ahead
  • Machine translation has yet to fulfil its promises
  • Translation associations should be looking at extending their range of educational and CPD facilities
  • Representing the interests of the translation profession must be reinforced

The original article is here (only available in German)

Now that the year 2012 has come to an end (and the world has survived – contrary to expectations in some quarters), it is worth considering to what extent these predictions have changed and whether indeed new and interesting trends have developed.

Volume of Work/Rate Levels

Here, we would benefit from data that are more topical and reliable. The first two statements for the medical/pharmaceutical sector are still applicable in my opinion; albeit based upon data from a small group of LSPs with which I maintain close contact in that respect. Nevertheless, I increasingly note suggestions in various blogs and forums that could lead one to conclude that the market should be substantially more dynamic than it is from my vantage point. I would like to see more information about the scope of orders and rates, since information like this could help us to identify seasonal and absolute trends. Using such data, it would be possible to react and the data would lessen the partly hysterical cries about sinking rates which – in my opinion – are certainly to the detriment of our profession.

Social Networks/Internet Culture

The social and professional network tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Google+) are becoming ever more important and the previous translation platforms (Proz.com, Translatorscafe etc.) are suffering from increasingly less importance. This can be seen variously in the increasing number of translation groups e.g. on Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, where more and more business is transacted and also in the range of CPD facilities being made available via these groups.  Professional associations such as the German BDÜ took their time to set foot onto the social networks but in the meantime, they have understood the significance and are presenting themselves professionally on these platforms.

Unfortunately this development does not just have positive aspects. As a freelancer, it is impossible to follow all groups within which interesting projects are posted and also as an LSP, it is becoming ever more difficult to find specialists for specific projects on the various platforms.

For this reason it will be necessary to develop aggregators that bundle the various offers. On Twitter, we have made a first step towards combining job offers from various sources by means of our @Translate_Jobs account. We also offer similar services to embrace news from the translation profession with @Translate_News, interesting blogs and events in the profession with @Translate_Blogs and @TranslateEvents.

These solutions are, however, limited by the facilities that Twitter offers, which is one of the reasons why we launched our Alexandria platform to cover the area of CPD opportunities.

Specialised Tools/Interoperability/Crowd and Cloud Services

In the field of interoperability, good things are happening as the two top dogs MemoQ and Trados benefit from ever more functions to improve interoperability between the individual programs. Here it only seems natural that recent weeks have seen massive criticism of the hermetically-sealed protected design of the across program. I am somewhat more cautious in this respect, since I thoroughly recognize the necessity for closed workflows and would prefer an appropriately optional functionality from other vendors. At the same time, I would naturally appreciate it should across deign to open up.

What I cannot, however, understand is how one can work as a translator with the cloud services that are springing up like mushrooms. This is a TM solution that can only bring disadvantages to the translator with a lack of their own TM, no traceability of tasks performed etc. etc.

Machine Translation

I would appreciate having a functional system, but unfortunately have yet to find one. There is nothing more to be said, other than the fact that I will keep my eyes open. What I find interesting are two aspects:

a) We translators are told more and more that there is a an enormous and ever-growing market for bad ( i.e. machine) translations. Well, that is fine for those who are happy to read dross, of which there is an appalling abundance on the Internet. The main problem as I see it is that the time will come when readers actually believe these to be bona fide translations.

b) At the same time, I hear that trained MT systems within limited domains and certain language pairs can produce results that are supposed to be better than those produced by human translators. But the decisive point is that so far, nobody has been capable of showing me such a system or its results. Last year, several MT vendors explained to me just how remarkable their systems were, but when push came to shove, I saw nothing convincing other than impressive statistics that were of no consequence whatsoever.

Now that I have set up Trados Studio with TMs including several millions of words and autosuggest dictionaries of up to 1 GB in size, I can reach a level of productivity where I can indeed ask myself to what extent I need MT for our language pairs and specialized areas.

Education and Continued Training

Here, there is something afoot. Germany’s BDÜ and DVÜD, as well as other providers, have significantly increased the range of their online CPD facilities. In fact at first glance, it might seem to be superfluous that we are entering the market with our own offering (http://alexandria-library.com). However, with the Alexandria Project, we do indeed have several objectives in mind. With it, we would like to create a central platform (by means of collaboration with as many vendors as possible e.g. Diléal and Localize.pl), upon which we can offer continued training and resources for new entrants to the profession and specialists within the various languages. In addition to that, we would like to offer specialists a platform that enables them to present themselves in order to improve their reputation in the profession and with future clients. Thirdly, we want to start using this platform as soon as possible to draw the attention of potential customers to the necessity of qualitatively acceptable translation, whilst attempting to educate them about how they can identify suitable language service providers, or rather what they themselves can contribute in order to achieve optimal results. In that department, we still ‘have the builders in’ but we shall soon be expanding what we have on offer. Feedback and suggestions will be very welcome indeed because Alexandria is – after all – intended to provide an interesting service to as many translators and customers as possible.

The Interests of the Translation Profession

So far, I was disappointed to observe that translation associations carry out too little to promote the profession externally in a way that generates interest. Translators and translation associations seem to be too occupied with themselves (i.e. with translation per se) and enter much too little into contact with possible customers, whose lack of information about translation, quality, processes and rates tends to lead them down into the depths frequented by the so-called ‘bottom feeders’. It would be laudable to see several national associations deciding upon closer cooperation with each other and being outwardly active in terms of customer education and representing the profession. A common European job portal of translation associations could help in this respect. Here, customers looking for translation service providers would at least have the reassurance that the translators fulfil certain minimal criteria of professionalism. This would draw attention away from the Internet platforms such as Proz and TC, where all the cut price vendors who often provide bad quality lurk, since customers seeking quality would finally have a qualitatively more valuable service at their disposal.

Conclusions

I am not sure to what extent much changed in the profession during 2012, but I see a careful trend for translators taking on more responsibility for their own fate and success and emancipating themselves from the clutches of major organisations and company groups. In 2013, this positive development can lead to a wider movement coming together that brings us forward as a profession. I will be delighted if we can make our contribution to that with Alexandria and Trikonf 2013.

Medizinische/pharmazeutische Übersetzungen: Trends 2012-2013

Weather Vane with Dollar SignIm Januar 2012 hatte ich für das Jahr 2011/2012 folgende Aussagen gemacht:

  • Zunehmendes Auftragsvolumen
  • Steigendes Preisniveau für qualifizierte Übersetzungen
  • Soziale Netzwerke gewinnen an Bedeutung
  • Technisierung hilft, aber Definition von Austauschformaten und Workflows muss weiter vorangetrieben werden
  • Die maschinelle Übersetzung hat ihre Versprechungen bisher nicht erfüllt
  • Übersetzerverbände sind gefordert, das Aus- und Weiterbildungsangebot auszubauen
  • Die Interessenvertretung der Übersetzungsbranche muss gestärkt werden

Den kompletten Artikel finden Sie hier.

Nachdem das Jahr 2012 jetzt vorüber ist und die Welt nicht untergegangen ist, macht es Sinn, sich anzuschauen, ob sich bezüglich dieser Aussagen etwas geändert hat, bzw. ob sich neue interessante Trends entwickelt haben.

Auftragsvolumen/Preisniveau – wir könnten zeitnah verlässlichere Daten brauchen

Die ersten zwei Aussagen für den medizinisch/pharmazeutischen Sektor sind meiner Meinung nach immer noch gültig, allerdings basieren sie nur auf Daten einer sehr kleinen Gruppe von LSPs, mit denen ich diesbezüglich im engeren Austausch bin. Allerdings nehme ich in verschiedenen Blogs und Foren zunehmend Stimmen war, die möglicherweise darauf schließen lassen, dass der Markt wesentlich dynamischer sein könnte, wie ich es von meiner Warte aus beurteilen kann. Ich würde mir mehr Informationen über Auftragsvolumina und Preise wünschen. Diese Informationen könnten uns helfen, saisonale und absolute Trends zu identifizieren. Anhand dieser Daten könnte man reagieren und die Daten könnten vielleicht auch dieses, teilweise hysterische Ausmaße annehmende, Hintergrundrauschen über sinkende Preise, das meiner Meinung nach der Industrie schadet, beruhigen.

Soziale Netzwerke/Internetkultur

Die sozialen und professionellen Netzwerk-Tools (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing und Google+) werden immer wichtiger und die bisherigen Übersetzerplattformen (Proz.com, Translatorscafe etc.) verlieren zunehmend an Bedeutung. Dies zeigt sich unter anderem an der steigenden Zahl von Übersetzergruppen z. B. in Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, über die zunehmend Übersetzungsaufträge vergeben werden, aber auch im Angebot an Weiterbildungsmaßnahmen, die über diese Gruppen angeboten werden. Die Fachverbände wie z. B. der BDÜ sind zwar erst spät in die sozialen Netzwerke eingestiegen, haben aber inzwischen ihre Bedeutung erkannt und präsentieren sich professionell auf diesen Plattformen.

Leider hat diese Entwicklung nicht nur positive Aspekte. Als Freelancer kann man unmöglich alle Gruppen verfolgen, in denen interessante Aufträge angeboten werden, und auch als LSP wird es schwieriger, auf den verschiedenen Plattformen den Spezialisten für einen bestimmten Auftrag zu finden.

Es wird daher nötig werden, Aggregatoren zu entwickeln, die die unterschiedlichen Angebote gebündelt zur Verfügung stellen. Auf Twitter haben wir mit unserem @Translate_Jobs Konto einen ersten Schritt getan, um Jobangebote aus verschiedenen Quellen zusammenzuführen. Ähnliche Angebote bieten wir für Nachrichten aus der Übersetzungsindustrie mit @Translate_News, Interessante Blogs und Ereignisse aus der Übersetzungsindustrie auf @Translate_Blogs und @TranslateEvents.

Diese Lösungen sind leider durch die Möglichkeiten, die Twitter bietet, eingeschränkt, was einer der Gründe ist, weshalb wir für den Bereich Fortbildungsmöglichkeiten unsere Alexandria-Plattform (http://alexandria-library.com) ins Leben gerufen haben.

Technisierung/Interoperabilität/Crowd and Cloud Services

Im Bereich Interoperabilität tut sich Erfreuliches; die beiden Platzhirsche Trados und MemoQ bekommen immer mehr Funktionen, die die Interoperabilität zwischen den einzelnen Programmen verbessern. Da scheint es nur natürlich, dass in der Industrie in den letzten Wochen massiv Kritik an dem abgeschotteten Design von across geäußert wurde. Ich bin da etwas vorsichtiger, da ich durchaus die Notwendigkeit für geschlossene Workflows erkenne und mir eine entsprechende optionale Funktionalität auch bei den anderen Anbietern wünschen würde. Gleichzeitig würde ich mir natürlich auch wünschen, dass sich across öffnet.

Was ich allerdings nicht verstehen kann, ist, wie man als Übersetzer mit den wie Pilze aus dem Boden schießenden Cloud-Services arbeiten kann. Das ist eine TM-Lösung, die dem Übersetzer bisher fast nur Nachteile bringt. Kein eigenes TM, keine Nachverfolgbarkeit der eigenen Arbeit usw. usw.

Maschinelle Übersetzung

Ich hätte gerne ein funktionierendes System. Leider habe ich noch keines gefunden. Mehr ist dazu eigentlich nicht zu sagen. Aber ich bleibe dran. Interessant finde ich zwei Aspekte:

a) Es wird uns Übersetzern immer häufiger erzählt, dass es einen riesigen, ständig wachsenden Markt für schlechte (d. h. Maschinenübersetzungen) gibt. Das ist ja schön für diejenigen, die den Schrott lesen möchten. Beispiele dafür findet man im Internet zur Genüge. Das einzige Problem, das ich dabei sehe, ist, dass die Leser irgendwann tatsächlich anfangen zu glauben, dass das Übersetzungen sind.

b) Ebenso häufig höre ich, dass gut trainierte MT-Systeme inzwischen in begrenzten Domains und bestimmten Sprachpaaren Ergebnisse produzieren, die besser als die von menschlichen Übersetzern sein sollen. Hier ist der spannende Punkt, dass bisher niemand in der Lage war, mir ein derartiges System oder das nachweisbare Ergebnis eines solchen Systems zu zeigen. Im letzten Jahr habe ich mir von einigen MT-Herstellern erklären lassen, wie gut ihre Systeme sind, aber wenn es ans Eingemachte ging, gab es außer irgendwelchen beeindruckenden hohen Scores ohne Aussagewert nichts wirklich Bemerkenswertes.

Nachdem ich Trados Studio mit TMs mit mehreren Millionen Worten und Autosuggest-Dictionaries von bis zu 1 GB Größe aufgerüstet habe, erreiche ich eine Produktivität, bei der ich mich frage, ob ich MT für unsere Sprachpaare und Fachgebiete überhaupt brauche.

Aus- und Weiterbildungsangebot

Es tut sich was. Der BDÜ, der DVÜD und auch andere Anbieter haben das Angebot an online Fortbildungsangeboten deutlich ausgebaut. Da mag es überflüssig erscheinen, dass wir mit einem eigenen Angebot (http://alexandria-library.com) auf den Markt kommen. Mit dem Alexandria Projekt verfolgen wir allerdings mehrere Ziele. Wir möchten damit z. B. eine zentrale Plattform (durch Kollaborationen mit möglichst vielen anderen Anbietern, z. B. Localize.pl aus Polen und Diléal aus Frankreich) schaffen, auf der wir Weiterbildungsangebote und Ressourcen für Berufsanfänger und Spezialisten in den unterschiedlichen Sprachen anbieten. Zusätzlich möchten wir Spezialisten eine Plattform bieten, die es ihnen ermöglicht, sich zu präsentieren, um ihre Reputation in der Industrie und bei zukünftigen Kunden zu verbessern. Und drittens möchten wir so schnell wie möglich damit beginnen, mit dieser Plattform potentielle Kunden auf die Notwendigkeit qualitativ hochwertiger Übersetzungen aufmerksam zu machen, und sie zu schulen, wie sie geeignete Sprachdienstleister identifizieren können, bzw. was sie dazu beitragen können, um optimale Ergebnisse zu erhalten. Noch befinden wir uns in einer frühen Phase, aber wir werden das Angebot schnell erweitern. Über Rückmeldungen und Anregungen würden wir uns freuen, denn schließlich soll Alexandria möglichst vielen Übersetzern und Kunden ein interessantes Angebot bieten.

Interessenvertretung der Übersetzungsbranche

Bisher stelle ich mit Bedauern fest, dass die Übersetzungsverbände viel zu wenig (öffentlichkeitswirksam) unternehmen, um die Industrie nach außen zu repräsentieren. Übersetzer und Übersetzerverbände scheinen mir bisher zu sehr mit sich selbst (d. h. mit Übersetzern) beschäftigt zu sein und gehen viel zu wenig auf mögliche Kunden zu, bei denen der Mangel an Informationen über Übersetzungsqualität, Abläufe und Preise dazu führt, dass sich die Pest der Billigheimer weiter ausbreitet. Es wäre schön zu sehen, wenn sich einige nationale Verbände zu mehr Zusammenarbeit entschließen könnten, und im Bereich Kundenschulung und Repräsentanz nach außen aktiv werden würden. Auch ein gemeinsames europäisches Jobportal der Übersetzungsverbände könnte helfen. Hier hätten Kunden, die nach Sprachdienstleistern suchen, zumindest die Gewissheit, dass die Übersetzer bestimmte Mindestkriterien an Professionalität erfüllen. Den Internetplattformen wie Proz und TC, bei denen sich die ganzen Billiganbieter tummeln, die oft nur schlechte Qualität liefern, würde dadurch das Wasser abgegraben werden, da Kunden auf der Suche nach Qualität endlich ein qualitativ höherwertiges Angebot zur Verfügung hätten.

Schlussfolgerungen

Ich bin mir nicht schlüssig, ob sich 2012 in der Industrie wirklich viel geändert hat, aber ich sehe einen vorsichtigen Trend, dass die Übersetzer langsam mehr Verantwortung für ihr eigenes Schicksal/ihren Erfolg übernehmen und sich aus den Fängen der großen Organisationen/Unternehmen emanzipieren. Diese positive Entwicklung kann 2013 dazu führen, dass sich eine breitere Bewegung organisiert, die uns als Industrie weiter bringt. Es würde mich freuen, wenn wir mit Alexandria und der Trikonf 2013 unseren Beitrag dazu leisten könnten.

Social Media Marketing for translators: a must or a should? – replay now available

SocialMediaThe video replay of my last webinar “Social Media marketing 2012 for translators – a must or a should?” conducted with ProZ.com is now available!
If you attended the live webinar, you have free unlimited access. If you did not attend, you can purchase access to the video.
Click here to view the on-demand replay page. Note that you need to have a ProZ.com account (member or non-member) to access the video.

Some feedback from attendees:

“Excellent webinar, highly recommendable”Carolyn Gelsomino

“The webinar was really interesting and helpful.” -Jana Novomeska


View a list of all past and future webinars and training sessions from the GxP team (with links to replays when available) here.

Social SEO basics for freelance translators: replay now available

The video replay of my webinar “Social SEO basics for translators” is now available online!
If you attended the live webinar, you have free unlimited access. If you did not attend, you can purchase access to the video.
Click here to view the on-demand replay page. Note that you need to have a ProZ.com account (member or non-member) to access the contents.

Some feedback from attendees:

“It was very interesting. Anne explained to us how important it is to know more about keywords, traffic, activity, and backlinks. SEO is a very powerful instrument of marketing – if you know how to use it… Fascinating and full of hands-on advice.”Dr. Tilmann Kleinau

“Excellent webinar, highly recommendable”Carolyn Gelsomino

“The webinar was really interesting and helpful.” -Jana Novomeska


View a list of all past and future webinars and training sessions from the GxP team (with links to replays when available) here.

“Optimize your LinkedIn profile” webinar replay available

The video replay of my webinar “Build yourself an optimized LinkedIn profile” is now available online!
If you attended the live webinar, you have free unlimited access. If you did not attend, you can purchase access for 15 €.
Click here to view the on-demand replay page. Note that you need to have a ProZ.com account (member or non-member) to access the contents.

View a list of all past and future webinars and training sessions from the GxP team (with links to replays when available) here.

10 steps for promoting your translation services in a skills portfolio

Our new guest post this week comes from France!  Wilfried is a French teacher for French natives and foreign students. He has dedicated his career to literature, semiotics, communication and serious game teaching in France and in China. Since 2008, as the Deputy Director and Communications Officer of ESTRI, School of Translation and International Relations, he has specialized in quality management and (viral) marketing, specifically by providing personal branding tips to help students define their place in the job market. In 2012, he also created www.paroledescoop.com, a consulting business for editing great Web content and finding solutions for optimizing organic results on search engines. When he is not trying to detox from his geek addictions, Wilfried is on the road, abroad, with the wind of cross-cultural differences whipping at his face.

Today he’s sharing 10 tips and steps on how to promote your translation services using a skills portfolio.


Interested in developing your business and in promoting your expertise with personal branding tips? You are probably aware of Skills Portfolio: a communication tool allowing you to publish/share samples of your work and to provide your clients with evidence of your high-quality translations. If not, it might be time to reconsider your strategy with the 10 Ps of the marketing mix.

In order to create an efficient skills portfolio and to focus on the specifics of your business, here are 10 questions you must ask yourself before you continue. The answers to these questions will help you define the relevant message. You will then be able to choose the right tool and the proper media to communicate this message.

Priorities: Which translation texts do I want to select and promote? Which ones most efficiently represent my expertise? Which ones can I select while still respecting my client’s confidentiality? Which samples are catchier?

Product: Which specifics of my translation services do I need to sell? Which services should I focus on?

Place: What is my place in the translation industry market? What are my competitors focusing on? How do they communicate their expertise? How can I make the difference by selecting my background information and my own work? What will be the specific aspect of my service, my message? What do I want my clients to think, say and do?

Promotion: Which tool will be more appropriate for communicating my references and samples of work? Depending on my goals, should I promote my translation services online or offline, in an e-portfolio or in a brochure? If online, should I publish my skills publically on my website or privately on Google Drive for instance?

Price: Will my communication strategy add a lot of value to my work? What value does my portfolio add to my work: cheap, expensive or fairly priced?

Physical evidence: What proof can I provide my client with to allow him/her to make the right choice between several providers? Will I come across as providing proficient services? Which work will provide evidence of my proficiency? Can my former clients recommend my work? Should I provide information on the machine translation tools that I master? Which labels could enhance my business communication?

People: Does my portfolio content make mention of my team and group working skills? Does it say something about my collaboration history and success in achieving my client’s goals and requirements?

Partnership: Does my portfolio include my partners? Are my partners in contact with or indirectly related to my prospective partners?

Permission marketing: Will excerpts of my portfolio be published on social media such as my professional Facebook page, my Linkedin profile, my Twitter account? Will these excerpts prompt my clients to recommend my work? Will they encourage prospective clients to ‘like’ my page, to share my content, to follow my activity, or to contact me?

Purple Cow: Are my portfolio and personal branding strategy unique?