Some Quick Online Presence Tips

Dear whoThis is just a quick post to point out a few things I’ve noticed when I visit some colleagues’ pages, blogs and websites and which I think would make them better.

1. I’m assuming that if you blog about translation or interpreting, you want colleagues and/or clients to read your thoughts. And the more the merrier, right? Then please, please, please provide share buttons. My preferred location for these share buttons is at the bottom of posts as it saves time by not having to scroll back up to the top to find them. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are probably the main ones, and hopefully the platform you use will allow you to choose the ones you prefer. Unfortunately, Blogger, which I use*, doesn’t include a LinkedIn share button, which is a massive fail in my opinion. I have tried to find a way round this without success, which is another reason why I might be shifting my blog in the near future**. But I digress.

2. If you do have a Twitter share button, please make sure it doesn’t say ‘Hey check this out’ (this one really does grate on my nerves). I’m sure there must be a way of tweaking it so that it says something more useful.

3. Back to the subject of blog readership, you should add an RSS feed button as well. I use the reading list that comes with my blog, and copying and pasting the blog URL usually works fine. But when it doesn’t, I need the RSS details instead. It really doesn’t take long to add a button and it could gain you more readers who might come back every time you post something new.

4. Many blogs and websites I’ve visited look amazing, contain great content and lots of information about the owner’s translation or interpreting services, but their name is either not prominent or not mentioned anywhere. Maybe it’s just me, but when you meet someone in person at a conference or other event, surely the first thing you do is introduce yourself. Even if you have a business name splashed all over your site, I think it’s important to tell people who you are as well. They can then put a name to the face (assuming you have uploaded a photograph of yourself, another must really) as soon as possible, which will give them a better chance of remembering you. No matter how professional your site looks, humans like dealing with other humans and the best way to start off a good relationship is to come across as friendly and approachable by stating your name. Besides, when they click on the contact email link, how are they supposed to know what to put after ‘Dear’?

5. However much you might enjoy being on social media, I’m assuming you’re on LinkedIn for business purposes. Your headline is the first bit of information people see about you. And frankly putting ‘CEO’ or ‘owner of bla bla translation company’, ‘freelancer’, ‘freelance business’, ‘self-employed’, ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘professional translator’ is a waste of the precious few characters you’re allowed. Clients, and also colleagues, searching for a translator or an interpreter need to know which languages you work with, the services you offer, and your specialities. The quicker they find this information, the better. The same is true for taglines on Google+ and the information you can add about yourself on Twitter (which then appears under your photo in lists). Don’t waste this opportunity to sell yourself with empty words (or worse still, nothing at all), because the vast majority of us are freelancers managing our own businesses.

*This post was first published on 10/12/2014 on my previous blog on Blogger.

**As you can see, I’ve now moved to WordPress, which has many more share buttons (see below), including one for LinkedIn.

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