They say that no man is an island and this is never more true than it is in business. Every industry in the world relies on a solid network of contacts forming a web of invaluable resources and support. A successful translation agency relies on a solid team of professionals to make it work – everybody in the team, from receptionists to business development executives have a part to play in ensuring that the business is the best that it can be.
Within the translation industry, networking is of particular importance. In a business which is driven by a particular, specific skill set, it is incredibly useful to know who’s who within the industry. Often, small agencies specialise in two or three languages in which their translators excel which is great until a client asks for something different. Rather than simply explaining that the particular service is not available, clients will appreciate being redirected to an alternative provider.
Click and connect
There are many online resources which allow translators, project managers and other language professionals from around the world to connect, such as Langmates.com which is an online social network which allows translators to share experiences, advice and, of course, to occasionally simply vent after a bad day!
Putting faces to names
One of the most useful forms of networking for translators is the translation network event. The World Minds Professional Language Services website offers a calendar of events around the world with details of how to become involved. The translation network event offers an opportunity for translation professionals to gather in either a professional or social setting on a semi-regular basis. The benefits of attending such an event are myriad:
Putting ourselves out there – By attending a networking event you are, effectively, introducing yourself and your company to the industry. This is vital in order to put your company on the map and give it a presence within this highly competitive business.
Knowledge is power – By talking to other professionals, you’ll gather important information about changes within the industry to which you may need to adapt. More importantly, you’ll gain knowledge of potential clients enabling you to tap into new resources to grow your business.
Click and collaborate – Events are an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals; many successful agency and business collaborations have been forged from chance meetings at social and professional networking events.
Spread the word – This is your chance to let the industry know who you and your company are and what you’re about and can lead to increased business. Say you specialize in English to Arabic translation; chances are that there will be somebody at the event who has been desperately seeking somebody with your unique talents.
To get the most out of a networking event, the following guide will help you to optimize the experience and make it work for you.
- Have a structured idea of what you want to achieve.
- Research the event beforehand to get an idea of who will be in attendance.
- Make sure you have plenty of business cards with you.
- Seek out your specific target attendees but don’t ignore those not on your list; keeping an open mind can lead to unexpected benefits.
- Don’t treat the event as a purely social occasion – don’t drink too much or gossip about others in the industry, you never know who’s listening!
As an industry professional, it’s up to you to market yourself as a brand and to let others know just how great you and your company are. By connecting with fellow professionals online and at events, you’re creating your own highly useful network to help your business – and your client list – grow.