How to Find a Good Professional Translator

By Marion Rhodes
English-German Translator

Last week, I restarted graduate school to finish my master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications, and already, I have gained some valuable new insight: Many people still don’t know how to find a professional translator. During a discussion of the translation industry in our online class forum, one of my fellow marketing students – the director of program services for a large, national nonprofit organization – remarked that she had found herself in need of a translator not too long ago but did not know where to look. So she did what most people in her situation would do: She asked Google.

“I really wasn’t sure where to start and picked a company based on price, turn-around time and ease of process,” she admitted. I realized that in general, laypeople – and that’s most people who need translation services – don’t know where to find a translator at all, let alone how to find a professional linguist who can produce high-quality translations. So, for all you translation virgins out there, here is a brief guide.

Basically, you have two options:

1. Yes, Google

Or Yahoo. Or Bing. It doesn’t matter which search engine you use, as long as you know what to look for. Chances are, if you’re a translation newbie in need of a translator to translate your English website into French, you will enter something like French translator into the search bar. You’ll get about 42 million hits, most of which will be completely useless, and then you’ll spend hours randomly clicking on links in hope of finding a suitable translator or agency that might be able to fulfill your translation needs. If you still have energy left after this endeavor, you might even compare a few websites, maybe get a quote or two, send your documents to the lowest bidder, and hope for the best. Good luck with that approach.

But don’t despair. There is a better way. Here’s how to make the most of your Google (or Yahoo, or Bing…) search.

  • Be as specific as possible. Don’t just search for French translator. Instead, search for English into French “marketing translator” and boom, you just narrowed your options to 13,000 with some very specific leads on page one of the results. If you want to narrow your search even more, you could add more qualifiers, such as a location. A Google search for English into French “marketing translator” Colorado only produces 2,700 results, for example. Still plenty to choose from, but not nearly as overwhelming anymore. 
  • Look for individual translators. OK, maybe I’m biased, being an individual translator myself and all. But unless you’re looking to get your text translated into 15 different languages, you’re probably better off with a one-stop shop than a large translation agency. To find out why, read my previous post on the advantages of hiring a freelancer.
  • Dare to compare. Don’t just decide on the first translator whose website or profile shows up in your search results. If someone sounds promising, take the time to check out the translator’s website and check out their experience, areas of expertise, testimonials, work samples and professional certifications. Anyone can claim to provide “quality translations, on-time delivery and competitive rates.” If these claims are true, you should be able to find substantiating evidence on the website. See if the translator is a member of any professional associations, such as the American Translators Association (ATA) or a local chapter such as the Colorado Translators Association. Membership in a non-translation related association (for a marketing translator, for example, the American Advertising Federation or American Marketing Association) is an even better indicator of the translator’s expertise and professionalism.
  • Consider the whole package. You may be tempted to select the translation provider with the most certifications, the lowest rates, or the fastest service. But remember that when it comes to price, quality and time, there is always a trade-off.

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    Find the compromise that works best for your situation, keeping in mind the purpose of your translation. If, for example, your brand’s reputation is at stake, you don’t want to cut corners in the wrong place and sacrifice quality for cost or speed. A little more up-front investment may lead to higher returns in the long run.

2. Professional Directories

There are numerous professional associations for translators around the world, and most of them provide directories of their members. These are excellent resources for anyone who is looking for a reliable translator. Most associations allow you to set specific criteria for your search, narrowing your results significantly. The directory of the American Translators Association, for example, lets you search by language pair, specialization, certification and geographic location. A comprehensive list of translators associations is available here.

In addition to professional associations, there are other industry directories, such as ProZ.com or Translators’ Café, where anybody who calls himself a translator may create a public profile and offer his services. This, too, can be a good resource, although the free nature of these portals may allow some less reputable translators to try and blend in with the upper ranks. I’m not saying that every translator who is listed in the ATA directory is perfect, but overall, the chances of finding a bad apple are much lower when more barriers (such as association membership fees) are in place.

So now that you know how to find a good translator, what’s stopping you from getting your website, brochures, or press releases translated into another language? And pssst… if you’re looking for a great English into German marketing translator, I’ve heard that this girl here is pretty good…

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8 Reasons Why Translators Should Attend Non-Translation Conferences

By Marion Rhodes
English-German Translator

Step outside your comfort zone.

Step outside your comfort zone.

One of my resolutions for this year was to step out of my professional comfort zone and try new ways to connect with potential clients. So when I learned that the second annual conference of the Colorado American Marketing Association would take place in Denver at the end of February, I seized the opportunity and signed up for my first professional conference outside of the translation industry: REV UP 360º.

For a marketing translator and student of integrated marketing communications, this event was a natural fit. It was a one-day, local affair – perfect to ease my entry into this new world. Sure, I had attended conferences held by the American Translators Association and the Colorado Translators Association in the past, but this was a completely different ballgame. I wasn’t attending as a translator among fellow translators. This time, I was attending as a marketing professional.

Not knowing what to expect, I attended the conference without any specific goals. I spent the day observing and learning, letting the event carry me along for the ride. I met several interesting people, learned about trends in the marketing industry, and even found a potential new client for my translation business – by pure chance. It was a great day.

So for anyone who’s been thinking about taking the plunge into non-translation conferences, here is a list of 8 reasons to go for it:

1. To rub elbows with industry professionals

First things first: If you go to any industry conference with the specific goal to gain new clients for your translation business, you’ll likely end up disappointed. Instead, think of yourself as an industry expert, one of “them” – if you’re a translator who specializes in the field, you are. Don’t approach people with the expectation of finding a new lead. Nothing stops a conversation faster in its tracks than introducing yourself with, “Hi, I’m a translator looking for new clients.” Instead, join conversations about the event and get to know the other people at the conference. Try to blend in. Observe how peers talk to each other. Establish connections that are based on your mutual area of interest. If you feel like a fish out of water, maybe you need to immerse yourself more into your subject of expertise.

2. To boost your expertise

If you are a specialized translator, you need to stay on top of current developments within your area of specialization as much as those who work directly in the field. An industry conference allows you to learn about new developments and provides a perfect opportunity to brush up on your terminology. Obviously, it wouldn’t make sense for a marketing translator to attend a conference of the American Bar Association. But it might for a legal translator. Find the conference that makes the most sense for your specialty, and soak up as much information as you can.

3. To connect on social media

In today’s day and age, most conferences have their own Twitter hashtags, which is good news for social media savvy translators. Join the conversation about the event on Twitter, and you’ll pop up on the radar of other attendees who are following the hashtag. You’ll also be able to find out who else is attending, allowing you to identify potential business prospects. Then, connect with those people by following their updates and replying to their tweets. You’ll likely gain some new followers that way – followers who may just turn out to be interested in your translation services down the road. At the very least, you’ll get your name out there to a very specific crowd of people.

4. To see how other industries do conferences

We translators are spoiled. The annual conference of the American Translators Association, a three-day event, only costs about $400. Events of similar magnitude in other industries often cost more than $1,000 to attend. In fact, even the one-day REV UP conference set me back $266 – twice as much as the registration fee for our two-day annual conference of the Colorado Translators Association. How’s that for perspective?

5. To get out of the house

Many, if not most, freelance translators work from home. A conference is always a welcome opportunity to put on our fancy business suits (which are gathering dust in our closets) and meet people face to face. Getting out into the real world every once in a while is important – not only for our social skills, but to avoid burn-out. From time to time, we need to remind ourselves that we are successful business professionals rather than lonely home-office-nerds.

6. To educate others about the translation process

As far as I know, I was the only translator at the REV UP conference. Many of the people I talked to had no idea what my job entails and why a translator would attend a marketing conference. While translation is an important part of the marketing process, the details of how we work aren’t well known to those outside of the translation profession. I enjoyed telling people about the translation process and explaining to them why good translations are vital if you want to achieve international marketing success. In the age of Google Translate and the commoditization of translation, it is up to us professional translators to make sure people are aware of the added value we provide.

7. To meet new clients

I put this at the end of my list, because this is, at best, a potential added benefit rather than a given. At the REV UP conference, I got lucky: I was talking casually to another attendee about his business when he asked me what I do. I told him I’m a translator specializing in marketing and PR. As luck would have it, a woman passed by us right then and overheard our conversation. It turned out she was a marketing sales manager at a local company who had recently started working with some new companies in Germany and was in need of a good translator for press releases and marketing material. She asked for my business card. Sometimes, it’s better to let things happen naturally than to try to pursue specific goals.

8. To get swag

Need I say more? I mean, you can never have too many water bottles.

My redesigned website: Long in coming, but worth the wait!

By Marion Rhodes

After more than three months, roughly a dozen revisions and at least half as many proofreading sessions, my new website finally went live this week. Redesigning the online presence of Integrated MarCom Translations had been on my to-do-list for quite a while, and in October, I finally took the plunge and commissioned the design agency Websites for Translators to help turn my vision into a reality.

The new homepage of Integrated MarCom Translations

The new homepage of Integrated MarCom Translations

Not that my previous website was bad. Yet somehow, as I honed in on my specialization in the area of marketing and communication, my website failed to keep up. It wasn’t looking as professional as I wanted it to be. So I spent much of last summer researching content strategy and writing new copy in both German and English in an effort to build a website that not only represents me and my brand but also offers useful information for potential clients.

Redesigning a website is just about as time-consuming as creating a website from scratch. In fact, I am pretty sure I spent more time on this redesign than I did on the initial site. I wanted to make sure the new site not only fulfills all the basic requirements of a professional translator’s online presence but take it one step further by creating added value for translation buyers. Thanks to last year’s Expert Bootcamp for Translators with Marta Stelmaszak and Tess Whitty’s Marketing Tips for Translators podcast, which has covered the topic of website creation in several interviews, I already had a pretty good idea for the general outline.

  1. A compelling homepage that provides just enough information to draw the visitor in
  2. An About page with details about me, my business, my qualifications and my services to build the “Know, Like and Trust” factor
  3. Contact information on every page as well as a separate Contact page
  4. Sample translations, publications and testimonials by former clients
  5. Recent activities and developments such as CPD efforts, certifications etc.
  6. A language toggle switch to change between the English and German versions

To make it easy for visitors to quickly find the most important information, I included several lists throughout the page, such as “What you get at a glance” and “Professional highlights.” I also added a prominent call to action right on the homepage where potential buyers can upload their documents for a free quote.

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The hardest part of creating a website that truly represents me and my skills was focusing on what makes me unique and why people should hire me over the thousands of other German translators out there. Finding your unique selling proposition (USP) is harder than you might think! After several attempts, I came up with the 4 C’s of Integrated Marketing Translation. (Luckily, those four C’s could be translated into four K’s in the German version!)

My goal was to create a website that is informative and transparent, so that if a prospect who has never worked with a translator stops by, he or she will get a pretty clear idea of how the process works. As translators, we tend to forget that not everyone is familiar with what we do, and many people have absolutely no idea what translation entails. To take things even further, I included some helpful resources for clients, integrated my blog and gave the option of subscribing to my newsletter.

I cannot thank the wonderful team at Websites for Translators enough for all their hard work. I didn’t always make it easy for them, but they were invariably patient and eager to accommodate every one of my requests. The result is a beautiful website that is everything I had imagined. Please take a look and see for yourself. And of course, if you happen to find any errors or mistakes, please let me know right away. 🙂

Marketing to a Global Audience: Making Your Company’s Translation Projects More Efficient

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By Marion Rhodes
English-German Translator

Every now and then, it is good for us translators to walk in the shoes of our clients and see what their internal struggles are when it comes to translating content for foreign-language markets. In that spirit, I recently joined a webinar by the American Marketing Association on how to make translation projects more efficient for companies operating on an international level.

The webinar addressed what companies can do on their side to ensure their translation projects deliver on three fronts: cost effectiveness, quality and time expenditure. Being a translator, I was already familiar with the information that was being presented. However, I realized during the webinar that for many translation buyers, these tips were not at all obvious. Therefore, I decided to sum up the key aspects here, adding a little bit of my own insight as well.

1. Why should you translate your content into another language?

Did you realize that a relatively small up-front investment can help you significantly increase your customer base for years to come? Consider this finding from a 2014 study by the research firm Common Sense Advisory: 75% of consumers in non-Anglophone countries in Europe, Asia and South America prefer to buy products in their native language.

By translating your website and other marketing materials such as your brochures, newsletters or blog contents, you can significantly increase your chances of being found by these potential customers. Moreover, 90% of the world’s online spending power is reached through just 13 languages: English, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Arabic and Korean.

2. Be ahead of the competition, but don’t rush the translation process

When you’re trying to tap into the global market, speed is key. Reaching a foreign market before your competitors is critical for success. But that doesn’t mean you should rush to get your content translated at the expense of quality. You don’t just want to transfer your content into another language, you want it to speak to the foreign audience. Therefore, you need a translator with copywriting experience who will spend the time to get familiar with your brand, research your products, and then adapt your content for the target market.

When it comes to translating slogans or highly branded marketing content, a skilled translator with experience in the field will apply a process called “transcreation,” which means not only translating words from one language into another but making the content relevant to its target audience by keeping cultural differences in mind. Look for a translator who is specialized in marketing and establish a close working relationship. The translator will, in effect, become part of your team as well as your brand.

3. Don’t ask your bilingual staff to translate

The desire to be efficient is understandable. However, translation is an art and a science, a learned skill that professional linguists hone over many years. Having your secretary who spent a year abroad in high school translate your marketing materials is a recipe for disaster. Professional translators continuously spend time on developing their expertise and technique, they attend conferences and professional development workshops, and many of them are highly specialized in their field. Saving on the translation side can actually end up costing you in the long term. A bad translation, at best, may end up being funny, but at worst, it can be embarrassing and damaging to your brand image.

However, your bilingual staff may be a valuable resource in other ways. Bilingual employees in your target country may help when it comes to defining terminology, creating style guides, or reviewing the final translation. By allowing them to work directly with the translator, you can take advantage of their foreign language skills and increase the efficiency of your internal translation processes.

4. Look at your content

Translators are not miracle workers. They cannot – or should not need to – make your translated content better than the original text. Translators work with what you give them. If your source text is inconsistent, incoherent or not relevant to your target market, the translator will not fix those issues (unless you hire a translator who also specializes in copywriting, and improvements to your text are discussed in advance).

A good translation starts with good source material. Make sure your terminology is consistent throughout your marketing materials. The same items or concepts should be referred to by the same name or phrase in all instances. Needless to say, slogans must be 100% identical wherever they appear. But even the little things, such as whether to use “Email” or “email” or “e-mail” in your texts, need to be taken into consideration. Preparing a style guide and glossary for and/or with the translator ahead of the translation process will ensure less review cycles and revisions later on, which will save time and money.

5. Establish a workflow and a plan

Before you begin with the actual translation process, you need to look at the entire picture. How will you ensure consistency in your global marketing efforts, both now and in the future? Will your business use multiple translation resources or hire just one translator? Who will be responsible for the review process and approval before delivery? How will you handle future updates to your content that need to be translated – do you have a process for easily identifying changes for the translator? Thinking about these questions beforehand and having a plan in place will prevent headaches and last-minute scrambling later on.

6. Provide context for translators

In German, the word “home” can be translated into “daheim,” “nach Hause,” “Startseite,” “Heim,” “Haus,” “Heimat,” “Wohnort”… you get the picture. A translator working off a spreadsheet listing only words without context cannot possibly provide you with an accurate translation. In order to pick the right term and prevent embarrassing mistakes, a translator needs to know the context and see what the customer sees. Ideally, you should provide a visual translation interface for the translator to work with, e.g. the website layout, a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF of your brochure. Allow your translator to see exactly how the content is going to be presented to your customers in the end.

7. Review often and early

If possible, review a translation sample by the translator early on. This allows you to spot potential problems and identify any issues that may need to be addressed. Implementing changes is much easier early in the translation process than once the translator has finished the entire project. Also, if you notice that the quality of the translator’s work is not up to your standards, you can still find an alternative without losing a fortune by having to have your content re-translated or extensively revised.

Here’s an example from my own experience. I once was hired to review a website translation for an online travel agency. The initial translator or translators had apparently not paid much attention to consistency in terminology, and the overall quality was seriously lacking. The content sounded, well, translated – and badly at that. I was tasked with revising all content, which ended up being more costly than if I had translated it to begin with.

8. Last but not least: A note about translation memory

A quick survey of attendees during the webinar showed that outside of the translation industry, many people, including those working in international marketing departments, don’t know what a translation memory is or how it is used. I once told a client I would translate his web content using a translation memory solution to ensure consistency, and he told me he didn’t want me to use any software to translate their content. In his mind, he was picturing automated translation along the lines of Google translate. Not so.

A translation memory, or TM, is a database of sentences that have already been translated and approved – by a human being. Let’s say your web content repeats itself on some pages, or your product descriptions only have minor variations in some instances (e.g. “This red coat is both comfortable and stylish” vs. “This blue coat is both comfortable and stylish”). For the sake of consistency, you would want to ensure the use of similar wording in the foreign language as well. And of course, marketing slogans and tag lines should always be translated in the exact same way.

A translation memory allows the translator to use previously approved translations every time a certain sentence occurs throughout the translation project. A TM even works for partial matches such as the coat example above. As the translator works, the TM grows to include more and more sentences. This not only ensures uniformity but also saves time, which, in turn, can lead to reduced translation costs. Moreover, you can include the translation memory in the deliverables from the translator at the end of the project, allowing you to reuse it during later translation projects even if you end up hiring a different translator.

Bootcamp for Translators Lived Up to Its Name

By Marion Rhodes
English-German Translator

If expert positioning was a religious philosophy for translators, Marta Stelmaszak would be its guru.

Over the course of the last week, I gained so much useful insight about taking my translation business to new professional heights that my head is still spinning trying to figure out where to begin. That’s because I attended Marta’s Expert Level Bootcamp for Translators, which completely lived up to its name.

The course, which Marta offered for the first time, consists of a series of three 90-minute webinars. As a follow-up course to her widely acclaimed Business School for Translators, it is designed for established translators who want to break into the premium market. If you pay attention and take Marta’s advice to heart, I have no doubts that this course will get you there.

We started the course last Monday with a module on expert platforms, focusing on business management and structure. In a highly informative yet still entertaining session, we learned how to think like an expert, research our target market, define our unique strengths and develop a successful business strategy.

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Module no. 2 on promotion, which followed that Wednesday, covered how to position yourself as a true professional in your field. It addressed how to create your expert identity, how to build authority by going the extra mile, and the importance of turning your website into an expert hub by adding value for your clients.

Finally, in the third module on Friday, we learned all about presence and how to market our translation services to a premium clientele. We learned about effective yet tasteful sales approaches, how to identify potential clients and their needs, and how to write winning business proposals. In the end, all participants had a step-by-step plan to take their translation business to the next – expert – level.

The class was not just theoretical, however. A major component was the assignment Marta had put together to accompany the lessons. Here is where we had a chance to apply our new knowledge and gain feedback. Thus, I spent much of last week defining my business strategy, researching competitors and potential leads, and boiling my strengths down to my unique selling point. In the process, I finally found the impetus to revamp my website and gained many ideas on how to better serve my clients’ needs. I am left with a part mental, part virtual binder full of ideas, which I plan to implement within the coming weeks and months.

All participants in the course were invited to join a private Facebook group, which turned into an active discussion forum throughout the week. Marta was quick to reply to our questions and offer feedback, at times making me wonder if she ever sleeps. 🙂 The group also provided a great opportunity for connecting with like-minded translation professionals, and I am happy to have gotten to know a few colleagues from across the world in the process.

Apart from my certificate in translation and two ATA conferences, this was by far the most expensive and time consuming investment in continuing professional development I have made to date. However, it was worth every penny and every minute. I am grateful to have had a chance to work with such an insightful professional and am looking forward to applying Marta’s tips and reach the true potential of my business.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this course to any translator who would like to learn how to become a big fish in a big pond full of translation providers.

Translators and Social Media: Why you Should Put Yourself Out There

By Marion Rhodes

A little more than a year ago, when I started working as social media coordinator for the Colorado Translators Association, I was very much a newbie to the world of xl8 and t9n. Even though I had been working as a translator for many years, I never really thought about connecting with others in my industry using social media. Little did I know that there was such an active community of professional translators right at my fingertips!

Part of my job as social media coordinator involves updating the CTA Twitter and Facebook accounts with relevant information. In order to find interesting articles and tips to share, I started searching for news online about translators and the translation industry. I created Google alerts for these terms and began monitoring the relevant hashtags (xl8 and t9n for “translation”) on Twitter.

Right from the start, I was amazed at how much translation-related information is available on the Internet every single day. Through news articles and blog posts, I suddenly discovered insights into our industry that I had never imagined.

And I quickly realized something else. Some translation professionals seemed to be omnipresent: on Twitter, in Facebook groups, in blogs, in podcasts and interviews, in webinars, in the ATA Chronicle, at industry conferences. There are thousands of translators across the globe, but the same names just kept coming up online.

If you’re following translation-related news on Twitter, you probably know most, if not all, of them. But if you are new to the scene like I was a year ago, here is a list of some of the translators who are particularly active on social media, and why you should check them out:

Who: Catherine Christaki (@LinguaGreca)
Why you should follow her:
Catherine shares tons of valuable information for translators on Twitter, and she has an interesting blog that covers a variety of topics of interest to translators of any language. It also features a Q&A series called “20 Questions,” where she shines the spotlight on her industry colleagues and allows them to introduce themselves.

Who: Tess Whitty (@Tesstranslates)
Why you should follow her:
Coming from a marketing background, Tess has great insights into how to market your translation business, which she shares in her blog and on Twitter. She also runs a podcast series called “Marketing Tips for Translators,” where she interviews successful colleagues about their secrets.

Who: Corinne McKay (@corinnemckay)
Why you should follow her:
Corinne offers advice on how to manage a freelance business, discusses topics of interest to translators, and has a variety of useful tips for industry newbies on her blog “Thoughts on Translation.” She’s also the author of two translation books and hosts a podcast with her translation partner Eve Bodeux (@ebodeux).

Who: Marta Stelmaszak (@mstelmaszak)
Why you should follow her:
Marta is very active when it comes to sharing information on Twitter and offers lots of great business advice for translators on her blog. She also runs a successful online “Business School for Translators” course.

Other names worth following:

Chris Durban (@ChrisDurbanFR)
Nicole Adams (@NYAcomm)
Jost Zetzsche (@jeromobot)
Kevin Lossner (@GermanENTrans)
Judy Jenner (@language_news)
Dagmar Jenner (@Deutsch_Profi)
Uwe Muegge (@UweMuegge)
Steve Vitek (@VitekSteve)
Jayne Fox (@jaynefox)

I’m sure there are many more, but these are the ones I have encountered most often so far.

Now, what does all of this mean for you? For one thing, you should follow these people and enjoy their willingness to share information with the rest of us. But there’s more to learn from them than translation tipps. Just a year ago, these people were all complete strangers to me. Today, I know their names, recognize their faces and know which language combinations and specialities they work in. If I saw one of them at a conference, I wouldn’t be shy to walk up to them and introduce myself, because their online presence has provided me with plenty of conversation starters.

Most of all, if someone needs a translator in one of their language pairs, these people will be the first ones on my mind for referrals. Based on their expert contributions to our profession, I know that I can recommend them without hesitation. They may still technically be strangers, but thanks to their well-rounded online presence, they are less strange to me than the hundreds of other translators who also work in their language combination.

If you know of anyone else who is very active and worth following, please add them in the comments below. I’m looking forward to getting to know even more of my fellow translators.

Using Pinterest as a Personal Marketing Tool

By Marion Rhodes
English~German translator

In the world of social media, Pinterest is an oddball. It’s not really a networking tool, not a communication platform, not a photo album. Rather, it’s a collection of… well, everything. Recipes, home improvement ideas, style advice, you name it, you’ll find it on Pinterest. It’s a virtual bulletin board where people can literally save anything they are interested in, share it with the public and follow others who have similar interests. Pin a website, pin a photo, pin your location. It’s all there for your future reference, neatly organized in “boards” according to your preferences.

I’ve been pinning since the early days of Pinterest, when you had to be invited by another pinner. For years, my Pinterest profile was a collection of random things I liked as I browsed the web. At night, I would scroll through Pinterest’s DIY section and pin ideas for future projects. It was a fun waste of time.

But with 25 million users according to Business Insider, Pinterest is much more than that. The platform has developed into a powerful marketing tool.

And so, a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that my Pinterest profile could be so much more than just a collage of pretty pictures and innovative ideas. I realized that if I could pin random things I came across, I could just as well pin with a purpose – a business purpose!

Less than a half hour later, I had created several new boards on my Pinterest wall: one for my translation business Integrated MarCom Translations, one for translation in general, one for social media marketing, one for integrated marketing communications, one for blog posts I like, and one for my own blog posts. I’d also renamed many of my old boards to create a more cohesive Pinterest presence over all – recipe boards were labeled “Crock Pot for a Busy Life” and “Dinner Inspiration for the Working Mom,” DIY ideas were pinned under “Free Time Projects,” fitness and weight loss advice became “Healthy Lifestyle.”

With my new boards in place, I was able to start saving work-related and work-life-balance information without taking up valuable space on my computer’s hard drive. Now, whenever I read a blog post that has valuable information I may want to remember, I pin it. When I see a good infographic on social media, I pin it. When I see an announcement for an upcoming translation webinar, I pin it. At the same time, I use Pinterest as my own marketing tool by pinning my own blog posts so that others may read and share them. My Pinterest profile has grown up to reflect not just who I am outside of work, but also the business professional that I am.

Since Pinterest profiles are visible to the public, the idea was to give visitors a summary of me: a working mom with a translation business focused on marketing, social media and communication, who also has a life outside of her job. This is what makes Pinterest unique: People expect to “get to know” a person on Pinterest through the things they pin. Pinterest is a place to show your personality.

But what if your personality includes certain aspects you’d rather not share with the world, such as your interest in Mickey Mouse lingerie? Well, Pinterest has a solution for that, too: secret boards. These boards are only visible to you, and the pins you add will not be shared with your followers or the public. So now that you know all about the untapped potential of Pinterest, why don’t you go and create your own virtual pin board? I suggest you start by pinning this very blog post. 🙂

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