My Proz profile
I started my translation career by rather haphazard circumstance, as can often be the case with me, but I prefer it that way, as it can lead down paths I would have never dreamed of.
It was difficult in the beginning, losing customers as I learned the ropes (ways how to accomplish it), but over time I determined what it takes to keep satisfied clients and learned about the various tools of the trade (translation memory software, digital dictionaries, forums for consultation and so forth).
After a year I decided to expand my services by offering other language combinations provided by other translators, putting ads in local newspapers offering them work.
I slowly built up my own translation agency, eventually expanding my client base and pool of translators to outside the country where I started (the Czech Republic).
At one point I wanted to make a more aggressive push for foreign clients, so I posted ads on the internet and managed to find an eager person to help me with this and who was located in the Ukraine.
His task was to surf the internet and collect email addresses of translation agencies, publishers, export and other companies which might be interested in translation services.
As I tend to learn as I go, this was the first instance where I learned it is not a good idea to give too much information to a single person, as this person eventually became the CEO/owner of his own translation-oriented company, the Translation Directory.
But that is okay, because I never imposed restrictions on what he may do with the email addresses he was collecting for me, and we have become good friends. In fact, he posts some of my articles and correspondence on his site.
Since then I have found other ways to collect more email addresses, and eventually decided I would like to offer this means of expanding my customer base to other translators. I had tried forums like proz and translatorscafe for several years, but found them a much less effective means at finding more work than by direct approach.
Another way how I found new customers, in particular direct ones and not translation agencies, was to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is the science of getting one’s webpages in search engine (like Google) to the top of their search results.
One of the important ways how to accomplish this is to write original content, preferably in the same subject theme. For which reason I set out to write articles on the subject, in addition to all the other pages I wrote. In the process I became a Platinum Level Expert Author of the net’s most important article submission directories, Ezine Articles.
Over time I compiled and updated the most important information on how to become a successful translator in a startup package, which I give freely as part of this service.
I have continued to translate over the past 20 years that I have worked in this industry, in between managing projects, some of which have been very large.
I enjoy helping translators enter this profession, although many customers of this service are already established translators seeking to expand their client base, as witnessed by their testimonies.
In particular, I enjoy the freedom this has given me to work on my own schedule from the comfort of my own home, and most recently the freedom to travel while I continue to work, launching that in 2006. I have also begun posting videos of translation workstations I have used in beautiful parts of the world.
My Linkedin profile
One reason I like to help others become more independent like this is I believe it will help make the world a calmer place, where we do not have to struggle in traffic every day or be stuck within the confines of large corporations, while traveling in general increases tolerance among people. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and look forward to helping you launch a career in this rewarding and lucrative profession.