Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

A New Beginning

Hello everyone!

This is my first blog post of 2021! It is great to be back, with my energies recharged after my vacation for the holidays. It was great to disconnect for a few days, I definitely feel ready to start this year.

Every year gives us an opportunity for a new beginning, and we seldom take it. After such a rough year 2020 was, I think most of us feel a bit reluctant to get excited about starting a new year, like we don’t want to jinx it!

But we should leave 2020 in the past and give 2021 a chance. The pandemic situation is not going to change any time soon. It is something that we need to learn to live with, but at least we already know this and if we accept it, we’ll be able to move forward.

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This year I want to change a couple of things. During the holidays I was able to think about what I want from this new beginning. Here are some of the things I’m doing different this year:

  1. I’ll only publish one blog post per month. I published two per month last year, and although I do enjoy writing, it gets more difficult to find new topics and it does take a lot of my time. I’d rather publish more quality content than quantity.
  2. I’ll only publish posts on social media three days per week. After more than a year of posting daily, I’ve decided to bring it down to three posts. This will help me not only to produce more quality and original posts, but it will also free some of my time. Managing your social media by yourself can be like having a second job!
  3. I’m trying to be more friendly with the environment. For a couple of years now, I’ve started replacing different products with natural, organic, or vegan ones. From skin and hair care products to toothbrushes, and other household items, little by little we’ve been transitioning. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but if we all did something like this, we would be able to help our environment in a big way.
  4. I’m taking more time for myself. If the pandemic has taught me anything, is that I need to take care of myself to take care of others. Taking more time off, finding time to meditate and relax, and improving skin and hair care routines are great ways to focus on my well-being.
  5. Engage more. Another reason for publishing less material on social media is to focus on engaging more with my followers and the accounts I follow. Networking is essential, but you need time to do it.
  6. Support more local small businesses and entrepreneurs. During the pandemic, so many new small businesses were created, mainly due to the lack of employment. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how important it is to support other entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  7. I didn’t just rest during the holidays, I also took the time to really clean out my house, especially my room and closet. I got rid of many things that I didn’t even remember I had, and now there’s more space for other things and it all looks so much better!
  8. In this same line, I deleted profiles and accounts that I don’t use anymore or that never gave me any results.
  9. I also want to get rid of any negativity or pessimism. I want to keep a more positive outlook on life, instead of bringing myself down with anxiety.
  10. And last, but not least, I want to be kinder. The truth is we never really know what people are really going through. They might seem ok or even have a smile on their faces, but internally they might be battling all sorts of problems. This is why I think we should always be kind to one another, and I definitely want to practice this more. A kind word or gesture can go a long way!

They are not exactly goals; they are more like ideas of how to get better both as a person and as a professional. Self-improvement never ends!

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2021 has had a great start for me. FluentU has agreed to raise my rate due to how happy they are with my work, and I just landed a small Portuguese to Spanish translation project for one of my most important clients.

Another great thing that has happened, is that you can hear my voice on the Translation Confessional podcast! The lovely Rafa Lombardino invited me to leave a voice message on her podcast page, and I made the cut! You can listen to the episode “Client Education” on any podcast platform. Here is the link to listen to it in YouTube!

How is 2021 treating you so far? Did you set any goals or resolutions? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!

As a reminder, you can get a 15% discount on a beautiful swimsuit from Bright Swimwear by using my code: ILDU15. If you want to know more about my collaboration with them, don’t miss this blog post Brand Ambassador!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Certifications, Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Unwinding

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about unwinding! Yes! It is crucial to unwind, rest, and disconnect from time to time.

I hadn’t taken any time off since the pandemic started until two weekends ago. We had a long weekend due to a national holiday on Monday, so my family and I decided to go to the beach for the first time in quite a while!

I also decided not to use my phone other than to take pictures. It wasn’t easy not to check it for any notifications from social media, emails, etc. But in the end, it felt great to be able to disconnect, even if it was just for a couple of days.

Thanks to this decision, I felt like I really rested and I had time to connect, not just with my family, but with myself! I hadn’t feel that relaxed in a long time. Just listening to the sound of the waves was magical!

We spent our days in the pool, under the sun, and then at the beach. There weren’t as many people as you would expect, but there were more than I thought due to the recent return to the “new” normal.

We rented a small villa with a private pool; this way, we could be safer than sharing a public pool. It was amazing to wake up every day and come out to find ourselves in paradise!

I forgot how necessary it is to unwind and take time for yourself and your loved ones. As freelancers, sometimes, we forget about this. But everyone needs a break from working; it doesn’t matter if you work in an office or from home.

Resting lets us recharge our energies and even help us to perform better! If we are tired and overworked, after a while, our performance starts to diminish. We cannot perform to the best of our abilities if we don’t get enough time to relax and disconnect.

It is incredible how not using my phone for three days gave me so much rest and peace. I know that it is important to always be there for your clients, but they also have to understand that we need time off. I always send them a message when I am going to be out of the office, and I leave an automatic message in my email in case someone tries to contact me.

When was the last time you took some time off? What do you like to do to help you relax? Are you able to disconnect when you are away on vacation completely? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this; please share them in the comments.

By the way, all the pictures in this post were taken by yours truly, they’re not stock photos, and no filters were needed.

Until the next time, take care and be safe!

XX

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Social Media, Translation

Managing Personal and Work Time

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about how I manage my personal and work time each day.

When you work from home is not always easy to separate your personal and work time.

After working for almost three years as a freelance translator, I’d say that I’ve learned a few things about keeping my time separate.

The main thing is to mention is boundaries.

Yes, you need to set boundaries between your personal and work time if you want to succeed at have them separate.

If you live alone, this won’t be too difficult, but if you live with family or friends, this might get a bit tricky to implement.

The important thing is to designate your work area inside your home. You need to choose a working space that is a bit isolated, or that has a door.

It has to be big enough to have your desk, computer, printer, and everything else you need to carry out your work.

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The important thing is to make sure that everyone else in your house knows that your working space is off-limits during working hours. I know this might sound harsh, but they do need to respect your space.

Also, make sure to leave your phone away from your office space. Unless you know a client will call or text you, your phone will only serve as a distraction mainly from friends and family.

You can check any pending messages or return any missed calls during your lunch break or any other breaks you might have during your workday. You can also do this at the end of your day and dedicate more time to the task.

Many people you know might not take seriously the fact that you work from home. That’s why you need to show them that working from home as a freelancer is a real job, just like any other, and that you have working hours and cannot tend to personal issues during that time.

If you live with family or friends, you can still spend time with them during your lunch breaks and after business hours. It is not about having time for them; it is about having separate times for work and personal matters. This way, you’ll be able to accomplish all you need in a better way.

Once your work hours are over, make sure to turn off your computer and any other devices you use for work. Also, make sure that any work-related notifications are turned off on your phone. For example, if you work for an agency or a company and use a corporate chat app, make sure to set your availability to “away” and snooze the notifications so people know that you are done for the day and won’t send you anything until the next day.

If there is something urgent, they can still ping you or send you an email. It is not about ignoring your work-related matters, but you also need to set boundaries with your clients. Otherwise, they will think that they can contact you at any time, including after business hours and weekends.

We all need to rest! Sleep is so crucial to get the necessary rest before you start a new day. If you don’t get enough sleep, your performance won’t be the same, and you’ll feel tired and even grumpy. You can even get sick from not having enough sleep, so make sure to take care of yourself.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

We also need to eat and workout. This will give us the energy we need to perform our work and will make us feel healthy and confident.

Make sure to have all your meals, preferably at the same time every day, and a few healthy snacks during the day. Also, make sure to get up several times a day to stretch out and change your position before continuing to work. This will help us to feel a lot better, and when we feel good, we perform better.

Now an issue we all struggle with: to work or not work during the weekend.

When you are starting as a freelance translator is hard to say no to working after business hours and during weekends. After all, we do not want to lose any work; on the contrary, we need as much work as possible.

But as your workload starts to stabilize, you don’t need to burn yourself up anymore. You can and should set boundaries with your clients about your working hours and whether you are available or not during the weekends.

I am lucky not to need to work during the weekends, at least for the time being. Unless it is a highly urgent and important project from an excellent client, I won’t sacrifice my weekend by working.

My weekends are reserved for my family, loved ones and friends, and myself! We all need a little self-love and pampering! It is an excellent way to unwind after working hard all week. It can go from getting a face mask to reading a book to having a walk under the sun. Anything that makes you feel like you also matter!

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

It’s not impossible to manage your personal and work life separately, and if you’d like to read more about what it is like to work as a freelancer, read my post Working from Home

Let me know if you have any tips for managing your personal and work time in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Until the next time, take care and be safe!

XX

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Social Media, Translation

Design Tool

Hi everyone!

Have you ever used AI-assisted designing tools? Well, today I want to talk to you about a designing tool I discovered recently, called Designs.AI.

As the name suggests, this desktop tool uses Artificial Intelligence to create different designs by just choosing your favorite colors, fonts, graphics, etc.

The services they offer are these:

LOGOMAKER

With Logomaker, you can generate hundreds of logo variations tailored to your brand, and create an entire branding kit with the help of AI.

It is as easy as writing the name of your brand and select the font and color scheme you like. You also get to choose the design of the logo and whether you want to add a motto or catchphrase to it.

Logomaker will automatically generate hundreds of options for you to scroll through and choose the ones you like the most and make any changes to them until you find the logo that is right for your brand.

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VIDEOMAKER

Experience AI-powered text-to-video tool. Generate stunning videos easily with the intelligent online Videomaker. No installation is required.

Simply input your text or URL for a video. You’ll have millions of videos and images to choose from.

Get videos made with voiceovers in ten different languages and make changes to your video using their user-friendly editor.

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ASSISTIVE TOOLS

Font Pairer: Choose the best font combination for your designs.

Graphic Maker: Customize illustrations to match your brand identity.

Color Matcher: Easily generate thousands of beautiful color palettes.

Calendar: Includes a complete calendar of all social media holidays, so you don’t miss a thing!

You can try all of these for free but you have to pay for the Logomaker and Videomaker. They offer different subscriptions, including one which you can pay as you go. That means that you only pay for the design you are working on right now, without having to make any monthly payments.

They also offer blog posts with tips and more information about their tools, including some promotions and freebies!

Click on any of the banners in this post to find out more about Designs.AI and whether it can help you with your branding. I’d love to know if you use it and what do you think of it, so don’t be shy and leave me a comment.

Until next time, stay safe and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

XX

PS – A few weeks ago I published my post about Social Media Tools, through a great collaboration with Italian translator Alessia di Cunto, this post now has an Italian version! Here is the link to Alessia’s translation https://alessiadicuntotrad.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/strumenti-per-i-social-media/

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Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

LinkedIn Strategy

Hello everyone!

This time around, I want to talk about LinkedIn. I’ve been using LinkedIn for a while now, even before I became a freelance translator. I must say I never paid much attention to it until now.

There is excellent potential to find new prospective clients on LinkedIn, but it’s not easy. Even though I post almost every day, so far, that has not translated (no pun intended!) into new clients.

I have connected with a great community of translators and interpreters, but this is not my only goal. I also want to reach new potential direct clients, and that’s where I need help.

apps blur button close up
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So, two weeks ago, I started a 4-week course with Virginia Katsimpiri that teaches you how to improve your LinkedIn profile in order to have a strategy to find new clients.

Before even getting into editing our profile, we needed to identify the following information:

  • Set our SMART goals
  • Define our target market
  • Create our USP definition
  • Create our ideal client avatar

These exercises have helped me a lot to understand my main goals and how to attain them. You can’t start working on marketing your brand if you have not defined your target market, your USP, and your ideal client avatar. Who do you want to work with? And why?

As for the profile itself, there are many helpful suggestions:

  • Use a professional photo (you can even get your photo analyzed to see how popular it is)
  • You can format your LinkedIn text
  • Your banner should include your logo.
  • There is a new feature called “highlights”; here you can add your website link so that any visitor to your profile can click on it and go directly to your website.
  • In your tagline, you should offer your services and use all the available characters.
  • The summary should be benefits-oriented. It would be best if you didn’t write your CV here; it should be about what you do and why you are good at it.
  • As for the work experience, make sure to include everything. Not just your experience as a freelance translator but also any previous experience working at something else. We learn from all our work experiences, so if you used to work in the administration field, you are going to be familiar with the terms related to the business industry, and that’s a plus.
  • It is essential to ask for recommendations! You can choose to show them in your profile, and that’s important because any client that might be interested in working with you will probably check this section very carefully.
  • LinkedIn has a really cool new feature! You can now record how your name is pronounced! I think this is a great feature because let’s face it, most of the time we don’t know how some names are pronounced. My name if one of them, so I like that now people who visit my profile can finally understand how to pronounce it!

I think that LinkedIn can be an excellent resource for making your business grow; it is all about having a strategy and reaching the right clients for you.

confident elegant lady in eyeglasses hosting webinar
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

There are still two weeks left of this great course, so I am yet to learn many more things about LinkedIn. Next week will be all about writing messages to your potential clients. What I also like about this course is that we get a Q&A live session every week, so you can ask Virginia all your doubts from the tasks you had to complete during the week. And you get to hear other participants’ questions, which can provide great insight.

Do you use LinkedIn? Have you found new clients by using it? Did you have a strategy, or did it just happen? I’d love to hear about your experiences with the platform.

And I would also love to know what you think about my profile! And if you have a LinkedIn account, go ahead and connect with me! Let’s help our community grow! Just make sure to mention on your invitation that you read my blog post so I can go ahead and accept it.

LinkedIn Profile

Until next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

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Sin categoría, Social Media, Translation

3 Tips for Freelance Translators

Hello everyone!

This time I want to give you some tips I’ve learned along the way about being a freelance translator.

I probably don’t have the answers to everything, but I thought I could give some advice, from my own experience to those struggling to be freelance translators.

One of the first things you need to learn as a freelance worker (translator or otherwise), is to be disciplined, primarily if you work from home. The transition from working in an office to working at home can be difficult if you don’t commit yourself to a routine.

So, let’s talk a bit more about discipline:

You need to set a schedule. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you can slack around. Establishing a program will help you commit to your work.

Avoid distractions. You are bound to get distracted when working at home, so you need to find a private space where you can focus. You should also keep away any distractions like your phone (for no business-related matters), tablets, games, etc.

Make sure you have everything you need in your space. This will help you avoid more distractions by getting up and look for something and you end up being gone for more time than you should have.

Now let’s move to being organized.

Before you start your day, make sure that you have a plan for it. I know things can change out of nowhere, but having a schedule helps you to accommodate better anything that was not planned for the day.

What are your tasks for each day? What should you accomplish by the end of the week? Writing all this down will make you feel you have more control over your work and your goals. You can do this on your computer calendar, or if you prefer, in a notebook.

By the end of the week, you should go through your daily and weekly plans. Mark as done those you accomplished, and make sure to reschedule the ones that you weren’t able to meet for the next week. This won’t take long and it will help you stay focused on your goals.

My third and final tip, for today, is being persistent.

Set your goals and your plan to achieve them. This will help you to figure out what actions you need to take.

Starting in this business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, rejections, and failures, but you will learn a lot from this, and you need to turn the negative things into positive learnings.

Don’t give up. Sometimes, especially when you’re not landing any projects, you’ll undoubtedly feel like quitting. But this happens to everyone. It occurred to me, and now I can assure you that my persistence paid off.

I might return with more tips; in the meantime, I hope you find these helpful. Also, check out my blog posts about What Not to Do with Clients and How to Say No

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post and what content you’d like to see in my blog. Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.

XX

 

Sin categoría

Freelance Websites

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing fine during this very long month of August.

Today I want to talk about the websites to find job as a freelance translator. I have tried several, but the ones that have worked best for me are Upwork, ProZ.com and TranslatorsCafe.

I don’t really like the fact that some of them charge you fees for different services, still you can find new potential clients there. And you can take the risk of working off the platforms, so you don’t get charged any fees, but again, this is a risk because you don’t really know who are you dealing with.

I am also registered in Freelancer.com, but that one has been for me the most difficult to get work on. They charge even to take the credentials exams and they give a really small amount of bids if you don’t use the paid version.

Which ones are you using? How are they working for you?

Until next time, let me wish you a happy weekend in advance!