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Marketing on LinkedIn: paid-for options
Thread poster: Veronica Coquard

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 20:47
French to English
Oct 17, 2012

After taking inspiration from a forum here about a month ago, I started brushing up my LinkedIn profile and reaching out to interesting-looking professionals in my field (for example, directors of tourism administrations) to offer them my services. Here is what I did:

- I sent a first message out indicating that I would like to add them to my network in case they need a translator in the future in my language pair.

- When and if they accepted me as a contact, I sent them a more detailed message drawing a parallel between some detail of their profile and my own work experience.

- I sometimes received a word from them saying they had taken note and will contact me when they need a translation. This remains to be seen but represents a net successfully thrown out to sea. (On one occassion I was removed from the person's list of contacts.)

- I also received requests to link that I did not sollicit, in which case I accepted, thanked the person for asking and then went straight into the detailed message. (My profile has been viewed a lot more since I have been working it.)

- I have kept a record of all this, including what messages I sent to which people.

All of this is time-consuming and possibly not very productive -- although I did get one request for a quote, but haven't got word back on that -- and I am thinking it might be useful to step it up a bit and go on to paid membership. Of course, LinkedIn has noticed my increased traffic and offered me a month of free paid membership. The question is, from a freelance translator's point of view, what is to be gained by this? Do any of you have paid memberships there?

What I was also considering is to publish an ad there. It sounds expensive at first glance, but apparently works on a per-click basis, and has the advantage of targeting people who are recruiting in a specific field. Do any of you have experience with this? Did it prove costly? Productive? A trap?

Thank you for sharing your experiences...

[Edited at 2012-10-18 07:27 GMT]


 

Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:47
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
Some answers Oct 17, 2012

Hi Veronica,

Looks like you've been very proactive, good for you!icon_smile.gif

Veronica Coquard wrote:

The question is, from a freelance translator's point of view, what is to be gained by this? Do any of you have paid memberships there?

Yes, I do have a Premium LinkedIn membership, mostly for three reasons:

- the ability of organizing profiles in "folders", which is very practical for my translators recruitements - I created folders per specialty fields, so when I need a translator and look on LinkedIn, in one click I have the list of providers I'm looking for. Ditto for organizing suspects, prospects and clients.

- The profile view stats, very practical for marketing purposes

- InMails, allowing you to contact anybody, even if they are out of your network

For what we do, frankly this is enough but it's "luxury gadgets" - I've been a non member for years and it worked good as well. Either case it didn ot bring tons of daily clients, but like you, good contacts, request for quotes which regularly ended up in jobs.
My point is, IMO Premium is not very useful for freelancers except of you're interested in one of the 3 benefits above.


Veronica Coquard wrote:

What I was also considering is to publish an ad there. It sounds expensive at first glance, but apparently works on a per-click basis, and has the advantage of targeting people who are recruiting in a specific field. Do any of you have experience with this? Did it prove costly? Productive? A trap?

A trap, noicon_wink.gif But it was useless (and we're an agency), so for a freelancer I'm really not sure it's worth the money.

My two cents!icon_wink.gif

Cheers,
Anne


 

James_xia  Identity Verified
China
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
Quite encouraging Oct 18, 2012

Veronica Coquard wrote:

All of this is time-consuming and possibly not very productive -- although I did get one request for a quote, but haven't got word back on that -- and I am thinking it might be useful to step it up a bit and go on to paid membership. Of course, LinkedIn has noticed my increased traffic and offered me a month of free paid membership. The question is, from a freelance translator's point of view, what is to be gained by this? Do any of you have paid memberships there?


Very glad to see what you did to market yourself and have gained so far. Especially, you got a month of free paid membership from LinkedIn, meaning your efforts are visible to all. I suppose you're right you have to go an extra mile to get more familiarity with the new friends by talking or chatting with them before introducing your translation service. This might allow your friends to know more about you, your personality and even professionalism. icon_smile.gif

What I was also considering is to publish an ad there. It sounds expensive at first glance, but apparently works on a per-click basis, and has the advantage of targeting people who are recruiting in a specific field. Do any of you have experience with this? Did it prove costly? Productive? A trap?


I agree with Anne that publishing a personal ad should be cautious due to its dear price. And a paid membership does have its merits to speed up your marketing process. If you think it worthwhile, you might as well go ahead to have a try.

[Edited at 2012-10-18 02:18 GMT]


 

Ricardy Ricot  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
French to English
+ ...
Thanks Veronica, Anne and James for your ideas Oct 18, 2012

Hi, Veronica. Unfortunately, I don't use Linkedin much, so I cannot help you here. But I have been thinking about that social network website. And anyway, thanks for your ideas, I might do the same as you soon enough. And keep up the good work!icon_smile.gif

 

Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:47
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
If you need any help Oct 18, 2012

Hi Ricardy and Veronica,

If you need any further help, don't hesitate to contact me (email option in profile)icon_wink.gif


 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 20:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Hello all, and thanks for your input! Oct 18, 2012

It looks like I'll pursue the free version for awhile. But yes, Anne, you were one of my big inspirations to get into this process, so thank you for that!

Ricardy, I think you are like the majority of translators who don't yet realize the potential of LinkedIn, but it really is a limitless source of contacts who could turn out to be direct clients and I encourage you to try your hand at it when you are free. I am only just scratching the surface of prospects, but when I see the endless list of people I could contact... Well, it's pretty addictive, actually.

So, to be continued!

icon_smile.gif


 

Anne Diamantidis  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:47
Member (2007)
English to French
+ ...
You're welcome! ;) Oct 18, 2012

Veronica Coquard wrote:

It looks like I'll pursue the free version for awhile. But yes, Anne, you were one of my big inspirations to get into this process, so thank you for that!


Wow, thank you, that's a very nice thing to say... and to read! I appreciate that!

Veronica Coquard wrote:
Ricardy, I think you are like the majority of translators who don't yet realize the potential of LinkedIn, but it really is a limitless source of contacts who could turn out to be direct clients and I encourage you to try your hand at it when you are free. I am only just scratching the surface of prospects, but when I see the endless list of people I could contact... Well, it's pretty addictive, actually.


It is! and it's very time-consuming, but yes it's fun and it works. The key is not to get discouraged - it's the same than when I do telephone marketing with potential end-clients. Usually:

-> less than 10% of "suspects" turn into "prospects"
Between those who do not need translation services, those who already have a translation provider they're happy with, those who think they don't need a translator because their secretary speaks 11 languages (!).
-> approx 5% of prospects have requested one or more quote(s)
Either those who have immediate needs or, mostly, they have very punctual needs (once a year max).
-> 2% max ended in a concrete job.
The other 3% say "it's too expensive".

I've observed it's pretty much the same with LinkedIn contacts. But then there are a lot of surprises - people you've contacted 2 years ago and who suddenly contact you with a job.

Good news is, it is a bit easier for freelancers contacting agencies - I'm talking here about agency marketing, not freelancer marketing (before you all scream, I said "a bit easier" - just a biticon_wink.gif ) because agencies always need translators, while potential end clients don't always need agencies (because they don't need translation services at all).

The hardest part IMO is to hang in there and keep being active - not getting discouraged can be tough but if you have key strengths that differentiate you (your specialization or a "rare" language pair, for example), you shouldn't be too worried - all you need to do is make sure you're visible online.

Veronica Coquard wrote:
So, to be continued!


Looking forward to it!icon_wink.gif


 

Ricardy Ricot  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
French to English
+ ...
Thanks Veronica and Anne Oct 18, 2012

Thanks Veronica and Anne. Effectively, Corinne Mckay (famous translator) suggested the use of linkedin in her book. I will definitely try it within a few weeks or daysicon_smile.gif

 

James_xia  Identity Verified
China
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
Not bad to have a try Oct 19, 2012

Ricardy Ricot wrote:

Thanks Veronica and Anne. Effectively, Corinne Mckay (famous translator) suggested the use of linkedin in her book. I will definitely try it within a few weeks or daysicon_smile.gif


Really? That's great! I'd also like to know how it affects your daily work flow.

Please let us know if you have any news about using LinkedIn by then, OK?icon_smile.gif


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Bravo, Veronica Oct 19, 2012

As many other translators, I fail to see the purpose of this platform. But you've given us some practical pointers of how we can use the site to our benefit.

Please keep this thread alive and keep us posted.


 

Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 20:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your support! Oct 19, 2012

As I said, it is time-consuming and not always gratifying, but it represents such a wealth of opportunities, it would be a shame not to give it a go for an hour or so between jobs. If you keep it up, it's got to pay off at some point.

The fact that there aren't a lot of translators working it is another reason to do so -- less competition!

icon_smile.gif

I will indeed continue the adventure and relate the more interesting results!


 

Maja Źróbecka, MITI  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:47
English to Polish
+ ...
My two cents Oct 19, 2012

Diana,

I was exactly the same - I could not understand how LinkedIn was supposed to work. If you are feeling the same, I suggest you just observe what others do and learn from them. They do not have to be translators: they can be companies, professionals from other industries - you name it.

After observing what other active users do, you will have a better understanding of how LinkedIn can help you.

Myself, after spending some time on LinkedIn recently, I start to think that other translators' platforms are becoming a bit out-dated when you compare what LinkedIn has to offer.

Just open up to new things, allow yourself time to get into it and you will see for yourself that it does really work. This is being said by someone who was very sceptical, too!

Maja


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:47
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Take care with the month of free membership Oct 19, 2012

For a number of reasons, I am not sure the ROI is large enough to justify paid membership for me on LinkedIn.

I have been offered a free month several times, but whenever I have considered it, I have found that I cannot register without giving my bank details, so that when the month is over, my subscription can be drawn. I then lose interest.

But thanks, Veronica, for starting this thread and telling us what can be done without paying.
I have defnitely considered being more active to attract more hits. They need to be the right kind, though. I don't have time for more work, so I am only looking for more interesting or better paid work!

I don't want to waste too much time for potentially good clients by having to say 'sorry, no time this week' or giving other excuses when I am not able to help them.


 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:47
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
LinkedIn Nov 26, 2012

I have also been offered the free one-month paid membership on LinkedIn. They kept sending me e-mails about it throughout the summer and I didn't bother with taking them up on their offer.

Then they didn't e-mail me for a while and I kind of regretted now taking them up on their offer. Recently they sent me another e-mail about a free one-month membership offer and I took them up on it. You have to be careful to read the fine print. You must give credit card information and after the one month is over you will be charged for your membership. You can cancel your paid membership anytime though. I think I will try it for the month and see how it goes for me and if it's worthwhile renewing the premium membership.

Good luck to everyone on your LinkedIn profiles. I hope to see you all there.

-Sarah



[Edited at 2012-11-26 21:24 GMT]


 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Update? Nov 6, 2013

Hi Veronica,

A question was posted on another forum about LinkedIn and it made me think of this thread where you'd described your methodical approach to it. I wonder if you would mind filling us in on on how successful/useful you found it one year on?


 
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