Wondering what you can do to get more translation jobs in the Smartcat Marketplace? Does your freelance profile need a little makeover? Not even sure what needs adding or changing? We know writing about yourself and your services to attract clients online is hard, so we wanted to make it a little easier for you!
Here are 10 recommendations to make your Smartcat profile stand out and get you more jobs on the platform:
1. Keep it simple
This might seem obvious but it’s probably the biggest turnoff for clients — too much information and half of it isn’t even relevant! Far too many freelancers stuff their profiles with all kinds of information, whether it’s qualifications, specialisations, or where they served coffee ten years ago. It’s hard enough to condense all the right info in the limited space, so start by getting rid of anything that’s not directly relevant to what you offer.
Once you’re left with the important stuff, you need to present it as simply and clearly as possible so that your potential client can quickly scan through it. Unfortunately, if what you can do for them isn’t clear within seconds, they’ll quickly move on to the next profile.
2. Focus on the client, not you!
Which brings us to point two. Part of keeping your profile simple is keeping it client-focused! In other words, everything should revolve around this question: “How do you solve your potential client’s problem?” That’s all that matters — your potential client isn’t interested in your life history, they just want to know what you can do for them. Sure, sometimes they’ll want to know what sort of qualifications or experience you have, but it’s your job to make it all about them, not you!
3. Don’t list too many specializations
You already know that the more specialized a translator you are, the better your chances of finding translation jobs. (If you don’t, now you know!) But this doesn’t mean that you should include 10 different specializations in your profile! The whole point of moving away from the “generalist” label is to show clients that you’re focused on two or three subject areas that you know well.
So, don’t go over five specializations on your Smartcat profile — and if you’re including more than two or three, make sure that they’re somewhat related to each other. Otherwise, you’ll be sending potential clients the wrong message, i.e. “I’m pretending to be specialized in all these different fields even though I know that’s not possible!”
4. Keep your portfolio/CV market-friendly
If you’re including a CV in the portfolio section of your Smartcat profile, keep it short and relevant to your potential clients. (Basically, go over point one again and apply it to this section too.)
Remember that CVs have to be tailored to each recipient, so, for example, a CV for a translation agency will be very different from a CV for a direct client. In fact, if you’re only targeting direct clients (e.g. a business that wants their web copy translated) you don’t even need a CV — a personal website or online profiles work best. If you still want one, forget about the traditional CV format and make it as short and as market-focused as possible.
5. Be online
Did you know that clients can search for freelancers using an “Online now” filter in the Smartcat Marketplace? You know how important turnaround times are for many clients, especially when they have their own tight deadlines to meet. So, many of these will want to know who’s already online and more likely to be readily available to work on their translation projects.
Now, don’t take this as “you need to be a slave to your laptop and be online at all times”! Far from it! But keep this search feature in mind if you’re going to be online anyway and you’re actively looking for new jobs — you might as well be logged into your Smartcat profile to show potential clients you’re online. You never know — a client might pop into your Smartcat chat to see if you’re available for a job.
Also, by just logging into your Smartcat profile every now and again, you’ll update your “Last seen” status, so potential clients will see when you were last online and may consider you for an upcoming project.
If you’re not a regular but want to stay visible to potential customers on Smartcat, make sure you log in at least once a month — your profile will be hidden automatically if there’s no activity in your Smartcat account for 30 days.
6. Ask for a review after a job well done
If you’ve managed to snap up a few Smartcat Marketplace jobs already, congrats! Smartcat prompts customers to leave a review for you, but they may be busy and forget, so don’t be afraid to ask them yourself! If you ask nicely and let them know how much you appreciate their feedback, they’ll be more than happy to rate you. You’ll get stars for quality and compliance to deadlines, and they may even write a sentence or two to go with the ratings.
The more reviews you get — and the more positive they are — the higher up in the search results you’ll be when clients look for translators in your language pair and area(s) of expertise.
7. Use Smartcat’s CAT tool
Did you know that the number of words you translate in Smartcat also affects your ranking? The reasoning is simple — the more you translate using Smartcat’s own CAT tool, the better prepared you are to tackle a client’s project on the Smartcat platform. Both the word count and number of projects completed on Smartcat show up on your freelance profile and can considerably boost your chances of getting a job invitation.
So, if you’re not doing so already, try out the CAT tool for your own translation projects and get as familiar as possible with the Smartcat platform as a whole. Beware — you may discover the platform can handle all your translation needs, not just help you find new clients! (And you may wonder why you’ve been spending money on other CAT tools when there’s a perfectly good one online for free!)
8. Add other services
What other services are in your repertoire aside from straight-up translation? Did you know that there’s a section for related services including glossary and translation memory management, quality assurance, interpreting, copywriting, and transcription? If you currently offer some of these services, make sure to showcase them on your Smartcat profile too!
9. Make sure your profile is 100% complete
Once you’ve made all the necessary changes to your profile, check that the profile completion bar in the top right corner is at 100%!
If it’s not 100%, go through your profile and check that there’s something in each section: services and rates, personal details, contact info, education, work experience, and portfolio.
The portfolio section is where you upload your own documents, but it’s not restricted to previous work samples — you can upload certificates, diplomas, or anything else you think your potential clients would be interested in. Again, only include relevant documents!
Another vital feature you need to be aware of is the “Show me in search results” setting in the “Privacy settings” tab. If you’re not available for new translation projects make sure you turn this off. And remember to turn it back on when you’re open again!
10. Proofread your profile
You may think this is a given, but you won’t believe how many online profiles there are out there with glaring mistakes! There is absolutely no excuse for silly typos and mistakes, so go through your profile carefully and make sure that that’s not what’s keeping clients from working with you! Read it through five or six times if need be.
If you’re worried that you’re not aware of some mistakes because English is not your first language, there’s an easy solution for that too — do a skill swap. Reach out to a fellow translator who is native in English and offer to proofread something for them in your native language in exchange for them proofreading your Smartcat profile. A few fixes here and there can make all the difference!
Wow your next client with your new Smartcat profile!
That’s it! Now, stop procrastinating and go action these 10 tips now to help you get more jobs in the Smartcat Marketplace. And let us know what you made of them. Did they help? Any favorites? Any you hadn’t even considered? We’ll be listening in the comments!