5 Hacks on LinkedIn for Freelance Translators

Last updated Jan 22, 2024
By Genevieve Shaw

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of LinkedIn for freelance translators. Not just for finding employment, but also for finding new clients. It’s often described as a powerful marketing tool. But you might feel unsure how to best harness the power of LinkedIn. Do you want to improve your online presence but don’t know how?

In a recent article on The Translator’s Studio, I looked at “11 ways to Negotiate the Jungle of Social Media for Freelance Translators”. It features practical advice for translators on using social media for marketing.

In this post, I’ll be looking at LinkedIn for freelance translators. Read on for five pointers for freelance translators who want to start using LinkedIn or who want to make their LinkedIn profiles even better.

1. Use a professional headshot

Make sure your profile photo looks professional. Use a clear headshot in a professional setting, preferably with a clear background. Avoid using a photo that shows you dressed up to go out for the evening or in a non-work context, such as walking up a mountain, lying on the beach or wearing sunglasses.

According to LinkedIn experts, profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views.

2. Change your default banner

Use a LinkedIn banner that’s related to your profession. Canva is a free on-line design program that you can use to produce customised designs. It lets you create an attractive and unique LinkedIn banner that will show you in a professional light.

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3. Change the URL of your LinkedIn profile

If you go to the right-hand side of your LinkedIn profile page, you’ll see the title “personal and contact details”. Click on “show more”. Go to the pencil icon and edit the URL of your LinkedIn profile. Use words that describe your professional activity that people might use to search for your profile, for instance “freelance translator” or related words.

4. Use SEO in your profile text

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation. In a nutshell, it consists of using targeted keywords in text that search engines will pick up on. In your case, you want the LinkedIn search engine to register your keywords. If a potential client searches for those keywords in the LinkedIn search box, you’ll be more likely to appear in its search results if you’ve used SEO in your profile text.

For example, as a freelance translator from Catalan to English, I could optimise my profile text with the keywords “Catalan-to-English freelance translator”. If the same keywords are also contained in your profile URL (see point 3), this will improve your chances of appearing in a potential client’s search results. Optimise the text of your extract and previous job descriptions.

5. Use an elevator pitch

The text you use in your extract needs to be snappy and inspiring. It should be an elevator pitch, which means a short description that explains your service in a minimum amount of time.

What is your unique selling point (USP) that sets you apart from other freelance translators on LinkedIn? The text you use in your LinkedIn extract should emphasise your USP immediately. Remember, you have only a few seconds to capture a potential client’s attention.

I hope you find these pointers on LinkedIn for freelance translators useful. They’ve definitely helped me. If you get a chance, I’d also recommend going on a LinkedIn training course in your area. Local councils often run them for free. It’s worth getting in touch to ask if they will be organising a course on LinkedIn for freelancers in the near future.

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Written by Genevieve Shaw

Genevieve Shaw is a Spanish- and Catalan-to-English translator, writer and copyeditor. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of 'Women in the NHS', giving a voice to under-represented and inspiring women in UK healthcare. Connect with Genevieve on LinkedIn.

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