In just a few weeks, we’re going to be entering straight into the season of goodwill. The end of the year is often the busiest time for travelers, with people traveling home to spend time with their loved ones. In fact, a Travel Channel survey found that more and more people are saving up vacation days to have longer holidays at the end of the year. If that’s not a good indicator of just how important the season is, then what is?
The holidays are especially relevant for interpreters because it’s a time when people are more likely to work to overcome cultural barriers. Whether it’s between family, friends, or neighbors, there’s an increased effort to communicate and share meaningful memories. According to the Washington Post, over 15% of the adult population in the U.S. speaks a language other than English at home— making translators and interpreters more important than ever. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of the season and share your skills with the people who need it most.
Make a Good Impression
Language interpretation and translation is a pretty specialized skill, and a lot of your success will hinge on how good of an impression you make. Sometimes the simplest way to get clients is to show that you’re amiable, alert, and communicate well.
In our article ‘Overcoming Language Barriers Before, During, and After an Interview’, we talked about how to prepare for a successful interview as an interpreter. Prepping beforehand and practicing communication and answering questions in your language of choice is the best way to prove that you’re the best interpreter for the job. If you show clients you’re capable, you’re more likely to get a referral. In tight-knit cultural communities, there can be no better marketing tool than that.
Another tool you can use to advertise your services during the holidays is the holiday card. Postcards are a great, personalized way to reach out to potential clients and inform them of your skillset. Marketing solutions company Triadex Services suggests using seasonally-appropriate formats, such as picking cards that are die-cut in the shape of holiday ornaments, to really make an impact.
They’re fun, memorable, and a great way to capture your clients’ attention and remind them that you’re here to help. Plus, customers who receive physical mail materials like these are more likely to keep and remember them, meaning you have a higher chance of pulling in return customers.
The Internet is one of the best tools available to any modern interpreter, and that especially includes social media. Social networking is a fantastic way to connect with different cultural and linguistic communities. It’s also a free and easy way to advertise and establish your credibility.
There are tons of ways that interpreters can use social media to their advantage, especially during the holiday season. Chiara Grassilli writing for A Translator’s Thoughts recommends presenting translation on social media as a solution to a problem: it’s not about what you can do, but how you can help your customers. You can build your network and credibility by writing about relevant topics like uniting across cultural barriers during the holidays, or learning how to connect with immigrant parents and grandparents. You can also offer online translation services through chat or video call, keeping things convenient for clients no matter where they are.