I have recently finished working on my website (you can find the link in my profile) which was an awful lot of work. In your experience, is it safe to assume that a good, informative website is capable of attracting potential clients? If so, what should be borne in mind when marketing oneself via the web? I would appreciate any input you might have regarding this. A friend of mine suggested that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can yield potential benefits but I am rather unsure whether conference organisers/private businesses rely on search engines like Google and therefore I have yet to decide whether it's a worthy investment. Thoughts?
asked 03 Aug '12, 13:25
A colleague of mine paid a lot of money for SEO optimization. It seems to have worked since his site now gets top google rankings. Alas, most queries he gets through his site seem to be rather dodgy/involve a lot of client education. The usual profile of "clients" who find him through the web: People surfing around, no previous experience with interpreters, shopping around for the best deal. On the other hand, if only one in 10 of these client contacts works out, then that ratio is even umpteen times higher than with "traditional" marketing (mailing, cold calls etc.) which most of us (for very understandable reasons) shy away from, anyway.
Then again, whenever I worked for major companies (the "sales channel" usually being word of mouth) my site statistics often tell me that someone came to visit my site to find out who I am (usually after the contract was signed). Often the site statistics tell you the organization if they have their own server (which many of the large companies have) or at least the city.
This is just my personal two cents so allow me to break your question down further:
-Not necessarily. You need to separate the wheat from the chaff.
-Probably. Then again, it does not cost much and tinkering around with it tends to be fun.
you'll find some useful comments in answer to a similar question here... http://interpreting.info/questions/1210/will-a-home-page-get-me-more-work
My experience is that a lot of interpreting work comes from other interpreters I've met and/or worked with. So don't forget to invest time in networking, meeting people, introducing yourself the old-fashioned way as well.
I don't yet have a professional website of my own, but I do think we interpreters should all be slowly thinking about setting one up. (Very few conference interpreters have websites at the moment. We're a bit behind IMO). However, if you're looking to be found by new clients online then I can recommend joining AIIC as soon as you can. I am regularly contacted by potential clients who find my name in the AIIC online database http://aiic.net/directories/interpreters/finder/