Good news is, you don't necessarily need to wait for times of famine to optimize your workflows and get ready for the next round of translation craze. Here's 3 things you can do in just a few hours to make your life easier when more work comes in.
#1 SHARPEN YOUR BLADES
A good way to get the most out of downtimes is taking care of your working tools. Spring cleaning translation memories and glossaries can help you work faster, and would definitely come in handy to maximise the benefits of using CAT tools, and dedicated professional software programmes.
Most CAT tools offer built-in translation memory maintenance options, with limited freedom of intervention on the TM. If you're looking for a quick and effective way to perform more customised interventions, some independent tools like Olifant make it possible for you to operate changes both in the overall TM as well as in the individual segments.
21 Free Tools & Utilities for translators.
#2 MOP YOUR SHOP WINDOWS
You don't need a massive website redesign to make your shop window more appealing. If you're having a quiet morning, choose one web page and ask yourself:
- Is the copy clear yet personal?
- Does this still reflect my skills and experiences?
- Is the call-to-action visible enough?
- Does this answer my customers' typical questions?
- Does the copy highlight the benefits for the customer?
If your answers sound like "not really" or "I'm not sure about it" ... you know what to do, right?
Trying to venture in a general makeover all at once can be frustrating; taking small steps, on the other hand, will keep your motivation higher, and reduce the overall burden of usual website housekeeping.
Tip: In the latest episode of Marketing tips for translators' podcast (hosted by Tess Whitty), Anne Diamantidis shares the latest SEO tips for translator websites. Tune in for some practical hints and tips.
#3 SATE YOUR READING CRAVINGS
Downtimes are also a good time to catch up with some business related reading. It doesn't necessarily need to be a 500-page manual on management and business strategy - you can find nuggets of business wisdom even in more manageable books.
One thing I find extremely valuable for my business is looking for resources outside of the "translation bubble". Key principles for effective business management can be applied to all fields - you just need to pick what works best for you, and adapt it to your context.
My typical reading list includes works on business management and finances, business communication, marketing, and copywriting.
- Free e-books on business, marketing and management by Marta Stelmaszak;
- Free e-books for stormy autumn days & More books for those rainy days ahead, by Else Gellinek;
- 3 essential marketing books for freelancers, on this blog.