Today's post will cover some recent changes I've made to TM-Town that will help you, the freelance translator, more easily get discovered in your language pair(s) and field(s) of expertise. I'll also give you some tips on how to build out your profile and raise your presence on TM-Town.
Upon registering for TM-Town, you are now asked to select your top language pairs (up to 3) and fields of expertise (up to 5). For translators that registered before this change went into effect, you will see the option to enter your language pair(s) and field(s) of expertise when you navigate to the Load Work page.
You may be asking why only 3 language pairs and 5 fields of expertise? TM-Town's mission is to create a better translation world through technology and specialization. As part of this mission, various functionality in TM-Town's system is built to specifically encourage you to specialize, as it is my belief that this will help you to increase your translation business. In my experience the specialized translator wins out over the generalized translator almost every time.
"...but Kevin, I translate in way more than 3 language pairs and 5 fields of expertise!!". Don't worry, regardless of the language pairs and fields of expertise you choose when you initially register for TM-Town there is actually no restriction on the number of language pairs or fields of expertise you can ultimately load work in. TM-Town is also built on the principle of "showing" what you can do, not just saying it. Therefore your actual language pairs are determined based on the work you load into TM-Town's system and you can tag each document with up to 3 fields of expertise. Thus it is possible to appear in more language pairs and fields of expertise than your initial choices.
You do however get a few special benefits for the initial combinations (a combination is a language pair and field of expertise) you choose when you register. One of these benefits is being able to customize how you appear when searched in this combination. After loading work in a combination you unlock the ability to add a combination specific tagline and message. In other words, you are able to add more customization to how you appear in the TM-Town directory for your chosen language pairs and fields of expertise.
TM-Town's goal is to help you get work in your speciality. In order to increase the chances of this I have added in a messaging system where clients can contact you from your profile.
Using TM-Town to handle payments will make your life easier and lower your risk; however, if you want to handle everything yourself TM-Town's system should support you. This new messaging system allows potential clients to contact you from your profile.
With this new messaging system TM-Town will filter spam to the best extent possible. Please fill in your Don't Bother Me Rate in your account settings to ensure that TM-Town knows which jobs to send you and which to ignore.
One of the best ways to improve your chances of attracting clients is to have a full profile. A large portion of your profile is generated based on the work you load into TM-Town's system, so again my best advice is to load work in your areas of expertise. However, don't forget to visit your account settings page and fill out as much information as you can.
TM-Town's directory search setting have been expanded to include translators who have set their language pair(s) and field(s) of expertise but have not yet loaded in any work. Where (and how high) you appear in the directory still depends on the work you load into the system, so the best way to improve your presence on TM-Town is to load work in your areas of expertise.
There are a lot more improvements in the pipeline so stay tuned to the TM-Town blog for updates.
Your TM-Town profile was designed to highlight your expertise and the portfolio of work you have built over your career. If you have any suggestions on how to continue to improve it please let me know in the comments below. I look forward to checking out everyone's new profiles!
If you don't yet have a TM-Town account get started today and create your own profile. TM-Town is a free service.