How to Create a Winning Translation Portfolio - Universal Translation Studio

How to Create a Winning Translation Portfolio

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Now that you have started up your own freelance business, you want to start showcasing your work to new clients. So, how do you do that?

When translating is your career, it’s important to have a strong portfolio in order to be credible to the people who want to do business with you. A portfolio is how translators market their business.

Many agencies out they won’t even hire a translator if they don’t have a strong portfolio to show them. Direct clients are ever stricter because they need to see that you are capable at your job.

How to Have the Best Portfolio

Consider Who Your Audience Is

If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, create multiple versions of your portfolio so that you can reach many different clients. Sort your portfolio in these three categories:

  • Source language
  • Services
  • Industries and specializations

These will help you to reach relevant audiences for your business no matter where you go. You’re not always going to have the same type of client, so you need different options.

Really Think About Your Layout

Appearance is everything when it comes to documents in a portfolio; make sure they look good and don’t be heavy on the content. Each sample inside your portfolio should have both target and source text that are easy to scan and compare. All documents should be easy to read and professional.

Personalize your portfolio by customizing column frames parameters and visibility as well as the style elements and background colors. Be creative as long as it’s still easy to read. Limit your samples to 250-300 words so that they remain on one page. Finalize your sample with a letterhead and your business logo and slogan.

Make Your Samples Meaningful

When you are showing your portfolio, you are essentially providing proof to new clients that you are a credible and capable translator. You shouldn’t need more than ten samples in your portfolio in order to show your quality of work. So make sure that the ten samples you do have are the best samples you can provide.

Contextualize Your Samples

When you offer your customers your portfolio to view, it’s important that they have an understanding of the scope and context of all your translations. Include the following:

  • Target audience
  • Document type
  • General and specific domain
  • Customer type
  • Link to website

Protect Your Client’s Confidentiality

When you are showing off your portfolio, you have to be mindful of your past client’s privacy. None of your samples should contain any sensitive date from previous clients. It can be tempting to keep big names in a sample especially if it’s a large corporation but it’s not a good idea unless you get the permission of the company itself to use their name.

A great portfolio is a great marketing tool as it provides proof of your skills and also allows new customers to discover why you are the perfect fit for them.


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