By Marion Rhodes
If expert positioning was a religious philosophy for translators, Marta Stelmaszak would be its guru.
Over the course of the last week, I gained so much useful insight about taking my translation business to new professional heights that my head is still spinning trying to figure out where to begin. That’s because I attended Marta’s Expert Level Bootcamp for Translators, which completely lived up to its name.
The course, which Marta offered for the first time, consists of a series of three 90-minute webinars. As a follow-up course to her widely acclaimed Business School for Translators, it is designed for established translators who want to break into the premium market. If you pay attention and take Marta’s advice to heart, I have no doubts that this course will get you there.
We started the course last Monday with a module on expert platforms, focusing on business management and structure. In a highly informative yet still entertaining session, we learned how to think like an expert, research our target market, define our unique strengths and develop a successful business strategy.
Module no. 2 on promotion, which followed that Wednesday, covered how to position yourself as a true professional in your field. It addressed how to create your expert identity, how to build authority by going the extra mile, and the importance of turning your website into an expert hub by adding value for your clients.
Finally, in the third module on Friday, we learned all about presence and how to market our translation services to a premium clientele. We learned about effective yet tasteful sales approaches, how to identify potential clients and their needs, and how to write winning business proposals. In the end, all participants had a step-by-step plan to take their translation business to the next – expert – level.
The class was not just theoretical, however. A major component was the assignment Marta had put together to accompany the lessons. Here is where we had a chance to apply our new knowledge and gain feedback. Thus, I spent much of last week defining my business strategy, researching competitors and potential leads, and boiling my strengths down to my unique selling point. In the process, I finally found the impetus to revamp my website and gained many ideas on how to better serve my clients’ needs. I am left with a part mental, part virtual binder full of ideas, which I plan to implement within the coming weeks and months.
All participants in the course were invited to join a private Facebook group, which turned into an active discussion forum throughout the week. Marta was quick to reply to our questions and offer feedback, at times making me wonder if she ever sleeps. 🙂 The group also provided a great opportunity for connecting with like-minded translation professionals, and I am happy to have gotten to know a few colleagues from across the world in the process.
Apart from my certificate in translation and two ATA conferences, this was by far the most expensive and time consuming investment in continuing professional development I have made to date. However, it was worth every penny and every minute. I am grateful to have had a chance to work with such an insightful professional and am looking forward to applying Marta’s tips and reach the true potential of my business.
Bottom line: I highly recommend this course to any translator who would like to learn how to become a big fish in a big pond full of translation providers.