Building Your Website Might Be Easier Than You Think
A little back story. About a year ago I would never even thought that web-design could become my new addiction. Coding? Math? A bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo? CSS? HTML? Nah! Kill me now. I’d rather stick with what I’m doing best – translating from English into Russian. And, to be honest, this whole web-design stuff seemed like rocket science to me. Well, guess what? Over the course of past year I have successfully designed and launched 6 websites.
I must say I don’t want to belittle the accomplishments of all the great web-designers out there. Like in every industry: if you have money and you’re looking for top-notch quality – hire a professional. But if you have a little bit of spare time between your translation projects, if you’re fascinated by learning something new (like I am), if you’re dedicated, patient and love creating, designing and building cool things than this series of blog posts is for you.
Website For Your Translation Business: Your First Step
So you want to build a website for your translation business? Congratulations on making the smartest decision in your entire career! No, I’m dead serious right now. It means that you’re not a freelancer but rather an entrepreneur who cares about his business and ready to take it to the next level. I respect that. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newbie translator. Everybody needs a website. These days it’s an absolute prerequisite for successful career. The benefits of having your own website are endless and I can’t really think of any disadvantages apart from being an ongoing business expense. But when compared to the potential return, I’d say it’s money well spent.
Creating Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity will be a starting point for building a website for your translation business. Some of my colleagues might think that creating a brand identity turns you into some sort of commodity but it’s not true. Your brand is the reflection of your values, strengths, passions. It’s about who you are and what you stand for. Creating a brand for your translation business is not an easy task. But it can be done by following 5 easy steps.
1) Your Vision Statement
Vision statement describes what you want to become in the future. It should be both aspirational and inspirational and in an ideal situation it should be no longer than one sentence. Try answering the following questions in your vision statement:
What services do I offer?
What services will I never offer?
What is so unique about doing business with me?
How would my customers describe my brand?
Where do I want to be in 5 years?
To give you a better idea here is the vision statement of WestJet:
By 2016, WestJet will be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world providing our guests with a friendly caring experience that will change air travel forever.
2) Your Mission Statement
Mission statement will define the purpose of your translation business. It should be really simple, straightforward, easy to grasp and straight to the point. And again try answering the following questions in your mission statement:
What market needs does my company address?
What are my guiding principles?
Why do my clients buy from me and not my competition?
If we talk about WestJet again their mission statement looks like this:
To enrich the lives of everyone in WestJet’s world by providing safe, friendly and affordable air travel.
3) Your Essence
The essence is how your brand connects emotionally with your clients. It’s almost as if your brand was a person. How would you describe that person? Fun? Determined? Honest? Check out this amazing SlideShare, The 9 Criteria for Brand Essence to have a better idea about the brand essence.
4) Your Personality
The personality of your brand describes how your brand thinks, acts, behaves and reacts. This is what your customers think of you. Are you fun, energetic and down-to-earth or perhaps you’re very serious and all about business? It’s up to you to decide.
5) Your Value Proposition
It is the promise of value that you will deliver. It’s the main reason a customer should buy from you. It shows why are you different from the others and how you’re going to solve their problems. It should be addressed to a certain target audience. For example, if you specialize in the certain field than your value proposition should be addressed to the potential customers from this industry.
I know right? Yes, I do remember our end goal here, that is: building a website for your translation business. But these are important steps that will help you in the future. And even if creating your brand identity seems like a useless task for you now, believe it or not it will come in handy when building your landing page.
Some of you might wonder: does creating your brand identity mean you have to come up with some catchy short brand name? Not necessarily. You see, sometimes you can be the brand yourself. There is really no need for another stupid brand name that looks like a bunch of consonants slapped together in no particular order. If you have the time and desire you can easily build your brand around your name or your persona. Look at Jamie Oliver, for example. I know, it took him years to achieve what he has achieved but it is totally possible.
Ok, I know this blog post has a stronger emphasis on marketing aspect rather than the actual website building. But don’t worry! We’ll get there! I just want you to take one step at a time. There is no rush, really. Next time we’ll talk in detail about registering your domain name and choosing the best hosting provider for your translation business. I’ll do my best to keep my posts coming on a weekly basis but you can always subscribe via the form at the bottom of this page if you don’t want to miss a thing.
As for your home work: focus on your brand identity even if you’re trying to build your translation business around your persona. Write your vision and mission statements and define your value proposition. Answer all the questions I mentioned in this article and check out resources below if you need more information on the subject.
2) The 9 Criteria For Brand Essence
3) The Marketer’s Guide To Developing A Strong Brand Identity
4) How to Make a Website The Beginner’s Guide to Get a Small Business Online
Elena · March 11, 2015 at 8:05 pm
Dear Dmitry! Thank you for useful information. Let me just point out a spelling mistake in the section Your Home Work: “Write your vision and mission statments and define your value proposition” (the word “statement” is misspelt). Best regards, Elena Caraus
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm
Hi Elena! I’m glad you find it useful and thanks for pointing out that spelling mistake! That’s very kind of you 🙂
Lavinia Pirlog · March 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm
Very useful. Thanks for sharing! All the best!
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 11, 2015 at 9:09 pm
Thank you for your feedback Lavinia! Means a lot to me! Good luck!
Frederik · March 15, 2015 at 7:19 pm
As I’ve been playing with the idea of building a website myself, I can’t wait to read the next steps.
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm
I’m glad you like it Frederik! I’ll do my best to keep them coming on a regular basis!
Marina · March 15, 2015 at 10:03 pm
I love how you inspire people and make them want to do something the way you did! Now, As you may assume, I want to build my own website myself!!! (In my case, I need it for interpreting services)
Thanks for all the advices and I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm
Thank you for your kind words Marina! I really appreciate that! I believe every translator or interpreter needs a website, just like every translator or interpreter needs a business card. It’s absolutely essential nowadays. I’m glad I could inspire you. This is my main goal: inspire my fellow translators and show them that it can be done. With a little bit of time and patience you’ll be able to build a website you always wanted. And it will improve your professional standing tremendously. Stay tuned!
Alice Wong · March 17, 2015 at 8:03 am
Look foward to learning from you to build a professional website as an independent Translation & Interpreting profesional! Cheers!
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Thank you Alice!
Jen · March 18, 2015 at 11:30 am
I have been thinking for a while now I should get my own website – but that I will probably have to pay someone to do it – and then this post shows up at exactly the right time! I really look forward to reading all your future posts about this, and hopefully I’ll learn enough to be able to build one myself!
Dmitry Kornyukhov · March 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm
Hey Jen! Thanks for reading and sharing! I’m really glad that you find it useful and will be able to apply it. I think every translator should have a personal website and I’ll be happy to share my experience with you! Stay tuned and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a thing 🙂
Eric Zink · April 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm
Don’t want to say “It doesn’t matter weather” (it’s “whether”).
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm
Dammit! You have a good eye Eric! Thanks for pointing that out! Have a lovely weekend!
Robin Joensuu · October 21, 2015 at 4:22 am
Thank you for the insight! I am about to re-launch my own website, including a new translation blog. I have given the actual design bit a lot of thought, but having a sort of value framework makes it much easier. I just had like fifteen new ideas. :o)
Dmitry Kornyukhov · October 21, 2015 at 8:54 am
Glad you liked it! I just checked out your website and it looks pretty great! It’s awesome to have ideas just remember to focus on what’s really important and make it as simple as possible. Don’t get carried away 🙂
And congrats on your new blog! I’m looking forward to reading it!
Robin Joensuu · October 21, 2015 at 8:58 am
The getting carried away bit is one of the reasons I am working on a new one. 🙂
Dmitry Kornyukhov · October 21, 2015 at 9:16 am
I know right?
I always find myself in situations where I spend days trying to make some changes or add new features only to realize that I don’t really need them. 🙂
I mean, it’s great because I learn something in the process, but most of time it’s way to distracting.