I go on and on about what a great experience Smartling’s platform is making when a client wants to translate websites that you might think it’s just the same old overstated marketer’s puff. After all, I am the company’s VP of Marketing, so I would say all those nice things about the product, wouldn’t I? But the fact is (and perhaps we should all be embarrassed to admit this), us Smartling folks genuinely are wide-eyed when we consider what a game-changing tool we’ve got here.
But unlike other marketers, I get to use my own company’s product to do my job. In what’s turning out to be something of a virtuous cycle, I’m using Smartling to market Smartling. I’m also one of its very first users, so I’m discovering all sorts of things as I go along – things I think are worth sharing.
Translator Evangelism (for Free!)
One bonus we’ve enjoyed as we’ve used Smartling platform to create our own language sites, is an unforeseen consequence of the enthusiasm of our freelance translators. On numerous occasions – entirely unprompted by us – they’ve given Smartling the most valuable publicity of all (i.e. the free kind) in their native language, by mentioning us in their tweets, blogs, Facebook pages and other social media channels.
Some of this free publicity comes because the translators are impressed in a general way by what the Smartling platform does.
But I also believe that a good part of it is the result of goodwill – that should apply to all Smartling users working with freelancers. Here’s how it works:
- First, you equip your translators with a really good tool (like Smartling) with which to do their work. This induces positive feelings in them about you—and by extension about whatever you’re selling.
- Second, your translators have, as a matter of course, to understand your site’s content in order to translate it—and so inevitably become knowledgeable about you and what you offer.
- Finally, you nurture strong relationships with your freelancers through frequent direct communication (which is a natural accompaniment to the Smartling process – all you have to do is make sure you do it in a nurturing way). This exponentially increases your chances that they’ll want to tell their friends about you and your product.
Can this work for every translated site?
All things being equal, the answer is, I think, yes. The level of buzz that your product or service can create will depend on how and how much it differs from what’s already out there, and on the value that it offers – but if you choose translators for your website who are plugged in to your target market, and you treat them well, they will always have the potential to evangelize on your behalf.