Building A Website For Your Translation Business Part 1: Creating Your Brand Identity

  • Greater than 5 minutes, my friend!

    This article was originally published on my blog: Best Russian Translator.

    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 the past year, I have successfully designed and launched 4 websites. A translation agency website that I thought will be my next step in my professional development before I realized that I don’t want to go there and decided to focus on my language pair instead. An inspirational social network/blog aimed at young entrepreneurs seeking for inspiration that me and my buddies Kevin and Josh developed and that sadly never took off. This website of course and the last one to date is my wife’s professional portfolio website/coming soon page. And to tell you the truth guys:

    It’s not rocket science.

    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. And here are a few examples of my work (apart from this website, of course) to inspire you guys and to show what you can achieve even if you start from scratch (like I did):


    The website I designed for my wife


    My translation agency website

    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 the 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.

    Marketing Much?

    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.

    Your Homework

    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 homework: 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.

    Home Reading

    1) Designing A Brand Identity

    2) The 9 Criteria For Brand Essence

    3) The Marketer’s Guide To Developing A Strong Brand Identity

     Photo Credit:
    Creative Commons license by  larstho
    Dmitry Kornyukhov

    About Dmitry Kornyukhov

    Founder of The Open Mic. Video game localization specialist. I help video game developers, game publishers and localization studios bring their projects to the Russian-speaking gaming community.

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