Today’s guest is Madalena Sanchez Zampaulo. Madalena lives in Southern California and owns a boutique translation agency called Accessible Translation Solutions, which she opened in 2010. She continues to do freelance translation work as well, specializing in medicine and life sciences.
Madalena shares her knowledge and years of research to help freelance translators and interpreters improve their online presence—from their websites and LinkedIn profiles to SEO and copywriting. She does this through her blog, as well as courses, webinars and coaching and as co-host of the podcast Smart Habits for Translators.
I asked Madalena to come on the podcast after I saw how she revamped her website earlier this year. I was impressed with all the services and products she offers other freelancers and how she organized them all into a Resource Library. Today, Madalena talks about blogging, creating courses and becoming a coach for other freelancers.
Madalena translates from Spanish and Portuguese to English. She explains the difference between a translator (written) and an interpreter (spoken).
Madalena is a six-figure freelancer. She offers two ways to get there: Diversify your services and work with the right clients—those who see you as a partner and pay well.
Madalena started marketing her services through a blog and then created an email list to send out new blog posts and other content. She commits to posting on her blog every other week—weekly seemed too cumbersome—but she also takes breaks and vacations when she needs to.
Three areas that have helped her market her business are her email list, social media and word-of-mouth. In fact, the latter is probably the biggest driver for her business. Public speaking also drives a lot of people to her blog, email list and social media.
Madalena breaks down the type of courses she has offered to freelance business owners and how that has evolved over the past few years.
She now offers monthly office hour for her course students over Zoom, modeled after a professor’s “office hours.” She sets a block of time she’s always available and students can hop on Zoom to ask any questions. She also has a community for her course students in Slack.
Before you start creating courses, consider what you can offer that fills a need in the space. What are the motivations people have for taking your course? What is the transformation your students want from your course?
When creating your course think about how to relay complex information in a logical way.
When considering coaching, Madalena said: “I listened to what people were asking me for and decided ‘is this something I can offer well and offer successfully?’”
With coaching, you don’t have to have all the answers or offer advice. Coaching often means offering people a new perspective and new ideas they didn’t think of. You are helping them figure out how to get unstuck or providing encouragement or reassurance.
Before you offer coaching, consider what you can offer that fills a gap for people. There are coaches for every topic. What is it that you can provide that people really need and how can you meet them where they are? How can you be different from what’s already available?
Delivery of coaching is important. Consider whether you want to coach—or your clients want coaching—that is face-to-face, via Zoom, or via phone, text or email. Giving people options can be helpful.
If you’re going to become a coach, think it through. Take the pulse of the people who will actually pay for your services. Try it out. Once you commit to coaching someone, it may be long-term. You can’t just quit it immediately. People are expecting you to show up.
Creating is exhausting. You can be more productive if you give yourself a break. Go for a walk. Do some chores and just let yourself think. That’s part of the creation process—giving yourself enough space to think something through.
Biz Bite: Do something today that your tomorrow self will thank you for.
Smart Habits for Translators podcast
MemberSpace for courses
Loom for video messaging
Vimeo for videos
Contentstudio for social media management
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