Question: What is short, to the point, and can help you connect with more of the type of client you want to meet?
Answer: A good tagline.
What is a tagline?
Taglines are one-liners entered by profile owners that can be found below freelancer names both in individual profiles and in the ProZ.com directory.
Why the tagline is important
Did you know that the most frequent way for freelancers and outsourcers to meet at ProZ.com is by way of directory search?
And did you know that there is just one line of text beside your name in the directory that you get to write whatever you want?
The ProZ.com tagline plays a vital role in client/freelancer matching at ProZ.com. Use it wisely and you will increase the flow of suitable clients to your profile.
What makes for a good tagline?
A good tagline is one that grabs the attention of the type of client that you want to meet, causing them to click through to your profile from the directory.
There are several types of tagline that can do that.
The best: Taglines that lay claim to specific areasGenerally speaking, the freelancers who are most successful at landing desirable new clients via ProZ.com are the ones who are able to present themselves as THE person to go to for certain types of work. With that in mind, the recommended strategy is to use your tagline to lay claim to the particular service area, or the particular service charactertistics, that you are uniquely qualified to offer, because of your experience or your choice of service emphasis. Examples of taglines that do that:
- MSc in geology
- California Certified Court Intepreter
- AV translator and voice talent
- Arabic dialects expert
- Very fast turnaround
These taglines will be very compelling for clients that need the particular services described in these taglines. Imagine having a geology text in hand... wouldn't you click through to take a look at the profile of the person who clearly specializes in exactly that field?
Opportunity: Taglines that speak the client's language
Even the best tagline in the world won't have its desired effect if the client can't understand it. That's why it pays to write taglines in each of the languages your clients may speak. (The ProZ.com system allows anyone to enter taglines in two languages. Members can enter taglines in as many languages as they want.)
Note that taglines written in different languages don't have to be translations of each other. Consider conditions in the market of each language when you write your tagline. If you are writing a tagline in a language not used frequently at ProZ.com, a more general tagline may be effective. For example, "Txhais Ntawv Askiv rau Ntawv Hmoob" ("Translations into English") may be very effective, even though it is general and mentions language pair, simply because the Hmong-speaking client could be intrigued by the simple fact that the tagline was written in his/her language. The client may be comfortable reaching out to this profile owner, knowing that the service provider speaks his/her language.
Worth mentioning: Taglines that separate you from the pack
There is another category of tagline that I think is worth mentioning. While it doesn't present its owner as THE person to go to for a specific type of work, which is the recommended strategy, I think this type of tagline may be effective, in some cases, by endearing the reader to the writer. Examples of taglines of this sort:
- Saving good people from bad translations
- The word is my oyster.
- If I'm not online, I'm probably dead
Are these taglines that bring in clients with lucrative projects that require the skills and expertise that the tagline author is uniquely qualified to offer? Probably not. But there is something to humor in marketing, and I have to think that more than one good client/freelancer relationship has started at ProZ.com thanks to light-hearted taglines like these.
What makes for a bad tagline?
There are several types of tagline that are not very effective. The first are taglines that don't add anything. Example:
- English Spanish translation
It is not recommended that you state language pairs in your tagline, because clients normally enter languages when searching the directory, which means that everyone who comes up is assumed to work in that pair.
Another type of tagline that doesn't add much is the type that simply promises what clients expect anyway. Like:
- High quality, meets deadlines
This is not a good tagline, because what it offers is already assumed as standard by most clients.
- Transalting is my Passion
The worst type of tagline is the kind that includes typos. Make sure that your tagline is free of spelling and grammatical errors, that there are not character set issues, that there is consistency of case (upper/lower), and so on. Mistakes of this sort in the tagline are a sure turn-off for clients.
Ready to enter your tagline?
If you don't yet have a tagline, why wait -- enter one now! You can change or improve upon it at any time, and in the meantime, at least you will be making use of that magical space in the directory listing!
Need more ideas?
A page has been set up for browsing and searching taglines. If you are having trouble thinking up a good tagline, that page may help!