Valentina Vignolo-Love of TranslationsInLondon tells us about its translation services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: I am doing very well, thanks for asking. I want to thank you for the opportunity to take part in this interview. It is always a pleasure to share our story and hopefully inspire younger people to become entrepreneurs.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded TranslationsInLondon.
Valentina Vignolo-Love: I am the founder and managing director of TranslationsInLondon, a UK-based translation agency. I have always had a passion for languages, and I studied translation at a university in Genoa, Italy. I joined a translation company in Ireland, where I learned more about the localization industry from a sales and marketing point of view. Also, I attended a Marketing and Sales Diploma in Ireland. When I moved to the UK, I decided to work as a freelance translator and launch my small business. A couple of my clients approached me and asked me for some help to project manage other languages, and this is how TIL started. We are now offering translation and interpreting services from and into the major European and Oriental languages to many corporate clients as well as to other start-ups, and our agency is growing steadily. We are extremely quality-focused, and our main goal is to help small companies to develop an international presence.
How does TranslationsInLondon market its product/services online?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: We mainly use social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to promote our services as well as our website and blog. We love blogging and sharing with our clients’ tips and curiosities about languages. We try to offer a personalized solution to each client and continually learn the industry trends. It is great to see small companies expanding and going global, and for us, a successful client is a promotion tool.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how did you get through it?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: To be honest, in two ways! TIL was incredibly busy, which was quite reassuring in those uncertain and scary times. We work directly and through other agencies with a bunch of pharmaceutical companies; therefore, our emails never stopped bleeping! At TIL, we have always streamlined our processes and used great tools to make “remote” work possible from day 1, so working from home wasn’t a big change for us. One of the hardest things was learning to say no and create a healthy work schedule whilst grasping every opportunity to grow as a business. It is also important to never compromise your corporate values and not bite off more than you can chew.
In hindsight, motivation was the biggest factor that allowed me to grow even in challenging times. We had to recruit new translators to meet the clients’ demands. Ultimately, the pandemic was the apotheosis of multitasking as it was incredibly hard to coordinate work and homeschooling whilst remaining healthy. It was challenging, but I believe it taught me to appreciate more the flexibility of my business and try to keep a healthy balance. Also, let me say I was delighted to meet clients face to face and leave the office and be able to travel again.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: Being a relatively small company, our marketing budget is very limited; therefore, we need to be very creative with what we do. We rely a lot on regular clients and word of mouth. We use SEM rush to update our social media and track our online presence. We also try to streamline our process so that all our team members can work remotely.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: There are many global players in the translation industry, but the translation community is very supportive though, and we learn a lot from each other. Networking (in person or remotely) is a great way to be on top of the game. There will always be some disruption from technology (MT) in our industry. Embracing technology and finding a way to provide the best possible service is demanding but vital to growing as a business.
Your final thoughts?
Valentina Vignolo-Love: Having a clear vision of what your business wants to achieve is fundamental. The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our lives, shifting some habits. We would like to help small businesses to go global, and we would be extremely delighted if the readers could reach out to us!