We’re back this week with a really lovely translator sharing her branding secrets with us. Her name is Marta Simões and is located in Gran Canaria (aren’t we all jealous?). She decided to combine her passions for languages, communication, design and travelling and became a professional freelance translator in 2010. Working from English, French and Portuguese into Spanish, she mainly translates for the IT, Travel & Tourism and Marketing fields and is also a certified translator. She is also currently studying for her MA in Translation and New Technologies. Last but not least, as a web design aficionado, she created her own website and branding!
Hi, Marta! Thanks a lot for taking part in this series. When I saw your website for the first time, I knew we had to do this interview together! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself first?
Hi, Emeline! Thank you very much for giving me the chance to participate in your What’s in a Brand? series! I must confess that I love to read all your interviews! It is lovely to see that there are so many different points of views, and I’m really honored to be sharing my branding and translation experience with such a professional colleague.
As you already know, I was born in the Canary Islands (Spain) and I translate from English, French and Portuguese into Spanish. I have always loved languages and intercultural communication, so I guess I was meant to be a translator.
I decided to specialize in IT & technology (software & web localization), marketing and tourism, as I have always been a bit of a tech junkie and a tireless traveler.
And as you can see, I love design, branding, social networks, and everything related to these fields! You will always find me on Twitter and Facebook, retweeting and posting interesting and popular articles about translation, of course!
You are a self-confessed design enthusiast and you even create gadgets related to our profession. Did your passion for creating graphics play a huge role in deciding to have a brand?
Yes, indeed. When I was around 15, I started designing my own websites and I gradually learned how to use Photoshop and other design tools. This became my passion for a few years, but I soon discovered that I could combine both my language skills and my pixel art hobby, to obtain something really special out of it.
Finally, I decided to create my brand this year, which I think is one of the best decisions I have ever made!
I really think it is important to stand out a bit (or a lot!), and be original creating something unique which people remember and talk about. A brand is not just a nice logo and a name; it’s an outstanding mixture of a top quality service or product and a passion, YOUR passion. You have to feel that you are doing your best and let everybody know that you are the one they are looking for.
Can you explain to us the vision you had for your brand?
When I first started, I didn’t really know that I wanted my own brand, so I created my Simões Translations website, looking forward to collaborating with other translators with different language pairs. But then, I think I realized that what I really wanted was something pretty different, something more personal. And here is when I thought about creating my www.marta-simoes.com website. Nevertheless, even though I decided to go more personal, I still collaborate with other translators, and share many opinions, resources and even clients with them, so my initial idea has not totally disappeared. As everybody says, “sharing is caring”, so why stay anonymous? Let the whole world know that you are there.
Why did you choose those colors?
Oh, pink. I love pink, and everybody who knows me will definitely agree on that.Pink is the color most commonly associated with charm, politeness, sensitivity, and of course, it is very feminine and outstanding. I don’t really like dull colors, so I thought that if I wanted to include my personal brand, I definitely had to include pink.
I also love white, as it is a bright and clear color, and combined with pink and turquoise, it gives my brand a fresh, young and vintage look which I really like.
You have to choose something that really fits your vision and personality, so even though some people might find it too girlish, I always refer them to this quote which says that little girls with dreams become women with vision. Don’t you agree?
That’s a wonderful quote! Moving on to another aspect of your brand… Why did you choose to name your business after your own name? Do you feel it makes it more personal?
I know that using my name is not what we call a very original idea, but there are many brands which had less sense or no sense at all, and which have become really important ones, so I guess it’s a matter of attitude and persistence too. Definitely, it makes it more personal, and my Portuguese surname (Simões) is not very common in Spain, so people tend to remember it very easily. Some friends even call me like this, so I guess they also had some influence on my idea.
As you can see, I decided to add a speech bubble to it. As my name is my brand, I did not include the word translation anywhere, so I thought about adding something which covered the “language” idea. Brain exhausting this last part, as you can see!
And now for the traditional questions! We all know that branding is more than a name and a logo. If you had to choose three words to represent your brand, which ones would they be?
I guess I am not going to be very original after so many interesting interviews but… Let’s say: approachable (who isn’t?), exceptional and fresh! May I say professional too? It is amazing how much business/self-esteem us freelancers have!
Finally, how do you manage to convey these aspects to your customers?
All jokes aside, I think customers are the most important part of my business and my brand, so I really like to understand their needs, make them feel exceptional too, and especially, keep in touch with them as much as I can.
I am also a very friendly and fresh person, but I never forget I must be very professional above all. Clients do really appreciate these aspects, and at the end of the day, this is what makes me happy and gives me a feeling of great satisfaction.
Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us, Marta!