Today’s guest is Silvia Baldi. Silvia is an English and French to Italian translator, interpreter and copywriter. She started her business in 2005, offering services to the marketing, business and scientific sectors. As you will read and see from her website and online profiles, Silvia is an enthusiastic and passionate professional, and it has been a real pleasure discussing her brand with her! For those who might not know her, Silvia can be found on Twitter and on Facebook.
Hello, Silvia. It’s very nice to have you in this series! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your business?
Hi Emeline, thank you so much for inviting me. I’m flattered! I am an English/French into Italian translator and interpreter. I specialise in marketing & business, international affairs, and scientific research. I am also a copywriter and English language teacher. After graduating in Conference Interpreting in Trieste (Italy) in 2004, I lived in London for two years and have also covered in-house and project management roles.
What’s the genesis of your brand? How did it all start for you?
I tried to come up with a DYI logo and a website for some months, only to realise I was wasting time and money and finding the whole experience frustrating. When I eventually decided to hire a professional, I knew I wanted to collaborate with a freelancer rather than an agency, as I thought that a small business owner would better understand my vision. I also wanted to work with someone local as I believed it would be a good opportunity for networking. I then found the perfect match on LinkedIn. Indeed, my graphic designer and I attended the same high school and university (she is a translator who later trained as a designer!) and, as one would imagine, it worked amazingly well. I already had in mind some basic concepts for my brand: trading under my own name, using a calligraphic font in the logo, and choosing a combination of two colours — a more vibrant one, paired with black or grey.
Speaking of which, many translators choose to pick an original name for their business, but you chose to stick with your own name. Do you feel it makes it more personal?
Yes. I believe that trading under my own name better reflects my business identity: reliable, helpful and approachable. It is essential for me to build relationships based on mutual trust and knowledge. This is also why I prefer to market to direct clients and visit them in person whenever I can.
Some years ago, I was offered the chance to run a small translation agency. At the time, operating under a business name made sense as I was sub-contracting work to other linguists, rather than only selling my own services. But for the past six years or so, I have shifted to a one-person business model and tried to convey the benefits of working with freelancers to clients, also through my branding. Indeed, I believe that clients choose to do business with me because they see me as a their strategic ally.
I very much like the short definitions you put in the slider of your website. In fact, I like the whole copy of your website! Since you are also a copywriter, do you see it as a part of your brand?
Yes. I did my best to make the website copy sound professional, but also unique and personal. I liked the idea of conveying some of the inspiring principles of my business in the slider, rather than using pictures only. The two versions (Italian and English) also differ as they are meant for different client types. There is a blog/news section which I am planning to “revitalize” in the next months with tips and articles for direct clients. In general, I would say that having a professional website has made me a lot more confident about my business — and we know that confidence works wonders.
What about the colors you chose? Why pink and grey?
I chose the combination of pink and grey to remind myself and my clients what kind of professional I aspire to be. Pink is vibrant and warm, symbolising the passion and creativity required to produce marketing texts, while grey is modern and sharp. The choice of colours went hand-in-hand with the fonts. In particular, the calligraphy font was selected to represent the writing element that is so important in our work. I also think it adds a more personal touch to the logo.
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 would say open, passionate and approachable. Clients and colleagues have said that my website and social pages really show how much I love translation, and to me that’s the best compliment ever. Those three adjectives truly represent my attitude towards everything I do in business, from translating to cold-calling!
I wholeheartedly agree! I believe your personality really shines through your website, which is one of the reasons why I had to interview you. So open, passionate and approachable… but how do you manage to convey these aspects to your customers?
I want my clients to feel that I am not just trying to win their business, but I am sincerely interested in making their life easier, look more professional before their own audience and become better communicators. In order to do that, I need to help them build trust in me. If clients see you as an individual, with your own passions and personality and not just as a sales-driven entity, they are much more inclined to come to you. I also strive to deal with clients the way I like to be treated as a customer. I do my best to be flexible, punctual and responsive: I answer emails and deliver quotes promptly, I try to identify potential issues or requirements, and offer solutions. And I smile a lot even when I’m on the phone 🙂
Thanks ever so much for sharing your story with us, Silvia!