What’s in a Brand? Arantza Elosua from The Spanish Linguist

This week’s guest is a lovely colleague I had the chance to meet on social media – Arantza Elosua. Arantza is an English and Catalan into Spanish translator and interpreter. She was born in Barcelona and now live in Edinburgh where she runs The Spanish Linguist, her premium language business (as she likes to call it). Arantza specializes in marketing, business, education and lifestyle related texts. You can find Arantza on Twitter and also on Facebook.

Hi Arantza! Thanks for being a part of this series. As I said in your description above, you mainly work in marketing translation and creative translation. Was that how you decided to create a brand for your business? 

Hello Emeline, first of all I have to say that I really enjoy reading this series as it provides first-hand information on the modus operandi of different translators, which is always interesting!

The Spanish Linguist was born many years ago when I first started freelancing in the UK. I didn’t want a business with just my name and I was looking for something memorable that comprised several Spanish-related services (translation, interpreting, teaching, etc.) I attended a few business-related courses for start-up companies and probably started seeing myself as my own person back then. In order to create a brand I had my own basic website and an impersonal corporate-looking logo, which were to be changed. I attended a few basic accountancy courses and local networking events and I realised that even though I was a “company”, in fact I was legally “sole-trader”, meaning that there was no “we” but only “I” from then on. I realised all the “we” literature was deceptive to the clients and intended to change it. However, I was offered a full-time linguist job for a project and I became a corporate employee, therefore leaving my own company for a while, while learning a lot about marketing itself.

When I started working for myself again I was proud to be on my own and I was not scared of giving the impression of a one-person business. Quite on the contrary, I chose my colour scheme, logo and “I” literature to portray that I am indeed just one female translator behind the whole thing. I personally think it makes it more personal as the brand is not my own name.   

It certainly does! So, why do you think branding is important for freelance translators like us?

As freelancers, we are our own unique brand, so we need to take care of it. If I had a boutique it would be neat, clean, well-presented and it would smell lovely, but since I work from my home office, my main image these days is through a website or social media. As freelancers we truly represent our brand, our company and our profession. Branding helps translators be noticed and identified better. It is particularly helpful for all of us with difficult foreign names!

I very much like your logo and I know it has a story behind it. Could you let our readers know more about it?

¡Gracias! I was relieved to get rid of my old impersonal neutral logo. I commissioned the new logo to friend and fellow philologist-turned-designer, Fran García. I wanted something feminine, memorable and modern. He knows me well and created different marketing images for different occasions with an elegant woman who could well be very Spanish or very British at the same time. I loved the retro vibe and for the first time I felt represented by my own branding/logo, so he was very successful indeed!

I absolutely love that retro silhouette, so well done to him! You have created your website yourself (congratulations, by the way!). How difficult was it? How long did it take you?

My old website was looking rather tired and the whole thing needed to be brought back to the 21st century: new wording, new photos, new logo, etc. One day I decided enough was enough and changed the whole lot. I also decided that this time around I wouldn’t need the site to be bilingual as my main clients and potential clients are generally English-speaking. It only took me a few days to change the domain, design, technical specifications, contracts, etc.

I’m not very good with computers and web design seemed incredibly difficult and time-consuming with some of the cheapest website packages, so I decided to spend/invest a bit more in an easier format and get the result I was hoping for. It is not the cheapest option but as it is my branding I think it eventually will pay for itself by attracting more clients. I see it as a modern CV and covering letter.

Do you have any resources for website building you could perhaps share with us?

As I mentioned earlier I am no computer guru, so it’s just a question of either spending more money and time to obtain the desired site (with no website coding) or, as with anything else in life, leave it to the professionals!

Finally, if you had to describe your brand in three words, which ones would you choose? 

Bearing my clients in mind I would say: distinctive, personal and luxurious. 

Thank you, Arantza, for this lovely interview!

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