I have a secret

Ok so it’s not really a secret but it’s not something I talk about openly on my blog either.

Before I started out in the translation industry, I did some wedding coordinating. It enabled me to get out of the house, meet some people, and get paid (fairly well) to do some of the other, non-linguistic things that I enjoy doing in life (i.e. coordinating, event planning and working with others.)

Well, things are not slowing down with the weddings, especially with spring/summer season around the corner: I actually have 7 weddings booked between April and July alone (for now!) I enjoy it, and still leaves me enough time to build my translation and interpreting business during the week. I feel weird for keeping these two professional identities so separate but I fear as though the general perception out there would be: “how could one person have two, such different businesses and be good in both?” And I obviously want to be taken seriously in both fields.

But after thinking about it, I realized that they actually complement one another. Working weddings on the side means that I do not have to accept all of the low paid translation jobs that I keep getting offers for. It also means that I meet a lot of brides, grooms, vendors, families from all kinds of backgrounds who all know that I am a translator by week. Both translating and wedding coordinating require a great deal of detail orientation, but while one requires that I dress up nice, do my hair and make-up and be on my feet for 10 straight hours, the other allows me to work on the couch in my yoga pants with my dogs by my feet!

My problem at this point is that I have two separate twitter accounts, two separate blogs and wonder if it would be better to somehow “merge” these two businesses. The bigger problem is that I wonder if I’m missing out on valuable audience exposure. If someone from my translation followers needed a wedding coordinator, they would not know to call me at this point.

So my question is: should I merge these two together? Do you think I’d lose credibility? How would I merge these two businesses given that they are in such different fields? Am I just due for a new business name that somehow encompasses the two? Any ideas for new business names?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

PS: in case you’re curious, here is my wedding blog.

5 thoughts on “I have a secret

  1. I think you should keep them separate and occasionally let some posts overlap. Your wedding business is local by nature, while your translation business is location-independent. Your wedding clients are transitional (people get married only once or twice) and your translation clients have a potential for repeat business. These are my two cents.

    • You’re right in that the weddings are mainly local. And local translators know me pretty well already. What you says makes sense, and seems a lot easier than changing my name + logo etc. Thanks so much for your feedback Renato! 🙂

  2. Hi Jennifer! Je viens de vous découvrir par le dernier magazine de l’ATA. Nous avons beaucoup en commun, y compris l’équitation (qui me manque beaucoup), les cours du certificat de NYU… et nous habitons dans le même coin. 🙂
    Anyway: I wanted to concur with Renato’s statement. Best to keep both separate so you can do targeted marketing campaigns, separate branding and present yourself as an expert in both fields. I absolutely believe in multi-gifting, many people pursue several careers throughout their lives… and you might even find some similar skills required between wedding-planning and translating/ interpreting: good analytical skills, great time-management, interpreting needs and concepts to translate them into client satisfaction (a succesful event/ a fluid, error-free target text)… Glad I found you, let’s connect!

    • Thank you so much for the comment and for sharing your point of view, which I really appreciate. Let’s definitely connect! I see that you are on twitter, but are you on Facebook?

  3. Hi Jen,
    You’ve made a lot of great points. I also have another job outside of translating, and what I like most is that I’m not financially dependent on any one client. I don’t have to accept any low-paying assignments because there is always some money coming in.
    I agree with Renato and Nadia: I think it’s best to keep your two businesses separate.

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