The Most Popular Approaches to Translating and Localizing Movies

Having a movie converted into multiple languages is one of the guarantees of its success. Read about the ways to translate films for massive audiences.

Through correct movie translation, it is possible to apply to the hearts of millions of people around the globe. Modern cinemas took care of advanced translations of the films they show to collect more money from their viewers. Even though English is considered an international language, and Chinese is the most spoken one, people prefer watching motion pictures in their native language to understand every single word, joke, and idiom. To succeed, movie makers turn to professional translation services and choose one of the available methods to localize their masterpieces. We will discuss them in this article.

The Role of Audiovisual Content

One of the most effective methods to convert films in various languages is, no doubt, audiovisual translation. Globalizing audiovisual content means expanding the target audience significantly and increasing the number of regions where people watch the movie or show. It is like website optimization. It might cost your business a bit, but the outcomes are usually worth investing in. Special language services providers usually offer audiovisual translation in numerous languages, and the fee usually depends on the number or complexity of the chosen languages. Commercial movie makers never use to consult the websites that offer free translation online. These companies hire the services of some professional translators to convert and add audiovisual effects in the movies. This is an extremely sensitive task because the translator has to produce the audiovisual content compatible with the cultural and emotional context of the source language. 

At the same time, the cultural aspect should be taken into consideration as direct translation will not bring the desired effect. Except for the cultural, political, religious, and economic factors are critical to take into account when dealing with movie translation. A movie maker should also consider various approaches to translating films:

  • Subtitling;
  • Voice-over;
  • Lip-sync dubbing

They all come at different costs. They also demonstrate different effectiveness. Those are just the most popular approaches that one should use if he or she wants the film to be equally successful in various languages and cultures. We should briefly discuss each method.

Subtitling

It was noticed that smaller regions choose subtitles when it comes to translations of movies. Under small countries, we mean those with populations around 10 million people or even less. The approach is known as relatively cheap. Thus, it is also popular among independent movie makes who do not receive enough budget for their masterpieces. 

In such countries as Spain and Portugal, subtitles are often applied to foreign television shows. Also, many countries today have more than two official languages, and that is another thing that makes subtitling quite wide-spread: language minorities especially benefit from this method. To sum up, the pros of subtitling include:

  • Comparatively low costs (15 times cheaper than dubbing on the average!);
  • Original language is still heard (it helps many people to learn new languages);
  • The plot’s main message is delivered way better (the main idea remains the same as it is not important to sync the dialogues and the actors’ lips).

Of course, like in any situation, there are some disadvantages to using subtitles. Perhaps, you can guess some of them, but here is the top of disadvantages that might even prevent some filmmakers from subtitling:

  • This method slows down the watcher (having to read comments whenever the dialogues are on may distract the viewer from the plotline);
  • Limited space is required (when subtitling, the translators have to meet several strict conditions);
  • The production time becomes longer;
  • The overlapping colors may become an obstacle.

Dubbing

The next common method is so-called dubbing. The idea is to remove the source audio track to include a recorded one in the required language. The central European countries prefer this method on TV and in the cinema industry in general. This approach suits regions with large populations more. As some countries have just one officially recognized language, dubbing is their best choice. No cultural factors or religion usually matter but politics. It is still critical to obey censorship. 

What about the advantages of this method? They include:

  • Increased film’s appeal to mainstream watchers (provides a sense of national identity and comfort in general);
  • Guarantees successful motion picture localization (dubbing the movie in their native language makes the audience understand the plot better; when mixed along with subtitles, the effect is the best);
  • Humor and idioms become better to understand (dubbing allows accepting the joke or anecdote converted into the language that the local population understands).

So, the greatest advantage of dubbing is localizing the content so that the audience perceives the movie as the one produced by the domestic filmmaker. Of course, some cons were admitted by the experts, too:

  • Selection of voice may be improper (often, the same actors dub the same original actors in movies, and audience sooner or later gets acquainted with that; but when it comes to some regions, a single actor dubs all actors, and it is not really comfortable as people should watch the picture all the time to get who is talking);
  • Sync of the voices (it is not easy to synchronize the voices with the mouths of actors);
  • Some voices may sound irritating to the watcher.

How to Translate a Film Step-by-Step

We have discussed a couple of the most commonly applied approaches to movie translation. Now, it is time to have a look at the steps a crew should do to implement each of them. So, we will start with the guide to adding subtitles:

  • Collect the requirements by identifying the nature/scope of the film;
  • Come up with the necessary assets (transcript and framework);
  • The translation of the dialogue itself;
  • Adjustment of settings and timing;
  • Implement quality assurance tests;
  • The last few steps in engineering.

The process of dubbing looks pretty much similar with some differences. For example, once the translators are done with their job, it is necessary to apply instruments to count the script’s syllables to adapt the translated material. Then, the actors may view the translation while voiceover. At the same time, one should control their tone, intonation, expressions, etc. The last steps are the same as in the case of subtitling: quality assurance and engineering.

So, Which One to Choose?

No matter which of the discussed techniques you choose, you will benefit from converting and localizing your project. It refers not only to movies: the entire business world works this way today. When translating a movie, consider the regions you plan to target as well as some other factors such as costs and voiceover actors’ availability. Then, your film is doomed to succeed (taking into account an interesting plot and good acting, of course).

The company providing solutions for the entire pet industry

BabelBark was started by Roy Stein and Bill Rebozo. They created a solution for a personal problem. Stein and Rebozo wanted to leave for vacation. The problem with traveling as a pet parent is that must leave their fur loved one with someone they trust. Although boarding is an option, it’s often wildly expensive and also can cause emotional stress on the animal because it’s taken out of its natural environment. Pet sitters are increasing in number as the amount of pet owners continues to grow.

As friends, co-workers, and software engineers, both men decided to create an app that helped find care givers. Not only did it connect the pet parents with their community, it also provided updates on the pet while the parent was away. It’s a revolutionary idea that creates a simple solution to a present day issue.

“The idea for BabelBark came about in early 2015 when we were planning an extended vacation—and worried about leaving our dogs with sitters. So, we created an app to help the care givers out and enable us keep tabs on what’s happening with our dogs.” – Roy Stein

The app usage started with just two guys and then spread to their community. The men saw and conquered a business opportunity to make it available to the public. They did a soft launch in 2018 and a full launch in 2019. Since then, the company is growing in investments, services offered, and brand awareness.

The company has a competitive advantage in their market for a few reasons. The primary reason they will continually see growth and success is that they are the first to enter a market. In a way, they created the market and then dived into other facets of the pet industry. An app that helps connect pet owners and care givers will give the owners a peace of mind while traveling and also provide the care givers with new clients.

“Since the idea for the app came about, BabelBark has grown into a Pet Suite of products including the BabelBark app for pet owners, BabelVet software for veterinary hospitals + clinics and BizBark software for businesses + shelters—all designed to work together to

redefine the connection between pets and everyone who cares for them.” -Roy Stein

When researching their audience, BabelBark owners realized a few key factors played into their hopeful success. A generational and demographic shift means that millennials are holding off on kids. Research demonstrates that the millennial generation is getting waiting to get married and have children, and thus, have opted to raise furry friends. Because they all aren’t paying for weddings or children in their twenties, some of them are more likely to pay for luxury pet items and be much more invested in the lives of their pets.

“Pet parents have different needs now than 10 years ago due to a number of factors. Verticality is out and old thinking – Horizontality is the new way to think and what millennials expect. Pet businesses need to ensure they are prepared because the new digital mobile practice is a horizontal movement. They now need to be connected to the entire pet ecosystem and ONLY BabelBark does this.” – Bill Rebozo

Their company provides a full service and horizontal integration approach to users. So not only does it focus on care givers, the company also provides other services like BizBark and BabelVet. Those two services help connect pet businesses and vet providers to owners. The app can essentially be a one stop shop for owners. Because it is a multi-faceted provider, businesses and vet clinics are likely to use it on their end to connect with pet owners. As a mutually beneficial product, the horizontal approach helps every notch in the system.

Although the startup came about just a few years ago, the two men have successful raised $8.6M in funding and are continually hoping for growth in their idea. The American Animal Hospital Association (AHAA) chose BabelBark as the exclusive vet-pet platform until December 2021. The app has the ability to benefit animal hospitals and vet clinics by advertising their services on the app. Because it provides global services, BabelBark is able target in local markets. Unlike purchasing a product, sometimes buying a service, like vet care, is preferred to be done locally by pet parents. For this reason, BabelBark connects local pet parents with the local businesses and vets available to them. This powerhouse system of data is beneficial for all users involved and gives BabelBark an upper hand when it comes to future investments and business endeavors.

“By connecting the whole eco-system of pet parents with veterinary and other pet caregiver businesses through a single platform, our platform delivers mutually-reinforcing benefits with a robust data base enabling predictive analytics on what product and service is needed & when.” –Bill Rebozo

Which Investments Do America’s Wealthy Use to Counteract a Recession?

The American economy is booming at the moment – but booms only last for so long. If history tells us anything, it’s that we’re likely to experience a recession within the next five to seven years. And when this recession comes, financially savvy Americans will have a plan for how they can protect their portfolios with wise investments.

What is a Financial Recession?

If we want to have a discussion about recessions and the smart steps wealthy people take to successfully counteract the negatives that come with them, it’s important that we begin with a clear understanding of exactly what a recession is.

Technically speaking, a recession is a period between a peak and a trough. By contrast, the period between a trough and a peak is known as expansion. The period from late 2007 to early 2009 was a recession. The period from early 2009 to today has been a period of expansion.

During a recession, there’s a significant decline in activity across the entire economy. This period generally lasts anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. (Economists generally wait until there’s two consecutive quarters of declining GDP to use the “R” word.)

6 Investments Built to Withstand a Recession

During a recession, investors aren’t necessarily looking for massive returns. Most will actually settle with breaking even or making some small percentage gains. What you don’t want to do is absorb the brunt of the decline – which is easier said than done.

Every situation is unique, but you’ll find that most successful investors turn to investments like these during down markets:

  1. Cash

It might not be an investment in the normal sense of the word, but cash can be a smart method of storing money during a recession.

Think of it this way: What’s the difference between someone who has $1,000 sitting in cash making no money and someone who has $1,000 plugged into an investment that loses 20 percent? At the end of the day, the person with the cash is up $200. Sometimes not losing money is valuable place to be.

  1. Treasury Bonds

High-quality bonds – such as U.S. Treasury Bonds – are great for recessionary periods. They’re slightly more risky than holding money in cash, but they also provide greater returns. During negative economic environments, look for bonds that last around five or six years, as this will get you the best ROI.

  1. Municipal Bond Funds

While they carry a bit more risk than treasury bonds, municipal bond funds – those issued by state and local governments – are still pretty safe. You may be able to squeak out a couple of percentage points in interest, which is better than nothing.

  1. Dividend Aristocrats

Dividend stocks are great. The only problem is that many of them decline in value during recessions – leaving you with negative returns, instead of positive cash flow. But there are still some dividend stocks that are valuable.

Your best bet is to go with “dividend aristocrats.” This is the title given to dividends that are in the S&P 500 and have 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases. In other words, they’ve continued to increase dividend payments every year for the last quarter century (even during the 2007-2009 recession). In a stock market where nothing is certain, that’s pretty good!

  1. Rental Real Estate

It’s always a great idea to purchase real estate when the market bottoms out. The problem is that you don’t know when the market is reaching its low point. So instead of trying to perfectly time the market, you should instead try to invest in the right type of real estate.

A recession is a great time to begin buying apartment complexes. While the number of people buying homes declines in a recession, the number of people renting goes up. This makes it a strong investment opportunity.

  1. Yourself

Quite honestly, the smartest investment you can make is in yourself. The more money you put into improving your talents, acquiring new skills, and networking with other professionals, the greater your chances are of increasing your income (both now and in the future). Don’t miss this!

Stay Plugged In

We’re at a very interesting point in time. We’ve experienced nearly a decade of unprecedented growth, which was preceded by one of the largest recessions in American history, and storm clouds are brewing. Most experts agree that a recession of some sort is on its way within the next two or three years – though it’s hard to say exactly when.

When it comes to making investment decisions, it’s important that you don’t just hand everything off to someone else. Even if you have the best financial advisors and experts in your corner, it’s wise to stay abreast of what’s happening at all times. You’ll discover that gut instinct and intuition can be as important as technical analysis.

Financial coaching: Is it necessary?

Let’s face it, school prepares us for everything but the real world which is bogged down with taxes, repayments, loans and other financial baggage. College gives us a taste of it by forcing us to pay bills, rent and fees. However, unless you are a student in finance, financial management might not come easily to you. Some people run themselves into debt the moment they leave college because they simply do not understand the concept of money and how to make it work for you. 

Turn debts into profits

It might sound like a bit of a stretch, but if one lady can manage to dig her way out of debt after being laid off, it goes to show that everyone can. Whether through the help of online loans with no credit check and instant approval to set up a new business or to help you out of a bit of a tight financial spot or simply by offering your skills up for hire, there are definitely ways that one can find a way out of debt and begin creating revenue.

How a financial coach can help 

Some might wonder how is it practical to hire someone to help them out of a financial crisis, while they are in a financial crisis – wouldn’t it be much wiser to use whatever money one has to pay off their debts rather than to run up a bill with a financial coach? The matter of perspective is important here: a financial coach will be able to teach you how to avoid such circumstances in the future and how to get out of the current situation. It is a worthy investment, especially if one is completely clueless in terms of financial management. 

One financial coach defined what she does as, “changing behaviors around money and helping a client see where they can reduce spending to create more savings, or helping them get out of debt or understanding their emotions around money, which may have created obstacles to good financial management.”

What is emotional spending

Everyone has heard the concept of how shopping makes one feel better – when you’re having a bad day or just feeling down in the dumps, retail therapy has been proven to lift spirits and boost one’s mood. Apparently, it ties in with wishful thinking: people purchase items that they foresee they will use in their future. As PsycologyToday puts it, “As people shop, they’re naturally visualizing how they’ll use the products they’re considering, and in doing so, they’re also visualizing their new life.” What this does is it motivates the individual into chasing their new life instead of allowing their current circumstances to stand in the way. However, this behavior can also be damaging when the shopper spends more than they can afford and purchase things which will only bring them deeper debt. 

Therefore, it is crucial to be responsible with one’s finances and if you are finding it hard to control your shopping urges or do not know how to manage your salary, it is definitely helpful to turn to someone who is successful in your life – a brother, aunt or parent – to help you better manage your finances or if you are unable to find such a person, it is time to turn to a financial coach. 

Understanding credit scores below the surface

The finance industry is one that is paved with good intentions and some little tricks under the surface. This is one of the most intricate and deep-rooted industries in the world, and so it should come as little surprise that many people struggle to understand the depths of it. Consider the understanding of credit scores and all they encompass, for example. Credit sores are so important, if for no other reason than because they determine how you can (and if you can) get assistance for contracts, bills, and loans (among other financial backings and innovators).

Perhaps surprisingly, most people do not know much about credit scores, other than knowing what credit score range means (if that). In fact, throughout the United States, there is a surprisingly high percentage of the population that know the bare minimum (if that) about the depths of credit scores. So, what are those depths? What are the important fundamentals of managing and preserving your credit score?

Always pay your bills on time

A monumental 35% of your credit score hinges on your payment history. Late payments stay on your credit report for up to seven years, and the impact of that negative mark against your name can be devastating. It should not even be a consideration to pay your bills late if you can avoid it, but it is still one of the most disarming errors that people continue to make. Even a seemingly small bill, like your mobile phone plan, puts a dint in your credit score if it goes unpaid. So, always pay your bills on time. Stay on top of your finances. Your credit score will thank you, and so will the future you.

Stay on top of your credit utilization

This is the most important core aspect of maintaining and preserving your credit score, after your payment history. Credit reporting agencies do not store your income information; instead, they use something called ‘credit utilisation’ in place of a typical debt-to-income ratio. Your credit utilisation represents 30% of your overall credit score, and is the amount of debt outstanding on your revolving credit sources (think credit cards, home equity lines). Your utilisation means more than you think it does, so pay close attention to it.

Check your credit reports frequently

This might seem obvious, but it might surprise you how often people do not prioritise keeping on top of their credit reports. Making sure that your credit reports are accurate is an important defining factor of your credit score, because if there is even the slightest of errors, leaving it unchecked can prove to have dire consequences. Sometimes data is entered incorrectly, or someone takes hold of your credit card by stealing it (or any other manner of errors, for that matter), and the result can be that your credit score suffers. So, check your reports frequently and always bring inaccuracies to the attention of the appropriate parties. Your credit score should not suffer because of something that is not your fault, but unless you actively and consistently check your credit reports, you unfortunately cannot always prevent it from happening. 

Could Bringing Back the HECM Saver Save the Reverse Mortgage Industry?

Seniors looking to obtain a reverse mortgage have a few different products available to help them withdraw equity from their home.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Standard and the HECM Saver.

Both products require borrowers to be at least 62 years old to qualify and provide consumers access to their home equity in the form of a lump sum, term or tenure payments, a line of credit, or a combination of the options.

While they’re very similar, there are some important differences potential borrowers need to consider.

HECM

The HECM was released in 1989 and comprises most reverse mortgages, according to data from HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The product sets itself apart by allowing borrowers to withdraw a significant amount of equity from their homes. To access such a large amount of equity, borrowers are required to pay higher insurance premiums to the government, which insures the loan.

To obtain a HECM Standard, borrowers must pay an initial 2% insurance premium of the maximum claim amount and an annual insurance premium of .50%.

HECM Saver

The HECM Saver was released in 2010 by the FHA to provide seniors a low-cost way of accessing the equity in their home.

While the product is still relatively new, the number of consumers choosing the HECM Saver is increasing.

Borrowers who take out a HECM Saver are required to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium of .01% of the maximum claim amount and an annual insurance premium of 1.25%. As a result of paying less in fees, borrowers also receive less money than they would from the HECM Standard.

Earlier this year, the HECM Saver received praise from the financial planning community as a great tool to help seniors be more prepared for retirement.

“[Taking out a reverse mortgage] is going to result in a better scenario,” said John Salter, Texas Tech professor and wealth manager for Evensky & Katz Wealth Management when discussing older Americans’ retirement. “This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. If you can tap into the value of a home, you’re going to be better off.”

HECM Standard vs. HECM Standard

Both reverse mortgage products provide seniors a safe and secure way of accessing their home equity, but one might make more sense than the other.

The table below compares the products, fees and proceeds and how they differ. The information is based on a 72-year-old borrower who has no mortgage balance on a home valued at $300,000.

Product Rate Initial Insurance Fee Net Principal Limit
HECM Fixed Standard 4.00% $6,000 $195,817
HECM Fixed Saver 4.50% $30 $150,300
HEMC Standard Adjustable 2.74% $6,000 $192,817
HECM Saver Adjustable 2.99% $30 $159,587

Principle Limited Calculated using ARLO™ calculator

While the HECM Saver might have a higher rate, the amount of fees is significantly lower than for the HECM Standard. Since borrowers are paying less in fees, the product also provides less in proceeds than the regular HECM.

But if you’re using a reverse mortgage to eliminate monthly payments, a HECM Standard might be a great choice.

Fixed Rate Options

The Adjustable Rate Standard Program will also still be available for borrowers who need the full draw, as well as the Saver Program for the adjustable rate loans. Borrowers who are purchasing using a reverse mortgage can still do so with the Adjustable Rate program and the full draw on the Standard Program but those who want only a fixed rate after March 29th will have to bring in the extra cash to close and use the Fixed Rate Saver Program. This may affect how much house some borrowers can afford if their down payment funds are limited so the adjustable rate loan may be their best option.

At any rate, the Fixed Rate program is a relatively new loan as it was not even available for more than just the last few years. Borrowers have been closing adjustable rate reverse mortgage loans for over 25 years. Those borrowers who really want the Fixed Rate Standard Program need to know the deadline as there is no way to know if HUD will ever bring the program back or not (and what the rates would be at that time if they did). But those who are not able to close on this program should know that borrowers have been successfully closing on the adjustable rate product for some time now and while the fixed rate may have been their first choice, they do have other viable options.

Home décor industry trends

From technology that allows people to bathe in colors to minimalist furniture with rustic energy, there have been many changes in the trends of the home décor industry. While the discussion on the decrease of people interested in home ownership continues, it is evident that those who do own a home want it to look magnificent. The home décor trends have seen major changes in the past few years especially with the rise of technology in the home design industry providing even more options to consumers. For example, rather than buying simple curtains, people can now choose to use smart blinds in their homes that are not only convenient, but a great way to save energy. Additionally, millennials have also acquired different tastes in how they want their homes to look. This is clear through the rise of minimalist home décor which has currently become one of the biggest trends in the industry. The options of designing homes are not only affordable and convenient in today’s world, but also make ones home look like it is straight out of a magazine page. Either way, all these new innovations and interests in the industry allow one to choose the best design to create a comfortable and fulfilling living space.

Technology has disrupted almost every industry, including that of home décor and design. Technological trends in home décor are not just purchasing smart home gadgets, but also using technology as a means to figure out how to decorate one’s home in the first place. For example, several apps, including some with virtual technology, allow one to take pictures of their living space and use a device to fill it with different furniture and décor. Additionally, smart home technology is an ever growing trend of home décor especially as more companies focus on creating technological products with added style. For example, people can now purchase smart speakers, or smart trashcans, or integrate thermostats into one’s home to create the best living environment. Home technology can also be beneficial as it can serve many different purposes with less equipment, enhancing one of the other rising trends in home décor, minimalism. With shows such as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, more and more individuals are creating minimalist homes. Moreover, the minimalist approach is used increasingly by millennials who are constantly traveling and hence do not require a lot of home décor in the first place. A lot of companies are using this trend and creating more options for homeowners in the minimalist space. For example, providing multi-use furniture to reduce space and increase affordability in the purchase of home décor.

Overall, many trends are changing the home décor industry, creating a wider range of cost-effective products with added convenience. Home décor today is also highly influenced by social media as more people choose to share images of their living space online, inspiring others to create similar living spaces. The home décor industry is constantly growing, as can be seen by the various companies starting to invest time and effort into it. It is interesting to see the manner in which the trends will continue to change and create new options for one to choose from to create the decorated and designed home of one’s dreams.

The global finance industry goes digital

It is no secret that the world we live in is positively shrouded in feats of technological advancement and incredible digital impact. We have quite literally created the world that we exist in, and we have done so with both brilliant clarity and a knack for understanding that lessons will be learned, and challenges will be overcome – even if they take time. No matter what, at the forefront of it all are technologies and digital innovations. And many of these innovations have arrived on the scene hand in hand with their learning curves, many of which erupt into cases of trial and error if they are not navigated carefully. Practically every industry today has had its fair share of challenges and exciting navigations, and they have all – for the most part – emerged out the other side being better and stronger for it all. The finance industry, for example, is currently embracing digitalisation in multiple ways, and it is already proving itself to be an exceptionally brighter sector because of it.

The modern consumer lives in a world that is positively immersed in and surrounded by technological innovation and rapid digitalisation. As such, they have come to expect these traits to be present in all aspects of their lives. From life at home to their financial holdings (and everything in between and surrounding), digitalisation is finding its ways to disrupt even the unlikeliest of sectors. In terms of the finance industry, the everyday experience is being taking online by the introduction of apps and websites, as well as instantaneous global transactions and even cardless cash or phone-handled payments. Even tax season is becoming easier, with some individuals even being able to do their entire return online in under an hour (some people even complete it in under thirty minutes). These are all seemingly small, but together they mark the beginning of an all-new revolution in finance. And it doesn’t stop with the everyday experience with the finance industry, either.

Let us first consider the average consumer’s experience with insurance companies, for example. Insurance companies have historically been notorious for being confusing, time-consuming, daunting, and frustrating, all at once. Now, companies are coming into active effect to bridge the gap and take the pressure of individuals wanting to look into insurance-related inquiries and concerns. Companies like Informeo are literally designed to help you get a handle on your insurance, to help you live a more financially responsible life. And now, thanks to rapid digitalisation in vivid motion, these companies are expanding their reaches exponentially via their websites. The power in digital marvels like the worldwide web is that they present an opportunity for companies and even entire industries to have a global stage for exposure, rather than a mostly (if not solely) local platform. And then there is blockchain as well.

Blockchain is essentially an encrypted virtual network of highways that allow for secure and private transference and storage of information. Initially designed in correlation with the release of cryptocurrencies, blockchain is now used in the financial industry for everything from immediate transfers, the sending and receiving of important financial documentation, and more. Because of the encrypted nature of blockchain, it makes it more difficult than ever- if not seemingly impossible – to hack or change any information being sent, as well as the direction it is being sent to and from. This is an incredible digital innovation that has changed the finance industry from the inside out, and for the better. And it is only just getting started. The finance industry is not without its lessons, but currently it seems to be filled with more exciting innovations than lessons, and that is something to celebrate.

The world we live in is one of our own design. Immersed in waves of our explorations and further advancements of technologies and digital innovations, we are the drivers of this new era we find ourselves living in, the reason it exists at all. Practically every industry has gone through its fair share of innovations and respective challenges because of the nature of this new modern world, and the finance industry is no different. Currently, the finance sector is going through one of its greatest evolutions in history: the rise to meet the digital. Widespread and rapidly paced digitalisation is the aim of the game these days, and the finance world is rising to meet the challenge, and even to exceed it. Digitising an entire industry is no easy feat. In the case of this, the finance industry, it is a process that has been ongoing for months, and is still even now. Taking facets of the financial industry online has taken time and practice, and for now it is a process that continues. The future for finance is brighter than ever – and digitalisation is to thank.

Understanding Insurtech

As far as embracing technology across industries goes, it is fair to say that the world has been overwhelmingly supportive in this endeavour. The entire modern world has faced its own form of modernisation in the form of technological impact in recent years. Each said impact has proven itself to be valuable – sometimes beyond expectation. It is the way of the modern world that technology be introduced and anchored down as a mainstream facet in disrupted industries, for the foreseeable future (and likely forever). In the finance industry, for example, technology has been introduced hard and heavy in the form of finance technology (Fintech). Technological disruption and rapid digitalisation in the finance industry has been going on for a few years now, but this is the first time we have seen giant leaps and bounds in the way of technological evolution in the industry, on such a consistent, and global, scale.

Fintech extending to encompass insurance

The finance industry has been experiencing its share of technological disruption in recent years. From the digitalisation of bank account management for consumers (think apps and websites), to the instantaneous global transfer systems now in place in many banks, and even to cardless cash and smartphone payments, technology has absolutely begun to take over the finance industry, in the form of Fintech. Currently, this is an industry that has gradually embraced the ease and efficiency of technological advancement and further innovation, and now it has expanded beyond its initial reaches to encompass insurance as well.

Insurtech as its own sector of industry

This is where Insurtech comes into play. Insurance has always historically been an intricate facet of the finance industry, and this has not changed. However, what has changed is the potential reach for consumers to be able to more adequately and responsibly handle their insurance applications, claims, and everyday uses. Now, technology has disrupted this facet of finance, effectively creating and solidifying a more secure, fast way for individuals to conduct all insurance-related tasks. It is a global movement, too. From insurance companies in New Zealand or Bali, to Calgary insurance brokers (and everywhere in between), the insurance game is being given a decidedly digital revitalisation for the ages.

The future of Insurtech and the finance industry

The finance industry has faced its fair share of trials and tribulations over the years. This is common knowledge. What many people are finding so intriguing is the sheer rapid pace all this innovation and technological proficiency has evolved at. More than anything else, Insurtech creates a seamless user experience that inspires courage, security, and trust between consumers and the parties responsible for handling insurance concerns and queries. The future of Insurtech and the finance industry is by no means set (after all, is anything truly ever set in stone?), but it is certainly looking to be an overwhelmingly positive future. If nothing else, Insurtech has taken Fintech to the next level, and in turn has forged a stronger foothold for the finance industry going forward. And that is something that matters to individuals around the world.

Improving client relationships as a budding student startup

As a freelancer, you are your brand. If people like you, you stand a much better chance of being successful. If they dislike or distrust you, then you’re going to struggle to carve out a profitable business. With that being said, healthy client relationships need to be a priority for you.

5 Steps for Superior Client Relationships

When it comes to a service business, you and your product are essentially the same. In order to win over business (and hang on to it), you have to sell yourself as reliable, trustworthy, friendly, informed, (or whatever other characteristic your clients find appealing).

Winning over customers is one thing. But if you want to build a successful and sustainable business that’s profitable for years to come, you must maintain healthy client relationships throughout many years. This requires an investment of your time, money, and emotions. And here are some tips to help you along:

  1. Stop Trying to Sell 

In the sales world, people like to toss around the acronym ABC, which stands for Always Be Closing. But if we’re honest, this is outdated advice that rarely works in today’s marketplace.

Gone are the days when people responded to in-your-face sales tactics and aggressive closing strategies. Today, customers have a wealth of information and options at their fingertips and know that it pays to be patient. A salesperson who is always trying to close a deal will turn people away. As a freelancer, your best strategy is to stop selling and start helping.

“Selling to poor-fit customers is a stopgap solution that will result in customer turnover, lost income in the form of clawback penalties, and in the most dramatic cases even shutter a business if churn gets too high,” sales expert Dan Tyre writes. “On a less concrete scale, Always Be Closing tactics also hurt the brand. As soon your company gains a reputation for having aggressive and selfish salespeople, it’ll be much harder to gain customers in the future — even ones you actually could have helped.”

By helping your clients and genuinely serving their interests, you build a strong foundation for future growth. People trust that you want what’s best for them. It’s a game-changer.

  1. Be Professional

As a freelancer, your size is both your greatest advantage and weakness. The fact that you’re small means you have to prove your credibility and reliability to customers – every step of the way.

Professionalism comes off in both the big and small areas of your client interactions. Pay attention to how you invoice, how you handle customer service issues, and even how you answer your phone.

  1. Go Beyond Business

As you become more acquainted with your clients, try to get to know them on a personal level (as appropriate). Learn the names of their spouses and children. Find out what they like to do in their free time. Have conversations that have nothing to do with work. The more you strengthen your relationship outside of business, the closer you’ll become. 

  1. Be Forthcoming 

Trust is a huge factor in any relationship – particularly a business relationship between freelancer and client.

“We want clients to feel absolutely safe in challenging us, asking questions, and requesting our input,” entrepreneur Dan McIvor says. “But at the same time, we want to be free to express when we think clients are missing an opportunity. You need trust for this to work well, and the process of building trust usually starts off with discussing little things and then moving on to larger opportunities.”

Be forthcoming when you interact with clients. Show off transparency, and you’ll usually get some transparency in return. 

  1. Be Responsive

The fact that you’re a living, breathing person is highly appealing to clients who are tired of talking to automated voice answering machines. When a client calls you, pick up the phone and interact with them. Responsiveness will help you earn and keep business. 

Put People First

Never underestimate or overlook the importance of developing relationships. People are the key to success in business, and you’ll never realize your potential until you learn to put your clients first.

Whether it’s a client you’ve had for six months or six years, an investment in relational capital and positive rapport will never be returned empty-handed. Stay focused and commit to being excellent in this area.