How Ofer Tirosh Built One of His Country’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2023 with 95k+ Customers
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Ofer Tirosh is no stranger to failure.
In fact, the first few businesses he launched didn’t succeed. However, when he tapped into his passion for different languages and cultures, he was able to create Tomedes.
Tomedes is a translation and localization agency that serves more than 95,000 clients around the world. He works with 20,000 translators, and his company has been ranked among the best translation agencies in the US and is one of the 100 growing the fastest in Israel.
And Ofer doesn’t even have a background in translation.
Keep reading to find out:
- Why he created the company
- His main marketing strategies
- His thoughts on SEO
- His approach to keyword research
- His content creation process
- The resources he recommends
- His go-to tools
- The biggest challenge he's faced
- His greatest accomplishment
- His main mistake
- His advice for other entrepreneurs
- Meet Ofer Tirosh
- Why He Created Tomedes
- Ofer’s Main Marketing Strategy
- The Importance of SEO
- His Email List
- His Content Creation Process
- Ofer’s Favorite Resources
- His Go-To Tools
- His Biggest Challenge
- His Greatest Accomplishment
- What He Wishes He Knew When He Started
- His Main Mistake
- His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
Meet Ofer Tirosh
I have three amazing daughters and a loving wife. I believe in having healthy habits like meditation and exercise. I try to hike often, like once a week, because I love nature. I sometimes do it by myself.
In my free time, I hang out with friends. I try to travel, but it’s mostly for work-related purposes.
I actually graduated with a degree in industrial engineering, not majoring in languages. I worked as an industrial engineer for some time, managing strategic sales and teams.
This is where I got started in understanding the demands and pains of customers and coming up with solutions for them.
But I have always had a passion for languages and culture since childhood.
Why He Created Tomedes
After I closed my second venture, I began researching industries where I could see potential in growing a business.
I decided to create a translation company because I knew the digital age would lead to many businesses expanding internationally, leading to a demand for language and translation services.
Also, as I mentioned, I have been fascinated with cultures and languages since childhood.
So even though I didn‘t have a background as a translator, I was determined to explore this passion in the translation industry and aid businesses to grow and broaden their horizons in the markets they‘re expanding into.
But when I first entered the translation sector in 2007, it was an underdeveloped industry.
I saw a lot of gaps wherein I believed my translation company, Tomedes, could accommodate what was lacking in the customer experience.
As a tech-driven company, we have used several tools and translation technologies that would aid us in our translation process over the years.
Tomedes’ first project was 19 cents, which I could never forget, even after 16 years. It was my first successful order.
Since then, we have achieved much over the years, such as having three ISO certifications and creating a platform for our 20,000+ remote native translators.
Because of our global pool of native translators specialized in various sectors, we offer technological and multilingual solutions to SMEs and Fortune 500 companies in 120+ languages and 950+ language pairs worldwide.
Ofer’s Main Marketing Strategy
When I started marketing Tomedes, I did cold calls and asked businesses, particularly law firms, if they were interested in our translation services.
Since then, a lot has changed in our marketing strategy, and that’s mainly because of the rise of the Internet and SEO.
Users aren’t easily persuaded and influenced by advertising and cold calling. So our marketing strategy is to create relevant and valuable content to bolster our SEO strategy and help establish Tomedes’ brand.
It has always been our marketing objective and has yielded impressive results over the years.
As a translation company, we offer multilingual SEO research to businesses looking to expand into another market. So it is not surprising that our website is also available in another language.
Many businesses fail to consider that multilingual SEO follows the same principles, but some keywords will be different, even if it is in English.
For example, in the US, “cellphone” is a keyword, but in Germany, it would be “handy,” while in Belgium, “gsm” or “portable.” So before you translate your website to make it more accessible to international users, conduct your research first.
The Importance of SEO
SEO is vital to our marketing as it helps our target audience and potential clients by making it easier for them to find us.
When conducting keyword research, we first identify our ideal customer and create a profile of our buyer persona.
We then utilize various SEO tools for our keyword research, identify our target users’ intent, and conduct a competitor analysis.
Having authoritative domains referencing your page is a signal to Google that your page is of high quality, as it indicates that other sites find your content to be valuable.
A couple of years ago, we tried writing content about a popular topic. It was about how to make money, and it wasn’t directly related to our industry because we thought it would naturally attract links and increase traffic to our website.
It failed because we didn’t consider that Google examines your website’s expertise and determines the value of the content.
From this experience, we learned to understand our target readers and create high-quality content that's relevant to our niche and to the readers.
His Email List
Our email list is tied to our blog. Through creating quality content, we are able to increase the number of people on our email list as well as subscribers to Tomedes Translator Hub.
Besides using content creation tools when writing our blog article, we fully utilize them by creating them into videos and posting them across social media.
His Content Creation Process
As I mentioned, we are focused on providing valuable and relevant content to our target audience by identifying their challenges and pain points.
We conduct keyword research, study market gaps, and see what competitors are doing and what we can do in our own unique way that they haven’t done yet.
We also listen to feedback and insights to ensure our content resonates with our target users.
Ofer’s Favorite Resources
One podcast that I follow is Founders. It discusses founders from different companies.
During my free time, I read a lot of books. I’m reading some biographies like Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight.
Other books that I could recommend for those just beginning their journey as entrepreneurs are Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss, Principles, by Ray Dalio, and Measure What Matters, by John Doerr.
His Go-To Tools
Since my business is a translation company, we use various tools to quickly transform content from one language to another while ensuring its quality.
One of the tools that we use is machine translation engines that help our native translators translate content efficiently.
We also use AI tools, language-learning machines, and other technologies that aid us in better connecting with our clients.
Some of the tools that we use for our translation and localization projects, such as MemoQ, SDL Trados, MadCap, Poedit, Smartling, and Crowdin.
His Biggest Challenge
The pandemic brought many challenges; part of it is the global recession looming over our heads.
As a leader, I have to push through these uncertain times and be transparent with everyone about the company‘s situation.
We survived the 2008 Great Recession by focusing on our strengths and enhancing our customer experience.
We do this by creating good rapport with all our business clients by identifying their pains and needs while coming up with solutions to their problems.
For example, if there are issues regarding their translations, we immediately answer their concerns and assist in implementing the 1-year guarantee policy available to all Tomedes’ translation projects.
If they have financial issues, we negotiate with them and offer machine translation post-editing as an alternative.
I personally encourage my employees to actively listen to clients and vendors by being genuinely curious about the vendors’ and clients’ goals, objectives, and challenges.
The market is constantly changing, and the only way to stay ahead is to learn and not assume what our customers want or where things will go. Adapting is vital for any business that wants to thrive and grow in the long run.
His Greatest Accomplishment
One thing I‘m proud of about Tomedes is our excellent customer experience.
With our international customer support team, we serve over 95,000 business clients and have 98% aggregated customer satisfaction across various review sites.
In 2022, we were ranked #1 by Clutch in the Top Global Business Services Providers; meanwhile, GoodFirms placed us among the Top Translation Companies in the United States with a review score of 5.0.
Globes and Statista have also recognized Tomedes as one of Israel’s top 100 fastest-growing companies.
And, most recently, we were acknowledged by Slator as one of the largest and best translation companies worldwide.
We‘re proud of our recognition from different organizations, and we owe it to the trust and support of our business clients.
And we‘re not stopping there, as we continuously find new ways to aid our customers.
Currently, we have created several subsidiary companies like Lextranscribe, Formal Translations, and Machine Translation that support communication services for various fields beyond what a translation company can offer.
We created these platforms last year based on the services that our clients needed. For example, Tomedes has always been providing legal transcription services because sometimes our clients would prefer to have all their legal transcriptions and legal translations from one site to make it more streamlined.
We also created separate domains to make our websites more niche-focused and integrate our SEO strategy more effectively.
What He Wishes He Knew When He Started
I wish I had avoided getting too wrapped up in over-planning. When you’re starting a business, you have to be flexible and adapt to situations.
This is where your gut instincts will be vital. Trust it and have confidence in your decision to see them through.
His Main Mistake
Over the years, I have made a lot of mistakes.
As I mentioned, I had two business ventures that weren‘t successful. What‘s important is that you fail a lot and learn from them.
Because the true measure of how much you have accomplished with your business is defined by the cycle time between failures and successes you have made.
His Advice for Other Entrepreneurs
I started Tomedes as a remote-first translation company of five people to save money.
Now, it‘s easier than ever before to start an online business.
Before I landed my first few clients, I had to make many cold calls, and sometimes, I‘d get discouraged and question myself.
But I had to motivate myself through tough times to be persistent, which paid off.
I started by focusing on fulfilling specialized services like legal translations. I approached law firms and companies in the legal industry while networking extensively to create a team of highly-skilled translators.
Also, another reason I chose to have my business remote-first is that I could work with translators from all over the world and find the right people to handle projects in line with their skills.
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