“Agencies won’t pay my rates, and I can’t find direct clients”: what to do?

Here’s a conundrum that I hear frequently from freelancers at all experience levels: agencies won’t pay my rates, and I can’t find any direct clients. What should I do? Well, let’s see: First, adjust your mindset. Tough love tip: if you truly believe that *zero* agencies will pay your desired rates, and that you will

OT: Bicycling from Martigny to Bolzano

The Thoughts on Translation family just returned from our summer vacation: a week of family time in Switzerland, then a three-week bike trip through the Italian Alps, from Martigny, Switzerland to Bolzano, Italy (actually Trento, a little south of Bolzano!). As usual, feel free to skip this post if you’re not into bike touring or

New podcast: outsourcing for translators

Eve Bodeux and I recently recorded a joint podcast with Tess Whitty, host of the popular Marketing Tips for Translators podcast. The topic is outsourcing for translators: not outsourcing your actual translation work, but outsourcing business, marketing and productivity tasks so that you can focus on the work that you enjoy and do best (while

On hiatus

Thoughts on Translation is on summer hiatus until August. Feel free to browse the archives, or check out the lineup of online classes that I’ll be running later this summer and in the fall. Happy summer break to everyone!

How to fire a client

Numerous students have asked me: “I motivate myself to work on marketing by looking at my bottom-rung client, and thinking that I wouldn’t have to work for them anymore if I brought in a better client to replace them. But once that happens, how do I actually fire the bottom-rung client?” Definitely worth discussing, so