Freelancing Archive

Reader asks: “Is this whole freelance thing worth it?”

“Is this whole freelance thing worth it?” It’s a somewhat pessimistic question, but one that I hear with some frequency from readers and students. Corollaries include “I worry about machine translation putting us out of business.” “I’m 57 and only plan on working for another 8-10 years.” “I’m working too hard for the amount of

Six things every beginning translator needs to know

Last week’s ATA conference reminded me how very intimidating and scary one’s first few years as a freelancer can be. What’s stressful? Basically everything. Everything you write or say to a client or a potential client; every translation you proofread and re-proof and re-proof, worrying that there’s a horrific error hiding in there somewhere; every

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

Working with individuals: why do so many translators avoid it?

The individual client market–working directly with people who need anything from a birth certificate to a book translated–is a legitimate segment of the direct client market. But still, lots of translators avoid it. Let’s take a closer look. I do quite a bit of work for/with individual clients; mostly certified translations of official documents, but