Most beginning translators I talk to have similar goals for their nascent freelance businesses; they currently have a full-time job and they want to start freelancing part time, then gradually ramp up to full time freelancing as their work volume increases. Lately, I’ve come across a few beginning freelancers who have a different goal: they
If you’re interested in building up your base of direct clients, keeping up with your local business news is an essential part of the equation. In this economy, I think it’s easy to cross the business news off your list as “all doom and gloom” and therefore not worth reading. However, as today’s post in
Update to this post: Make sure to read the comments for some excellent tips on how to use LinkedIn effectively. This is just a brief request for input: is LinkedIn useful for translators? I set up a LinkedIn profile last year, around the time I started expanding my base of direct clients. Since then I’ve
So far, the language services industry seems to be holding up well in the ailing economy. Although I haven’t had as many inquiries from clients in the past three months, the size of my projects lately has been larger than usual; I finished 26,000 words this week and will start another large project next week.
Thoughts on Translation will be running some guest posts over the next few months; to inaugurate the series we’ll hear from Marianne Reiner, an English>French legal translator based in California. I first met Marianne when she was a student in my online course for freelance translators, and with her French and U.S. law degrees, she
Translation client rating services such as Payment Practices are an indispensable way to check out your prospective clients’ creditworthiness before you work for them. Over at About Translation, Riccardo Schiaffino wrote a whole post about client rating services that gives a good overview of the larger lists. Recently, a colleague and I were discussing the
Goal-setting is a critical element of running a freelance business, but many translators ignore it. Not surprisingly, this type of passive attitude can lead to job stress and low job satisfaction, because instead of feeling that you’re actively progressing toward your ideal freelance business, you feel like your clients are dictating how, when and at
When it comes to raising your translation rates, what’s the correct strategy: ask or tell? A colleague and I talked about this at length today, and it struck me as good food for thought. In one sense, other professional service providers don’t phone you up and ask if it’s OK with you if they raise
Amybeth Hale, a Sourcing Strategist (one of those jobs your high school guidance counselor didn’t know existed!) who writes the blog Research Goddess, offers some excellent advice in her post Where do I go to find people?. We translators could replace “people” with “clients” and her advice is directly applicable to our businesses. Amybeth comments
For beginning and experienced translators alike, there is often no way around the need to cold contact potential clients. Beginners need to find those crucial first few clients, and those of us who are established in the industry may want to look for better-paying work, work with direct clients or work in a new specialization.