Rates Archive

“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

When a client asks for a discount

When a client asks, “can you lower your rate?,” you can respond in various ways. You could get defensive and belligerent (“For your information, I’m a serious professional whose work is worth real money”). You could offer some snarky feedback on the rate the client is proposing (“No serious professional translator would work for what

Time management strategy: look at your rates

Here’s a time management strategy that, at first glance, doesn’t seem like a time management strategy. Make sure that you set your translation rates so that you have enough time for non-billable work. If you’re looking for the sound-bite version of this concept, you can stop reading! Otherwise: This came to me while I was

It's a Courtesy…

Translator mailing lists and message boards are full of translators asking, “Can you charge extra for…?” (formatting, translating from a poor-quality PDF, talking to the client’s staff on the phone, and so on). If the client is an agency, you have to negotiate those extra charges (or extra unpaid work) directly with them. But here’s

New podcast: insider tips for working with translation agencies

This morning I had lots of fun interviewing translation industry veteran Steve Lank (Monterey graduate, former ASTM translation QA standard subcommittee chair, longtime senior-level manager in agencies in the US, Ireland and Spain). Steve is currently Vice President for Translation Services at Cesco Linguistic Services, working from the Washington, DC office. I put Steve in

Agencies and direct clients: not better or worse, just different

I spend a lot of time explaining the merits of agencies to translators who work with direct clients, and explaining the merits of direct clients to translators who work with agencies. So, I thought I’d offer my explanation to the whole translation blogosphere and solicit your thoughts! Here we go: Translation agencies are great, because: