In dealing with freelance jobs and clients, most often than not, second chance is never an option. A stained reputation and feedback can cost you your freelance career in no time. Therefore, it is critical that you realize of the importance of doing things right the first time in your overall goal as a provider.
This article aims to provide guidance to beginners in freelance translation. As most of freelancers may already be aware of; freelance translation is one of the most lucrative freelance jobs around these days. Thus, competition is stiff and requirements are even stiffer. Needless to say, the greatest challenge a starter freelancer in this field will have to face is how to knock it out the first time and how to make it big in the long run. Below are some few tips that a beginner translator and a beginner freelancer should keep in mind as they go through the hoops and loops of their chosen career.
- If you plan to go on full time, then work on it! It may take a couple of months or even a year to get an ample list of regular clients whom can assure you a constant stream of work. Therefore, patience is highly recommended as well as a consistent effort to market your service. Freelance bidding sites are great sources of ongoing projects from honest and valuable clients.
- It is a bad assumption that after a couple of projects, you are already going to have a good source of income coming in each month just like what happens when you are an in house translator. If you do think this way, this will serve as a reminder that in freelancing, there will be the rainy days and the dry days. Enjoy the pour of projects during rainy days, but make sure to prepare for the dry days. Send out applications whenever a project is about to end. This will ensure that freelance jobs will always be available for you whenever you need them.
- Never overlook the local market. Most freelancers think that freelancing is mostly virtual and will involve two people from completely different parts of the globe – this is not true. In fact, a neighbor can always be a source of freelance jobs. Therefore, make sure that everyone who knows you are aware that you offer your translation services.
- Link with other translators by joining organizations such as the American Translators Association. This will not only expand your network, but will also expand your knowledge about your work and career. Furthermore, doing so will help you find better projects and better buyers.
- Acknowledge the fact that you can never win over the freelance job challenges alone. Make sure to ask for guidance from industry experts. Join a freelance translator group who encourages an open communication on helpful exchange of ideas and experiences.
- Rework your resume. Make sure to indicate your skills and your being a translator in a noticeable part of it. For example: ‘Spanish bilingual Web programmer’. This conveys a message of expertise on both areas of freelance jobs.
- Go the extra mile and offer services which a veteran translator won’t offer. Let prospects know that you are available for work when no other translators are available such as during weekends or when they are in need of someone for rush jobs.
- Continue to learn and show a genuine interest in your newly found career. The web is abounded with lots of free E-Books and newsletters which are great resources for a beginner like you. Make sure to take advantage of them. You can even contribute to them when you are already confident to do so.
- Send out applications, but never commit to any kind of freelance job that you can’t handle just for the sake of bagging a new project. This kind of projects can generate income for you, but can also hurt your feedback score and reputation big time.
- Make sure that you keep your clients satisfied. In every kind of freelance jobs, and even in regular jobs, this should be observed. Keeping them happy will not only ensure you a good rating in the end of the project, but will also help you stay in the industry for a long time.
I hope that this guide will help you in your pursuit to be (1) a freelance translator, (2) to be a good freelance translator and finally, (3) to be an excellent freelance translator. After all, a good freelance career always starts with an excellent kick-off start. Aim high, hit the keys right and you’ll surely be on top in no time.