More and more translators are trying to find jobs online these days as accessing the internet has become a part of many people’s everyday life.
Sure it would be nice to get all the freelance translation jobs you want while generating a decent income at home. The problem is – other freelance translators are thinking the same way too.
I’m sorry to say this, but once you throw yourself into the freelance world you just become one of the numerous competitors out there.
There are ways to find quality freelance jobs online, but the moment you define yourself as another freelancer, your chance of getting a decent income diminishes instantly. It’s not that the word “freelance” has a derogatory meaning, but rather it affects how you think proactively.
Whether you feel it or not, you are running your own business as a translator. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do or not do for your business.
I’m saying this because I’ve seen too many translators trying to find jobs online by solely browsing freelance websites and applying to job postings here and there.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with trying to find jobs online and answering job postings. But that’s NOT enough. The internet is a great tool, but you need a great strategy to secure clients and find quality jobs. That’s just the way of running a profitable business.
Here are a few tips to help you find jobs online – quality jobs:
1- Browsing freelance websites should only take up a small portion of your marketing time
If all you do is to bid for freelance job postings, you’ll probably get disappointed. Most clients who just look for bargains are not loyal at all, they’ll likely switch to another freelancer who offers a lower price next time.
Believe me – there’s no shortage of desperate freelancers who are willing to accept next to nothing for their hard work. And you shouldn’t be one of them.
2- Define an ideal client
Many translators have no clue what their ideal clients should be like. As a result, they are marketing to an unspecified market. It’s like shooting in the dark – you’ll be extremely lucky to get any client at all. So here’s what you need to do:
- pick a niche
- create a compelling marketing message
- get in front of your target market in a big way
The moment you are crystal clear about whom you want to serve, your marketing effort will be way more specified and effective.
3- Build an presence in the community
Get the lower hanging fruit before you try to find jobs online. What do I mean by that? Start from your own community before you look further. It helps to spread the word out there when you start a blog or a Facebook group. But the easiest jobs to get are often just around you.
Join a local community group or a professional club. It doesn’t even have to be a translators association. Something like a local business networking group; Toast Master club etc. can be extremely helpful.
Don’t ask for jobs, but ask for advice. You’ll be surprised at how much helpful information online and offline you’ll learn from others.
4- seek strategic alliance
Like any other business, you need extra help to grow your business. Look for professionals and small businesses that are already targeting your ideal market. You can often find these businesses or professionals on social media. They are often out there and active.
Try to reach out to them. But don’t sound like you just want help to find jobs online. You want to let them know that you are willing to help them spread their messages to your social network. The size of your social network doesn’t even matter. It’s the sincerity you are expressing that makes a difference.
Don’t be afraid to suggest how you can help with your language ability. I’ve found a few real good clients that way. And they continue to give me great projects till this day.