Want to know how to freelance as a translator?
Having the ability to handle two or more languages fluently gives you an edge. But to be able to make a decent living you have to do the following:
1.Find a niche or specialty area.
It’s not good enough to say you know two languages well and can do general translations.
Being general suggests you are inexperienced and don’t really know what you are doing.
Anything you know better than others makes you an expert in that particular area. That could be your previous job, your hobby, some courses you’ve taken or something you have done research on, or simply some subject you have great interest in.
2.Get your name out there in different ways.
After deciding on your niche, you need to have a plan to promote your expertise. Find out who are already reaching out to your potential clients. Writers? Web designers? Lawyers? Public relation firms? New Immigrants?
Here’s a tip on how to freelance – let your friends, family or anyone you have contact with know what you are doing. These people are more receptive to what you tell them.
Ask for advice!
You are not going to have a full practice right away. You need to build a relationship with your potential clients first. When they like you and trust you, freelance work will come more smoothly.
3.Position yourself as an expert in your chosen area of translation.
You need to build credibility and a reputation among your contacts. This takes time, so you have to be patient. Don’t be afraid to share your expertise with other people. If your tips and advice are good, people will come to you.
4.Make sure you create the right services or products.
Find out what people are looking for, what they need or want, not what you think they need or want. That involves asking questions and listening.
5.You have to price it right.
You don’t need to have the lowest price in town. Clients are seeking your expertise, talent and knowledge, so price accordingly.
Another tip on how to freelance – find out the average price of your service in your local area and charge about 3%-5% more. Higher prices usually are associated with higher quality, but be sure that it is also what you deliver!
Your price has to reflect the value you offer. It’s your responsibility to help your clients understand the value.
You can always start at the average rate. When you have built a steady client base, you can charge more.
6.You have to create some sort of continuity in your product or service to keep your clients coming back for more.
It is hard to have to constantly look for the next client. So never stop at just offering one service. Your clients need help in different ways.
7.You have to expand your horizon by learning from other translators or even people from other industries.
We can all learn something from other people. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. One of the most important tips on how to freelance is to borrow good ideas and make them better.
8.Don’t forget your referrals.
If you freelance, you are in the business of building relationships. Nobody buys from people they know nothing about.
Referrals are your lifeblood. It provides that connection from your past success to your next one, and is a vital resource for your prospective clients. You have to ask for them.