Freelance jobs don’t always give you flexibility.
The structure of your business does.
Follow these principles and you will attract more quality translation jobs.
1- Always meet the deadlines
Your reputation lies in meeting deadlines and providing quality work. Whether you take online jobs or part time jobs as a freelance translator, always under-promise and over-deliver when you take freelance jobs.
2- Price it right
Low pricing is often associated with bad quality. It leaves you working longer hours and struggling to pay the bills. It creates unreal expectations on both your and the client’s part.
Strive to be the best translator you can be. Try to charge 3-5% more than the average rate. Pricing is an ongoing process, but you need to charge what you are worth.
3- Find the right clients
Many translators have had terrible experiences with unpleasant clients.
They are demanding, expecting you to do way more than what you are supposed to do.
They don’t pay on time or always argue about the final amount owing.
They nitpick your work, acting like they are the experts when in fact they know nothing about the work you do.
The good thing is, you can choose your clients! It is a two-way street. Always select clients carefully. Research them, by internet and in person (if possible), talk to other translators that have worked for them.
When you contact clients, try to get a sense of what they are expecting from you, what their working style is, how likely they are going to pay your rate. Work with people you feel comfortable with.
Don’t be afraid to drop a client if things don’t work out for you. You’d be better off working with the right clients than someone who is unreliable. You will be happier, more productive and therefore will make more money.
4- Be authentic and be yourself
While there’s nothing wrong about pleasing your clients, you don’t need to give up your own values. Always aim at finding freelance jobs you love – on line jobs or offline jobs, not whatever work you can get.
Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t reflect who you are.
5- Always keep a professional relationship with your clients
Always maintain a business and professional distance when you work freelance jobs. It’s great to be friendly with clients, but if you get too cozy with each other, chances are one of you will end up upset in the end – and the cost may be lost revenue opportunities, or worse.
Your livelihood depends upon your reputation, so guard it.
6- Follow up with your clients
Most freelancers move on to another job once an assignment is completed without a second thought. Last week’s job and client is replaced by the next, but it shouldn’t be just that.
Your wealth lies in repeat business. In statistics, repeat customers spent 70% more than new clients.
You build a business just like you build a strong relationship. By communicating your appreciation for the work, whether in person, telephone, a note or email, you are connecting with your client.
When you follow up, don’t try to pitch business proposals to your clients. Let them know you take pride in your work and care about them.
7- Value your time
Free yourself up from day to day freelance jobs. Make time to market. Create a compelling message that makes your clients want to work with you as opposed to you chasing after them.
Outsource some of your work if you have to – but only if you can guarantee the work will meet your same standards. Work on tasks that generate the most income for you.
Create different sources of income, particularly passive income, by turning your knowledge and skills into other forms of products that you can sell over and over again.