I’ve been following your blog regarding getting quality freelance translation jobs.
I like the tips you share. Well, most of the time anyways. But I’m a bit confused lately.
Here’s why – on one hand you suggest that freelancers should raise their rates or charge more for their professional translation services.
On the other hand, you keep referring potential clients to those so-called micro job sites to get their French translation help or Tagalog English translation work etc. for merely 5 bucks each assignment.
How can we compete in this low pricing game? How are we supposed to attract high-paying clients and quality freelance translation jobs if more and more people are going down the low pricing route?
It’s hard to make any money selling my service for 5 bucks. (At 800 words, it’s just a little over half cent per word!!!!) Let alone to make a decent living doing so.
I’m seeing conflicting information here. Can you explain this to me? Really appreciate it!
Veronica Ageloni from U.S.
Thanks for your message. I believe you’re talking about these recent posts German translation online
English to French translation site
Hebrew translation online
I’m glad this question came up as I’ve received a few similar messages regarding this topic in the past few days.
Alright, let’s get straight to the point. You don’t want to compete in the low pricing game. You simply can’t win. Internet is full of people looking out for freebies or bargains. As long as there are people who are willing to provide these freebies and bargains, there’s a market.
Remember, the people who actually make money are not the service providers, but the ones who market the services to both buyers and sellers. Yes, the owners of these websites are actually making the real money.
But why do I refer people to these micro job sites? Here are the reasons:
1- Whether I tell them or not, these sites are there already. People get information fast through various sources these days. They will find that information sooner or later with or without my help. My blog is here to help as much as I can. I have to speak honestly to my visitors. This is also how I build my credibility.
2- I have to be selective when it comes to picking my clients. I can’t accept all the freelance translation jobs that come my way. It’s just not realistic.
3- When outsourcing can’t even recuperate the time and effort I put in, it’s easier to refer them to somewhere they can get the job done faster and cheaper.
4- Bottom line is – these are my NOT potential clients. The way I see it is that they are just looking for some quick information. And information is what I have in this case.
The fast development of these micro job sites may sound depressing to some freelancers. But they also help you trim your target market. It’s a constant reminder to you that you have to define your business at a different level. Being a generalist can’t win anymore. You have to offer something unique.
It’s not enough to say that you take freelance translation jobs. You need to find more ideas to attract high-paying clientele.
Many translators are using micro job sites as a hook to build credibility and spread the word out there. And most top sellers on those sites I’ve seen do not offer super low prices at all. Getting good feedback and great comments is their way to get noticed on the web.
Whether you like it or not, there are always plenty of people who are price-conscious. You can’t change that. Some translators even suggest that there should be a minimum pay rate set for translators. I hate to break this to you, but it’s not going to happen.
There’s never going to be a shortage of desperate freelancers who are willing to accept extremely low pay. You don’t want to be one of them.
You are wasting your time if you try to convince everyone that they should hire you. You need to attract the right kind of clientele with your unique marketing message. More importantly, you need to only focus and spend time on quality freelance translation jobs so that you have time to unleash your creativity.
Develop new ideas that attract buyers. You’ll never get ahead doing piece work trading your time.
Accept the existence of these micro job sites and create services and products that cry out to the need in your niche market. That’s the only way to stay profitable in your business.
Hope this helps,