Sid’s Corner – Freelance Translator Advice

Top 5 pre-freelancer tips(some more)

Have a solid business/marketing plan before going into freelancing

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Ok, so you decided that you are going to become a freelancer now and want to be your very own boss. Now there questions that remain are:
Where do you want to take your business
What is your next 5 year goal?
Do you have a solid client base already?
How to get more business?
And lastly, what is my target for every month?
These question all sound good and well and you might go “Yeah, I know all those things already” but have you wrote them down somewhere where you can see them every day? Just jotting them down on paper or getting a clip board and putting them up there might even inspire you to work even on days you feel blue.

Determine your word / hourly rate

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Before you can start running around in the freelancer world, you need to determine the following:
How long does X amount of words take me to translate?
What’s a fair price to ask which clients will be willing to pay as well as cover your bills?
This is needed especially when a client gives you a project even they are unsure of how long it will take. Most projects one can go and give a flat price but that price will be easier to work out as well if you take X amount of time to translate X pages in word which will work out to X amount that you charge. This way you’ll also feel less confused about how much to charge your clients.
Another good way is visiting the competitions websites to see what they charge and ask 1 unit less than them in the beginning to get your reputation up (eg. They ask $15, you ask $14).

Create a custom excel sheet to track your pitches

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A lot of times as a freelancer, you will compete with someone else for a nice big project. This is all good and well if you do get it but what happens when you don’t? You generally left with the thoughts of “Where did I go wrong?”
Do yourself just that tiny favor and create spreadsheets on your pitches of which ones worked and which ones didn’t. Then when you enter another, you’ll know what did work in the past and what didn’t as well as having that backlog to show your clients “This is what we discussed” as extra security for those fussy clients that push their luck.

Research on how to get more work

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When business is flowing in, its like Noah’s Ark rain, seems like it’ll never stop. But what if you hit the “slump” of the month? Where you just don’t seem to get in work?
Luckily for freelancers today, this is easily resolved to some extend but its not perfect yet. This is where market research comes in. Below we will list some of the top Freelancer website’s any freelancer can use to get in that extra bit of work but to be 100% successful, you need to have a marketing plan and email list set up for those “slumps”.
Great Places to look for work are:

freelancer odesk elance pph
Freelancer.com oDesk eLance People per Hour
fiverr proz translators cafe translatorsbase
fiverr proZ Translators Cafe Translatorsbase

Use discounts to get paid on time

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Becoming your own Accounts Payable department is new to most freelancers, and not very fun. If you run into clients who are hesitant to pay on time, or leave you on the hook waiting for their next order, try offering a discount or repeat business incentives, as suggested by Web Worker Daily. Give clients a 5 percent discount if they pay within, say, 24 or 48 hours of invoice shipment, or whatever you consider prompt—the cash value is almost certainly worth the time you’ll spend tracking it down and worrying. If clients make you wait forever for their next order, offer a coupon or discount after receiving payment on a gig, giving them a small bit off if they place another order within a certain time frame. It’s easy for small businesses to lose track of freelance people, but they tend to pay attention to dollars and cents.

This blog is proudly brought to you by Sidra Baksh. Go check out our website for professional English, Spanish and Portuguese translation services!

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