Starting as a freelance translator is not an easy task since you have to encompass all sides of typical business management from all the financial matters to negotiations and confidentiality of information. As a rule, most people turn to one of the platforms for freelance translators and compete for taking the best orders, yet there is more to it than that. You have to present yourself correctly, create a competitive resume, and list those personal benefits that will help you to stand out above the crowd. Just like people must avoid the typical new business mistakes, there are things that you should address as a newbie freelance translator. It will help you to gain some confidence and start out without an initial disappointment.
Top 10 Mistakes When Starting as a Freelance Translator
- Posting an ad without the creation of a proper resume. Unfortunately, most freelance translators hurry to post a message with the basic description of what they can offer. If you have language certification or a right to work with the medical or legal text, it must be specified in your resume that must be available for download or online access in more than one language. Doing so will help you reach a non-English-speaking audience and post your resume across international websites.
- Handling too many subjects without clear specifications. The most common mistake is offering every translation service there is. While you may be able to handle it, focus on what you can do best, which will help the clients choose you as an individual who offers particular interpreting assistance.
- Setting the price ratio too low as a beginner. Doing so will make an impression that your services are ordinary and do not represent an advantage when compared to the amateurs. You can have a look at the best translation services company to see the prices and how one should position the list of services. If you have a certification, it will make a major difference in terms of price and the types of translation.
- Ignoring initial communication with new clients. Always talk to the customers and try to find out as much information as you can to avoid frequent revisions or complaints about not delivering what someone has envisioned. The conversation is the key to the freelance market as it is mostly done remotely.
- Lack of confidence when seeking for orders. If you know that you can handle the task, provide an example, be bold in your decisions, and show some confidence. If you have to say “no”, do not be afraid of doing so!
- Focusing on freelance platforms online and not large companies. Do not forget that most large translation agencies hire freelancers as well, especially if you offer technical writing services or not so common language pair. Polish your resume and start sending it out today.
- Taking as much work as you can. A frequent mistake of the newbie translators that choose freelancing is trying to take as many orders as possible. It will only keep you stressed. Take three to five orders first and see how much time and effort it will take.
- Lack of knowledge about the freelance translation market. Participate in various video conferences, join interesting webcasts. It will help you become aware of what is being in-demand upon the translation market. If you do not have much time to listen to an hour of a freelance conference, you can always request a podcast transcription service and collect all the necessary facts later. Focus on developing countries even with the English translations, yet start with an analysis of the market.
- Setting your goals too high. Keep things real and understand what you can and what you cannot do. Analyze how much resources an average order takes and change your ads accordingly. It is the case when less can appear as more for you.
- Forgetting about a good schedule and exhaustion. Remember about your health and avoid exhaustion. Starting out as a freelance translator is not easy, therefore, always keep with a schedule or use scheduling apps to help yourself track down the time and resources. Installing a small application will help you to keep your body and brain safe!
Why Translate Your Resume?
Offering an ad post with a translated resume will help you to expand your services globally and will allow those who do not speak English to find your services. Take your time to consider the cultural factor as well and provide short examples of your translations along with the user feedback. It may be time-consuming, yet it will always pay off!
About the Author
As a former translator, Mark Implements technology, education, and linguistics as one. His experience lets him come up with practical tips for freelancers and large businesses alike. Follow Mark to discover new ideas and start thinking in a different, positive way.