5 Tips for First-Time Translation Freelancers

by | Aug 27, 2020 | Translation Services

Becoming a freelancer in the language market can be pretty intimidating when you are just getting started.

There are so many rabbit holes you can dive down to learn what you need to get started and begin making money.

To help you avoid that rabbit hole, we’ve gathered up our top tips from our freelancers below.

1.   Check your Mindset

Before you get started on this amazing adventure, you must make sure that you are in a good headspace.

There are two key things you want to check when you are focusing on your mindset:

  1. Imposter Syndrome
  2. Comparison

When dealing with imposter syndrome, take a moment to reflect on how far you have already come.  Remind yourself that you do have the skills to accomplish this and that you are just starting out so getting a handful of clients takes time. We even recommend writing somewhere that you look at each day “I can do this because I am a freelancer” which will help reinforce your confidence.

Comparing yourself to others in the business can be deadly. If you feel that you are comparing yourself to others, ask yourself where they are and where you are? Chances are they are leaps and bounds ahead of you because they have been at this longer. That’s normal. If the comparison is not going away, mute these people on social media and make sure to steer clear of their content. You can go back to it when you feel better about where you are.

Dealing with mindset is going to be top priority throughout your entire career, so it’s important to start working on it right away.

2.   Be Clear on Who Your Client is

If you are unsure on who you are going to target for your services, you may have a hard time landing any deals.

Take a few moments to think about your ideal client. Who are they? What type of business are they? What field is their business? Do they need your language of expertise? What services do they offer?

Write as much as you possibly can down about your ideal client.  You can even give them a name, so you always know who you are talking to.

Use this information to help structure your packages, your website and all other marketing such as social media.

3.   Build Your Packages First

Knowing what you are selling and how you are going to charge is key to your success. Make sure that all of your packages are built out before hand and targeting your ideal client. You want to ensure that you have a few different options, so that your client can choose what suits their needs and budget first.

Once your packages are built and you have a structure, you’ll be able to sell your services with ease.

4.   Set Boundaries

Understanding when and how you want to work is very important. Do you want to only work from 9am – 5pm or are you looking for something more flexible?

Are you wanting to do hourly work or project work?

Do you want your clients to call you, email you or both?

All of these questions and many more are important to answer for yourself before you get started. As soon as you start signing clients, they will want to know the best way to contact you, when they can contact you and how they can expect work to get completed.

Set your boundaries up in a way that honours the lifestyle you want to live and always communicate this to your clients.

Don’t worry, you can always change your boundaries as your life changes. Just be sure to tell your clients ahead of time so they can pivot with you.

5.   Good online presence

You don’t necessarily need a website but having good online presence will help you gain exposure and trust with your potential clients.

If you don’t have a website yet, make sure your social media game is strong. Keep it on brand, true to who you are, and talk about your services. Make your social media your portfolio in a sense and a great introduction to who you are.

You can also build a one-page site that is just your portfolio for potential clients to view. If you aren’t ready for that yet, just have a PDF ready for them when they contact you. 

Make sure to keep your website/social media up to do that so that potential clients know you are active and ready to work.

Lastly, make sure to have fun with it! You want your online presence to be professional, but also a fun space for you to be.

As you transition into being a first-time freelancer take these tips with you and don’t be afraid to reach out for more help. You got this!