Working the freelance translation industry is just as competitive as any other industry. There are a lot of different translators that likely do exactly what you do. Of course, some freelance translators are more successful than others and it is not because they are just good at translating.
Understanding how to make yourself standout inside a saturated industry will help you reach your business goals.
Having Strong Workflows & Systems
One of the biggest things that will set you apart from other freelance translators is having good workflows and systems. These systems start even before you find a client.
To start you want to make sure you have a strong social presence in industry related platforms, like Proz. This is the foundation of your systems as it allows you to attract leads and show them what you have to offer. Your customer service skills need to be on point with a seamless system to accept work and provide invoices.
Of course, during the project lifetime you want to ensure that you have good workflows and systems to work collaboratively with your client. This will also be beneficial if you have a team that you work with.
The easier you make things on your client – yes, the translation service providers, aka agencies, that give you work are your clients – the more likely they are to refer you to others and come back to you for more projects in the future.
Always Educating Yourself
It should go without saying that to be a successful translator that stands out in the crowd, that you need to stay up to date with trends and new skills. This includes new and updated software and CAT tools. Refresher courses should be taken about the field or fields you have chosen to specialize in Translation.
By staying educated you are able to provide your clients with valuable information about their project. For example, if a client was looking to have a physical copy of a pamphlet translated and printed, but you know that a digital copy will serve them better based on recent trends you can mention this to them. This will make you look even more like an expert in your industry making your clients want to come back for more and even refer you out.
Continuing your education on translation is also a key component to setting you a part. This means staying up to date on new technology, changes in particular parts of a language, cultural shifts and so much more. Make sure you stay educated in all languages that you work with.
It is so easy to want to take on all the work when you are freelance. The mindset of feeling like the more work you have, the better your business and the more money you make is not realistic. It’s common, but it’s not realistic. What is realistic is understanding how much work you can take on at once, how long a project will take and when you need a break.
When you operate from a place of “I have enough” in terms of clients, more will come. The goal is to have a wait list of projects, not burning out. One great way to help with being realistic is when you accept work from a client or have new inquiries give yourself a buffer for completing projects. This way if you complete it “early” the client is thrilled and if something happens where you need more time, you are still within the project timeline.
Finally, we feel it is important to mention that you need to just be yourself. When someone chooses to work with you it’s not just because of your credentials, your systems, your education or your realistic goals – it’s because you are you.
When you stay true to yourself, let your personality shine and don’t dull your light your clients will connect with you. That connection will set you apart more than anything else.
If you are looking for work contact Language Marketplace today.