The ultimate key to profitability for any freelance translator is to assemble a core group of steady clients who will keep you busy with quality projects. Follow these tips to find success.
1. Stick to deadlines
Clients need to know that they can rely on you to deliver a project on time. If you can’t meet the deadline for a project, don’t accept it.
2. Follow instructions
While you likely have your preferred way of doing things, if a client gives you specific instructions for a project, follow them. Clients will take notice and send more work your way.
3. Value your clients’ time
It’s important to clarify doubts about a project with the client; however, you should make an effort to keep emails or phone calls brief and on point. Respect your clients’ time as much as you respect your own.
4. Be easy to contact
If clients can’t contact you right away, they’ll simply get in touch with another translator. Place your full contact information in your email signature, and put an auto-responder on your email if you’ll be away from your desk.
5. Be friendly and accommodating
Go the extra mile for regular clients. Show your customers that you value their business.
6. Seek out constructive criticism
Request feedback about your translations from your regular clients to determine where changes to your work flow can be made.
7. Don’t take clients for granted
Freelance translators’ success lies firmly in the relationship with their regular customers. Consider a small gift for clients at the end of the year as a token of your appreciation.
8. Don’t quarrel
If a potential client offers you an extremely low rate for a translation, courteously decline the project. There’s no need for negative or insulting comments.
9. Refer colleagues
Don’t be afraid to recommend trustworthy colleagues who work in your language combination when you’re too busy to take on a project. You’ll get your client out of a jam, and colleagues will likely reciprocate when they find themselves in the same position.
10. Charge clients what you’re worth
Give clients a high level of service, and they’ll be willing to pay what you’re worth.