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Mistakes Hindering the Success of Freelance Translators

Mistakes Hindering the Success of Freelance Translators
on August, 12 2014
Image credit: Technical Translators meeting taken by Uncle Feet under Public Domain.

Image credit: Technical Translators meeting taken by Uncle Feet under Public Domain.

Translation is big business but when you are a freelance translator, mistakes can happen, but these should not be the reasons for you to feel defeated immediately and hinder your own success. Freelancing can be risky, and translation is a profession that requires dedication and commitment. You can make a success out of it or allow little slip ups to pile up and prevent you from moving forward.

You are excited about going solo and being your own boss that is why you went into freelancing, right? You have passion and determination. These are positive attitudes. But you also have to keep in mind that just like in any other fields, not everyone succeeds.

If you have studied the ins and outs of the translation industry, then most likely you will be able to avoid some mistakes that other freelance translators commit. Here are some of them:

  1. Waiting for something big to happen. It does not matter if you are new or already had some years behind you. But you should not be waiting for something big to happen. Competition is out there and it will not do you and your freelance business any good if you just wait for big clients to come. You have to get your name out there, make yourself known and meet potential clients. Networking would be a big help.
  2. Believing in luck. There is such a thing as being lucky but it is better to be proactive instead and look for every opportunity to find clients. There are online forums created by other freelance writers that you can join. Read what others have to say and contribute to the discussion. See if your own experiences will be worth sharing. Try to connect with niche influencers that can provide you with some tips, directions and possibly connect you with clients. Submit relevant blogs, join trade fairs and other freelance translation activities where you will have the chance or luck to meet other freelance translators and potential clients.
  3. Failing to update and upgrade. Even if you already have several clients, you still have to stay updated. Know what's happening in the industry, what the latest trends are, what new translation tools are available and what other freelance translators are doing. You should also be updated on current industry standards, including pricing. Continuous learning is what will keep you in the industry longer. Don't allow yourself to stagnate.
  4. Being complacent. You already have a roster of clients. But you should not feel complacent about it. There are still many clients that require the services of a professional translator, even freelance ones. Competition is fierce. You have to develop new clients as you never know if your regular clients will still be needing your services in the near future. You may notice that orders from your regular clients are slowly getting reduced. That should trigger you to be worried. Get new clients to expand your horizon and add to your learning as well. Always try to act like you are just starting out and go back to item one.

Hone your freelance translation skills, go after clients and keep your name in the minds of clients and fellow translators by being the best in your job, charging fair rates, taking care of your clients' needs and build a name for yourself that is synonymous with efficient, fast and friendly service and success will be yours.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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