5 Tips To Get Started As a Freelance Translator
If you are enticed by freelance lifestyle and are proficient in at least two languages then you can choose a career as a freelance translator. As a freelance translator you are your own boss, choose your own work and do not have to worry about a 9-5 workday. However, being a freelance translator has its own challenges; one primarily being stiff competition where you have to outstand your competitors to get selected for the job. So if you think that freelance translation is your choice of work then here are 5 tips to get you started as a freelance translator:
Start out with the right skills
When starting out, it is necessary to realize what your strengths are, what languages can you translate best and what quality of work can you deliver. Even though the market might have some lucrative pay translation jobs, you need to start out translating to your native language in which you are most proficient. Accuracy is extremely important so make sure that you work with your core skills rather than trying to acquire skills for a language pair which you are not comfortable with. One more thing; It is not necessary but having a degree or a certification, can be useful as it makes your resume look good and enhance your image.
Get some work experience with a translation agency
If I am to be a freelance translator then why do I have to work for the agency first ? you might ask. It is well and true that your aim is to be a freelance translator which means going the opposite way. But this is important simply to get idea about the work culture, client relationship and comparing your quality of work. During your period in the agency , you can know how to build relationships with clients , work on tight deadlines and compare yourself within the agency.
Often beginners make mistake of not having some experience in the field which hurts them in the long run. Although the translator may be extremely skilled, he/she can succumb to pressure in the middle of a strict deadline or fail to communicate well with the client. These kind of errors can be avoided in the beginning of your freelance translation career if you have some experience working with a company.
Market yourself well
The translation market is highly competitive and unlike in a company, where the work is assigned to you; you have to go searching for work. That is why it is extremely important for a freelance translator to be available in various channels where you can be seen and tracked by potential clients. Having your own website, social media profile , sending emails to companies, reaching out through informative contents and so on are some important things you must consider. Clients can’t hire you if they don’t know you exist.
Make use of Freelance websites
Freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr can be your best friends. There, you can find regular jobs and can build relations with clients. These are also great places to start small, focus on quality work delivery and then slowly build up your portfolio. Don’t expect for overnight success but if you invest enough time and work on building a good profile in these communities then you will be rewarded.
Always keep learning
When you are in a competitive market, it is necessary for you to be on the top of your game. For this you should constantly learn about languages, read as much as you can and sharpen your skills. Moreover, as a freelance translator you should also regularly check on the latest trends in translation, new technologies available and keep your language skills fresh so that you can deliver high quality work whenever needed.