Over the last few weeks and months, we interviewed translators from different countries to find out more about how they work and what they think about the language industry. We are continuing the series, but we picked a first batch to give new readers and idea how exciting this series is so far. Here are 7 lessons you can draw from interviews with freelance translators that you need to read.
Interview with Vadim Kasyrov: You have to show that you are an expert
Specialization is very important. Find a niche and become an expert in that specific area. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades in translation. Use that in your marketing and how you present yourself and target clients who understand the importance of expertise and quality to avoid price dumping.
Interview with Sara Colombo: Be very determined and obsessively in love with what you do
Being a freelancer can be very difficult in the beginning. Act proactively and don’t be afraid to approach new potential clients or try new things. If you fail just try again. You will lose some potential clients but if you keep trying you will also find new ones. Success is a very complex process that requires compromising, waiting and admitting failure. You will always learn from the experience (and in some cases learn the hard way) and it will help you grow both your business and personally.
Interview with Catherine Christaki – Chose your specializations carefully, make sure you really enjoy working in those fields
Once you found your fields of specialization spend time learning and reading about them as much as possible. Attend expos and local events. Research your potential clients thoroughly before you decide to approach them or work with them. Check their websites, social media accounts and LinkedIn profiles and company pages.
Interview with David Murphy: Invest time in building up a network
Attend conferences, meet up with other translators, use social media and be open. Posting relevant content on your social media channels is a good way to keep in touch with your growing network. Engage in discussions or start your own but don’t spam. Make sure the things you write and post are relevant and useful to others reading them.
Interview with Else Gellinek: Keep in mind that you are running a business
Develop your marketing and networking skills. Maybe take up some business classes. Learn how to get the most out of social media. It takes some time to get the hang of it but there are lots of useful resources online that will help you. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes but use them as opportunities to improve.
Interview with Juan Yborra Golpe: Don’t despair if you think you’ll never earn money from translation
In the beginning it takes some time until you can earn a living from translations. You need to build up a client base and constantly chase new translation work. Be constant and ambitious and always do your best to achieve your goals. In the beginning it can help to have a part time job for some financial stability while you are still growing your own translation business.
Interview with Carol Bidwell: If you aren’t sure about something don’t be afraid to ask questions
Reach out to other translators. They are usually a very welcoming bunch and freely share knowledge and advice with you. There are lots of discussion groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ or just use Twitter. It is an easy way to ask questions or start discussions on anything related to translation, interpretation or languages. Even for business related problems you should find help there. And as a side effect those groups are a great way to keep up to date with the translation community.
We hope you take some interesting notes from these interviews. We keep on continuing our series and we welcome interested interview partners. If you don’t want to miss any updates, make sure to sign up.