Tag Archives: Clients

New ‘Nuggetoids’ from The Freelancery

6 Jun

I am always happy to see a new post from The Freelancery in my feed reader. Walt Kania’s ideas and advice provide a spark of thought every time I read them, and his bold solutions offer great food for thought for freelancers everywhere. So I was delighted to see that he has published two new posts in the past few days!

Please do check them out:

The most profitable thing to know about clients. And how to use it.

Answers: Stuck at a low rate with good client. Eat it, or bail?

While you’re there, I’d strongly recommend taking a stroll through the archives – you won’t be disappointed!


The Essence of a Freelance Translator

15 May

How do your clients perceive you?

If your friends and colleagues had to describe you in 3 words, what would they say?

I was sat in my meeting with my MA lecturer yesterday, discussing how some people have all of the linguistic skills and confidence to make a success of themselves, but lack the necessary drive. This got me thinking about the indelible impression that we, and our work as linguists, has on the people around us.

So I tried a little experiment. First, I asked my other half: “If you had to describe me in three words, what would you say?”. His response: “motivated, passionate and meticulous” (note: we collaborated on the last one. His actual words were “what’s a good word for pernickety when talking about grammar and spelling?” ;)).

Then, I asked a client that I proofread academic papers for. She said “knowledgable, professional and friendly“. Although I am pleased that my clients (other results pending) see me as a professional and someone they can ask about linguistic queries, I am even more satisfied that my manner and communication is well received. I have tried to make my contact with clients informative but informal from day one, and I am delighted that they recognise that. I am, of course, all for professionalism (after all, I am running a business), but I have never seen why being professional should be stuffy or cold. We all have quirks and individual aspects of our personalities – let’s embrace that.

Just Say No

4 Apr

In the past two days, I have received 3 potentially lucrative job offers. I have only accepted one. I have the time to fit all of the jobs in, so why did I turn two down? I primarily work in a number of specialist areas and, although I assess every offer individually, there are some subject areas (well, many actually) that are beyond me. This knowledge of your own capabilities is essential in maintaining your reputation and, ultimately, that of your client.

When starting out, it can be very difficult to turn down work, especially when the offers aren’t exactly flooding in, but it is vital to know and respect your limitations. Everyone has them. I, and I’m sure many translators before me, have learnt this lesson the hard way  (perhaps more than once) but it is a valuable one.

You wouldn’t want all the effort you have put into acquiring and building on specialist knowledge go to waste, would you? If you take on something you can’t handle, it will show. Honesty is the best policy, and your client will respect that.

If the project is outside of your comfort zone, recommend a trusted colleague, or direct the client to the directory of a professional organisation. This cements your position as an active member in the translation community and hopefully sends some work in the direction of one of your fellow linguists. You never know, they may have the opportunity to return the favour – or to send you a small treat as a token of their gratitude 😉