Guide to Become a Freelance Translator

Translation job is not a bed of roses and the rate of success is relatively low. Earning from your passion is difficult and entering the business harder.
As a freelancer you set your own prices however the gig is subject to serious negotiations and discounts. To venture into the market you need education and specialization.
Some jobs are highly technical yet attract ridiculously low prices. The business requires low startup but you face serious competition and deadlines.
Translation business is broad based and specialization in a niche area such as law or engineering depends on your focus. You need to expand your vocabulary, learn translation theory, familiarize yourself with modern methods and a translator  needs to keeps true to the content.
Personal Skills
Apart from having deep knowledge of both languages the translator needs interpersonal skills. The standard and quality of work should be high and you need good organizational skill.
Essential tools for translation work are business knowledge, negotiating skill, marketing and an online presence. You need to have excellent writing skill and a master’s degree in translation. This would become an added advantage over your competitors.
And there are lots of short courses, conferences and workshops to learn the trade. Translation courses to consider specialization are legal, literary or economic.
Learn the Trade
There are several ways to become a translator. The first is to acquire an education such as bachelors or masters degree.
You need to have a passion for the business and fluency in both languages. To develop the talent you can learn through online courses, guides and books. There are also websites that teach freelancing.
Write a Business Plan
Once you have the prerequisite education write a translator business plan. The plan should target a demography and client base.
The plan should focus on marketing, pricing and job specific areas. Things you need apart from a plan are high speed internet connection, powerful software and laptop.
Register the Business
Although you operate as a freelancer it is wise to register the business. The business name would give a corporate identity and legitimacy to your services.
Register the business as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship. Get your tax identification number and insurance cover. In some countries you need to join an association.
Many translation jobs are estimated based on word count. To get better deals you need to invest in mastering the skill.
The price also depends on area of specialization such as medical, financial or legal. The price could rage from $0.01 per word to $0.50 per word. As a certified translator your rates get higher and charges better.
You need to device a strategy on how to get clients. You should pitch your services, retain existing clients and maximize income.
The best place to start your campaign is to build a professional website. To build the website get a host provider, good domain name and a responsive template.
Feature your services, accomplishments and clients on the site.  Add contact information, prices and phone number.
A good way to find regular gigs is through translation agencies. Other methods include word of mouth, translation agencies and networking. It takes hard work and years to establish yourself as a translator but with time your earning improve and reputation grows.


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