Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.
Let’s say you’ve started your journey as a freelance translator and all is going pretty well. You have clients here and there, with new ones popping up every so often– and they’re very much pleased with your professionalism.
Whatever niche you’re operating in, if you’re seeking to scale your success as a freelance translator, look into expanding your services. Offering a variety of services provides you with the opportunity to take on more projects, earn more income, and thus scale your success as a freelance translator.
However, when it comes to expanding your services and taking on more projects outside of your regular niche, it’s a good idea to experiment before diving in. Dip your toe and test the water with either one or a few clients before getting ahead of yourself and taking on all that comes your way. With time, you’ll attain the expertise needed to maintain a proper balance as you continue to scale your success as a freelance translator. That said, let’s get to scaling!
If you’re good at what you’re doing, you’ll probably be good at something similar to your best asset. Chances are, you’ll come across many clients that demand more than one specific thing that can’t be singled out because of how tight a bond these projects share.
For example, as a translator, if you offer just translation, chances are you’ll run into multiple clients that would ask for transcriptions or proofreading to their texts and even full-blown editing. Assuming you have great translation skills indeed, you might as well have some knowledge in transcribing and editing. If you also enjoy acting and have a good voice, you may find that offering voiceover services in your language is also a good idea. This means that, as a freelance translator, you should consider offering these types of services as well to your clients, as this will naturally scale your reach in acquiring new clientele. More and more clients prefer the “full course” rather than going “door-to-door” in search of single servicer providers for each task– especially when such services or tasks are for the same project.
There are also platforms that connect you to these types of clients. For instance, signing up as a translator on an end-to-end localization platform like BLEND puts you right in front of clients seeking multiple localization services for projects that involve editing, proofreading, multilingual content writing, voiceovers, and so on. Not only will you benefit from the volume of work you’ll get, but you will also get the satisfaction of leveling up your professional career.
After you’ve decided on the additional translation and localization services you’d like to offer to clients, it’s time to put yourself out there with clever and effective networking. And no, this doesn’t mean anything fancy or spectacular– simply getting online and creating an online presence (however big or small) is adequate enough.
Find the industry that is relevant to or within the field of the services you now offer and broadcast yourself to this audience. If you haven’t yet, create a Linkedin account and fully set up your profile to demonstrate your skills, services, and expertise. Next, add users and follow businesses to connect yourself to the people within your industry. Get some activity going on your online accounts and you’ll be seen by companies, team leads, and recruits on platforms like BLEND and LinkedIn, allowing you to gain traction and be known within your chosen field or industry– so go ahead and put yourself out there!
After you’ve spent some time creating your online accounts, it’s time to establish a greater presence to acquire consistent, large-scale clients. Having an online presence as a freelancer in any field is a key factor in climbing up the career ladder, and while it’s tough at the beginning, it is possible.
If you’re good at what you’re doing, you’ll eventually be noticed and go to the top of a client’s list for independent contractors. For instance, you could currently be kind of stuck and not achieving a bigger presence or better reputation in the community because of the simple fact that you offer only a single service.
Nevertheless, by providing multiple services, you’ll most likely establish a more significant presence that you thought wasn’t achievable. Sometimes a simple addition of market research will do the trick!
Perhaps one of the most positive things you’ll earn from offering services as a freelance translator is the refinement of the existing skills you currently have and the acquisition of new skills. As you take on new projects from your new services, take the time to improve yourself in the service’s field– this will not only get you comfortable for future projects, but it will also serve as a real-time lesson with paid experience.
Over time, your skills will continue to develop and polish, and in turn, you will become a well-rounded, full-service, freelance translator. And this is where you’ll scale as a freelancer. Regardless of your field, as your skills polish over time, so will the projects that come, the types of clients, and, of course, your overall career.