How To Start Working As a Freelance Translator and Interpreter To Guarantee a Successful and Profitable Career – Part 4



Value delivery: How a freelance translator and interpreter can make their clients happy.

Delivering a translation or interpreting services isn’t a big thing. Normally we just need wifi connection to send an email, or being at a conference in time to familiarise with the booth.

However, value delivery is more than that. We need to make sure that our services fulfil what we’ve promised in our offer. If they don’t, you’ll start getting negative feedback, and a unsatisfied client is the worst type of marketing.




So, how can we make a client satisfied?

  • Have a look at all the points that you promise to deliver (deadlines, the purpose of your services, your promise, quality, etc.), and make sure that your services match your clients’ expectations. If they don’t, step back and analyse what happened to improve your services for the next assignment.
  • Over deliver when possible. If your can deliver your translation a day before the deadline, your client is going to be even happier. And positive feedback and a good review will improve your reputation, which will make your clients trust you even more.
  • Ask for feedback. Positive feedback is great, but you need to know the honest opinion of your clients to get to know what you need to improve. Improving your services and offering exactly what your clients want is the key to develop your client portfolio.


Finance: Basic finance concepts that a translator and interpreter must master

Finance is the magic word. Every time I mention it to some of my clients, they seem to get scared or fall asleep. When we think about finance, all these complex formulas and abstract concepts always come to our minds. But finance doesn’t need to be boring. For me, finance is what makes me know how healthy my business is. And I think that every freelance translator and interpreter must know a few basic concepts to analyse the performance of their business at the end of the month/year.

  • Overhead: What fixed expenses do you have to cover every month? Your rent, bills or the council tax are fixed values that you know you have to pay each month. You should bear in mind all these expenses to analyse if your profits are covering all these expenses.
  • Revenue: This is all the money that you’re bringing in thanks to your business. If you’re offering more than one service, you’ll have to analyse what percentage of your revenue comes from each of your services to analyse which one is being more profitable.
  • Business expenses: This is the money that you need to spend to keep your business working (taxes, equipment, software, etc.) Do you need to pay for transport to attend a conference every week? Without the money for commuting to the conference, you won’t be able to offer your services.
  • Profit: This basically means that you’re bringing in more money than you spend on your business. If you’re spending more money in your marketing (website domain, ads, etc.) than the money that you’re earning, you’ll have financial problems in the long run (or not so in the long run).

A basic financial analyse for a freelance translator and interpreter would have to cover all these points. You can calculate your overhead and this amount will have to be present in every single month that you’re running your business. Then you’ll have to keep records of your expenses and revenue to calculate your profit monthly. You objective here is to keep your expenses as low as possible, and your revenue as high as possible to increase your profit margin as you develop your business. When you consider investing in CPD, I would always recommend improving either your translation/interpreting skills, or one of these five aspects of your business to improve how you do business.

Would you add any other tips to the list to start working as a freelance translator and interpreter? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!




A feature blog brought to you by David Miralles Perez.

“My name is David Miralles and I am aware of how languages can influence professional environments. Honing communication between two cultures has become crucial in today’s globalised world. And that is what I do by means of my translation and interpreting services. Small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs can now spread their messages through cultural and linguistic barriers and make a big impact on an international scale.”

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