السبت، 5 يناير 2013



 Five essential tools for freelance translators 


The freelance translation market has witnessed the birth of two species of translators. The first and most numerous one is composed of all translators who are looking for work equipped with their CV only. Members of the second one are using two additional documents to look for contracts and answer potential customers’ requests.

If you belong to the first group, you are at the mercy of unscrupulous clients who will drive you to accept their draconian terms of purchase, have all kinds of requirements, pay you a pittance when they please and expect you to be available at any time. Why? Because in contacting a client with your CV alone, you automatically put yourself in a job seeker position. Unfortunately, without any of the advantages the real status should bring.

If you belong to the second group, you approach every potential client with your CV, your terms of service and your fee schedule. Your TOS are your commercial contract. They list your obligations, those of your customer, the boundaries of these obligations, the procedures for work delivery, your payment terms and the penalties that you will be entitled to claim in case of late payment. Your fee schedule displays the price of each service you may provide as well as any extra charge applicable under special circumstances.

These two documents help telling the difference between a job seeker and a service provider. While the first one is expected to do his or her master’s bidding, the second one will enjoy greater respect.

Your TOS and your fee schedule also bring the benefit of separating the wheat from the chaff. If you are afraid of losing customers because of your “audacity”, you are right. The good news is that you will only lose bad clients, avoid potential headaches, and free up your time for better opportunities. Is there anything left to regret?

Finally, to imprint for good your image of professional service provider in the mind of your potential client, you will also have to take care of the form after having set the substance of your offer. In other words, your documents need a visual identity.

A visual identity is simply a consistent choice of fonts, colors and layout that gives your set of documents a professional look. For good measure, and in order to be a pro all the way, remember to apply it to your invoice as well.

Here are the five essential tools that allow us to change the perception our clients have of us: CV, TOS, fee schedule, invoice and visual identity. Service provider or job seeker, the choice is yours!

AQ Translation
Best Translation Services 

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