The ultimate guide to starting a freelance translator business

The ultimate guide to starting a freelance translator business

Starting your own translation agency can be an exciting prospect. However, the notion of being your own boss can be overwhelming for many people.

There is a ludicrous amount of information to keep in mind once you register your business entity, so how can you keep tabs on everything? Let’s take a look at some of the most useful and important guidelines for starting a freelance translation business of your own.

  • Build a brand
  • Whatever branch of corporate entity you choose to develop; your brand recognition will become a deciding factor of your success. Investing in good design solutions, a copywriting as well as mission statement is essential. Your logo and name will become the staples of recognition when it comes to your clients and customers.

    Don’t skimp on creating a memorable, creative and effective branding that you will be proud of. Chances are that you won’t have an opportunity to redesign your business’ visual identity once the initial idea is set in stone.

  • Create a service portfolio
  • Defining a clear service portfolio for your future clients is important. Just because you decided to work as a translation business doesn’t mean that everything is clear to potential customers.

    • What languages do you offer services in? Do you plan on expanding into other languages as well?
    • What types of writing and documents do you work on?
    • Set specific examples of which types of translation you are comfortable with doing.
    • What are your deliverable timelines and how does the price scale in context with shortened deadlines?
    • Offering loyalty benefits and discounts is a good idea even if you are still in infancy since people are more likely to refer you to their colleagues and friends.

    I urge you to think about how much better life could be for you and for your family. I also urge you to take advantage of this remarkable opportunity to become your own boss, a self-confident entrepreneur living up to your full potential.

  • Hire additional help
  • You will most likely need extra hands on deck if you want to make your translation business succeed. Employees and outside consultants are an essential part of any business if you want to keep everything in check. You will at least need to hire an accountant and a financial advisor so that you can keep your revenue in control.

    If you need any additional translators you can find them by searching for the best translation site on the internet. Many professional translation platforms offer services to other writers for an additional fee. This is something that might be more affordable until your agency develops further.

  • Market your services
  • Establishing a good reputation as a reliable translation service will require you to dabble into marketing. Social media can provide a good source of new clientele. Choosing one of the three popular sites is always a good idea (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

    Social platforms that focus on corporate networking such as LinkedIn can also provide you with a good sources of new projects and contacts if you start marketing your services there as a translation agency. It’s only a matter of time before people start approaching you with their needs once you establish a good online presence through marketing.

  • Gather feedback and testimonials
  • New and upcoming agencies should make it a priority to gather feedback from their clients. Even though you may be a good translator and a positive person, your future clients don’t know about this. Use your current and past projects as a jumping point for future marketing efforts.

    Testimonials can play a huge part in making sure that your credibility remains high. Many sites claim to offer professional services only to fail at the basic level and not provide any concrete proof of their legitimacy. This is where actual references and client contacts can make a huge difference for you.

  • Look for expansion opportunities
  • Once your projects take off and you have legitimate clients to work with it might be a good opportunity to think about expanding. Hiring additional translators, moving into a new office or simply upgrading your computers and software might make a huge difference.

    The way you treat your clients when they visit your office will speak volumes about what type of a professional you really are. Keep expanding your translation agency with new services and logistics anytime you have spare revenue in your account. The more you invest, the more you will earn in the long run.

  • Summarizing
  • Owning a business is all about revolutionizing the way you work with each passing year. Translation agencies are dime a dozen in the online market which means that you will always have to keep moving forward.

    Establish your practice and start earning revenue before thinking about expanding into services that you might be unfamiliar with (like localization or writing). Translation can be a very lucrative business if you are smart about what languages you work with and what types of documents you primarily target.