How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business

Post on 03-Nov-2015

11 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

DESCRIPTION

Get an edge in the industry and avoid some of the common mistakes freelancetranslators make

TRANSCRIPT

How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business2How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation BusinessThe translation industry is one of the fastest growing fields and has been dubbed "recession proof" by Bloomberg Businessweek.The United States Department of Labor reports that the Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.But the question is: if the translation industry is rapidly growing, then why arent more freelance translators getting their fair share of business?That is where How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business comes in. I wrote this guide to shorten your learning curve so you can get an edge in the industry and avoid some of the common mistakes freelance translators make.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business3Whether youre a seasoned translator or youre just starting out, this guide is full of easy and actionable tips to help you start a profitable freelance translation business or restructure an existing one.I want you to work smarter and not harder. This step-by-step guide will teach you the tricks of the trade and give you the tools needed to get ahead in the industry. You'll learn the essentials of running a successful freelance translation business.Congratulations on taking a leap of faith and doing something your future self will thank you for.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business4Discover your StrengthsBefore you can start a profitable freelance translation business, you have to identify what you want to do and what you are qualified to do.Get a good idea of the type of tasks you will excel in and the ones youll have to outsource.First, grab a pen and notepad and take five minutes to write down your key strengths and all of the things you noticeably do well.Sample Strength Evaluation list:Negotiation Communication skills (written/verbal)Problem-solving CreativitySelling Project managementNext, find out how your best skills will benefit your clients. How will this address their concerns, problems, and goals?Once youve completed this exercise, you will use the skills youve written down to market yourself and increase the value of your freelance translation business.You want to emphasize your strengths instead of working on your weaknesses. Build on what you know so you can get ahead of the crowd.maryamabdiTypewritten TextmaryamabdiTypewritten TextmaryamabdiTypewritten TextmaryamabdiTypewritten TextmaryamabdiTypewritten TextmaryamabdiTypewritten TextHow to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business5Why You Should SpecializeI cant think of any freelance translator that has become successful without specializing.Specialists are sought after for their expertise. By using your industry specific knowledge youll elevate the reputation of your freelance translation business and become the go to person.Yet, many freelancers feel that specializing is counterintuitive and they're hesitant to specialize in fear of limiting their business.Be a Specialist and Not a GeneralistSpecializing increases your earning potential. Similar to doctors and lawyers, freelance translators that focus on a particular field or industry get paid more.When you are experienced in translating a particular subject you can command higher per word rates.Specializing has helped many freelance translators take their business to the next level and succeed.How to Specialize Your ServicesNot sure what your specialty is? First, go with what you know. Look back into your educational training.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business6What did you major in? Think of previous jobs youve held and industries youve worked in. This is a good starting point when choosing a specialty.3Why You Should SpecializeI cant think of any freelance translator that has become successful withoutspecializing.Specialists are sought after for their expertise. By using your industry specificknowledge youll elevate the reputation of your freelance translation business andbecome the go to person.Yet, many freelancers feel that specializing is counterintuitive and they are hesitantto specialize in fear of limiting their business.Be a specialist and not a generalistSpecializing increases your earning potential. Similar to doctors and lawyers, freelance translators that focus on a particular field or industry get paid more.When you are experienced in translating a particular subject you can commandhigher per word rates.Specializing has helped many freelance translators take their business to the nextlevel and succeed.How to specialize your servicesNot sure what your specialty is? First, go with what you know. Look back into youreducational training.What did you major in? Think previous jobs youve held and industries youveworked in. This is a good starting point when choosing a specialty.Passion Skills Knowlege Experience Specialization The Three SpheresAnother technique you can use to develop a specialty is what I call the Three Spheres.Ask yourself:1. What you're good at?2. What youd like to do?3. And what adds value to your clients?You can have multiple specialties for your freelance translation business, but make sure theyre not ambiguous.As you choose a specialization, dont worry about "pigeonholing" your freelance translation business. Specializing makes you an expert and experts always make more money.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business7The Riches are in the NichesWhen you think of all the potential clients that could use your translation services, its incredibly tempting to want to advertise to all of them.The last thing you want to do when youre new in business is to limit your opportunities, but that is what you exactly must do! If you try to sell to everyone, youll sell to no one.Identify Your Potential ClientsBy now youve already established what industry youll be specializing in, its now time to identify your ideal client and where they look to find solutions.Do they turn to search engines? Ask for referrals? Read industry magazines? You want to be as specific as possible.Learn as much as you can about your potential clients, or youll be wasting your precious time knocking on the wrong doors and selling to prospects that dont need your services.Time is money and the last thing you need to do is spend countless hours only to get rejected continuously.Laser Target Your NicheIn order for you to find out what your clients need, first you have to find out who they are.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business8Learn as much as possible about your prospects. Find out who your ideal client is by using the following criteria: Demographics: Age, gender, income Psychographics: Preferences, priorities, personality Behavior: hobbies, pastime actives, similar likes and dislikesSo you can maximize your chances of success ask yourself if the group youve selected has1. The ability to pay for your services2. The willingness to pay for your servicesAfter youve verified that your niche has the ability and willingness to pay for your services its time to locate them.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business9Locating Your NicheWhere do your clients go to spend their time? Where do they go to find solutions to their problems? Do they spend their time online or offline? Do they read on their spare time? If so what papers or magazines? Where do they hangout?By finding the answers to these questions, youll go after the prospects that are in need of your services.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business10Getting paid what you are worthAs a freelancer you have the power to choose not only how much you work, but also how much you earn.Determining your rates shouldnt be a guessing game. Take into account your skills, knowledge, expenses, and profit when calculating your rates.1Getting paid what you are worthAs a freelancer you have the power to choose not only how much you work, but alsohow much you earn.Determining your rates shouldnt be a guessing game. Take into account your skills,knowledge, expenses, and profit when calculating your rates.Calculating your rateWhether you are charging a flat fee, hourly fee, or per word you need to consider thefollowing before quoting clients:Billable timeBefore you accept a project, find out how long it will take you to complete the assignment. After all, time is money.The hourly rate will be the basis of your per word or flat fee you charge for projects. To calculate your rate with the formula I use go to www.translatorsacademy.com. Business ExpensesKeep track of all expenses that go into a translation project for a client. If the client hasnt paid for expanses in advance, youll have to pay for it upfront and bill them at a later date.Calculating Your RateWhether you are charging a flat fee, hourly fee, or per word you need to consider the following before quoting clients...Billable TimeBefore you accept a project, find out how long it will take you to complete the assignment. After all, time is money.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business11The hourly rate will be the basis of your per word or flat fee you charge for projects. To calculate your rate with the formula I use go to www.translatorsacademy.com.Business ExpensesKeep track of all expenses that go into a translation project for a client. If the client hasnt paid for expenses in advance, youll have to pay for it upfront and bill them at a later date.For example, if you were an interpreter that has to go out of town for an assignment, this would include your parking, lodging and transportation fees.OverheadWe all have bills to pay. The overhead includes everything you need to run the business.If you have a home based office some of your overhead will be your rent, Internet, and phone bill.The following are other overhead fees that are important to consider: Marketing Accounting Office equipment Health Insurance Software expense Sick/Vacation timeHow to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business12ProfitOnce youve calculated the overhead it is time to ask yourself the next question: How much profit do you want to earn?The percentage you're going to charge for the profit is up to you and isnt related to how much time a project is going to take to complete.After youve estimated how much youre going to charge for a particular project then you can add the profit percentage to the project fee.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business13Working Smarter Not HarderAre you busy for the sake of being busy? If so, then youre not the only one. According to scientific studies, human beings have a desire to be busy all the time.But, before you fill up every minute of your day reading emails and writing a to-do list you should instead try to accomplish more by doing less.Quadruple Your Productivity with the 80/20 RuleThe 80/20 rule, also know as Paretos Principle, states 80 percent of your outcomes stem from 20 percent of your inputs.In regards to productivity, this essentially means that 20 percent of what you do each day yields 80 percent of your results.Any more work beyond the 20 percent will have a minimal effect on your overall productivity level.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business14A Lack of Time is a Lack of PrioritiesThe objective is to free up your time, so you can spend it as you like. Start prioritizing and identify the critical tasks that will boost your income.Next, set clear deadlines to focus on the important work to be completed. This ensures that youll do less and get more done.Trust me, those e-mails can waitGet OrganizedAs a freelance translator youll wear many hats. Youre going to be the accountant, project manager, marketer, and more.For that reason, getting organized is essential to the success of your freelance translation business.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business15However, it doesnt end there. All of your time wont be billable. A sizeable amount will be devoted to administrative work. Handling these tasks is a necessary part of the business and will most likely be done by you.Fortunately, there are tools to help simplify the process and boost your efficiency.For a list of free tools to better manage you freelance translation business go to www.translatorsacademy.com4Trust me, those e-mails can waitGet organizedAs a freelance translator youll wear many hats. Youre going to be the accountant,project manager, marketer, and more.For that reason, getting organized is essential to the success of your freelance translation business.However, it doesnt end there. All of your time wont be billable. A sizeable amount will be devoted to administrative work. Handling these tasks is a necessary part of the business and will most likely be done by you.Fortunately, there are tools to help simplify the process and boost your efficiency.For a list of free tools to better manage you freelance translation business go to www.translatorsacademy.comHow to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business16Remote Office EssentialsThe Internet has simplified the way we do business. The world is at your fingertips and you can work with clients anywhere on the globe.For that reason, your headquarters will most likely be in the comfort of your own home. The majority of the time youll be able to run your business remotely, free to work anywhere you please.Setting Up Your WorkspaceIve listed some essential items needed to run your small business, including, but not limited to: A good desk Desktop [preferably] Ergonomic Keyboard Ergonomic chair Cell phone/Land line Copier/printer/scanner [in one] Online fax service Relevant softwareHow to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business17Remote Office EssentialsThe Internet has simplified the way we do business. The world is at your fingertips and you can work with clients anywhere on the globe.For that reason, your headquarters will most likely be in the comfort of your own home. The majority of the time youll be able to run your business remotely, free to work anywhere you please.Setting Up Your WorkspaceIve listed some essential items needed to run your small business, including, but not limited to: A good desk Desktop [preferably] Ergonomic Keyboard Ergonomic chair Cell phone/Land line Copier/printer/scanner [in one] Online fax service Relevant softwareThe New Mindset of Attracting ClientsWhen youre pitching to direct clients, all of your attention should be on them. You dont want to appear self-serving by only talking about yourself.Your prospects only care about how you can solve their problems and help them attain their goals.Get Inside Your Prospects HeadWhat are your clients goals? What are they trying to achieve? What are their pains and problems?Do your homework and learn as much as you can about your prospects. Look through their marketing collateral and their websites.Pay attention to the industry specific terminology they use. Use some of this language in your sales material.Unique Selling Proposition (USP)How are your services different from what other freelance translators are providing? What are your specialties?Example: I specialize in providing interpreting services for attorneys in personal injury and wrongful death cases.This is how youre going to set yourself apart from others and its a simple and concise method of letting your prospects know about the services you provide.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business18The Key to Differentiation and Generating ProfitNow that youve narrowed your specialty and can tell prospects what you do, its time to explain how your services can benefit them by crafting a client value proposition [CVP].Your offering has to be results oriented. Describe how your services deliver tangible outcomes.Do your translation services minimize risk? Increase profit? Decrease costs? Increase their share of the global market?Incorporate some of the information you've gathered from the prospect's website and marketing collateral and present a solution.Sample CVPMy translation services help law firms like William Landry & Platt, LLP produce an outstanding resolution for each legal case by helping attorneys efficiently communicate with their limited English proficient clients.After working with my business, one well known law firm was able to aggressively pursue the legal interest of their limited English proficient client and recover the maximum compensation without linguistic and cultural barriers getting in the way.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business19How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business20Promote YourselfSome of us cringe at the thought of self-promotion, but it's an essential part of the business.Successful freelance translators are good at telling people what they do. So you can maximize your chances of success, learn how to sing your own praises.Generating Word of Mouth MarketingAccording to Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.8Promote YourselfSome of us cringe at the thought of self-promotion, but it is an essential part of the business. Successful freelance translators are good at telling people what they do. So you can maximize your chances of success, learn how to sing your own praises.Generating Word of Mouth MarketingAccording to Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton Schoolat the University of Pennsylvania, Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20percent to 50 percent of all purchasing decision. Word of mouth can help your freelance translation business get new clients fromyour existing ones.This is more effective than other methods of marketing because1. Its more persuasive.2. Its more targeted.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business21Why is this important? That is because word of mouth can help your freelance translation business get new clients from your existing ones.This is more effective than other methods of marketing because1. Its more persuasive.2. Its more targeted.How to Get More ClientsReferrals are a powerful way to get more business. Anytime you get a client, ask them how they found you and chances are they were most likely referred.It's more expensive and time consuming to seek out new clients. Referrals are the best way to generate business with little effort.To get tested scripts for referrals that I use for my freelance translation business go to www.translatorsacademy.comSocial ProofIf a client shares encouraging words about your business with you, ask them to write their experience down, so you can produce a testimonial.You can only toot your own horn so much. Testimonials are social proof and by displaying what clients say about your services on your website and marketing collateral you can get prospects to trust your business.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business22Create a PresenceAs freelance translators we dont have a lot of money set aside for marketing expenditure. The good thing is marketing your services doesn't have to cost an arm and leg. IdentityCreating a brand is essential for your freelance translation business. The first thing we think of when we hear branding is a logo.10However, branding goes beyond that and covers both tangible and intangible elements of your business.Examples of tangible and intangible elements of a brand areTangible Logo Business cards Typography Color paletteIntangible Image Message PromisePositioning Your BrandStrive to be unique so you can stand out from the crowd. Its easy to get lost amongst other freelance translation businesses when you are offering the same services.However, branding goes beyond that and covers both tangible andintangible elements of your business.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business23Examples of tangible and intangible elements of a brand areTangible Logo Business cards Typography Color paletteIntangible Image Message PromisePositioning Your BrandStrive to be unique so you can stand out from the crowd. Its easy to get lost amongst other freelance translation businesses when you're offering the same services.Competing on the same qualities will only commoditize your services. What you should do instead is break away from the competition.First, focus on three unique factors that will differentiate you from other freelance translation businesses.Ask yourself: What are three words you would use to describe your translation business? What do you want to be known for? Stand out from the crowd by branding yourself.How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business24Key Points1. Evaluate your strengths and build on those skills to increase thevalue of your business.2. Specificity sells. To find your specialty, look into where yourpassion, knowledge, experience, and skills meet.3. Laser target your niche and then find solutions to their problems.4. Get paid what youre worth by putting considerable thought intoyour rate calculation, billable time, overhead, business expenses,and profit.5. Work smarter and not harder by leveraging the 80/20 rule.6. Set up your remote office with the following essentials: A gooddesk, desktop, ergonomic keyboard, ergonomic chair, cell phone/land line, copier/printer/scanner [in one], online fax service, andrelevant software.7. Adopt the new mindset of attracting clients by getting inside yourclients head.8. Promote yourself and get more clients through word of mouthmarketing and referrals.9. Create an identity before you communicate with clients.10. Position your brand by focusing on three unique factors that willdifferentiate you from other freelance translation businesses.There it is! Ive just showed you the basics of starting a profitable freelance translation business. Now its time to take action and implement the strategies of this quickstart guide.Do you know someone that will find this guide useful? If so, send them this link: http://www.translatorsacademy.com/free-report/ How to Start a Profitable Freelance Translation Business25If you liked the material, Id like to hear your feedback. Send me an email at maryam@translatorsacademy.com, tweet me at Maryam_Abdi or say hello on the Translators Academy facebook page.