It is many translators desire to set up their own translation services business. For various reasons, this may not be possible at the outset. A good way of getting into the waters of the translation world is to start as a freelancer and get translation jobs from both small and midsize translation agencies. How can you improve your chances of getting jobs from these agencies?
Do Not Get Discouraged
New translators can get discouraged when things don’t turn out as they expected at the beginning. After sending a few inquiries with no response (even negative ones), you can start wondering whether it will work out at all. Remember you are new and unknown. Keep trying and once you get a few clients, give them your all and you can be sure of repeat jobs from those clients. Half to one year is a reasonable length of time for laying your translation services foundation.
Be Realistic About Freelancing
You probably ‘fired’ your boss so that you can run your own show according to the way you want, when you want and wherever you want. The truth about freelancing is that it is hard work (especially initially) and unpredictable. Accept this fact and you are all set to keep trying for jobs in the small and mid-size translation agencies.
Claim Your Place Online
Online presence is important for letting potential clients know about you. Let them know what you can offer them and how they can contact you. A well-crafted LinkedIn summary is a good place to begin your self-promotion. Use every available social media outlet to ethically and professionally inform the world about your translation capabilities.
Another way of doing this is starting a blog or website and advertising your services through it. Through a blog you can say more about yourself on the ‘About me’ page and shout about what you can do on your ‘What I/we do’ page. With this, an agent will see you as a professional aiming high.
Exemplary Language Skills
The first language impression you make to your potential small or mid-sized translation agency can make or break a potential working relationship with them. Make sure you possess the best skills in your translation language combination. Keep improving them even if it means relocating to another region where you can interact with native speakers and their way of life.
Contact Agencies Offline
In this era of communicating in nanoseconds, the old snail mail can look archaic and out of place as a tool for contacting your potential translation agent. However, this is an ideal method of putting your writing skills mentioned above into practice. You can also employ your persuasive writing abilities to impress upon the small or medium translation agent that you are great for the job. While an email can easily be deleted without being read, a hard copy letter of introduction is more likely to be filed and so chances of being contacted are high when an opening appears.
It is also true that the snail mail road is less crowded and so using it makes you stand out.
If possible, hang-out where people who matter in the small and medium translation agencies are. This can be in translation conferences or workshops. You can also join their online forums and social media networks. Make intelligent comments and this might just catch the eye of your future translation agent or agents.