Five Financial Tips for Freelance Translators

The key to succeeding as a freelance translator is getting by on the income you generate.  Which is something that the vast majority of new freelancers will struggle with when first setting up.  Freelance translation has the potential to be a lucrative career, but only for those who put in the necessary effort and make all the right moves.

So on the subject of making the right moves, here’s a quick rundown of five essential financial tips to help keep things on the straight and narrow:

  1. Invoicing

First of all, never forget that the quality of the invoices you produce and distribute will say a great deal about your professionalism in general.  In addition, high quality invoices will also help ensure that you stay on top of things when it comes to expenses, tax liability and so on.

  1. Savings

A critically-important tip in all areas of business management is to ensure that you have at least a little reserve capital on one side, just in case the unexpected should occur.  You should ideally be looking at stacking up approximately three months of earnings, to be held in reserve in case you need them. A drop in orders, a bout of the flu, natural disasters and so on – just make sure you are covered for every eventuality.

  1. Charge More

The only freelance translators that should be afraid to increase their prices are those that do not have total confidence in their output.  If you know that what you are doing is simply outstanding and leaves the competition in the dust, you absolutely should and must continually increment your pricing structure over time.  This counts double when carrying out urgent jobs, which you should be charging more for in the first place.

  1. Save for Holidays

Given the fact that there is no such thing as paid annual leave when it comes to this kind of work, you need to fund your own time off.  One of the best ways of doing this is slowly but surely accruing the extra hours in the lead up to your time of.  Work an extra 2 hours a day every weekday for the course of a month and you will stack up enough extra hours to compensate for a full week off, for example.

  1. Separate Accounts

Last but not least, do not under any circumstances fall into the trap of allowing your business and personal accounts to merge into one.  This always has been and always will be a recipe for disaster – keep your business accounts separate and do not use them for any other purpose whatsoever other than business.


Certified Translations – Should You Get Qualified?

Depending on where you live and work will determine whether or not certified translations are indeed of any relevance.  If they are, chances are it hasn’t escaped your attention that they tend to go for premium prices.  Which is of course is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to anyone working in a freelance position, looking to grow their client-base and improve revenues at the same time.

But given the fact that there’s a great deal of commitment involved in becoming qualified to carry out such translations, is it something that you should really be thinking about doing?

Well, to be honest it all comes down to your current position, where you would like to see yourself in the future and what exactly it is you specialise in when it comes to translations.  If you have a genuine interest in translating official documents, technical language and important texts in general, considering working towards full certification might not be a bad idea.  Likewise, it’s worth remembering that as soon as you are officially qualified to perform certified translations, this is the kind of credential that will immediately enhance your profile and appeal in the eyes of prospective clients.

On the other hand, if you are quite happy working with somewhat more casual texts and content, there may not be a great deal to gain by studying for this kind of certification.  After all, it is the kind of process that is only worthwhile if you plan on putting it to use on the other side.  Otherwise, you might be just fine as you already are.

A slightly vague summary?  Indeed, but given the fact that it all comes down to personal preferences and ambition, there really is no concrete answer to give.

Nevertheless, studying to become qualified to carry out certified translations is something that every freelance translator should not least consider at one point or another.  Check out where, when and if the required courses are available and where you are based and weigh up what exactly are you stand to get out of the process, should you decide to go ahead with it.