Within past years modern electronic communication has created extensive business opportunities for freelance translators. They are able to reach clients from all over the world and perform their jobs at their own convenience. It appears to be a dream profession, but yet so many translators report that it’s challenging to keep their previous clients, and that the number of clients they served has diminished. One would like to know why this takes place.
First of all, one need to be aware that nowadays there is a great competition on the market, and clients are very selective. So how do I make sure that clients will return to me, not to my competitor? There are clients who constantly need translation services, and they actually prefer to use the same translator for many different projects. They will only cooperate with you again if they were satisfied with your previous services. It is also to your advantage to be familiar with complains the clients have made about translation services in the past. The most common ones are:
1. The project was not finished on time.
2. The translator demonstrated poor language skills: grammar, spelling, punctuation, omitted words, etc.
3. The translator misunderstood the formation of the translation project. He/she used different font, style. He/she did not translate the images. He/she did not include tables, etc.
4. The translator showed poor communication skills. He/she was not flexible enough. He/she has never notified when a problem occurred during the translation process.
5. The translator was hard to reach at his/her office. He/she did not provide adequate mailing address and all the documents kept returning to the sender.
6. The translator turned out to be not reliable. He/she assured he/she knew the dialect of the language but did not demonstrate this skill. He/she advertised himself/herself as a legal translator but never certified his/her work. When returning the project he/she did not include the original seal. He/she never corrected his/her previous mistakes even though he/she promised to do so.
7. The translator was not culturally sensitive. He/she presented himself/herself as a native speaker but did not know all the aspects of the culture.
8. The translator never returned money. He/she admitted that the translation was poorly done and promised to recompense but never did.
9. The translator did not respond well to constrictive criticism.
In order to stand out from the competition, and have your previous clients come back to you, one ought to perform self –evaluation after each translation project. Be critical about your skills and ask your clients for feedbacks. Even the negative ones might provide you with another perspectives and ideas on how to improve your skills and develop your professional growth. Sometimes constrictive criticism leads to a positive change. And positive feedbacks guarantee good promotion, trust among clients, and more projects. Good luck.
The author Marian Marcinkowski is the President of VerbumSoft. He is the owner of http://www.translatorsbase.com and http://www.directfreelance.com Translatorsbase.com it is a global provider in translation solutions, providing translation services via network of professional freelance translators and translation agencies located around the world. Directfreelance.com it is a directory of freelance professionals searchable by category, specialization and location. Freelancers can find here jobs posted on daily basis.