Where to look for orders as a freelancer?
Being a translator offers many job opportunities, including remote ones from anywhere in the world. While having a job with a translation agency gives you a sense of stability and a fixed salary, being self-employed involves income insecurity and a constant search for customers. On the other hand, it gives you freedom, that is no boss, commitments or a permanent workplace. Where to look for translation orders to live comfortably as a freelance translator and never worry about your income?
Orders from the previous employer
A job with a translation agency is recommended to any aspiring translator. In addition to permanent employment, the graduate of language studies can gain invaluable experience and build their portfolio. When the translator decides to become self-employed, nothing prevents them from continuing to cooperate with the agency. The employer knows well their former employee, their skills and expertise, and can rely on them. Bigger translation agencies are eager to cooperate with freelancers and can do so easily using tools such as Space TMS.
Freelance translators are listed in the translation management system’s database. As an order matching their competences becomes available, they are assigned to it. They may accept it straight away (they get deadline and rate notifications) and start the work.
Orders from freelancer sites
The easiest way to look for orders is to use sites dedicated to freelancers. On sites such as freelancer.com you can find various orders, from very simple ones to the more complicated and thus better paid. When looking for orders on translator sites, it is good to have a strategy and accept only those ones which you can get paid for decently. It may turn out that the work an a lower paid project is arduous and takes a lot of precious time which could otherwise be spent on seeking better offers.
Looking for customers on your own
Companies, in particular global companies or those offering their products to foreign customers too, need minor translations from time to time. Such companies quite often ask freelancers for help rather than translation agencies.
To get orders from large companies, it is worth preparing a portfolio and sending it to project managers. The most important in such approach to seeking orders is to choose the industry we have experience in. You should submit your offer to project managers, project owners, or owners in the case of smaller companies. You can get contact details of these persons via Linkedin or directly from the website (however, there is no point in sending a proposal to the company’s general e-mail address as it is likely going to get lost among other such e-mails or be left unanswered).