Skip to main content

13 essential things to do in order to succeed as a freelancer.


Image source: http://mrg.bz/CXMc2z
1. Before you start freelancing full-time, make sure you have enough money for the first several months when you will be searching for your first clients and just trying to spread the word about who you are and what you do. Or make sure you have a source of financing so that you do not go broke while you are just starting out. More information about freelancing and finances here.
2. Being a freelancer, it is very easy and tempting to just stay in front of your computer all day long and eat junk food or sandwiches all the time. But staying healthy is important. So make sure you eat healthy food and leave time for exercising.
3. Remember that you need a balance between your work and the rest of your life. So do leave time for your family. Freelancing most often means working more than people who have "normal" jobs. So it can be pretty exhausting no matter how much you love what you do. That's why balance is necessary.
4. Is there anything that you won't do, no matter how well you are paid for it? Personal and professional integrity is important, so define and stick to your priorities. Otherwise you might end up hating your own work.
5. You may meet clients who will refuse to pay you. In order to avoid these situations
  • make sure you don't charge low rates, because scammers are naturally attracted to people with low self-esteem
  • search for the information about each new client
  • listen to your intuition
6. Set fair rates. I know if you are just starting out you want to win that client no matter what and you think that lowering your rate to a minimum will help. I understand you very well because I used to do it. But you know what? If you win a client only because of the low rate he or she will not stay with you anyway. The moment they see somebody cheaper than you they will leave. So work like crazy on the quality of your work and let your rates show that you are a pro.
7. Choose your specialty field (or fields). Don't be afraid to limit yourself. Specialisation will help you stay focused and become a real pro in your niche. If you don't know how to choose your specialty field, see what your colleagues are saying about it:
8. Back up your files. Always. This post will help you choose the tools.
9. Remember that there will be periods when you have more work than you can handle, but there will also be so called "famine" times when there will be hardly any projects flowing into your inbox. So be prepared for it. Here's a post with some ideas what you can do during your famine periods. And make sure you set aside some money all the time just for periods like that.
10. Market your business at all times.
11. It takes time to earn your reputation and to establish a relationship with your clients. Work on it consistently and don't give up.
12. Always learn. Learn from well-known professionals and from your peers. Freelancing is all about constant learning and improving. And I am not only speaking about your field of work. I also mean learning how to best market your business, learning to be a better networker, learning to manage your finances better etc.
13. Accept your mistakes and learn from them.

I am deeply convinced that lazy people can never be freelancers. Freelancers are hard working, motivated and smart. What do you think? What points would you add to the list?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clients vs translators: how do we show that we're honest?

This is a personal post, and I'd really like to hear the opinion of my colleagues about such situations and how to deal with them. My situation is kind of like the one described in Mox's blog . In December a new prospective client wrote to me asking about my availabiility for a new project. When I read the overall description of the project, I got really interested in it. But the client needed to know exactly how much time it would take and how much it would cost. No problem, just send me the text to look through or a part of it so I could get the gist of the style, level of complexity etc. In the reply that person just stated the wordcount, but there was no sample. I thought, maybe they didn't understand me. English is not my native language after all. In my reply, I stated the estimated time and cost based on the client's wordcount, but I repeated the request to see a part of the text. And then the person thanked me and ... disappeared.

15 interesting facts about the English language

I prepared this list for one of my English classes. And then it dawned on me that I can share it with you, too! So here are 15 facts about the English language that I find very interesting. Hope you do, too ;) Rudyard Kipling was fired as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. His dismissal letter said, "I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language. This isn't a kindergarten for amateur writers." No language has more synonyms than English.

So you are a busy freelancer. How to keep your blog alive?

I decided to write this post thanks to my dear Twitter friend and colleague Sarai Pahla who mentioned once on Twitter that she honestly wonders how I find time for blogging regularly. Well, I am about to share my secret with you now. I am also going to share a couple tricks that help other blogging translators. Interested? Then read further.