Getting paid. Getting paid is a good problem to have. This means that you fulfill your duties and now you are owed money. Of course, it can still be a problem and an issue but hopefully by following certain methods and tricks, you can reduce the probability of not being paid to a minimum. Now, after having set up your profile where it's needed and conducted marketing and applied for your job successfully, you will hopefully start being assigned jobs. Now, this is an exciting moment, you have a client who will pay you so this is the beginning of your endeavor as a full fledged freelance translator.
Your main effort at this point should be to churn out the best possible translation you can. At the same time however, there are other points that you should be keeping in mind. First of all, tracking jobs. So a client assign you a job and you're excited to get started. Chances are right after being assigned a new task, you're revving up to maintenance. In it, so by all means work on it.
But before you close up for the night, and certainly before you deliver the job to the client, you should take care of one more thing, you should collect as much information you can about this client. Now this includes the name of whoever emailed you the link to the job URL if available, as well as any email addresses physical addresses, websites, etc. Remember to collect phone numbers as well. And include any other email addresses you might have for the company even if it isn't the direct client. physical addresses and phone numbers are the best things to have since they make the client accessible offline as well. Also, don't be shy about asking for their information.
If a client is legitimate, there should be no issue in providing whatever information you need. This information is going to be used later for invoicing which we will cover here but it also comes in handy if the client starts delaying or postponing the payment date, or even worse just disappears and becomes incommunicado as a personal example, these are the steps that I take when I'm assigned a new task, I opened my Google spreadsheet, and in it, I enter this information. So first of all, the name of the person, this is the direct person I'm dealing with. Second of all, is the invoice number. Now this is just chronological for me. Third is the name of the company that I'm dealing with.
And then is the project name. This is usually the name of the document they've sent to me, or some variation thereof. Here I've included Italian to English. You don't need to specify that if you don't want to just however you feel more comfortable. The next point is the email address the one I use to contact them. And then here you see price per unit units and the total owed the price per unit and the units can be included if you want.
Definitely include the total or at least I do and some times you won't have price per unit or units. If it's a set amount, say you agreed to do it for 100 bucks or something like that, then obviously, it's just the total load. After that you see the total paid, which if it hasn't been paid is blank. And however you see the payment due date, close by so you can easily see if the payment has been made by the due date or not. And as I mentioned, I do this for every client that I have. This is the first step I take.
In fact, as soon as I am assigned a new translation. It's only after this that I actually performed the translation. That's my step two after the translation is done, and usually at the end of that week, is when I'll check to see whether the client requires an invoice or not. If so, I'll send my invoice, the invoice template with a client and job details filled out. Don't worry, we'll get to the invoices soon. But I just wanted to let you know what my process is.
Now, this might seem like quite a bit of work to do, but first of all, well you get used to it. And it's actually quite satisfying, especially when you have a monthly total and you're happy. Adding to the total sum, you see where I have total owed and total paid. Well, I have a monthly total, that adds up all the jobs I have, and you know, it's quite satisfying to add to those numbers. But the main point for doing this is that you want to make invoicing as easy as possible. Otherwise, you might find yourself delaying the invoice process which is just stupid, quite frankly, you should never forget that you're doing this to provide yourself with a better life as in making money to live that life.
That is your first reason for doing this. Providing the world with better translated documents is the second reason you can just regard that as a nice bonus but first of all is to provide you with money so you can pay your bills. So take the time at the end of the day. To collect all the information you can, as well as to tally up the total amount you'll be earning, which again is always satisfying. And it's good to keep track of getting paid. Now you've got your translation job, and you've got the hang of the work, and you're doing great.
And that's awesome. It really is. But once again, remember that the goal of this whole process is to provide you with a paycheck. So we're going to discuss getting paid now. First of all, I should mention that translation providers are notoriously I really cannot emphasize that enough bad pain. Look, most of them are honest and even good people.
But for some reason, translation agencies seem to think that most market rules don't apply to them. And for example, you can check out the video just search on YouTube for the vendor client relationship in real world situations, and seriously as translators who've been at it for a number of years and get ready for some pretty weird stories. A brief quick example also, I was once hired by an agency for a translation at a certain price. And I did the translation, I delivered it on time, and the agency was happy. Later on that week, however, the agency sent an email to us because it was a group of us who were performing translations for them, and said, okay, the end client was very happy with the translation. So we'd like to make them even more happy and offer a discount, how about cutting 10% from your prices, so we can make them happier for future jobs?
Seriously, they seriously asked this and I mean, obviously, no one agreed to it, but you will be approached with odd things like this. So just keep that in mind. But the most common thing that you'll see, however, is to have payday come and go and emails that you send them for payment will be ignored. And then finally, when you do get a reply, it'll say something along these lines. As you can see, I Actually copied this from an actual email I got so the typos in the bad grammar are not mine. But I should say that this was after my fifth email asking why payment with over two weeks late I think and this is the total amount of explanation I had to go with.
And and by the way, this client had even added me on Facebook and given me her phone number. So this wasn't the client obviously thought that this would be an acceptable response. By the way, that last word there said it's supposed to say sorry, I know it says sortie but as I said, All spelling mistakes are not mine. However, however, however, before you run off back to the nine to five world, I should set your mind at ease. While clients do come up with ridiculous excuses and practices and stories. You can certainly deal with these.
If you have a steadfast demeanor and you make sure that your back is covered. In other words, there are ways of dealing with this and making sure you minimize the number of times that you have issues. The first thing to be mentioned, then the main point here is escrow. You should use an escrow service. Absolutely use an escrow service, if at all possible. If you're using websites like Upwork, then you have to use their escrow service, which is great.
Some websites offer optional escrow services, which you should always opt for as well. Now, the websites are going to take a percentage whenever you use these services, but they are worth it. Trust me, if nothing else for your peace of mind, in case you're unsure about the process, this is how escrow services work. First of all, the client pays the full amount in advance to a third party either a bank or financial branch of some company. And once this is done, the escrow is funded and you usually get a notification now, this notification will also show a certain deadline, after which the money is sent to you. During this time, the money is being held by the escrow service, which once again is not your client.
But it's also not you It is literally a third party. Now the deadline that is set should usually coincide more or less with the due date of your job. So at this point, you can start working with peace of mind on your job and deliver the job to the client. Once you have delivered, the score is released, and then it's sent to you, either upon completion or usually upon approval. Now I know what you're thinking. And obviously, if there's a problem with the work or the client says there is a problem with the work, the client may then opt to block the release of the funds.
But this does not mean that the client gets the money back. So keep that in mind. It's not that the client can just decide, oh, no, I've changed my mind and they get their money back. That's not how it works. This only means that the client would Then have to give an explanation to the company holding the money in escrow. So Upwork, calm or whatever other website, they will have to explain why they don't want to pay you and you have to offer an explanation you can offer your side of the story as well.
The escrow company will then decide how to proceed itself. While this can be an issue, I've actually never encountered this problem personally. So I won't go into further detail about it because I don't think it's that big of a problem. Once the money is put into escrow, you will usually get paid unless you don't perform the job. And in which case, then, you won't get paid and the money will revert back to the original client. Here's some other tips to keep in mind when worrying or wondering about getting paid by a potential or future client.
First of all, collect as much information as you can. If you follow the steps that I just listed before, then this should pretty much be completed. You have all the information You need to trace the client in case they try to disappear. Once again, you want to do this before a problem occurs, and before they try to start deleting their information or changing stuff around. Secondly, ask for partial payments. Now, once again, for new clients, especially for big jobs, you should feel absolutely free to ask for a partial payment.
This payment can even be just a small percentage, but the willingness to pay shows a great deal. Most payment methods give you an immediate notification. So even if you don't have the money in your bank account, you get a notification from your bank or PayPal or whatever that the money is being sent to you. And if they don't, you can still ask for proof of payment from the client. And this should be enough to at least start with your job. I know these could technically be forged, but I have yet to hear about a client who goes that far.
Another step is to password protect your files. However, remember, this is not foolproof. So you may end up just annoying and honest provider. In fact, you can find programs and tutorials on YouTube teaching you how to hack into a password protected file. That's how easy it is. However, chances are most people don't know how to do this, especially people working in corporations and whatnot.
So if you're afraid you're dealing with a slacker client who might get a bit too lazy and never send a payment over a password protected file could be the kick they need to realize they better hurry up. If however, you want an example where a password protected file did not work, then you can check in the documents. And I have a personal example of mine where I did password protect the file but it didn't work. So remember, this is not foolproof. Now number four is to look out for red flags. The first and main red flag to look out for all the time is a non company email.
And this means something such as a Yahoo or gmail address or a hotmail address, etc, etc. If a company is contacting you, they better have a damn good reason for not using their company email address. So if they're not, you should ask them why not. However, also remember that private individuals might contact you at any point as well. So don't discount a Yahoo or Gmail address correspondence right away. However, if they only have a web address, it's probably wise to ask for something else like references or partial payment up front or at least a phone number, etc, etc.
Just so you have a way of tracing them and of contacting them later on. In the next section, we will deal with invoices