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Some Strategies for Starting Out

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Transcript

Today we're going to discuss some other points to keep in mind in terms of starting strategies. We'll start with a personalized introduction. Now, after a potential client lists a potential job and hears back from translators, so probably be sifting through like 10 to 30 different introductions. So here, you'll want to make sure that your introduction stands out, and for the right reasons. Now, there are various ways of accomplishing this. Some people recommend rewriting your introduction for each new job offer.

But in my experience, this is the quickest way to ensure that you will never want to apply for another job again, especially after your 20th application or so. Remember, if the clients are receiving about, say, 30 applications for every job offer, they will only choose one out of the 30. So yes, you may be sending out 20 applications or 30 or even more before you hear back from everyone and that is a surefire way to achieve burnout. On the other hand, you can't just copy and paste your same application to every new job, since this will guarantee that the potential client will send your application to the very bottom of the heap. After all, if you aren't willing to put in the effort of applying, why should they bother putting in the effort of checking into your credentials? So what is the solution?

Well, as with anything else, it's better to combine the best options of each choice. Let's say as an example that your main specializations are business and legal translations. In this case, I would set up three templates, one for business translations, one for legal translations, and a third for all other translations. On this page, I will show a generic example of a possible template for Italian to Italian to English legal translation offers. This is a variation of what I've used quite effectively for several years. The Parson read should be filled out specifically for each client I tend to leave these in caps and in a different color on my templates, since it's a glaring, extremely obvious reminder for me to fill in these fields.

First of all, as you can see the name, if you don't have a name for the client, just write Hello, don't use the agency's name or even worse to whom it may concern, it's fine to just write Hello if you aren't sure about the name. The second part in red should restate what the client wants. So usually this will be the name of their requests such as 10 page court of paddle a document or something. Once again, if there is no real usable name, you can just stick with legal translation here as well. This third part should mention the job you've performed which is most similar to the one being requested. So for examples, documents for the court of patois or something like that, something that is somewhat similar to what's being requested.

Now if you notice right under this, I follow this with with what I think will be the most impressive part of my generic experience describing how I'm a published author in both languages, I say generic experience, because I use this as a template for any different clients, right? So I can show that I'm a published author, author for these two publications. And then I entrench my credentials by stating that I'm fully bilingual, after which I tried to establish his trust factor by providing a link to my profile where they can always find me. And yes, I always provide the same proz.com profile no matter where I'm applying to, whether it's through the pros website or another website. Now it's only toward the end that I state my rate. As you can see right here, obviously, the price per word might change depending on various factors such as the subject matter, the length, the type of document, the deadline, and obviously how desperate you are for work.

At the end, there's just a polite salutation and at the very bottom, I add a Another factor of trust or that's the way I see it with a link to my about me website, as well as the ETA listing, I call all these factors of trust, because it shows that they can find me on the worldwide web anytime they want. I'm not just some fly by night person who calls himself a freelance translator. And also I won't disappear very easily if I'm in so many places, online and including a proz.com profile, which I obviously paid for, and an American translator, so it's translated as Association listing, then it shows I'm at least somewhat serious about what I do. Now, this, of course, is only a template to be used as an example, I posted up here because it has worked quite well for me, but chances are, you will have your own strengths and you eat you may even have a better way of stating them.

The main point I want to emphasize here is to have a reason for stating everything you state in your introduction. A good way of doing this is to be able to give a reason for each sentence you write, ask yourself, does this phrase add anything that hasn't already been stated? If so, is it Something that will make the client more likely to hire me. These are the types of things you should have in mind. Also, keep in mind that it can be as personalized as you wish. The only limit is how much time you wish to dedicate to it.

In other words, you can have several templates for various types of legal translations. Or you can send some samples to potential clients or even without their having requested them. You could even send pictures if you imagine they will help or if someone says they need a precise translation, you can add that you are meticulous and have great attention to detail, etc, etc. onto some other points. Just a quick note about AI. Now I've been told that you should avoid using the word AI too much in your bio and rather use the word you I've been told this by more than one person and so that's why I thought I should mention it here.

This comes from a sales or marketing viewpoint. Where in using you connects you with the reader while I separate to you. I'm not sure how much how about into that, as you can see, I use the word AI several times in the in the introduction I had in the previous slide. I've tried to take it out a couple of times, but more often than not, the letter ends up sounding awkward, which is worse than causing some possible Psychological Association. I don't want to. So I'm not against the idea, but I would say just don't sacrifice form too much for it.

Using personalized vials offered by websites Now, many websites come with their own personalized bio templates, their personalized introduction templates, if you will, where you can just fill in the blanks, and then you already have an introduction you can send to potential clients, I highly recommend not using using these. Also don't use biographical bio and introduction examples that you find online, including the one that I listed in the other slide. Remember that many other translators are following the same steps you are and the best way to blend in with the crowd and to look like you put in very little effort and to be free forgotten, it's the sound just like everyone else. I'm not saying you should have some weird eye catching slogan just to stand out you want to come across. It's serious after all, but you do want to stand out at least enough for them to remember you.

So use your own words, you can use any pre written bio, including the one I provided as a starting point. But make sure your final piece of work is different enough so as not to be recognizable. Now, if you have made initial contact with a client, you might want to make sure about what you're getting into before actually accepting their translation job. So don't be afraid to ask questions. Some questions you might want to ask her how many words or pages are in this translation? Or maybe what is the deadline?

You might ask to see the document or at least a sample of it before starting out. Also what format it should be in if they send you a PDF. Are you supposed to send them the translation of Microsoft Word or also a PDF etc. And in case it helps, you can also ask Who is this translation for IE who is the end client? Is it an author? Is it an agency, or whatnot?

If you think it'll help, it doesn't hurt to ask any of these questions. And remember, if you agree to something over the phone, or over Skype, always ask for written confirmation, or for a payment order, you want something in writing, it doesn't have to be a contract, but it has to be in writing. Now, I hesitated very much before listing this, I'll call it a strategy of last resort. I only mentioned it because I know it has worked. I think you should be aware of it just also so you know that other people might be using it. I, I want to say that was not the one using it.

And the person who did use it asked me not to use his name. I'm not sure how ethical it is, and I'm pretty sure it violates some terms of service. But anyway, the story was that he had signed up for one of those websites, like Elance. It wasn't Elance It was another one that now doesn't exist anymore. So you can probably guess which one that it was as a freelance designer, he then went for a while without being awarded any jobs. And so what he decided to do was sign up for the same website, but using another name and another credit card.

He then essentially assigned himself a job. And so according to what he told me, he actually assigned himself a real job, he sent it to himself through the website, worked on it and completed his assignment and set it back. He said he actually performed the job because he wasn't sure how much of his actions would be observed by the website itself. So at the end of the job that his client self, let's say, actually paid his designer self, just to close off the transaction. So yes, he did a design job for himself and then he paid himself for that job, even losing some of the pay as Commission for the website. So why did he do this?

Mainly are the only reason is to give himself a track record. He was able to give himself a good rating for a complete job as well as use the completed job as part of his online portfolio. And, and he said then he had his first real job less than a week later. So a couple points about this. First of all, as I mentioned, I do not condone it. If you want to track record, I'm all in favor of getting easy points by doing a tedious job, even if it's not related to translations, like a detailed Google search for a client, let's say, or doing a job even for free for just a good rating.

Now, some people might see one of these or both of these is mildly unethical. So maybe I'm just nitpicking here, but to me, at least they're you're doing a job for someone else. Doing a job for yourself seems to be crossing some sort of line. Regardless, I included in here for your knowledge, as well as to show you how important these first few jobs really are. Because you really do need that track record to get going. But hopefully, you're able to get your first job by following one of the many strategies that I've listed here.

So at this point, congratulations is in order. You've now learned to starting strategies for how to To be a successful freelance translator

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