This time I want to talk about the differences in working as a freelance translator with a translation agency versus working with a direct client.
In my experience, you can have a good working experience with both, but there are some important differences.
Let’s do pros and cons lists for both!
Pros of working with a translation agency:
- Usually, they are big companies with experience in the field.
- They tend to be more trustworthy when it comes to payments (there are exceptions) and offer several payment methods.
- Their client portfolio can include important corporations that prefer to work with agencies than directly with a translator.
- Some agencies are a big deal in the industry, and if you manage to work with at least one of them, it can be a great addition to your resumé.
Cons of working with agencies:
- They tend to pay really low rates because the biggest part of the clients’ payments is for them.
- They take longer to pay. Normally, agencies can take from 30 to 60 days to pay, which is quite a lot of time, especially if this is your only income.
- Sometimes you might get to work with a difficult PM or with different PMs for each project, which can create doubt and confusion.
Pros of working with direct clients:
- Their rates are better because there is no middle-man involved.
- They can pay faster, some pay within days of receiving the translation, it depends on their internal payment procedures.
- You get to work directly with the person who needs the translation, so the communication is much more direct and flows with ease.
- They tend to offer long-term projects, that in the end are way more convenient than a bunch of little projects here and there.
Cons of working with direct clients:
- They might not respect your “working hours”. If they need to tell you something they consider urgent, they probably write or call you at any time of the day, even during the weekends.
- Sometimes, if they are not familiar with how translation works, they might ask for really ridiculous deadlines. Who hasn’t had a client asking for an “urgent” translation for “today” at 5 pm on a Friday? 😉
- You have to do some research to see if they are reliable, especially when it comes to payments. You can ask colleagues who have worked with them or even asked them for references (if they ask you for references, you can do the same!).
- If your primary contact is not familiar with your work, you might find it hard to make them understand why the project would take as long as it would and why the cost is what it is.
There are many more pros and cons, I am just presenting a short version of it, but if you can you think of any other important pros and cons, let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, have a great day and I cannot wait to hear all about you! Remember to subscribe to my blog!