Do What You Love

Hello everyone!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, but I don’t want to write about couples and significant others, I want to talk about doing what you love and loving what you do.

Not all of us get the opportunity to do what we love, at least not all the time. This means that we often have no choice but to settle for whatever is available.

And this might work for a while, but sooner rather than later we realize that we can’t be completely happy and fulfilled unless we get to do what we love most in the world!

So, the first step is to figure out what we love to do. What is our passion? What is that thing that we can see ourselves doing for the rest of our lives? Is it writing? Designing? Translating? It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is to make it happen.

I know… many times that means to take a leap of faith but we shouldn’t settle for anything else! We’re talking about our future happiness and that’s a big deal.

Depending on your passion, you should start a plan that leads you to it. It could be something simple like if you have a full-time job that you settled for, start doing what you love during your free time.

Once you position yourself in the market and start getting more clients and work, try to transition to a part-time job. And when you feel completely ready to take the leap… just go for it!

It won’t be easy, it’ll require big sacrifices and lots of hard work but if you believe in yourself and in your passion, don’t let anything slow you down or stop you.

Yes, having a job it’s important, making money matters, but why not have all of that by doing what you love to do? Just knowing that every morning when you wake up you’ll get to do what you love, it will make you not only very happy but also highly productive.

You might want to read my previous post Why Am I a Translator? to find out more about my passion.

We all perform better when we’re happy, and that happiness will spread to all the aspects of your life!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day, but don’t forget to love yourself and what you do.

I can’t wait to read your comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to be among the first ones to know when I publish a new post!

XX

 

 

 

3 Tips for Freelance Translators

Hello everyone!

This time I want to give you some tips I’ve learned along the way about being a freelance translator.

I probably don’t have the answers to everything, but I thought I could give some advice, from my own experience to those struggling to be freelance translators.

One of the first things you need to learn as a freelance worker (translator or otherwise), is to be disciplined, primarily if you work from home. The transition from working in an office to working at home can be difficult if you don’t commit yourself to a routine.

So, let’s talk a bit more about discipline:

You need to set a schedule. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you can slack around. Establishing a program will help you commit to your work.

Avoid distractions. You are bound to get distracted when working at home, so you need to find a private space where you can focus. You should also keep away any distractions like your phone (for no business-related matters), tablets, games, etc.

Make sure you have everything you need in your space. This will help you avoid more distractions by getting up and look for something and you end up being gone for more time than you should have.

Now let’s move to being organized.

Before you start your day, make sure that you have a plan for it. I know things can change out of nowhere, but having a schedule helps you to accommodate better anything that was not planned for the day.

What are your tasks for each day? What should you accomplish by the end of the week? Writing all this down will make you feel you have more control over your work and your goals. You can do this on your computer calendar, or if you prefer, in a notebook.

By the end of the week, you should go through your daily and weekly plans. Mark as done those you accomplished, and make sure to reschedule the ones that you weren’t able to meet for the next week. This won’t take long and it will help you stay focused on your goals.

My third and final tip, for today, is being persistent.

Set your goals and your plan to achieve them. This will help you to figure out what actions you need to take.

Starting in this business is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, rejections, and failures, but you will learn a lot from this, and you need to turn the negative things into positive learnings.

Don’t give up. Sometimes, especially when you’re not landing any projects, you’ll undoubtedly feel like quitting. But this happens to everyone. It occurred to me, and now I can assure you that my persistence paid off.

I might return with more tips; in the meantime, I hope you find these helpful. Also, check out my blog posts about What Not to Do with Clients and How to Say No

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post and what content you’d like to see in my blog. Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.

XX

 

New Year’s Resolutions

Hello everyone!

I’m back!

I must say I had an excellent social media hiatus and now I’m back with more energy than ever to start #2020!

Of course, as the new year starts, everyone talks about their resolutions. What they will accomplish that weren’t able to do last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, etc.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions because sometimes you can create expectations that are too high, and you’ll never be able to accomplish them, which will only lead to frustration.

If I’m going to make any resolutions, I want them to be as close to reality as possible and to be attainable.

So, here is my attempt at five simple new year’s resolutions:

  1. Keep my full-time job by doing my very best work, improving myself and always being open to learning new things I can help with.
  2. Continue to grow my business by networking with more potential clients and not depend only on what I have now.
  3. Make more connections, not just through social media but also face to face. We’re so used to all the electronic media available that we forget that real people are on the other end, people we should meet and connect with.
  4. Read more books! Not just about my field, but about any subject I find interesting and helpful, both personally and professionally. And keep on learning!
  5. Get rid of the negativity! Whether it comes from within me or from the outside, make sure to get it out of my life and focus on the positive side of things.

What do you think? Not that bad?

I think that if I keep it short and simple, I have better chances of achieving them. It is better to concentrate on a couple of doable things than on dozens of things we’ll never have time to reach.

What about you? Are you making any resolutions this year? If so, which ones? Feel free to share them in the comments; I’d love to hear about them.

This is it for today; I wish you all the best for this year! Be strong and never give up on your dreams! You can accomplish anything you put your mind and energy into!

Until next time, take care and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.

XX

The Holidays Are Here!

Hi everyone!

I cannot believe it is that time of the year again! The holidays are almost here!

And besides it being a time to celebrate and spend time with your loved ones, it is also a time to reflect on what was this year like for us.

I mean, it’s not just a year that’s ending, it’s a whole decade!! So, we should reflect on the last ten years of our lives, and that’s a lot of time!

But I think it’s worth doing.

Ten years ago, I was very comfortable with a nice administrative job. I made good money, my bosses were great, and although there were times when my work would get me really stressed out, it wasn’t all the time.

I drove to the office and back. The traffic got worse and worse as the years went by and driving like that was literally affecting me physically. I had back pains all the time, driving in that madness got me more stressed than work, which was terrible!

Not everything was terrible, though. I made some of my best friends during that period, friends I’m still in touch with and who are essential in my life.

A decade ago, I never would have thought that I would become not just a freelance translator but an entrepreneur by the end of the decade. If someone had told me that, I would have thought they were crazy!

It’s funny how our lives can change so much in just a few years. Now, I can’t believe I stayed at that job for so long! Yes, it was good and comfy, but it wasn’t fulfilling my career or my life.

When I think about all the good and bad decisions I made in the decade, I don’t regret any of them. I learned from all of them, even the bad ones. They shaped me into the woman I am today.

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So, as the holidays get closer and closer, I have nothing but gratitude for where I am today, for having my family’s support and doing what I love the most.

I hope this holiday season is fantastic for you and your loved ones!

This is my last blog post of the year and the decade, so see you in 2020!!

Until then, take care and let me know how you are spending the holidays.

XX

 

Why Am I a Translator?

Hi everyone!

Recently, someone contacted me to ask what my experience has been as a translator because she wants to study translation, but she’s having second thoughts.

After reading this DM, I started thinking about why I became a translator and my journey to where I am today as a freelance translator.

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I graduated as a translator and interpreter many years ago. I wanted a full-time job as a translator, but I couldn’t find anything locally, and back then being a “freelancer” wasn’t very popular. In those days, we didn’t have social media or too many translators’ platforms to find work from home.

So, I gave up on my dream of working full-time as a translator and started working in several administrative positions in different companies, and I was a translator just during my “free time” like it was a hobby. The experience I got from those jobs was significant, I learned so much… But after a while, I would always end up getting really tired of doing what I was doing, and I would go off to find a new job in the same field.

About a couple of years ago, it finally hit me… I’m not doing what I love, that’s why after a while I get so sick and tired of these administrative jobs, I have to do something about it! And I finally made the decision to quit my last administrative job, which was a good one, and took the risk of starting a new career as a freelance translator.

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It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure! There were moments when I thought it was better to stop trying and find another 9 to 5 administrative job. It took me a lot of hard work, self-doubt, desperation, and sacrifices to finally get my first full-time job as a freelance translator. Also, I am working with great clients who pay very well for other smaller projects.

Nowadays, social media and translators/freelancers’ platforms like ProZ.com, Upwork, etc., helped me a lot to network with clients and get projects to work on. They have also helped me to earn a reputation as a professional and reliable translator.

So, going back to the DM I got, I wrote back asking her if translating is her passion. Is she willing to take all the necessary risks and make all the sacrifices needed to succeed in this business, where there’s so much competition? If her answer is yes, then she should go for it!

Translating is my passion! I could not see myself doing anything else for the rest of my life. This is why I am a translator, and I could never go back to boring jobs that don’t fulfill my dreams.

What was your journey like? Was it easy or not to make the decision to follow your dream? I’d love to hear your comments and remember to subscribe to my blog!

Until next time, have a wonderful time!

XX

 

 

 

How to Say No

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about how to say NO.

As a freelance translator, I know how difficult it is to say no to a project or a client.

When we begin in this business, we can’t afford to say no to any work, otherwise, how are we going to find and keep clients? But many of those first projects are paid at very low rates or have tight deadlines and we drive ourselves crazy trying to accommodate.

After a while, if you are lucky, you begin to get more clients and more projects, some of which will bring a better payment.

So, you need to prioritize, which clients are bringing more work at better-paid rates? Or which projects are the ones that pay the best?

close up photography of woman sitting beside table while using macbook
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Here is when you will need to start saying no. Either because the rates offered are too low compared to how much other clients are paying you, or because the deadline is ridiculous.

Has it ever happened to you that you are asked by a client to complete a project, the same day, but they send it to you at 4:55 pm of that day, offering a low rate per word or per project?

You’d probably say yes and keep on working until late to get it done and sent. But when your business starts to grow, you also have to think about which and how many projects you can actually take, and which ones work best for you.

I know many people say you shouldn’t say no, but sometimes you have no choice. Saying no is not a bad thing, as long as you are very polite about it and you explain why you cannot meet the requirements.

It is not about getting in a fight with a client, it is about charging what you deserve to make for a certain project, especially if it comes with a tight deadline. You can say no or you can say, “I can do it, but I will need to charge you an extra fee for rush delivery or for a weekend surplus.”

I try not to take on projects during the weekend because it is the only time I have to spend with my family and with myself! Also, it is when I can run errands and do other stuff that I don’t have time to do during the week.

Also, I don’t take on long projects that have a 24-hour deadline. I know I won’t have enough time to finish it and proofread it, or if I do, I know it will be a rushed work that I won’t be happy with.

Of course, may clients say, “But it is not so many words, why can’t you deliver them earlier?” or “I thought you were available 24/7?”

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I love my work as a freelance translator, but that should not mean that I cannot have any sleep or that I always have to feel like I’m not going to meet a deadline.

Your health and your sanity will thank you for taking the necessary time to take care of yourself. If you are feeling great, your work will also be great.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t make exceptions for loyal clients, but you have to learn when and how you can make these exceptions.

What has your experience been like? Can you say no? Let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

Until next time, have a wonderful day!

XX

 

 

 

Instagram Partnerships

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about Instagram partnerships.

First, what do I mean by “partnership”? I mean, working with a company that pays you to post some of their material on your feed.

I don’t use the word “influencer”, because to be one on IG, you need more than 10,000 followers and the posts become “sponsored” ones.

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Partnerships, is for those accounts with less than 1,000 followers, like me. I am close to 500 followers, not a lot in comparison to a true influencer, and this is why I was so surprised about a DM I got.

It was from a translation agency, and they pretty much told me how impressed they are with my posts and want to work with me to post some of their material so it reaches my followers.

I said I was surprised, because this is the first message of this kind that I have received since I opened my IG business account, and also because they were asking for fees…and I had no idea about what to answer!!

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Thank God for contacts! I immediately asked a very famous IG marketing expert and influencer, @elisedarma, if she could help me. And she sent me a link to a blog she wrote about this subject, which included a calculator to know how much you should charge someone for each post, depending on how many followers you have.

I also searched the internet for further information. I read that it was important, before discussing fees, to ask the client what their budget is for this project and what exactly do they need me to do.

Would they send me the material, ready to be posted or would I have to do some sort of designing? How many times per week was I expected to post their material? Did they want a regular picture/video post or a story, or both? Or is it just a one-time thing?

So, I asked the client that, and right now it is all about discussing the details.

I’m not sure if something will come out of this, but whenever I heard people say that you can actually make money from Instagram, I thought they were crazy and that it wasn’t possible…but now I see how it can happen!

I know I won’t be making buckets of money with such a small number of followers, but if one company has reached out, and if it works for them, this could mean that other companies could approach me to provide them with the same service.

This has nothing to do with translation, but I am always open-minded about learning new things and working on new kinds of projects.

Have you ever done work like this? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear about your stories and how this form of partnership has worked out for you.

Don’t forget to leave your comments and follow my blog…I promise you won’t regret it!

Until next time…Happy Halloween!!

XX

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Agency vs Direct Client

Hello everyone!

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!

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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.
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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!

 

 

International Translation Day 2019

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe that once again the International Translation Day (ITD) it’s just around the corner, this September 30th! I remember when I first wrote about it last year:

https://translationexpert.blog/2018/09/27/international-translation-day/

So, that blog post is from last year, and this is my second year writing about the ITD, but what has changed during this period?

Thankfully, a lot! A year ago I was still struggling to find new clients and, therefore, more work.

Right now, I am happy to share that I am working with my first direct client in years, and it seems it will be a long-term project. I work every day on it, and it feels so good to actually be working as a translator all day long.

There is another long term project that I might participate in, as an editor. So, definitely, a year has brought many changes.

But it hasn’t been just time. Since May of this year, I have been working hard trying to position my brand in social media. I am thrilled that I’m finally starting to get results!!

This year’s celebration of the International Translation Day has a lot more meaning to me now. The fact that I am finally working full-time as a translator, fills me with utter joy!

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And I will continue to work as hard as I have, and even harder, to not lose these amazing results.

There’s still a lot I can do to get more clients, and I will not stop until I have a non-stop flow of work, which I believe is the aim of any freelance translator. It is mine, for sure!

Looking back a year, how would you say things are going for you now? Are things better or not?

Please, share your thoughts with me and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, so you can receive my most recent posts right in your inbox!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY!!!

Followers: Quality or Quantity?

Hello everyone!

I recently reached 400 followers on my Instagram business account.

This small milestone got me thinking about what matters the most when it comes to followers: quality or quantity?

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Obviously, if you want your personal brand to stand out in social media, you need to hit a certain amount of followers, around a 1,000 to actually “make it” in the business.

But how many of those followers are actually following you because they like your content and they deem it important?

That is more difficult to say. No algorithm let us know that. And with a public account is easier to get followed by just anyone.

I would say that at least half of my 400 followers don’t have a clue why they are following me. Maybe a friend of theirs is following me, maybe they thought that by following my account they would get an immediate following to theirs.

Right now, people are trying everything to become popular on social media, so it would not be surprising that they follow just to be followed. They do not care about your content and brand, they only care about adding up their followers’ number.

And let us not talk about the followers who think Instagram and other social media are a dating app. I cannot stress enough how many messages I have received on my business account from “thirsty boys”.

Of course, I am always professional and answer that they are contacting a business account and if it’s not business what they are looking for, then they should move on. That means fewer followers, but that is not the kind of followers I want, do you?

There are important things to take into account when you choose who you’ll follow on your business account, to make sure they follow you back:

  1. Make sure they are in the same industry as you. This will help you to network with fellow freelancers, in my case translators.
  2. Check their profile page, does it look like a real account or maybe a fake one? Do they have any posts or none, but lots of followers? If it looks fishy, don’t follow back!
  3. Interact with your followers, especially with those who have shown they like your posts by liking them! Always answer the comments you receive, and comment on your followers’ posts!

I think we all would like to have more quality followers than a huge quantity of not-real-followers, but that is very hard to achieve, so let’s work with what we have!

What about you? What do you think about this? What are your followers like?

Don’t be shy and leave your comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Until the next time…have a wonderful day!