The “Ambiguous” Client
This client uses vague terms or terms that have more than one possible meaning to describe their project. The problem with the ambiguous client is that unless you pay careful attention, what they define as a “simple translation” can prove to be a translation from difficult to read fax copies of Power Point slides instead of an electronic Word file.
The “Manipulative” Client
Many clients feel that each transaction has to be a power struggle. When you accept a project from the manipulative client, you will find that the client feels this entitles them to a thousand and one little extras that were not detailed in the work agreement for the translation project.
The “Reactive” Client
The reactive client wants you to be their counselor as well as their freelance translator. They constantly interrupt your work, bringing in new aspects to the work assignment based on the current events of their life, i.e., they are experiencing personal financial problems, which means that they cannot pay you on schedule or they want you to discount your price.
The “Temperamental” Client
When you work with a temperamental client, there will be the frustration that comes with constant changes in the project description. Maybe it starts off with the end use of the translation, or it could be format output or even the deadline. This client makes it impossible to work in a consistent manner because they cannot make a firm decision.
The “Instant Amnesia” Client
The work agreement was created with this type of client, who will give you instructions regarding the work and then when they see the result of their instructions is not to their liking, will immediately develop “instant amnesia”; saying they don’t remember giving the instructions.
Make sure your definition of the terms, scope of work, delivery format and date are in writing to avoid the problems these types of clients can bring you.
Freelance Translators How To Get Jobs From A Client – Now And Always
With the growing competition in the freelance translation market, you have to be aware of how the big picture relates to your situation and goals.
There are some freelance translators who try to be all things to all clients, thinking that this will bring them future jobs or more direct referrals. However, although client types are as varied as freelance translators, it is to your advantage to develop a profile of your marketable skills and research the segment of the market where these skills are most in demand.
With the creation of your profile, specialization is easier. If you concentrate your freelance translation on computer technology, with each successful project completion, you are adding to your knowledge and experience on the subject-one of the key factors most clients use when selecting a freelance translator.
It is very important to be able to stand in the shoes of client. Many freelance translators devote a lot of their time and energy to finding and securing projects, but once the project is completed, they lose out on referrals because they fail to request feedback from the client and maintain contact with them.
Develop a customer care strategy for each phase of the process and make your concern for customer satisfaction clear when you are promoting your freelance translator services. Make sure you focus on what the client needs from you in the work arrangement; some clients want daily updates and others are content to wait and review the project once it has been completed.
Once you have delivered the freelance translation project to the client, remember to thank them for their business, ask them for their comments on the experience and suggestions to improve your service.
Gaining a reputation as an experienced, skilled freelance translator who also provides excellent customer care will bring you the long term business relationships and referrals that you need to increase your income.
The process of gaining the confidence of a client is only the beginning of building a successful business relationship. Once you’ve secured your first freelance translation client, your marketing moves to a new level. Now the emphasis is on providing excellent customer service; you must show your client that their satisfaction is your top priority. This will help open the door of repeat business and referrals for you.
After the agreement is made for the translation work, start off on the right foot with a clearly written work agreement that outlines the nature of the work the translation client wants you to perform, when the work is to be delivered to the client, the format and the amount of compensation you will receive.
Establish your communication channels, ask your translation client what method they prefer, i.e., telephone, e-mails, instant messenger and/or fax. Make note of your clients’ time zone and confirm with them what time is best for them to discuss or receive information about their project. You will find the World Clock Meeting Planner tool at: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html is an excellent coordination tool.
Ask your client how they want to communicate about the project. Depending on the size of the translation project, some clients may want an update every day or every week. In addition, you need to know how they want to receive their updates, some clients want to drafts of their projects at each stage, others prefer to review the entire project at once. You should decide whether or not you charge for revisions to the translation and include this information in your work agreement.
When you have received your payment, make sure to send a thank you note and provide a customer satisfaction feedback form that should include an area where they can provide referrals.