Clients vary hugely and finding ‘good’ clients can make a massive difference to your working life. But what makes a good client and where are they hiding?
The best clients have a number of features in common. Firstly, they are clear in their instructions and fair in their expectations. They respect translation as a profession and appreciate the service that you provide, understanding that it is a skilled role that takes time to do well.
Great clients are also highly responsive. If you have a query, they respond almost immediately, enabling you to carry on working without having to wait hours – or even days – for a response.
And of course the best clients pay well. They pay decent rates and they pay on time, without you having to spend weeks chasing up their latest bill.
It can be tricky to find the best clients, but once you are on the trail it is possible to add more and more of them to your client base and gradually pare away those who are less good.
Start by always being ultra professional yourself. Show your clients that you care about each and every job they give you and that your skills are well worth the money they are paying you. The better you behave, the more your clients will be encouraged to behave well.
Once you have one great client, be sure to keep them happy in order that they remain a client for the long-term. You can also use this client as a means for accessing other, like-minded ones. Offer the client a referral bonus if he or she refers an acquaintance to you. If the client is friends or colleagues with like-minded individuals then you may find that a steady stream of best clients has suddenly been tapped in to.
For freelance translators who use online job portals, you can also use the feedback function to track down which clients will be best to work with. Check out what other freelancers have said about working for each client and then seek to engage those who are the most highly rated.
How have your picked up your best clients? Do you have any tips to help others do the same? Let us know via the comments.
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