The summer months – particularly August – can be a quiet time for freelance translators. Many clients take breaks to spend time with family and friends and to see more of the world over the summer. This often means a seasonal dip in income for freelance translators. However, summer can also be the perfect time to grow your translation career. Here’s how.
If you find that you have less demand from clients during the summer months, then plan to use that time wisely. You can boost your skills through online courses, catching up with the latest industry knowledge and addressing areas where you aren’t as strong. Sitting in the sunshine and reading a book on marketing or financial skills for freelancers means you can enjoy some peaceful time outside over the summer while also improving your business acumen and your approach to freelancing.
You could also use the summer to explore expanding your services to include a specialist area of translation. Offering medical translation or legal translation can both expand your client base and boost your income, as you can charge higher rates for these more specialised services.
Or why not attend a conference to network and boost your skills? Pick somewhere overseas and you can combine the event with a holiday to really make the most of your travel.
Lowered demand from clients also means you have time to focus on activities like marketing, which often get pushed aside during busy periods. Use the summer months to revamp your website and make sure that any new skills and qualifications you have gained are listed clearly for clients (and potential clients) to see.
Summer is also a great time to write a marketing plan if you don’t already have one. If you do, then spend some time revisiting it to make sure you’re on track and updating it where necessary.
Many clients are away over the summer months, but so are many translators and therein lies an opportunity for you to find new clients. Translation is a competitive industry and summer can be a great opportunity to reach out to those who have yet to discover your fantastic translation service.
Companies often have urgent translation needs that they can’t plan ahead for. If their usual freelance translator is away, they will need someone else to undertake the work for them. Brush up on your networking tips in advance of the summer slowdown in order to jump on any opportunities as soon as they arise. You can also undertake additional marketing activity to ensure that your name is fresh in the minds of companies who might need translation assistance over the summer.
The summer is also a great time to get in touch with translation agencies to enquire about work. Agencies may well find themselves short of translators over the summer, as many of their usual translators take time off for holidays. By introducing yourself to agencies at this time, you could pick up a new source of work that starts as cover for the summer but ends up turning into a longer term arrangement.
The quiet of the summer months also means you can tackle all those little tasks that haven’t had time to get round to. Whether it’s finding cheaper indemnity insurance, revising your invoice template or tidying up your client database, ticking those outstanding tasks off your list will result in you running a smoother, more efficient service, which in itself can serve to benefit your freelance translation career.
What have you done so far over the summer months to help grow your translation career? And what else do you have planned before the summer is over? Share your thoughts via the comments.
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