When should you make clients aware of your fees? Should you advertise your translation rates on your website and social media profiles? After all, letting clients know how much you charge upfront will give them an idea of your fees before contacting you. Or should you wait until you’ve engaged your prospective client in conversation before you reveal your rates?
This Translators’ Hub post will lay out the pros and cons of each approach, and take a look what could be a good middle ground for freelance translators.
The advantages of publishing your rates
Advertising your rates on your website has a number of advantages. You’ll know that potential clients who make contact with you are open to accepting (or at least considering) your desired fees, which should make closing a deal somewhat easier.
Moreover, if you publish your rates online you will reduce the number of clients who contact but then decide against hiring you when they disagree with your rates. After all, time equals money, and spending time communicating with a handful of clients only to have them reject your services at the last minute is a waste of both.
The Freelancery suggests that publishing fees is advantageous if you sell a service to people who only buy something from you on occasion. This is because your customers are unlikely to know exactly what they should be paying for such services, and if they see your website advertising a price point, whereas other websites don’t, then they’ll be interested in pursuing you. As a freelance translator, you possibly fall into the category of someone who only sells their service on occasion, so this could be an advantage.
The disadvantages of publishing your rates
However, publishing your rates online also comes with disadvantages. For example, if you manage to make contact with a client and engage them in conversation, then they’re less likely to turn you down and cease communicating with you than they would if they were to simply browsing your website.
Additionally, you might like to use a range of different rates for completing translations in different sectors or for different clients. And the type of document you’re tasked with translating necessitates price variation too (translating a complex legal document will be substantially more expensive than an informal blog post).
A happy medium?
As there are both advantages and disadvantages to publishing your fees online, perhaps it’s possible to find a happy medium between the two methods?
One way to do so could be to offer a general price range to give clients a rough idea of what you expect to charge. Then once they contact you, you can give a more accurate quotation for their translation.
Alternatively, you could list a range of different translation services and state that ‘prices vary between services’ and to ‘get in touch for an accurate quotation’. This will inform the client that they shouldn’t have a specific price in mind, but that getting in touch is welcomed. It also shows that you’re aware of your client’s need for a price and value them as an individual.
How do you prefer to inform clients of your prices? Do you publish your fees online, or do you wait until you establish contact with a particular client first? Why do you prefer your method, and has this article made you rethink your approach?