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How To Become a Successful Freelance Interpreter

8 April 2024

How To Become a Successful Freelance Interpreter

Becoming a successful freelance interpreter doesn’t just happen overnight, it requires a combination of language skills, professionalism, and organisation methods to stay productive. These are some of things you will want to consider in your journey to becoming a successful freelance interpreter;

Networking as a Freelance Interpreter

You may have heard the phrase «your network is your net worth» before. Although not coherently true, your network is one of the most powerful resources you can have. Through peer to peer networking, you open yourself up to new opportunities whether that be events to attend or recommended jobs. By connecting with potential clients, you place yourself at the forefront of their mind when they’re looking to hire a freelance interpreter in the future. Start networking now, you can never have too many contacts that know what you do and how well you do it.

Online activity

Besides networking you should definitely consider your online availability. Be sure to create profiles on all popular social media and make them look professional. Create accounts on most popular platforms for translators and interpreters, such as Proz.com and Translators’ Cafe. Your website could be a good asset too. Online activity not only shows your professional attitude to what you do, but these resources might become a source of new projects. Sometimes there might be too many of them — in this case you will need help from Freelanly.com, which gathers translation and interpretation projects from different online sources and combines them in one place.

Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

As a professional that speaks multiple languages, some freelance interpreters think this is all that’s required to be successful. However, cultural sensitivity and awareness is a huge part of the role. This may seem like an obvious one to experienced freelance interpreters, but it can often be overlooked, especially if you’re new to the linguist professional community. By ensuring you’re aware of cultural nuances, you’re elevating your professional skills as a freelance interpreter.

Specialise in Specific Industries

Although it’s good to have a diverse range of topics and industries you can cover as a freelance interpreter, it’s important to develop expertise in specific niche industries or fields such as legal, medical, or technical interpretation. Going a step further to specialise in certain industries, enhances your knowledge and makes you a sought-after professional in that niche.

Remember that success in freelance interpreting looks different to everybody. The reasons you became a freelancer will be different to the next person. However, being successful in booking jobs is not just about language proficiency but also about professionalism and adaptability. Aim to continuously refine your skills and stay committed to providing excellent service to your clients.

If you’re new to freelancing or starting out as a freelance interpreter, you may find this blog post helpful: Ten Tips to Help You Land Your First Client.

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