1. Your “Why”

Why do you want to choose this path? Is it the freedom, is it the lifestyle, the ability to choose your own niche, clients and working environment? Are you in it for the money, because you love languages or some other reason? Whatever it is, keep it close to your heart and be consistent to it.

core translation values

2. Your values

Will you work for low rates as a freelancer? Will you target humanitarian organizations as employers because you want to make a difference? Will you support organizations such as Translators Without Borders whenever you can? Do your research within you and around you and be aware of world issues and trends.

3. Your services

Decide what services you will begin by offering. It is OK if it is only one, for example translation into your native language. With time and experience you will probably find more things you like and are good at and will add them as services. Make sure to follow worldwide industry trends and news for inspiration.

The 7 things you need to know in order to become a successful translator

4. Your customers

Who is your “Ideal Customer”? Is it agencies, other companies, individuals, the state authorities? Tailor your services to their needs and you will become their invaluable partner. They say that it is better to create products for your clients than clients for your products.

5. Your competitors

Who is your competition? What do you bring to the table that they do not have? And how will your clients know about it. Try to gather testimonials as you work that show  your value and make you stand out.

how to become a successful translator

6. Your marketing

How will your clients find you? Where do they most usually “hang out”? Is it online, on some social media platform or in industry events? Think also how you will promote and sell your services, your online brand presence etc.

translation marketing

7. Your finances

You can’t run your business like a freelancer and expect results like a CEO they say and I couldn’t agree more. Try to keep detailed files of expenses and income, set financial goals and calculate operational expenses in a way to make your business sustainable and profitable.

translator financing

Need more help with any of the above? Send me an e-mail and we can talk more. Or book a 1:1 coaching session with me for more translation business info and tips.

Download the free e-book for a quick overview of what it means to be a professional translator in 2023.