These are strange times for everyone, all around the world. The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads rapidly, making the imposed (but necessary) confinement last (as it seems) for months. This recent global health crisis is affecting everyone’s physical and mental health as well as the economy, especially the freelancers, in this case the translators, who do not have steady income streams.

However, there is no need to lose our head over it. We should instead try to stay positive and look out for alternatives for our business.

First of all, our health and the limitation of exposure to the virus should be our primary concern. In any case, this “work-from-home” scenario does not seem new to translators, as most of us have been already working from home. But, this crisis sets new standards for us and our business to adapt to, such as the lack of new translation projects. So, how will our translation business survive this COVID -19 epidemic?

To begin with, you may be wondering if you should market your business in the midst of crisis and financial uncertainty. As Madalena Zampaulo states on her website, we need to look at the whole picture. We have to understand that while some businesses and customers are facing problems due to the pandemic, it does not necessarily mean that everyone is facing the same problems. Thus, try to get in touch with clients that you think might still be needing your services.

freelance translation business
  1. Focus on improving your communication skills. For example, ask your customers how they are doing, let them know that they can contact you for any new projects (related or not to the COVID-19) while avoiding any sales pitch.
  2. You have more time. Take advantage of it. Polish your résumé and complete any other online profile you have (LinkedIn, Proz, etc.). Enrich your CV by adding new experiences and skills that you may have acquired, add testimonials from your clients, delete the data that are no longer valid and update the ways in which your customers can contact you.
  3. Spend time on your business website. Now is the time to make any changes and to update your business website so that it clearly reflects your work online.
  4. Try to be creative. Think about new ways reaching out to clients after all this has passed.  Stay open to new opportunities even if they are temporary. To quote Madalena again, try to figure out which companies that really bloomed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis might need your help.
  5. You need a plan. You should have a plan:  by reviewing the previous year, setting new realistic goals for the new one and having deadlines can really grow your business. So, if you haven’t already done this, now’s the time.  Tess Whitty’s blog has a lot of resources on that topic. (

In any case, try to stay busy, be sure that this crisis, too will come to an end and people will go back to business as usual. Therefore, try not to be passive and pessimistic, waiting for new opportunities to come out of the blue.

In addition, as I have already mentioned the unprecedented situation that we are facing, has a negative impact both on physical and mental health. For this reason, keep yourself busy by doing something creative.

  1. Broaden your knowledge on your specialization. Watch webinars, listen to podcasts and other continuing professional development (CPD) programs online that are offered by Proz, LinkedIn, etc. You can even organize a webinar yourself and share your knowledge in a particular field through training or online learning platforms and make some money too.
  2. Work out. Keep your mind sharp but also exercise by watching online fitness programs.
  3. Or, you could just relax and spend time with your family. For example, you could watch online performances together:

In the end of the day, it’s necessary to keep our cool as much as possible despite the  health and economic crisis that is affecting all of us. Look at the bright side of the situation and make the time count for your business and of course yourselves.

business covid

This article was co-authored by Georgia Efthimiopoulou.