Friday, March 11, 2016

6 Tips for Freelance Translators Using Upwork, Part 2

On Wednesday, I shared my top two tips for using Upwork as a freelance translator. Today I've got four more tips, which will hopefully be of use to any new translators out there.

3. Don't waste your time applying to jobs without detailed descriptions.

There's a difference between job postings that are "short and sweet" and those that provide little to no information. It is not uncommon to find jobs on Upwork called "Spanish to English translation" with a description that merely reads "550 words". If the client doesn't care enough to tell you basic details like what type of text you'll be translating, you can be pretty sure that they're not going to pay you a decent wage.

Just keep your eye on the prize, like athlete
Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
4. Be wary of clients who ask you to send information via email instead of through Upwork.

While there's nothing wrong with discussing project details via email or Skype if that's easier for a client, some people out there use this technique to try to convince you to do the job off of the platform. In addition to being against Upwork's terms of use (since they obviously want to earn their fees), this also defeats the purpose of using a freelancing platform, which provides you some peace of mind when it comes to payment, and also provides help when it comes to disputes.

5. Don't forget to factor in Upwork's 10% service fee when bidding on projects.

This is one of the few things that they make really easy. When you apply for a fixed-price job, you'll see two boxes: a total price including the 10% fee, and the amount you'll make. However, if you've agreed to break a job up into smaller milestones, it's important to make sure that the client factors that additional 10% into the cost for the individual milestones. Unfortunately, only the client can set up the milestones, but you do have the ability to change the final amount when you submit work for approval.

6. Only apply to jobs you're actually interested in doing.

With thousands of jobs to choose from, it's easy to just apply to everything. However, unless you've decided to pay for a membership plan that gives you more "Connects" (virtual tokens that allow you to apply for jobs) than normal, you should try to save them for jobs that you're actually interested in doing. It's natural for freelance translators to have busy periods and slow periods, but when a slow period comes around, you shouldn't waste your time (or prospective clients') by applying to jobs that you don't really want or are beyond your skill level.

If there are any other Upwork users out there with advice for freelance translators who are new to the freelancing platform, feel free to share your thoughts or advice below! We're also happy to answer any questions you may have.

Part 1 | Part 2