I recently completed Corinne McKay’s very helpful course “Beyond the Basics of Freelancing”. The four-week class included lectures in the form of e-mailed MS Word documents, weekly conference calls where each participant could ask a question/pose a problem to the group each week, weekly assignments related to that week’s lecture (to which I received extensive feedback), and a final one-hour one-on-one telephone consultation with Corinne. Since most of the interaction was asynchronous, translators from around could participate. In fact, the inaugural course included translators in time zones spanning at least 9 hours. Here is what I learned:
Current business/expanding to direct clients: Lesson 1 made me take stock of the state of my business last year, provided feedback on my website, LinkedIn profile and other marketing materials, and caused me to re-evaluate my current specialization.
Contacting potential clients: Lesson 2 asked me to create new marketing materials, made me research a list of potential clients and start formulating a plan on how to reach these prospects, as well as identifying potentially more lucrative niches.
Pricing: Lesson 3 helped me to realize that I need to adjust my prices for direct clients and/or a new niche, made me create a rate sheet and a rough annual budget and had me identify ways to achieve these budgetary goals. In the process, I defined “red” (minimum price below which I will not take projects), “yellow” (average) and “green” (target) price ranges, which I am still refining.
Quality improvement and business goals: Lesson 4 finally had me investigate online (and offline) classes and other resources I could use to improve my knowledge in my new specialization, as well as translation in general, and plan for the future of my business.
If this has aroused your interest, Corinne’s next edition of “Beyond the Basics of Freelancing” starts May 14.