Working as a freelancer seems like a dream. Be your own boss, make your own hours, work from wherever. There seem to be benefits galore but one thing no tends to talk about is how do you get started? If you're a new interpreter or translator, you realize that it can be difficult to get your first few projects. When a majority of agencies require experience, where do you begin to get the required experience?
Luckily for us, we live in the digital age which gifts us endless resources. These resources include hubs for all types of freelancers. Translators, interpreters, writers, designers, if you dream of a glamorous career in language services then consider starting with the websites we discuss below.
Freelance websites are a great place to get started as there is an abundance of work. These websites connect freelancers with organizations of all sizes looking for services. Imagine a small business that operates in a Spanish speaking community. They don't have a large marketing budget to work with an agency and want to work with an individual translator to translate some flyers for an upcoming event. Small jobs like this will begin to bolster your portfolio and help you gain momentum with new clients.
With over 1.5 million clients, Upwork is the self-proclaimed “world’s leading freelancing website”. Companies post jobs that freelancers respond to and freelancers promote their skills available to browse by various organizations. There are over 3,500 skills listed on Upwork! There are plenty of opportunity to mine language service related jobs through this site and it would be a great place to start to build your portfolio.
Fiverr is a freelancing website that is very popular across the globe making it a great place to advertise your language service skills and acquire new clients. Fiverr targets entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for a lean growth strategy and medium-large size organizations frequent this site as well. “Writing & Translation” is a category on the home page and the global network makes it a great place for interpreters or translators to find opportunities and begin to cultivate relationships.
Guru allows users to easily showcase their work experience and matches freelancers with job posts that fit their skills. Guru boasts 1.5 million users and will surely offer many opportunities if time is spent to find them!
Translators Town is similar to Upwork and Fiverr in that freelancers bid on jobs they’d like to take. An obvious advantage to this website is that it is strictly for translators. However, if you’d like to bid on jobs, you will have to pay $75 per year. Otherwise, you will have to be invited to bid on a job by a client.
Indeed is a popular job posting website. Unlike the freelancing websites discussed above, through Indeed you can search for full time positions (yes, they exist for interpreters and translators if that is what you desire!) or part time positions.
LinkedIn is not to be overlooked when it comes to business opportunities. Many language service companies use LinkedIn to recruit interpreters and translators. Organizations of all sizes use it to post job opportunities. Leverage your professional social network to showcase your skills and work and you’re sure to uncover hidden opportunities.
Last, but not least, research language service companies that you want to work with! Assess your skills and specialties, look into language service companies that fit with your goals, and reach out to them! Email, call, submit your resume and follow up. We suggest starting here 😉