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Cost per word

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
31 of 47

Nichola,

I am really open to any suggestions... That's why I'm here, and this topic is giving me some interesting hints.

Should I keep my current rates and keep working as an amateur freelancer, should I raise my per-word rate without being a pro, or...? I'm all ears.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
32 of 47

@Nichola L wrote:

"I am the stick, Rene."

 

Andrea, you are dilettante at best. Maybe talented, but it seems you have yet to prove it. If you undercut other freelancers to the extent you claim, then you are doing yourself, as well as professional  translators on this site, a very real disservice.


Andrea is not doing any disservice to us. At all.

 

Real translators may actually benefit from people like Andrea since he and other amateurs help clients value the services of true professionals.

 

My best and better-paying clients were those who have hired people like Andrea and who came to me to fix their mess.

 

We really can benefit from those people.

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
33 of 47

My best and better-paying clients were those who have hired people like Andrea and who came to me to fix their mess.


Rene, I'm glad to hear that you have wealthy clients and I am really sure they're happy with your professional services.

I'm also glad to hear you master divination too (how you know I'm a bungler? Did you see any bad feedbacks on my profile?)

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
34 of 47

@Andrea B wrote:

 

Rene, I'm glad to hear that you have wealthy clients and I am really sure they're happy with your professional services.

I'm also glad to hear you master divination too (how you know I'm a bungler? Did you see any bad feedbacks on my profile?)


Nope, but I was reacting to your own statement about you being a low-charging amateur.

 

You said you're an amateur, not me. I have absolutely no idea if you are. I have no idea about the quality of what you do, but if your background as it appears on your profile is true, you may be a way more talented translator than you think you are.

 

You may want to ask a professional colleague in your language pair to proofread your work and to give you their opinion. You may be surprised. And come back running to raise your rates very quick.

 

 

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
35 of 47

Rene,

I am not a translator like you do, that is out of any reasonable doubt. I consider myself an amateur because I don't offer my services 'full-time', and what you read on my profile is 100% genuine. I am just trying to understand where to place myself without being considered a pariah. As to your suggestion, I guess I should really test my skills with a professional. Good idea, thanks!

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
36 of 47

Rene K wrote

Andrea is not doing any disservice to us. At all.

 

Real translators may actually benefit from people like Andrea since he and other amateurs help clients value the services of true professionals.

 

My best and better-paying clients were those who have hired people like Andrea and who came to me to fix their mess.

 

We really can benefit from those people.

 


 OK - That is enough.

 

We do NOT know that Andrea is a bad or sub-standard translator. For all we know he is a good translator who simply does not charge enough at this stage.

 

In fact I have reason to believe that to be the case having just worked for the same super picky client, who has every translation proof-read and was very happy with Andrea's.

 

It could be argued that GOOD translators who do not know their own worth are problematic, but attacking Andrea and assuming that he is useless beause he is currently charging low rates is unfair.

 

Andrea, I WOULD like to slap you for doing some of the translations you did for the prices you did though!

 

The bottom line is: If you can produce high quality translations then RAISE YOUR RATES!

 

You have done near 100 jobs with 100% JSS. You ARE doing yourself and other translators a disservice.

 

ANYONE can compete on price, and it creates a race to the bottom and gets you a lower class of client. DON'T DO IT.

 

Compete on quality and service.

 

 

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
37 of 47

Petra, thanks for your understanding... I guess that if someone is afraid because of my presence on here as a part-time freelancer with a bit more than 100 hours billed last year, then I'm not the problem. After all, as Rene said in a classy way, a professional translator can benefit from people like me. I have understood that there is an issue with my rates but I still need to hear Nichola's advice because I don't really know what to do... How to raise my rates if I am not a professional? And on the other hand, how to keep my current (low) rates without being perceived like an unfair competitor?  By the way, I have already raised a bit my hourly rate. Still I see that many professional translators have their hourly rate set to, say, $40/hour, then if you look at their job history you found that they have completed jobs for $15/hour. Maybe hourly jobs are not to be used as a comparison term then... As usual, I'm open to suggestions.  Have a nice day!

 

EDITED: Petra, your advices make so much sense. This is what I was looking for. Thanks, thanks, thanks again.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
38 of 47

Andrea, the problem isn't so much that your rates suggest you to be unfair competition, the problem is that the rates you work for ( 5000 word translation for $ 70 for example) would suggest you to be useless, which I happen to think you are not.

 

Your hourly rate is not the problem. Your per word rate is.

 

Take the leaflet job we both worked on. That is not a poor client. In fact that's a pretty rich client. He is perfectly happy to pay decent rates, he's paid them to other translators. He would have paid you a decent rate too, you simply failed to ask for it - so you were paid less than half for the translation than I was paid to just proofread it.

 

If the client was not able to pay for quality I would not have got it.

 

So the problem isn't cheap clients, it's your lack of belief in yourself and your ability to charge more, or your lack of sheer guts to go and ask for more.

 

I know how it feels: It was really only when I had enough work to live on comfortably that I had the guts to say "Well, that's my rate, take it or leave it, if you want me that's what you have to pay, because I don't need your job, you need my expertise!"

 

And you know what? If you charge reasonable or higher prices you get better and more appreciative clients who treat you better because it is human nature to value something more when it is more expensive (fairly or unfairly)

 

You live in the North, your cost of living is likely much higher than mine down in Vasto. You have no excuse for cheapskating!

Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
39 of 47

I agree with Petra, if you offer cheap your are viewed as cheap and treated accordingly. It's similar to offering free work: If it costs nothing it's worthless.

 

With a higher price, you might get less jobs but they are more fun and in the end the total earning will be the same.

Community Guru
Andrea B Member Since: Feb 20, 2015
40 of 47

Petra,

you enlightened me.

With reference to my economic requests, at the very beginning I thought (as many others do) that keeping a 'low profile' was a good idea to build a strong portfolio. Indeed, this strategy yielded some benefits - at least in terms of visibility. Now it's time to move on, then!

I owe you a commission on sales Petra! Smiley Wink

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