the less obvious reason
Translation agencies – General experience
Many translators chose to work with translation agencies. It, obviously, has many advantages, like:
- You can focus on the translation itself – the part of looking for a direct client is already taken care of
- You can limit your marketing effort to a minimum, which means you have more time to do what you love the most, i.e. translating
- You are provided with direct feedback from the agency proofreaders
- You are provided with translation memory, termbases and style guides
- With a well-established agency, you receive your pay regularly for the projects completed
- There is an established workflow process, which saves money and time to meet the deadline and deliver work of high quality
According to Nimdzi report, 398,000 professionals are working in the language services companies, including an estimated 250,000 full-time professional translators, interpreters, and subtitlers.
Some translators treat translation agencies as a first step on their road to direct clients. As soon as they gain enough experience and establish their brand, they focus entirely on direct clients. This is mainly because direct clients usually offer better rates.
Translation agencies – My experience
I’ve been working with translation agencies since I started as a translator, almost 10 years now. I have enjoyed all the benefits of the cooperation mentioned above, and more. The one unique thing that I have been offered is the possibility to establish and grow a long-lasting working relationship. Most of the agencies I have worked with turned out be not just efficiently managed language services providers but highly professional, warm and caring people. Over the years, they invited me to be a part of their team. From the principal-contractor relationship, we evolved into a trust-based collaboration squad. This certainly resulted in a steady workload but also fostered professional friendships and appreciation.
Thanks for the email and your feedback. This success is also and mainly thanks to you. You did the translation. Thanks a million, Sylwia. I am really happy to work with you 🙂Grateful PM
Translation agencies – Building the relationship
Many translators keep chasing the mythical direct client often overlooking that translation agencies are a great working partner, too. There is always room for the human touch both at the direct client AND the translation agency end. This is exactly what appeals to me the most, apart from all other advantages. The following ideas have been the foundation blocks of building the relationship from the start:
Focus on communication
I make timely, efficient communication my priority. I know that PMs juggle many projects at the same time. They also have to keep the end-clients happy. They can’t keep waiting for a reply or comment. Whenever I plan a longer leave, I always let the PMs know in advance.
I always tell my PMs if there is a problem with a deadline or topic of a project. This helps me to ensure that my translations are of high quality and avoid any problems with terminology or timeliness. Expressing my honest opinion also helps to find a constructive solution.
It happened many times that the source document contained factual mistakes or inconsistencies. It was crucial to draw the end-customer’s attention to them. Any irregularities or loops in contractual and business documents may lead to serious legal or financial consequences. Other times, the deadlines were extremely tight and we had to negotiate the best solution to the situation.
Developing a reputation as an independent translator who delivers exceptional results has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To learn more, read: To be or not to be …. a translator?