Are you all set on their way to becoming a translator? Yet, there is one crucial hurdle you must cross: getting an actual translator job. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. We have compiled a list of foolproof tactics that will teach you how to be a freelance translator!
Did you know that the Chinese language is the second most widely spoken language in the world? It has over 1.3 billion speakers and ranges across many dialects. The most well-known Chinese dialects are Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is so popular that over 900 million people speak it. There is also an impressive number of people across the globe, striving to learn the language.
If you are fluent in any of these Chinese dialects and know another language, you can start applying for translator jobs in China. These jobs pay well, and you can work online as well. If you’re looking for a translator job in China, here are some tips that’ll help you!
1. Achieve a Professional Certification
Never underestimate the power of a professional degree. It may just feel like a piece of paper, but in reality, it is so much more. Being a degree-holder will help you to prove yourself to Chinese clients looking for a translator. Any other certification is also an incredibly viable alternative to traditional degrees. Certification and degrees significantly increase your credibility as a translator. Apart from your degree, look further for advanced certifications online and apply for them if possible. If you have exceptional credentials, you will attract more clients. This is especially important if you’re working online as a freelance translator. Chinese clients want to make sure that you are using your own knowledge and not an AI system for translations. Clients need to be assured that they are employing competent translators who can cover a variety of work. With professional certifications, you can charge higher prices and rates. Having a language degree in your hand will help verify this.
If you’re still training to be a freelance translator, it will benefit you to look into modern technology in education. Once your education is complete, you can use your degree to lure in clients who are looking for a translator.
Article continues after jobs recommendation
2. Register Yourself on Online Freelancing Platforms
If you plan on working online, register for a set of online freelancing platforms. For starters, Fiverr and Upwork are excellent options. For more experienced translators, there are a plethora of platforms that can help you land a stable stream of Chinese clients. With the mainstream use of social media, most clients look towards these platforms to hire translators. In this way, they wouldn’t need to go through procedures like conventional job interviews and can easily hire you online after examining your credentials. Platforms like these can give you leverage in marketing yourself online, where clients will come to you for services. For online freelance translator jobs, you will have to gather positive recommendations from past employers in order to assure your future clients of your credibility. The more platforms you sign up on, the more likely you are to bag a gig.
3. Start Outsourcing Your Translator Job in China
Another excellent tactic is to start outsourcing your tasks. Once you establish yourself as a translator, you can hire junior translators to work under you. When advertising, you can tell potential clients that you lead a team of translators. This will make you look like a good choice and can catch you more clients. Outsourcing not only aids your workload, but it also reduces the costs when you hire your own employees. Getting services at minimal prices will allow you to focus on your core tasks, but still keep a marginal level of profit for yourself. Leading a team of translators will solidify your expertise in the translation business, and will make you look more professional and trustworthy to clients.
You can work as a translator to earn some extra money on the side while you study. If you outsource translating jobs, it becomes easier to manage your freelance work and your studies. However, if writing all your college papers is becoming challenging, consider hiring someone to write a paper for you. You can pay some great writers online, that’ll do your research paper just the way you need it to be. You can even make custom requests!
4. Give the Best Rates
If you’re familiar with the translator job market, you’ll know how competitive it is. Many Chinese firms don’t require high-level translations and choose to hire someone with minimal experience. They usually decide to work with whoever is offering the most affordable pay rate. So, as an online freelance translator, you should first check the market rates and then decide on how much you’d like to charge. Besides selecting the best rates, make those rates appear favorable to the clients’ budget. Emphasize the benefits your translation services offer. Research your competitors’ rates in the market so you can ensure that your rates are competitive. You can also try value-based pricing, where the customers/clients determine how much they will get out of your service and then set a price accordingly. Depending on the quality of your service and how much your client will benefit from it, you can actually charge more for less work.
5. Offline Networking
Networking is an excellent way to make yourself known. Once people know what skills you have to offer, they will be more likely to hire you as a translator. This is especially helpful if you know people who have ties to China. They may work in a Chinese firm that’s looking for a translator. You must interact with them and inform them about your skills. You can also look for internships where, besides boosting your portfolio, you will meet more people and build better connections through personal contacts. Good personal connections give you more opportunities and recommend you to potential clients. The next thing you know, you’re hired!
6. Social Media Marketing
One of the most common ways to advertise yourself is through social media marketing. Social media marketing is cost-effective and relays your services to a broader client pool. But, to gain more clients, you will need to communicate with them and build a relationship of trust effectively. Unless your customer service is friendly and reliable, your translation skills alone will not be able to attract new clients. Make your profile on popular job platforms online; this will give you easy access to more clients, particularly corporate ones. This includes creating a LinkedIn profile or a dedicated Facebook page for your work. Use social media to showcase your skills.
7. Run Paid Advertisements
Some social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, allow you to run ads. The fee is nominal and affordable, but that’s not even the best part! What’s great about these platforms is that they let you choose your target audience. Before stepping into any platform, research your target audience to find out where you can get better clients like businesses or agencies that offer higher rates for the services. China has created its own apps that provide the same experience as any other popular app. You can advertise on these or apps that have a considerable Chinese user base. If you’re looking for a job in China, simply change the advertisement settings to target people living in China. It’s that easy!
8. Create a Freelance Translation Website
Every established translator has his/her own website. Think of your website as a portfolio and a place to answer client queries. You can use your website to talk about your credentials, qualifications, and experience. You can also give some examples of your work to impress potential clients.
It certainly helps to have a website, especially if you’re marketing yourself in person or on social media. No matter where you’re marketing yourself, you can always link people back to your website if they need more information about your skills and what you offer as a translator. A smartly designed website is also impressive for any potential employer to see; it shows off how serious and dedicated you are to your work.
9. Register Yourself at a Translation Agency
Of all methods discussed in this article, this is the most reliable method to help you get a translator job in China. Just remember that the agency you work under will cut a percentage of your profits as a token for their hard work in getting you a job.
Some agencies also work by hiring full-time translators who work on a salary. Agencies are already established businesses. Hence they have a strong clientele. Working at such an agency will help you get in touch with clients, which helps you network with many people and can make your name known among important Chinese companies.
Landing a job as a translator in China requires a lot of hard work and dedication but can also pay well if you work with the right people. Start now by setting up an online presence and registering for freelance websites. Your dream job as a Chinese translator might just be closer than you think!
Have you tried any of these 9 tactics? Let us know if you’ve had any success with it. Feel free to share your own advice on how to secure a job in China in the comments section below.