Quotes for Professional Translation Services, What’s Your Secret?

Last updated Jun 17, 2021
By Lucy Williams

When you quote for professional translations services, what’s your secret? How do you make your proposal stand out? Price? Quality? Both? What’s the best way to get that job you want?

It’s all about rates

When talking about pricing up quotes for translation services, there’s always a lot of talk in the industry about rates. Per word, per hour, daily rates. There are social media pages and groups about where to find good agencies and agencies to avoid. You’ve probably read a few.

Translators at the top of their game approach it differently. They use a range of techniques to make sure their quote is unbeatable. As Gwen wrote in her article 9 secrets about quotes for translation services, professional translators don’t just work with agencies. The best translators work with a variety of clients. They have different ways of pricing their services, depending on the project and the client. Although translation is often quoted per word, there are many other ways to think about pricing.

As Gwen said, professional translators don’t work with cheap agencies. And they don’t only do jobs that can be quoted by word. Professional translators work on a range of projects. Sometimes the rate is per hour or per day. Sometimes it’s a final project price.

It’s all about networking

Freelance translators are small business owners. They seek out higher paying customers. Professional translators will make use of their professional network and contacts to produce top-quality work and find these more lucrative clients.

So, top translators strike deals with other translators too. Professional translators work with other highly skilled linguists. It gives better results for the client. And both translators know what they expect of each other. The process is smoother, the rewards are greater.

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Productivity is important. So, professional translators use professional tools to increase productivity and income. The translator can use this to pass on discounts to the client. Why would the translator give discounts? Because if the translator has pitched their price right, they can offer a discount to clinch the deal. And still make sure it is profitable. The customer is happy, the translator lands the project they wanted. As Gwen said, think about cashflow when you pitch. Try a 5% discount for advance payment or a monthly retainer for a regular translation, like a blog. Thinking outside the box can benefit both client and translator.

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Written by Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams is a subtitler and a Spanish-English translator for fashion, tourism and luxury goods/services. She holds the CIOL Diploma in Translation and is a native English copywriter specialising in SEO-optimised long-form content. Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn.

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