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How to become a freelance proofreader?
Thread poster: treat
English to Spanish
Nov 22, 2007

I am a Spanish native speaker and I live in United States, for 2 years I have helped a FreeLance Translator, from Japanese to Spanish on proofreading her jobs. For me it is fascinating, even when I have a major on translation and I use my skills at work as interpreter for our customers, I am looking to continue as a proofreader.
Does anybody have an idea on how can I expand my clients, so far I only have one.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-11-22 02:48]

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:23
English to French
+ ...
Polish your profile Nov 22, 2007

To begin with, you would have to add much more information to your profile than is displayed at the moment. There are two ways on this site to be noticed: in the directory and through the Connect platform. Both are heavily based on information in your profile. If you want to be found, that's a start.

Do you have any specializations? If yes, it is of the utmost importance to set them. If not, then it is time for you to specialize. Your specialization doesn't need to be based on actual studies and experience - there are many translators specialized in oenology only because they are wine amateurs and have solid understanding and knowledge of oenology. But it does require a minimum amount of knowledge. Think of all the fields in which you have considerable knowledge and check to see if there is a connection among them. Set your specializations accordingly.

If you want to edit/proofread only, then it is crucial that you mention in your profile that you are not a translator but an editor/proofreader. There will be moments when not translating will be an advantage - if you only edit/proofread, some clients will probably think that you are more knowledgeable in those activities than translators who also offer the same service.

Finally, shop around. If you are willing to work for agencies (that is, accept a lower rate and some other conditions that may not be up to par with conditions offered by direct clients), then there are plenty of people on this site and elsewhere you can approach for work. Search the directory and contact them. Don't get discouraged if you don't get results right away - often, it takes a long time before you start picking up clients.

The best advice I can give you is to hold on to clients once you get work from them. A happy client is always a return client. Make sure your work is of high standard - respect deadlines, be professional. Those on whom you make a good first impression will eventually give you the occasion for a second impression, and a third, and so on.

All the best!

[Edited at 2007-11-22 04:23]

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Market yourself among translators Nov 22, 2007

treat wrote:
Does anybody have an idea on how can I expand my clients, so far I only have one.

Normally, as a freelance translator, I detest getting mails from other translators offering me their services, but you'd be offering your services as a proofreader/editor, right? So my advice would be to write e-mails to freelance translators in your language pair and offer your services to them.

You can tout your services in several ways, I think:

* An experienced translator might enjoy having his stuff checked by a new person... we are all continuously learning, after all.
* A translator with existing or new clients might want to sweeten the deal with his clients by offering to find an editor himself (you, in the bag).
* A translator who is checking out a potential partner may like to pay you to do some checking on that person's work.

Any other ideas?

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Klaus Urban  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:23
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Think about how compliance with confidentiality requirements might impact your cances Nov 22, 2007

Prior to starting a campaign offering other translators your proofreading services, I suggest you check whether such services might have a chance to be accepted at all. While I as a translator would appreciate having another professional reviewing my work, I would not think of providing my translation work to some third party proofreader without having obtained my client´s approval upfront. Complying to my clients´ confidentiality requirements is a must for getting their business. And I would not think of approaching my client with regard to such an approval, would this indicate that I am unsure whether the quality of my translation work is up to standard. - This is different if you work for translation agencies who offer translation services to their clients which include proofreading by separate proofreaders as part of their competitive edge.

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