Poll: Throughout your career, which has been your recipe to increase your income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:35
SITE STAFF
Jul 23, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Throughout your career, which has been your recipe to increase your income?".

This poll was originally submitted by Alan Corbo, CT. View the poll results »



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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:35
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Huge recipe, impossible to be specific Jul 23, 2016

The answers suggested are simply too few. Are these the only three ways you can see to increase your income? Well, I'll tell you these are three out of 153 possibilities.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 23, 2016

It's not exactly a recipe: I started translating full-time 30 years ago (1986), so my rates have changed a “little bit” over the years and since then I have managed to keep my client base and business running…

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:35
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Jul 23, 2016

Usually, increasing rates and accepting as much work as before. If you increase rates but accept less work, it is likely that your income will remain the same and not go up, isn't it?
But that's only one parameter, as Mario said. I could add switching to other clients or client types, specializing and raising your productivity.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 23, 2016

This question is so full of assumptions I feel like poking its eye out or kicking its nether regions. To misquote Bruce Lee "Just be the recipe".....

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Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
When the going (rates) get tough Jul 23, 2016

the tough (need to) get going, sticking to their rates, and refusing to decrease them, as a matter of principle. I am not saying there can be no exceptions. But as a rule, I think we should not accept lower rates, and certainly not from new, first time clients.

It takes some courage at times, and some bargaining as well, but having worked as a freelancer for nearly 40 years now, and having seen many ups and down in the market, I am pretty sure that, in my case, in the end, I was right to stick to my rates and, of course, to increase them when the opportunity arose.

[Edited at 2016-07-23 11:56 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:35
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other Jul 23, 2016

My recipe is a bit more complicated than the 3 options offered.

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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:35
Member (2008)
French to English
Charging higher rates, accepting more work. Jul 23, 2016

I have never found that charging higher rates results in less work. It puts you in a different class, where you reach different clients that value your work more.

Of course, that doesn't mean you can raise your rates for existing clients, although that has sometimes been possible. Mainly, however, it means offering higher rates to new clients. There's no shortage of them out there.

I will also sometimes offer a slightly lower rate than my average when I am in competitive situation, when I know that there are many others bidding on the same job. But that's not very common.

[Edited at 2016-07-23 12:43 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-07-23 12:43 GMT]


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 17:35
Russian to English
+ ...
with John Jul 23, 2016

I agree 100% with John. Not only does charging higher rates (assuming your skills to have grown commensurately with your rates) put you in a different class - charging low rates may even drive some quality-conscious clients away.

On the other hand, an oft-mentioned reservation: "when the market rates go down..." is inherently wrong. Market rates for translations don't go down, except possibly in the cheapest, lowest-quality segment of the market. If a client reduces its offered rates, it's a sign of either client's unreasonable greed or translator's low skill level.


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 12:35
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
100% Jul 23, 2016

With John and Anton.
Couldn't agree more.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 21:05
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
High rates, more work Jul 24, 2016

Also not wasting time with bottom feeders and other nasty denizens of the translation world.

I also cultivate assiduously existing clients by treating them like royalty and providing them excellent, timely service and high quality translations into Hindi, which has resulted in most of them sticking with me and giving me plenty of repeat work.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:35
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
One of the two parameters assumed is finite Jul 24, 2016

Even a paid-per-hour consultant knows he can only bill 24 in a day.

"More work" thus begs the question, up to just how much more? (Will we be asked next to pay to be occupied?)

On the other hand, can you undo a learning curve? (Particularly one you've invested in - time is also money).

As people have pointed out, there are a lot of other strategies. Some, like specialisation, entail delimiting possibilities.


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Poll: Throughout your career, which has been your recipe to increase your income?

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