Every professional translator, who starts working as a freelancer, should calculate an optimal translation rate. It’s crucially important to set the price, which is affordable for a client, yet profitable for a freelancer. It helps to boost the effectiveness and maximize revenue.
Calculation of the rate is somewhat tricky and time-consuming task. If you don’t know from where to start, check out the following useful tips.
Estimate your level of expertise
How can you describe your professional skills? Are you a newbie or an expert? If you have just started your career path, and you lack experience, you won’t be able to work on complex projects.
The rule is simple: the higher level of your qualification you have the higher rate you can charge. If you want to become a successful freelance translator, you should be ready to complete the first few orders for little or no money. You need to get positive reviews and add some samples to your profile, and only after that, you can raise your translation rates.
However, if you are an experienced translator and proofreader, you should value your talent. You should stop working with the clients, who are not ready to pay an adequate price. Your task is to slightly increase your rate at least semiannually to keep it fair.
Set target income
If you want to know how much you should charge, you should answer a question of how much you want to earn per month/year. What level of income would you like to achieve? And how many hours per day/week are you going to work?
For instance, if your target monthly income is $3,000 and you are going to work 40 hours a week, you should charge $17.5 per hour. If you charge per word translation rate, you should also take your translation speed into account. If you translate 200 words per hour, your optimal rate should be $0.09 per English word.
If you want to gain higher revenue, you should charge more. If you are a newbie and have no opportunity to set a high rate, try to work faster and to complete more orders to hit your income goal.
Check what other freelance translators charge
If you don’t know how much to charge for your work, take a look at profiles of other freelance translators. If you are an expert in your niche, check profiles of top rated freelancers. If you are a newbie, try to find out what is a maximum rate, which your peers charge.
You should always monitor translation rates at Pick Writers to be aware of current situation. For instance, if you work via Upwork, you should examine this very platform instead of analyzing Fiverr and PeoplePerHour. It will help you to set the competitive rate to grab the attention of potential clients.
Know financial opportunities of the target market
Well, you should always know what price your potential clients are ready to pay. If you translate texts from English into Spanish for a company from Honduras, don’t expect that you will earn a lot. But, if you will interpret the same document for a company based in Miami, it’s likely you will be able to charge in two or even three times more.
So, you should choose a particular market to focus on. It will help you to evaluate the current supply and demand and set optimal translation rate. If you work on orders for companies from developed countries, you will earn more.
As a freelance translator, you should calculate your freelance rate very attentively. If you set a too high price, you will not be able to get enough orders to achieve your target income. If you charge your clients with the too low rate, you will be overloaded with work, but still will not earn enough money.
Try to find a golden mean between these two options. And then you will be able to get fair pay for your job.