First Forays into the Field of Freelance


My freelance office setup.

This week marks my first week as a full-time freelancer and I am so excited about it! After completing my Master’s in September 2018, I have been juggling freelance work with a part-time job. I am incredibly fortunate to have a very supportive partner, meaning that I am able to take the leap into full-time freelancing much earlier than I would have otherwise expected. The last four months have seen me undertaking freelance copywriting (writing literary guides for students of English), freelance translation projects for both direct clients and agencies and freelance role-play work (role-playing as a patient to help medical students with their consultation skills).

As I embark on this new adventure as a full-time freelancer, I have a few projects already lined up. In this first week, I am undertaking four role-play sessions for medical students, writing another literary guide and doing a couple of pieces of translation work. I feel so lucky to have already received this much work and I am loving the variety!

So, with this blog post, I basically wanted to share a couple of things I have learnt from my first forays into the freelancing world:

  1. Marketing is going to take up way more time than you think it will. From researching best practices to maintaining several social media, it takes a surprising amount of time.
  2. However marketing is worth it! I have already had enquiries come through via my Facebook page and this website.
  3. Imposter syndrome is real. Going it alone as a freelancer means there is no one there to hold your hand and tell you you’re doing a good job or if your work needs improvement. So, you should take every opportunity to receive feedback, from your clients, from mentors and from other professionals in your field.
  4. If you’re hoping to make it as a translator, you need to make time for language learning. It is an ongoing process and you need to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to language!
  5. One of the joys of freelancing is managing your own time. By being freelance, I’m able to go for a run during the day if I want, do some household chores or meet a friend for coffee, because I know I can complete my work in the evening.
  6. However, you need to keep to deadlines! Sometimes it is hard to and it might mean working into the night. But it is important to keep to them, especially if it is your first piece of work for a client. First impressions are everything. Also, be realistic with deadlines and negotiate or even turn down work if you don’t think you can complete it by the deadline.
  7. Read, read, read. Find other professionals in your field who have been doing it for longer and read any advice they have. This could come in the form of books, tweets, blog posts or even podcasts or YouTube videos! Learn from their experience.
  8. And perhaps most importantly, remember that freelancing is fun! You can pick which projects you work on, meaning that you can choose work that you really love. It may also give you the time and ability to work on pro bono projects that you are really passionate about.

I hope this was an interesting look into what the early months of working freelance might look like. If you want to chat about your thoughts on this blogpost, any ideas you might have for further posts or you have some enquiries about translation, please contact me via my contact page or on social media!

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a UK-based Arabic and French > English translator, Copy-writer, Copy-editor, Transcriber, Role-player & Tutor.

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