"I have viewed these relationships from many angles, as an in-house bank translator, Manager of Translation at a major Wall Street bank, part-time freelance translator, President of the American Translators Association, which represents both multilanguage vendors (MLV’s) and freelancers (and all other stakeholders in the translation and interpreting industry) and for the past twelve years as a full-time freelance translator and industry consultant. This experience has given me a good feel for what puts clients at the top of freelancers’ “priority clients” lists.
Some of the features highly prized by freelancers actually add value to companies’ bottom line, while others represent a cost and must be considered in light of cost/benefit. How much do you value attracting and retaining top linguists and how much are you willing to increase your costs to do so?
Rates would seem like the most obvious key to soaring to the top of linguists’ favorite clients list. However, paying more than everyone else will not necessarily get you there if you fail big time in other areas important to the best freelancers. You are likely to rank higher if you pay relatively well, but not top rates, but you stand out in the other areas I will discuss in this article."