METM18 presentation 

From Lada to Lamborghini – tips for becoming a premium freelancer 

Jenny Zonneveld, Mijdrecht, Netherlands 

The translation market is under increasing pressure from machine translation. Machine translation is improving rapidly and putting rates under pressure, particularly in the bulk market. Often a machine translation is fit for purpose and no human is needed; for example, on websites with customer reviews. But despite these developments, there is still a huge market for us.
As freelancers, we need to adapt our working practices and our business models, grow professionally, and ensure we enjoy what we do if we want to continue making a good living. Although I will present this as a translator, many of my tips will be applicable to editors and copywriters too.
In this talk, by way of illustration I will explain how, over a period of 10 years, a client who I first worked for through a colleague as subcontractor has become my best client. I always work hard on the relationships with my clients, and this has paid dividends. To this client, I'm no longer just a translator; I'm now their business partner for copywriting and translation.
I will give tips about how to progress to become a premium freelancer. I will make suggestions to help you move from the bulk translation market to the added-value and premium markets. Drawing on more than 20 years’ experience, I will give ideas for professionalising your business that will help you move out of the bulk market and thus enable you to raise your rates. I will talk about the strategies that have and have not worked for me. I have gleaned some of my ideas from others in the industry.
This talk will be of interest to all freelancers, and translators in particular, who want to be more in control, make their working life less stressful, and who would like to work fewer hours and earn more!

About the presenter

Jenny Zonneveld has a business background. Before she became a freelance translator, copywriter, and editor, about 20 years ago, she spent more than 15 years at a firm of management consultants and worked in the UK, USA, Belgium, and the Netherlands. She specialised in managing IT and Logistics projects. In her current work, her clients appreciate Jenny for her insight into language matters as well as all things technical. Jenny has built up long-term relationships with her clients, who keep her very busy!