Climbing the Ladder – Why I Decided to Blog About Growing My Translation Business
I decided to start this blog because I have gotten so much invaluable inspiration and advice from other translators and now I want to pass it on. I have learned that good things happen the more involved you get in volunteer work for translator associations and the more you are in dialogue with the rest of the translation industry. You master knowledge and advice better when you hear it more often, when you can apply it in practice and when you can teach it to others.
I would like to be upfront with you about what I hope to gain from this blog. For the time being, I do not plan on trying to sell you anything. No webinars, books, courses or anything of the like for money. I will be upfront if that changes in the future. I only expect to build my reputation, find more potential collaborators, generate more referrals, benefit socially and professionally from dialogue and feel good about myself If I manage to help someone. I only ask that you pass along whatever you think is useful and hope we can have some productive discussions.
So who am I and why would you want to listen to me? I’m David Friedman, I grew up in South Florida, moved to southern Sweden at the age of 23 and studied Swedish and German. I started translating at 25 and made just about every mistake imaginable for the first year or so. Then I decided I wanted to get more serious about making a career out of translating and joined the Swedish Association of Professional Translators (SFÖ). Ever since then I have slowly but surely been on an upward trajectory. With each passing year I have increased my average gross revenue per hour, gained a stronger specialization (financial communications) through experience and the narrower focus required, and found higher end agencies and gradually more direct clients.
I have also taken a crash course in entrepreneurship at the Lund Center for New Businesses (Lunds Nyföretagarcentrum) and given a lot of thought to how to grow my translation business and appeal to direct clients. I started Lund Translation Team where I collaborate closely with other local translators to market ourselves to direct clients together.
And so here I am in my 30s with a pretty solid, growing translation business, and I hope I can be an inspiration to new translators or other translators who are looking to grow their businesses and reach out to direct clients. It’s not easy, but you don’t have to be super human to be able to work for direct clients and have a thriving translation business, even in today’s market conditions. I’m not here to tell you I am awesome, I am perfect, I am successful, I have it all figured out, you have to do everything I say or anything like that. I just want to say look here are some of the things that have helped me move in the right direction, maybe they can help you too.
This blog is the story of how I am climbing the translation ladder, not by knocking competitors off, but by growing stronger together with other translators through collaboration. Some of the topics I have in store are tips on specializing, marketing and collaborating, and I hope to be able to bring you some interesting guest authors with their own unique perspectives.
As many others have done for me, I’d like to extend a helping hand to you. Let’s share our experiences as we climb the translation ladder together and help put the translation industry as a whole higher up on the ladder of business and society.