Tips for diversifying your freelance business

One thing that I’ve been hearing from a lot of freelance translators–and that has proven true in my own business as well–is that freelancers with diverse businesses have been faring better during these strange economic times. For example in my own business, my translation work has been stable so far but I feel a summer dropoff coming on, while online courses have been selling out as fast as I can get the registrations open. Other freelancers have made the same observation about editing work, voiceover work, etc. Often when one thing is down, another is up. Some of us–such as conference interpreters–may be diversifying out of necessity, while others may just see it as a prudent, risk-spreading move.

I thought I’d point you to three resources about diversifying your freelance business. I hope you find these helpful!

-Dating back to 2017, Karen Tkaczyk’s article, “A lucrative sideline: editing for non-native speakers” is still one of the most popular posts on my blog. This is a service that most freelance translators could consider offering, especially with some training (as luck would have it, Karen is offering a session of her twice sold-out online course Editing and proofreading for into-English translators in September). It doesn’t require any business setup that you don’t have already, and if you have direct translation clients, they might also be interested. For example some of my international development clients have staff whose English is good enough that they don’t need a translator, but they do need an editor.

-In February of this year, Eve Bodeux, Madalena Sanchez Zampaulo and I recorded a Speaking of Translation podcast episode on diversifying your income stream. We discussed topics such as why to diversify, what business lines to consider adding to your freelance business, and some pitfalls of diversification.

-During the post-2008 recession (which tells you I’ve been blogging for way too long!), I wrote a blog post on diversifying your income stream. Much of the advice in there still holds true, so it’s probably worth a read as well.

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