Getting paid as a Freelance Translator

Some points regarding getting paid as a Freelance Translator

Since I’ve been having some issues (again) regarding payment, I thought I would just jot these down.

1. Boomerang. This has been really useful for me for collecting payments. Boomerang works with Gmail (and probably other email hosts as well), and the way it works is that, when you’re writing an email, there is a Boomerang option at the bottom. This allows you to re-send the same email if, for example, you receive no response within two days, or one week, etc. You can also just choose to send the same email multiple times or at various intervals. Anyway, in case you want to chase someone who owes you money down, but you find it hard to remember to email them regularly, Boomerang is a great tool that does this for you.

I should specify I have no affiliation at all with Boomerang. I just like the product.

2. If you are entrepreneurial, you may want to look into starting, or finding, a debt collection agency specializing in translators and/or freelancers in general. I have seen too many companies hiring translators and not paying them, to the tune of several hundred or thousand dollars each, which aren’t enough to warrant a lawyer, but still, obviously, unethical and illegal. I am not saying to unionize or anything along those lines, since that presents many other problems. But if there were an association that took a group of freelancers who are owed money, and if they could agree on, say, 10% of what the translator is owed, and to only get paid if and when the translator gets paid, this could probably be quite lucrative for everyone. Not to mention a great way for keeping clients and providers honest.

3. Charge Late Fees. I’m not sure how enforceable this can be, depending on the country, but I find it gives more of a strict deadline. When I state that “Payments more than 30 days later will be charged a 10% late fee”, there is a bit more urgency than if there were no real downside to paying late. Maybe I should switch this to 7 or 15 days, but 30 days seems to be working well for now.

Share this article