Your personal reputation is one of the most valuable things that we will own regardless of where we are of what we do. It is something that is with you always, affects parts of your daily life and is very difficult to change.
A good freelance translator provides good quality of work and they work to mutually agreed deadlines. The saying goes 'a salesman is only as good as his last sale'. A similar saying could also be applied to translators. 'A translator is only as good as their last translation'. In both circumstances there is the detail to consider.
A freelance translator generally seeks a situation where they have a regular client base who considers them first. Ideally, if they are too busy the client will still come to them first for the next project and the next project. Reputation for a freelancer allows them to earn better rates even though there will always be someone else offering to do the same job for less money. It allows the freelance translator to discuss the issues of a project openly with the client or Translation Project Manager and have them work with them to complete their service.
The reputation of a freelance translator can be most easily maintained by:
1.Staying within their capabilities: - It is not advisable to take on highly complicated specialised texts that you have no experience with unless you have discussed this with your client and have a clear plan how you will complete the project. Otherwise you might perform below what is reasonable.
2.Work to deadlines: - . Ensure that you assess the deadline and only agree to what is achievable. If you are upfront and say when the translation can be achievable this may well turnout fine and avoid loss of your personal standards for quality.
3.Check your work: - It is advisable to take a short break and then review your translation before you send. You may have made some simple error or missed something that this last scan can pick up. This will also avoid you sending the wrong file. Checking you own work is not proofreading. Proofreading in my opinion involves a 2nd independent translator.
4.Problems: - If you have a problem or require extra time it is important to tell the client ASAP. This allows the issue to be addressed as soon as possible and a solution found. The problem might be legibility of part of the source text or you might be delayed due to a personal problem. If possible, the more warning notice the better for everybody.