What happened in 2018 & my future goals

This is article is part of my public learning, it will specifically speak about what happened in 2018 and my main goals for 2019 and beyond.

I’m sharing my thoughts to everyone. Hopefully, it can be useful, besides I will be able to track my thoughts and progress with more precision.

I- What went well

– After being involved with an open source community and using its software, I was able to get my first European direct client. The client is obviously a software company. I used a letter of introduction to get in touch. Even though they responded after 3 months they accepted my proposition.

With no doubt being acquainted with that software and learning how to code have served me well in this matter.

Furthermore, I have studied the competitions’ rates and I have picked the right compensation for my localization work.

-I got a client from a Facebook group and the pay is good. For that reason, I have joined more Facebook groups and I am also joining Twitter and other online job boards like tanqeeb and bayt. Lately, I have discovered that GALA offers respectable jobs on its site that I was missing.

– I increased my rate with all agencies as I have become more specialized and my time is becoming much more precious. In fact, spending my time in marketing or learning web development is better than working with rates that I see as low. For that reason, I don’t work with agencies who look mainly for low rates and their communication is poor. This leads to working with European and American agencies exclusively.

– A couple of agencies contacted me via ProZ and I worked with them. This shows that keeping my ProZ profile updated is an easy and fruitful task. The same thing applies to LinkedIn.

– I kept updating and improving my resume, I added references, skills etc

– Kept educating myself about translation and localization by listening to podcasts, reading, and trying new tools.

II- Things that I expected to go well but they did not  

– My income from my two Facebook pages was very limited. Most people who contacted me were asking for free services. Their countries of origin are poor so my rates are high for them. Besides, some prospects, only want to work with local linguists.

A couple of prospects contacted me late at night and were rude they even insisted on free translations. As a result, I took the decision to be contacted only with phone calls.

– I did not apply regularly and I did not send enough LOI. This task is not complicated, it requires time and patience. Last year, I applied mainly to language agencies with not enough work coming from them as a result of my applications.

Note: On the contrary, after expanding my knowledge about coding and software localization I directly contact some software studios and the response rate is around 35% besides my compensation for this kind of translation is much higher and the work is easier than the project  I do for translation agencies.

III-  My main goals for 2019 and Beyond

Keep developing my professional skills and become more specialized. Meantime, developing personal skills that impact directly or indirectly my work performance. I speak here about critical and strategic thinking, time management, meta-learning, a superior spiritual life, and work-life balance.

Then, fine tune my letter of introduction when contacting software agencies and studios. By sending more emails and taking time to study clients’ replies, blog, products,  and about pages.

Below is the result of the e-learning I did lately.

I used root cause analysis to find out that I have to focus on a limited number of goals. I’d better stick with a limited number of goals that have a major ROI. As a result, I will focus on a specific software and I won’t try to localize mobile apps as I have planned in the beginning.

Thanks to Udemy I learned cold emailing tricks, the course link is here.  This course is straightforward, it offers many tools and techniques that are easily applicable. Besides even though it is designed for B2B, I think every freelancer should see himself as a one-person business. Thus, freelancers will open the doors to learning advanced techniques to grow their business.

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