I was very surprised when I saw that I had been featured in an article of GoWales, an organisation offering various services to students, graduates and businesses in Wales. I was lucky enough to attend the Freelance Academy in July. This is a 6-day course aimed at people who want to be freelancers. You do not necessarily have to be a translator, as I met illustrators, writers, photographers, etc.
Of course we do not all live in Wales, but after that course I felt that my understanding of freelancing was much better than before. When we start marketing translation agencies and/or direct clients, we sometimes do not start with a clear plan in mind of what our next steps will be and we do not have any tools for assessing if we are making any progress at all.
The financial picture plays another important role. Our fees are not only a compromise between the client and us, but also our food/holidays/internet connection/car fuel/…, so we need to have in mind our expenses, so that we are sure that we do not just break even, but we can earn some (hopefully more than that!) money.
Since some of this information varies depending on the country you live in, it is worth to ask fellow translators, professional associations, tax offices, etc., to gather as much advice as possible. We are not only translators, but also entrepreneurs, so we need to act effectively in order to keep practising what we really love. So good luck everyone!