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Why Translators Should Collaborate - Not Compete - With One Another

“But they’ll steal my clients”

Have you ever found yourself thinking that when faced with the option to collaborate with or recommend another translator to your clients?

Seeing other translators as nothing more than competitors is a mindset. It’s a perspective that says there aren’t enough clients and that you’re in this alone.

The good news is that you aren’t!

Translators can and should support one another.

There are too many different language pairs, specialisations, clients and unique professional traits to operate with a competitive mindset. Translators working together can help business rather than hurt it.

Today, we’re going to break down why translators should collaborate rather than compete.

Good clients are loyal

The biggest objection to collaborating with other translators is the fear of losing clients.

Translators each have a unique selling point that makes them right for a certain client.

Going beyond the obvious language pair and specialisation, there are other things that make you unique as a language professional.

If you focus on your USP and building quality relationships with clients, they stay loyal. They chose you and have continued working with you for a reason. It’s not just for your language pair.

If you’re scared that another translator with the same language pair can easily replace you, then maybe that’s true. In that case, it means you need to review what value you truly offer your clients and how you can improve your relationships.

With healthy client relationships, collaborating with other translators is a benefit, not a risk.

You can deliver a larger volume, maintain quality, and hold each other accountable for translation decisions.

Translators are some of the best sources of referrals

A translator can only take on so much work. And only within their own language pairs and specialisations.

In our experience, networking with other translators creates more and higher quality work opportunities. For one, they’ve already vetted their clients. If they trust them, maybe you can too.

Second, clients that come from fellow translator referrals are far more likely to close. They trust the translator’s recommendation and have an immediate need for something you can provide.

But they won’t just refer anyone. They’ll refer people they know, that they’ve interacted with before, even if only online. Don’t isolate yourself from the translation community because you think they’re just competitors.

Letting go of the survival-of-the-fittest mindset and deciding to connect with translators can create a whole new stream of income.

Translators can help one another improve

A strong value proposition is delivering a translation that’s been revised by a second pair of eyes.

Sometimes, there isn’t a budget for a reviser. For a lot of translators, especially those just starting, it’s just not a possibility.

But the beauty is that when two translators team up, they can revise each other’s work for free. Just keep track of how many words you’ve revised and try to keep it even. Consistently delivering high-quality, revised work will help strengthen your reputation as a translator and eventually land clients that do have the budget.

Find another translator in the same language pair and specialisation as you. Instead of seeing them as competition, try to collaborate to help each other improve and grow.

Shifting from a competitive to a growth mindset

Money doesn’t come from being hyper-protective of your business and clients. It comes from trying to deliver the best value to your clients. From a dedication to truly wanting to deliver high-quality work.

Ask around. Translators do best when they learn to collaborate with one another and support each other.

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