Episode 164: WordPress Websites for Translators – Interview with Tanya Quintieri
April 2, 2018
Episode 166: Charge Based on Value, Not on Price – Interview with Vanessa Ugatti
April 16, 2018

Episode 165: What to Expect When Working with Direct Clients – Interview with Herman Boel

What can we expect when working with direct clients?

That’s one thing you listeners have indicated you want to hear more about. Working with direct clients is different from working with agencies. We have to do a lot more work to find them and to service them. But it is also very rewarding, both financially and professionally. Based on a recommendation, I ‘m interviewing a Belgian translator about this topic, Herman Boel. We discuss what to expect when working with direct clients. (For example file formats, marketing, communication, deadlines, price negotiation etc.) .

Important things mentioned in this episode:

  • We are the language expert and responsible for all aspects of the project
  • We need to be proactive and educate the client to provide value
  • How and if to negotiate prices and deadlines
  • What file formats we can expect to receive and deliver
  • Tips for marketing to direct clients and provide value

Links mentioned in this episode:

Working with direct clients can be very rewarding, if you’re prepared to do the work. It can also be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. We have to see ourselves as business owners and want to serve, if we will succeed with direct clients. I’ve found some good reading for you too. One is “Why getting direct clients is difficult for translators”, by Robert Rogge. Another is “An experienced freelancer’s guide to finding clients” by Paul Jarvis. The last one I want to mention is “Direct client contact ideas” by Jesse Tomlinson in the ATA chronicle. I hope all these tips will encourage you to go out and contact direct clients. Now you will be more prepared for it too.


Herman is a Dutch Language professional who lives in Aalst, Belgium, 25 km west of Brussels. He graduated in 1995 as Master in Translation at the Ghent University. After one year in the newsroom of a commercial television station, he was project manager for 15 years in Belgian translation agencies. In April 2011 he settled as freelance translator (Alta Verba). He is author of seven non-fiction books, one of which was translated into Chinese. He has been guest lecturer at the Shanghai SISU University, and a few times gives lectures at the universities of Ghent and Antwerp. He has a succesful language blog with accompanying Facebook page. Last year, he started coaching beginning and experienced translators for them to become even better entrepreneurs.


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