Pricing: Building in post-translation consultations to estimate costs - combining lines and time
Auteur du fil: Edward Turner

Edward Turner
Allemagne
Local time: 07:17
allemand vers anglais
Nov 25, 2020

Hello colleagues,

I'm looking for the optimal way to adjust my pricing policies and I think I need more ideas.

After years of following this pattern:

    I provide estimate based on length of source text

    Customer agree

    I translate and submit

    Customer and I clear up any final points via a short mail excahnge

    I get paid


I now have a (nice, otherwise agreeable) customer who on submis
... See more
Hello colleagues,

I'm looking for the optimal way to adjust my pricing policies and I think I need more ideas.

After years of following this pattern:

    I provide estimate based on length of source text

    Customer agree

    I translate and submit

    Customer and I clear up any final points via a short mail excahnge

    I get paid


I now have a (nice, otherwise agreeable) customer who on submission of work…

    Sees it as a draft

    Wants me to tweak it with him

    Does this via video call (per side of text ca. 1 hour)


We've discussed this and he's happy to pay more.

How do I price it?

So far I've got as far as:


Estimate: To translate text 123 of #lines, @ price Y/line, price includes x hours of video consultation; each additional hour billed at price of XYZ


How would you do it? What can we do to improve on this idea?
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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
anglais vers arabe
+ ...
..... Nov 25, 2020

First of all, I would NOT agree to do this via a video call, if I were you, for a number of reasons:
- Urgency: once they're on the line, you've got to take the video call.
- Dedication: you can/may not attend to anything else (no matter how urgent it might be!) for the duration of the video call (no matter how long it can get!).
- Formality: you've got to dress up, tidy up your surroundings, remove any distractions (including family members, flat-mates, etc.), etc.
- Sur
... See more
First of all, I would NOT agree to do this via a video call, if I were you, for a number of reasons:
- Urgency: once they're on the line, you've got to take the video call.
- Dedication: you can/may not attend to anything else (no matter how urgent it might be!) for the duration of the video call (no matter how long it can get!).
- Formality: you've got to dress up, tidy up your surroundings, remove any distractions (including family members, flat-mates, etc.), etc.
- Surprise: you won't be able to take your time thinking about each point they raise; so, you'll either strain your brain to be sharp within brief seconds, or provide them with half-a**ed opinions/suggestions.

However, if you're determined to accept said video call arranagement, then consider all the above and charge high (for both the translation and the video call)!

Final note: if the shoe was on the other foot (i.e. you requested to discuss with them via video-calling), a good chance they would say NO (because they would NOT like to go through the above hassle)!
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Edward Turner
Allemagne
Local time: 07:17
allemand vers anglais
AUTEUR DU FIL
Interesting points raised Nov 25, 2020

Some interesting points there, but not pertaining to my situation; our calls are planned and agreed on.

I don’t even mind them, it’s a creative process; what I’m looking for is more people to chime in on how they would handle them from a billing point of view.

[Edited at 2020-11-25 19:55 GMT]


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Allemagne
Local time: 07:17
Membre (2007)
néerlandais vers allemand
+ ...


Posted via
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Mervyn...? Chris...? ... Nov 25, 2020

... Exy? Food for thought?

Mervyn Henderson
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 06:17
Membre (2007)
anglais
+ ...
Does he want a translator or someone else? Nov 25, 2020

Edward Turner wrote:
I now have a (nice, otherwise agreeable) customer who on submission of work…

    Sees it as a draft

    Wants me to tweak it with him

    Does this via video call (per side of text ca. 1 hour)


We've discussed this and he's happy to pay more.

How do I price it?

Do you want to do this? Is this your job? Or is he looking for a language teacher or an editor?


 

Edward Turner
Allemagne
Local time: 07:17
allemand vers anglais
AUTEUR DU FIL
Yes, I want to do this Nov 26, 2020

Do you want to do this? Is this your job?

My job as freelance translator is to turn customer delight into cold hard cash (and lots of it).

I have no problem (yet) providing the service.

I have problems finding a clear and fair way to bill for it.

The customer is the creative director at the company. He creates texts marketing their highly specialised products, together we ensure that his vision in his L1 comes over in English, whil
... See more
Do you want to do this? Is this your job?

My job as freelance translator is to turn customer delight into cold hard cash (and lots of it).

I have no problem (yet) providing the service.

I have problems finding a clear and fair way to bill for it.

The customer is the creative director at the company. He creates texts marketing their highly specialised products, together we ensure that his vision in his L1 comes over in English, whilst respecting technical terms, length of sentences, company tone and the like.
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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:17
Membre (2018)
français vers anglais
. Nov 26, 2020

This sounds like a project I worked on a short while back. A French client was writing a book in English and needed someone to check his grammar etc.
What we worked out was:

He sent me a chapter. I revised it, using Track changes for him to see what I'd done.
He would call me (at a pre-arranged time, usually the same morning of the week when he had a gap in his schedule). He'd ask questions and comment on my work. I would note everything, then take the time after the
... See more
This sounds like a project I worked on a short while back. A French client was writing a book in English and needed someone to check his grammar etc.
What we worked out was:

He sent me a chapter. I revised it, using Track changes for him to see what I'd done.
He would call me (at a pre-arranged time, usually the same morning of the week when he had a gap in his schedule). He'd ask questions and comment on my work. I would note everything, then take the time after the call to think over his comments, check up on terminology, and come up with suggestions when his comments were valid. Once or twice I even had to write what amounted practically to an essay to justify my use of terms (ones he'd been using for ages so he was resistant to change). I would amend the text in light of our conversation and my subsequent work, and send it back again. He would go through all the revisions one by one to accept them (Word's revision features are just great for this).
I billed everything by the hour, and included all time spent obviously. It worked out pretty expensive but the client was delighted.

To adapt to your workflow, I would ask your client to send your work back with their questions and comments added in using Track changes, and set up an appointment for the video call to discuss these points. I find clients prefer to tell you in person rather than add comments into the text - that means the conversation will be longer, but that's his problem if you're billing this time.
If you need time to think stuff over, or feel "put on the spot", you can just highlight the term in question and promise to think it over. Then you send the revised text back with your suggestions and explanations. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Clients who accept my top translation rate get one round of revision for free. Others who need me to spend upwards of 30 minutes explaining and revising (provided it's not my fault for translating something wrong) will be billed for my time. The cheapskates don't always like extra billing, I think they feel cheated and I have to explain that time is money and I hadn't expected to have to spend that time working for them, in that the translation was done and dusted to my mind.
My personal experience is that it works much better if you just get them to accept a higher per-word rate - if they don't have any questions, that means you've earned the high rate simply by being marvellous! (and if you're marvellous, its usually because you've put in a lot of hard work while studying, or you're naturally talented, either way you deserve the high rate).
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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
anglais vers arabe
+ ...
Good luck with the formula you're looking for! Nov 26, 2020

Also, make sure you have a back-up station and internet line, in case of emergencies.

We would highly appreciate it if you will let us know how it worked out after you've tried it for a sufficient number of times.

[Edited at 2020-11-26 12:44 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Royaume-Uni
suédois vers anglais
+ ...
By the hour Nov 26, 2020

Why does it need to be more complicated than billing by the hour?

In my experience it’s only agencies who have a problem with trusting translators to bill by the hour.


Sheila Wilson
Erik Freitag
IrinaN
Mervyn Henderson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Matthias Brombach
 

IrinaN
États-Unis
Local time: 00:17
anglais vers russe
+ ...
+1 Nov 26, 2020

It doesn’t sound all that complicated.

Take it as a normal in-person translator’s communication with an in-house editor/curator. Charge by the hour and see if HE would be willing to continue the practice.

Of course, you’ll be dedicated to this exercise. How else? Just like the online interpreters do; they can only do 1 meeting at a time. Mind it, paid time:-)

I’m not sure why he wants video and not just audio but maybe he finds it easier for himself
... See more
It doesn’t sound all that complicated.

Take it as a normal in-person translator’s communication with an in-house editor/curator. Charge by the hour and see if HE would be willing to continue the practice.

Of course, you’ll be dedicated to this exercise. How else? Just like the online interpreters do; they can only do 1 meeting at a time. Mind it, paid time:-)

I’m not sure why he wants video and not just audio but maybe he finds it easier for himself to communicate, or maybe there are sketches or diagrams to show. There is no need to call a cleaning crew, and exterminate all organic life that thrives around you within 200 yards. In this type of setting you don’t even have to worry about occasional noise from the street or something like that. Leave the phone on buzzer. And if you set your monitor angle right, your party will only see your “shoulder portrait”, the upper parts of the walls and the ceiling. Cultural layers on your couch, chairs and floor are free to grow😊 You don’t need a bowtie either, just a clean T-shirt will do. Oh well, US is much more informal than Europe, so put on a casual shirt if it bothers you.
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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:17
anglais vers arabe
+ ...
..... Nov 26, 2020

IrinaN wrote:
maybe he finds it easier for himself to communicate, or maybe there are sketches or diagrams to show.

Could also be a way of "profiling" or "assessment" of him as a future candidate for a certain position (in-house; local or abroad). Perhaps, they want to measure your reactions, sharpness, fluency, etc., for the not-yet-promised job.


 


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