With the rise of the internet and the boom in the freelancer economy, the way that translators and clients find each other has dramatically changed. Just as the act of translation itself breaks down boundaries, the internet has made it possible to hire translators no matter where in the world they live.
As well as working on a freelance basis for translation agencies, many translators also advertise their skills on freelancing platforms such as Upwork or freelancer.com which helps them reach direct clients who might not find their website or LinkedIn page. However, sometimes even these online services can be restricted by location, limiting the customers translators can reach, which is where a VPN helps.
What is a VPN and what does it do?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that relocates your IP to another country, allowing you to access and browse in that country’s cyberspace. To use a VPN you need to subscribe to one of the VPN services and download a VPN application or a browser extension to integrate it into a browser of your choice.
So how can translators use VPNs?
As previously mentioned, many translators now work remotely, doing business with clients from across the globe using email, Skype, and other digital tools. But there are still restrictions to this system. So what would happen if translators were to harness the power of VPN services into their profession? We have a few points to discuss that could help you out if you’re a translator yourself and wondering about VPNs:
Research is a vital part of translation, and translators can find themselves on unexpected websites searching for a specific term or an obscure cultural reference. Perhaps you are translating a website that mentions a local TV show or a regional news event, in order to find the information you need to provide the best translation, you sometimes need to visit websites which may not be available all over the world. Many sites are restricted by location, and nothing is more frustrating that not being able to access a page you need to finish a project.
That’s where a VPN comes in. One of the advantages of VPNs is that, by hiding your IP address and your actual location, you can establish a virtual location in another country, allowing you to access local websites that may be restricted in your area. This handy trick means that you are free to be based wherever you wish, and location should never get in the way of you expanding your business.
Increase your clientele
Success as a freelance translator is contingent on being able to get clients. When searching for customers, your physical location should not restrict you: this is the 21st century and working remotely is common in all kinds of fields. Think about which countries could be your target market and direct your advertising towards them. This may include setting up profiles on local professional websites, and a VPN could aid you in this step, both by allowing you access to these websites from anywhere in the world, and by making sure you come up when a client based in that country searches for translators.
Don’t limit yourself to just one or two countries; use your language skills to register on freelancing websites around the world. As a Spanish to English translator, for example, you could advertise in Spanish-speaking countries throughout Latin America, not forgetting Spain, as well as English-speaking locations such as the US, UK, Australia, and South Africa, to name a few.
A large network of clientele is sure to keep you busy and supply a constant stream of income from different countries. Speaking of different countries, by working with overseas clients, you may also reap the benefits of currency conversion rates that vary from country to country.
Keep a consistent online presence, even when you travel
Translators are international creatures who often live or travel around the world, meaning that, without a VPN, the place that their online freelancer profiles are registered in may not be their native country. It is standard practice to only translate into your mother tongue, and clients might get confused or suspicious by a French to English translator based in Russia, for example. They may also feel more comfortable reaching out to a translator who, at least digitally, is based in the same country as them.
In addition to opening an entirely new podium of opportunities, by using a VPN translators will also get the added advantage of privacy & protection from surveillance, the removal of censorship, and access to restricted sites that could be essential.
Translators often work with sensitive or confidential documents, and part of their job is to ensure that this information remains secure while in their hands. It is therefore crucial that translators have secure networks wherever they are working, be that their home office, a café or a coworking space. A VPN can provide this security.
As you can see, VPN services aren’t just a tool for the tech-savvy; they have successfully entered the layman’s domain and professionals that don’t need to be region bound can operate within multiple countries simultaneously. It’s time to embrace the VPN!
If you are looking for a reliable translation service with talented translators working in a variety of languages, check out BeTranslated. Get in touch for more information or a free, no-obligation quote today.