Working as a freelance translator or proofreader in Germany
- Are you a freelance translator, proofreader or other kind of language service provider?
- Are you tired of rock bottom prices when working for translation agencies?
- Would you like to finally have your own website that is modern, visually engaging, optimized for search engines and mobile devices and meets the requirements of the GDPR?
- Or are you simply interested in getting more translation clients?
If so, then you are at the right place!
Language Boutique is an alternative – and fair – business model for freelance language professionals.
In 2007 Liz Naithani founded “Language Boutique” as a personal website for her own business as a freelance German-English translator, proofreader, and language coach.
Her husband Dave Naithani, a website and online marketing consultant, took on the responsibility of setting up her professional online presence. The result was an excellent organic Google ranking, which quickly allowed Liz to fully concentrate on her actual work as a language professional rather than investing unwanted time, energy and money in acquiring new clients. Not only that; soon her website generated so many requests for quotes that she was able to pass on some of them to her colleagues.
This success led the couple to the idea of growing Language Boutique into a high-quality network aimed at helping other language service providers achieve their business goals. A “virtual office community” presenting itself to clients as a consolidated brand of high-quality, custom language services by qualified native speakers.
Language Boutique is similar to a franchise. As a Language Boutique partner you profit from being connected to a brand with a developed and professional business infrastructure. This includes, among other things:
- A full-fledged website in the corporate design of Language Boutique, individually customized for each partner, their language pairs, and areas of expertise (see example website)
- Professional search engine optimization (SEO)
- Web hosting and maintenance by a webmaster
- The website …
- is optimized for mobile devices (responsive design)
- has an SSL certificate for encrypted transmission of sensitive client data (identified by the prefix “https://” and the lock icon in the address bar
- and a legal disclosure text (Impressum), personalized for you and adhering to the latest (German) legal foundations
- and it meets the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), amongst others by supplying a GDPR-compliant data privacy statement, a cookie consent banner, and GDPR-compliant processing of personal data*
- An email account with an address @language-boutique.de
- Creation of a personalized business kit, including business cards, quote and invoice templates, and other marketing materials as needed
- Advice and resources for improving your business and making it more professional
- The knowledge that you are presenting yourself as part of a high-quality brand and strong network, rather than as a lone wolf
- Legally-approved terms of service – optional
WHAT MAKES LANGUAGE BOUTIQUE SO UNIQUE?
We are not a translation agency. This means that you operate on your own account, according to your own price model, and remain the sole and direct contact for your clients.
*Disclaimer: Since we are neither a law firm nor anyone of us an attorney we can not give any legal advice. Any ressources provided on our website are merely thoroughly researched information – however, it is not intented to be taken as legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up-to-date.
Freelance language professionals such as translators, interpreters, proofreaders, language coaches, and other self-employed language service providers.
Because Language Boutique stands for high-quality services, we expect that you meet the following criteria:
- You must work only in your native language (for example, translators may only translate into their native language, not the other way around).
- If you did not receive your professional qualifications from a degree program or certified training course, and/or are not a member of a relevant professional association (where your qualifications were already checked during the admission procedures) you will need to provide us with other proof of your professional skill level.
- You must adhere to a high standard of professionalism and show a dedication to providing outstanding customer service to (potential) clients.
- You must have an excellent command of the German language.
By the way, absolutely nothing stands in the way of you having your own online presence in addition to your Language Boutique website.
The initial contractual period runs for two years, after that it can be extended on a yearly basis.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
- A one-time setup fee of 790 Euro upon signing of the contract.
- A recurring monthly fee, typically in the two-digit range. The exact amount is dependent upon several factors: the language pair, the number of services offered, the location and the payment interval (half-yearly, yearly, or the entire amount in advance). In any case, what you will spend in fees will be far lower than what you would pay for a professionally designed website – to say nothing of search engine optimization, website maintenance, and the other services included in our contract. Upon request we are happy to give you an exact cost breakdown for your particular situation.
The opposite is the case. Specifically because we want to avoid creating competition between Language Boutique service providers, we grant every partner exclusive rights.
In other words, each specific combination of
- service provided (e.g. translation or proofreading)
- language/language combination (e.g. German-English or German-French)
- region encompassing up to 1.25 million inhabitants (e.g. a major city or a district)
can only be given once.
To give an example, there can only be one German-English translator in Stuttgart within the Language Boutique network. With interpreters we expand the region so that there are only two interpreters with the same language combination within a federal state. This concept works particularly well for search engine rankings, since Google will always show the most relevant regional results first. In other words, someone who is looking for a translator in Dortmund will see different results than someone in Hannover that googles the same service.
There are great advantages to being part of a strong network, as our partners will confirm:
- During times when one is at full capacity, sick, or on vacation, it is easy to find someone in the network to take over.
- If one receives a request that is not in one’s area of expertise, one can quickly recommend someone more suitable, which clients really appreciate.
- Both of the above points also work the other way, so that work is passed on to you from time to time within the network.
- Particularly when working with corporate clients (businesses, publishing houses, communications agencies, etc.) it makes a better impression if they see that you are backed up by an entire network and a trusted brand – and are not just a one-person shop.
- Now and again the opportunity arises where one can work together with others in the network on a large assignment, something which a single freelancer would not be able to manage alone.
To find out which language pairs, services, and cities/regions are already taken in our network, see the overview at language-boutique.de.
If you like what you’ve read so far, or if you simply want to find out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Also read our press release about the launch of our network (in German):
Startup „Language Boutique“
06 Apr 2016
The alternative – and fair – business model for freelance language professionals
Nach einer intensiven, zweijährigen Pilotphase geht Language Boutique nun mit einer für freiberufliche Sprachdienstleister neuartigen Geschäftsidee an den Markt. Übersetzer, Lektoren, Dolmetscher und andere Freiberufler aus der Sprachbranche können bundesweit Kooperationspartner des Netzwerks werden. Wie bei einem Franchise-Modell profitieren sie davon, sich einer Marke mit einer ausgearbeiteten, professionellen Geschäftsinfrastruktur anzuschließen.