When looking into expanding your business to foreign markets, you will come to a point where you will need to decide on who will help you with your translation or content creation needs. You will need to decide whether you choose an agency or a freelancer to carry out the job. But to know which one is for you?
There are many differences between the two options and you will need to decide which one is better for you. Depending on the scope of the project and the languages involved, you might consider working with one or the other.
What does a translation agency offer to you?
Translation agencies usually have a extensive portfolio of websites and clients. This can give you a more accurate idea of the work they do and their project management capabilities.
In translation agencies, they typically have a team of project managers and a large team of translators working for them. They are expected to be able to provide language services in a high number of languages and specialities. Clients usually have one point of contact within the agency (the project manager) who will liaise with you and the team of translators and other stakeholders to make sure the project is delivered to you in a timely manner.
If you have a very large project that needs carried out in a short period of time, a translation agency usually has the resources to handle this effectively.
What does a freelancer offer to you?
Well, someone has to pay for all the project managers, facilities
and resources translation agencies I was talking about before use. Yes, you guessed it, YOU pay for them.
A freelancer might not have such a state-of-the-art office but that means you will pay a lower rate than when working with agencies. This doesn't mean that the quality of the final product is going to be worse as the ones who ultimately do the job at the agencies are freelancers too.
The only difference is that you will cut out the middleman.
The nature of some projects change as the work is carried out and while freelancer usually have the ability to adapt to them, agencies will typically stick to what has been agreed in the contract. A change to the contract means more charges and a possible delay in the completion date.
One of the things my clients like the most about working with me is the fact that they always find me ready to listen to their needs. Approachability is something a lot of clients do not get when working with translation agencies. For small busines working with clients, it's easy to lose track of what stage their project is in and to wonder how is going to look like when it's delivered back to them. Lack of communication is not usually the case with freelancers.
Which one should I choose for my business?
In the translation, SEO and copywriting business is the same as in all other industries; there are good and bad freelancers and agencies.
To help find an agency or freelancer that/who will deliver high-quality services for your business, look at examples of previous work and testimonials from previous clients.
It is also advisable to find out exactly how you will work together, what services you will receive from them and when these wil terminate (i.e. what you can expect from them).
Ask about turnaround times, terms of business and possible hidden extra charges.
If your business is relatively small or the scope of your project does not involve many languages (i.e. more than 7), you will probably be more comfortable working with a freelancer. His/her services are likely to be more affordable and s/he will be talking your same language (instead of KPI and CTR-ing to you).
Consider your business needs, the scope of your project and the goals you want to achieve. Take time to think through these as any agency or freelancer will be able to better meet your requirements if you are clear about what these are.
What about you? What did you choose and why? I'd love to hear your opinion @Sensetr