How to Be a Good Client

Why should I bother to be a good client, you might be wondering. Well, good clients make for happy translators, writers and editors. And happy translators, writers and editors produce work of even higher quality – which reflects well on you. So the benefit is mutual.

It’s not hard to be a good client. Here’s how:

  • Give praise when it’s due.
  • Give constructive feedback.
  • Pay promptly.
  • Be clear about deadlines. Don't ask your supplier for an estimated delivery time if you already know you need the work tomorrow. Tell them your deadline at the outset.
  • If you change your administrative procedures, let your translator/writer know in good time about the new arrangements. Please, do not suddenly suspend payments without prior notice while you get your new system up and running.
  • If you have to follow public procurement procedures, keep tender eligibility criteria proportionate to the size and scope of the contract.
  • Consider your translator/writer as part of the team. Let them communicate with content providers, web designers and anyone else involved in your projects.
  • Provide your translator/writer with any background material, glossaries, terminology, style guides etc that you use. This will help them avoid errors and misunderstandings and produce work that suits your organisation’s style.
  • Get your translator/writer involved in your project as early as possible. Send them a draft text if available so that they can familiarise themselves with the subject matter and make a start on the research. But make it clear that it’s only a draft.
  • Be open to input and suggestions from your translator/writer. They have lots of expertise, which they are happy to share with good clients.
  • Understand that translators and writers are not glorified typists.
  • Understand that translators and writers are skilled professionals.
  • Understand that language students are not able to produce professional-level translations. (Would you entrust your company's marketing campaign to a kid in second year of marketing and business studies?).
  • Understand that translators and writers sometimes need to do hours, indeed days, of research on your projects. And that their fee will reflect that.
  • Understand that cost is what you pay, value is what you get.
  • Remember that your translator/writer is on your side.
  • Say thank you.

Imagine a contented cat that’s just drunk a bowl of cream. Follow the above guidelines and you’ll keep us translators and writers purring contentedly and sparing no effort to provide top quality work that keeps you purring too.