Episode 181: On Pricing and Why You Can't Raise Your Rates
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Translators
August 27, 2018
marketing localization
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Episode 181: On Pricing and Why You Can’t Raise Your Rates – Interview with John Milan

raise your rates

One of the hot issues for freelance translators is pricing – how to raise your rates, or why you can’t raise your rates. We often set our rates based on cost and competition. This strategy fails to consider how our services fit into the economy. In this episode I have invited a translator and economist to explain the market forces affecting our pricing, and how to use this information when setting our rates.

Important things mentioned in this episode:

  • How the perception of value matters for translators
  • How the competitive market affects or controls pricing
  • How prices are determined for translation services
  • What freelance translators can do to influence prices

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

There are many different ways we can present our freelance rates to potential clients. But there’s always the lingering question of whether we’re charging the right amount. There are many rate calculators out there for us. We should of course charge a fee that covers our costs, but it is also important to understand the perceived value of our services and how we can influence this.


John Milan is an ATA-certified translator, economist, writer, and lecturer with over 20 years of experience in language services. He holds a Master of Science in Microeconomics from the Ohio State University, where he was a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow, concomitantly specializing in Portuguese translation during his graduate studies. A degree holder in International Political Economy and Spanish from Indiana University and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. He is currently the Treasurer on ATA’s Board of Directors and has been on the finance and audit committee since 2015. He has been actively involved in the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters (CATI), spending eight years on the Board of Directors, serving as president from 2013-2016. From 1996 to 2005, he lived in São Paulo, Brazil, where he lectured as an adjunct professor of economics at a local university, while also working as a freelance translator and consultant.


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