As self-employed translation professionals, we are free to work with whatever clients and in whatever area of specialisation we choose. Some translators decide to work only for agencies, some work with a mix of select agencies and direct clients, and some prefer to work only with direct clients. Each business model is legitimate.
When starting out, most freelancers will initially target translation agencies rather than direct clients, and this is perfectly acceptable. Even some established freelance translators prefer to work for (high-end) agencies rather than direct clients, as they enjoy the constant workflow without having to take care of administrative tasks, sales and client acquisition. Let’s take a look at what to bear in mind and how to go about generating paid work through agencies, as well as the potential pitfalls.