Greetings from the freelance revolution! I am so pleased that you have decided to, or are considering, joining the growing groundswell of interpreters working, living, and playing as the masters of their fates; captains of their destinies. Below are guidelines for the etiquette that other direct-hire interpreters try to abide by in order to keep the grass green on this side of the fence. Let me know if you have questions. Otherwise, welcome to the revolution!
ASL Freelance Interpreter Suggested Etiquette
- In order to keep things simple, I prefer to give fellow freelancers direct access to clients. To that end, my emails will usually state that the assignment is DIRECT and I will ask you to contact the POC for further information. Please do not continue to send questions to me at that point as I will have given you all I know already. If there is some kind of contractual limitation that obliges me to handle the billing, I will do so and that will also be clearly stated in the request.
- I know not everyone can/wants to accept credit card payments. If a client needs to pay by credit card, I will clearly state this in the request. If you would like to accept the assignment and do not have credit card capability, I am happy to bill the assignment for you. You MUST email me and the client to explain that the invoice will be coming from me and then you MUST send an invoice to me in accordance with my billing requirements. My credit card services cost about 4 – 6% to run a charge. Please bill accordingly and know that your check from me will be for the amount of the invoice less the credit card fees. These fees are tax-deductible.
- I cannot help you decide how much you should charge. Only you know how much training, experience, credentialing, and skill you have. I can give a suggested range, but there are many published direct-hire interpreters out there for you to research. If you price gouge, I will probably hear about it from the client and I will remove you from my referrals list.
- Please speak and write professionally in your communications with a referred client. Using “chat speak” in emails or sending invoices scribbled on cocktail napkins reflects poorly on you as a professional and on me since I referred you. If you are starting out and need help with creating professional invoices, let me know. I have several templates at my disposal for you to customize for your own use.
- My referrals are intended to help you grow your own direct clientèle. In order to keep the freelance revolution open with opportunities for everyone, please note that freelancers who ask clients go through an agency OR who ask clients to sign any kind of exclusivity contract will be removed from my referrals list.
- If you drop the ball on maintaining contact with the client I referred to you and they start bugging me about it, I will refer them elsewhere.
- If you accept a referral that I sent out en masse, please put out the ALL CLEAR so that we can stand-down the alert.
Your professionalism and etiquette are your best recommendations. Please take care of them and nurse them right along with your signing skills. Vive la revolution!