Going freelance is never easy. And when you’re trying to break into a niche as competitive as English language translation, it might just seem impossible.
Just ask Kornelija Šalnaitė. Translator, philologist, business owner – she’s the force behind Kornelijos Vertimai a Lithuanian to English translation service focused on delivering technical translations of the highest quality.
According to Kornelija, the journey to freelance success all started with a brand new Zyro website.
Along the way, Kornelija found her way out of the 9 to 5 and she’s never looking back.
It’s scary to call myself a freelancer. Honestly, I never thought I’d make it.
When I first started I really didn’t have any idea of how I was supposed to get started.
To tell you the truth, the I did was Google “how to become a freelance translator.”
Everywhere I looked, the number one tip was always to make your own website.
That’s how I got started, it was really as simple as that.
Taking time off from work made me realize that I never wanted to go back
When I was working for somebody else, I always thought, why am I doing this? I didn’t feel like I had a purpose.
I had a year off work and I thought to myself, OK, this is your chance.
At that time, I’d been listening to all kinds of talks and podcasts. And I came across this idea that you have to learn to value yourself.
One of the most important things in my life is the idea that I should never stop learning and that inspires me to try new things.
I’d never made a website before, so I went for it.
I need something that would be quick and easy and affordable and that was Zyro.
Going freelance is absolutely the path for me
Before I made my website, I felt like I could never be a freelancer.
In my head, it was one of those things that just wasn’t available to me.
I can’t be a freelancer. I don’t know how to make jewelry and sell it on Etsy.
Later, I realized that with a website you can sell all kinds of services.
And I started to think, well, maybe, I can actually do something good.
Even the tiniest bit of feedback can change your entire feeling about a project.
When a client leaves me a nice review, I understand how much my job is worth to them and it drives me to do more, and be better.
Running a business makes me feel more confident
There’s always a little bit of an imposter syndrome when you first start doing anything.
So many people can speak English, you think to yourself, what makes me any better than anyone else?
That all changes when you get your first paycheck as a small business owner.
I realized that I do a good job, I am a professional translator, and I can create a workplace for myself.
That first success changes everything
If you’ve always worked for somebody else like I had before it’s hard to understand that feeling.
Sure, right now, I may not earn the same amount of money as I would in a regular 9-5.
And there’s also the fact that I can’t make any plans because I’m working almost everyday.
But would I swap it? No way.
It gives me freedom to choose what I want to do, when I want to do it and how to do it.
Building a website? I had no idea, I just knew that I had to have one
Making a website used to be one of those big obstacles to starting your own business.
It was a question for me for many years.
You don’t really have the money to hire a specialist to do the site and even if you did, you don’t really want to invest that kind of money in a project that might fail.
Personally? I really wanted to give it a try.
So, I started doing my research and I realized that if you want to build a website from scratch you would probably need a bachelor’s degree in website design.
I decided that there was no way that I could do it for myself.
That’s when I found Zyro
After a little research of different website builders, I came across Zyro and saw how intuitive it was.
From that point I was confident that I could do it myself.
It needed to be kind of fast but I also wanted it to be flexible.
I liked the idea that there’s a template that you can tweak to make it your own, but otherwise it already looks totally professional.
Zyro took the risk out of trying something new
It’s the price, the speed, the ease of use.
Zyro allows you to kind of take those risks without being scared.
If you don’t want to invest a lot of money. I don’t think there is a better balance of price and quality out there right now.
I compared a few different sites but what finally swung me was the quality of the customer service.
It has been amazing and if you’re new to website building it makes the biggest difference.
At first, I was so apologetic. I’m sorry I’m asking you this but can you help me…
My mom could do it, it’s that simple
The customer support team would always explain everything so clearly.
If you just have the vision, it’s impossible that you wouldn’t be able to do it.
After a while I realized that there are no silly questions when you are trying to learn something new.
That was when I really started to enjoy it.
I was kind of scared that I wouldn’t have enough technical skills to build a website but as soon as I got started I realized how easy it is.
Don’t overcomplicate things, that’s the key
My needs are simple. The main thing I needed was just to explain the information.
For me, the most important thing was the contact form.
It’s such a simple thing, but now people can reach me really easily.
Honestly, everything came together so fast, and I started getting these inquiries about translation services that I even got scared.
I was on the verge of getting more jobs than I could actually physically do, you know.
So yeah, I guess you could say that the website has been successful.
My original plan was to sign-up to some platforms for freelancers to get my name out there but I still haven’t registered yet because I’m already getting so many inquiries.
It’s so much more useful than a Facebook page
With a website, you can really create something that is rich in detail.
But it is not as if that makes it difficult or time consuming to change things.
Last night, I came home from my regular job, logged on to Zyro and I changed everything.
It took me maybe three to four hours and I think it looks so much more professional right now.
If I have an idea, I can bring it to life so fast. It is truly amazing how quickly you can see the results.
On other platforms, I would say it would take at least a week to do what you can do on Zyro in just one day.
The best way to start is to close your eyes and just do it
If you keep putting it off, it is never going to be the right time.
You could tell yourself that you are going to do it next week, next month, or next year but you know in your heart that it is never going to be the right time.
You just have to get out there and do it.
I’m a quiet person and I’m still scared about showing myself off and making that step to start promoting yourself is terrifying but I’m really glad I did it because I can see my path clearly now.
Where do I see myself in a year? I’m going to be a full-time, freelance translator.
I want to go full time but I’m taking it step by step..
If I do something, I do it with professionalism and to the highest quality I can.
I’m not someone who is going to rush into it.
You need a website if you want to do something by yourself and now that I have mine, I’m well on my way.