The problem is simple – I have been contacted by new clients every second day with requests for a few lines or even a few words to be translated. The question stands, whether to take such jobs without actual hope to get a few Euros hoping for (mostly unlikely) long-term cooperation, or to reject such requests are non-profitable.
Originally, I used to take these jobs and deliver these even for free. This approach has not paid off many time, if ever. With growing demand for my work and diverse client base, I have decided to reject such small jobs that clearly do not offer any potential of a beneficial future cooperation. One of the reasons was, that even when I delivered for free, these “clients” started being annoying, asked for more free service, asked tens of questions, and so on.
Another reason is that these clients consider this to be “for granted” and even do not bother to ask how to pay. If I ever take any jobs smaller than 100 words from an unknown customer, I definitely ask for advance payment via Paypal or Moneybookers. This makes the things clear and nobody can be disappointed after the actual transaction.
I have considered to start selling my services in the form of “word blocks”, for example, the client would pay 100 Euros and receive 1,500 words “block” that could could be used any time and in any amount of words up to the remaining balance, just like prepaid calling card. On the other hand, I am not sure whether there would be demand for such mode of operation.
How do you treat these small translations?