9 Essential Chinese Phrases for Freelancers

Being a freelancer is tough. Without the security of regular income, you’re left scrambling to find clients, and good ones that will pay as well. What if you come across a good client with a great project, but just a small problem: there’s a language barrier. For those who might be engaged with a Chinese speaking client, we have 9 essential phrases to help you get through the initial meetings with your client.

1. I’m quoting $_____ for this project. 我对这项目的报价是$_____ 。

The essential phrase before you even get started on a project: Agreeing on the price. It is important to quote your clients, just be sure you aren’t coming across as rude when doing so in Chinese.

2. What kind of services do you need? 您需要什么样的业务帮助?

When you’re working on your own, it’s important to establish clearly what you’ll be doing for a project, so you and your client don’t end up confused. You’ll also be able to establish a system of your services and know what exactly it is you provide — as freelancers we do wear many hats.

3. I’m not the best man for that kind of job, let me see if I can hook you up with an alternative. 我不是那项工作的最佳人选,让我看看能不能给您找个替代人选。

Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and be honest if a project’s requirements is out of your own skillset. Don’t just say no, and get on with it though. Offer alternative solutions (and help your other freelancing friends out) to leave a lasting impression on your potential clients — they might just come back with a more suitable project in the future!

4. Before I get started on this project, I’ll need you to sign this contract. 项目开始之前,需要您签署这份合同。

Now, you wouldn’t want your client to run off without paying would you? Contracts state the work to be done, how long it’ll take, cost of services, number of revisions and the estimated quote that your client will be paying after the work is done. You’re a professional, so make sure to have legally binding contracts to protect both parties in the project, and to be...professional.

5. Let me know when you’d like to book a next meeting. 如果您想预约下次会议,请随时告诉我。

Highly unlikely that you’ll be getting a project done in just one sitting. Next appointments are there for updates and revisions, so your client will need to book a next appointment with you.

6. This project comes with x revisions, after which each additional revision is $x. 这个项目承包了x个修订,之后每一项额外的修订各需要$x。

Again, being clear with your pricing.  don’t forget to charge extra for additional revisions — but be clear with your client! It’s all about communication.

7. I’ve sent the invoice via email, please check. 我已经通过电子邮件发送了发票,请您查收。

Before you send your clients access to the final files — please invoice them and make sure you get your due payment before you do. This is to avoid payment delay, or even worse - clients running off without paying!

8. I’ve sent the finalised files over to you. 我已经把定稿的文件发给您了。

Well, this is what happens after you get your payment.

9. Do let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to help maintain for this project. 若您还需要我帮忙维持此项目,请随时通知我。

Some projects might require you to maintain or update the work over the course of a couple months or even years! If you can secure some form of regular income - why not! It’s always great to have returning customers.

If you’re interested in learning more key terms and phrases for freelancing, download Bluente to get full access to our business Chinese courses, where we teach terms for digital marketing, sales, design and more! Available on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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