What are typical spanish interpreter salaries?

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Host

Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

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michael in Minneapolis, Minnesota

90 months ago

my name is michael and ive beem studying spanish in high school for 1 year now.and next year will make 2.than i will study spanish at transition plus for 3 years,and than im going to study spanish at an english college for 4 years.and i was wondering if i was 16 going on 17 what kind of spanish job i could get right now.

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CJ in Enterprise, Utah

86 months ago

michael in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: my name is michael and ive beem studying spanish in high school for 1 year now.and next year will make 2.than i will study spanish at transition plus for 3 years,and than im going to study spanish at an english college for 4 years.and i was wondering if i was 16 going on 17 what kind of spanish job i could get right now.

Probably nothing right now. You'll need more fluent experience.
However, don't give up. I am a Spanish interpreter (freelance) and I charge over $100 an hour and people pay me that without blinking an eye. I guess I should raise my rates!

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Nic in Olathe, Kansas

84 months ago

None is for sure

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David Williams in Minneapolis, Minnesota

83 months ago

CJ in Enterprise, Utah said: Probably nothing right now. You'll need more fluent experience.
However, don't give up. I am a Spanish interpreter (freelance) and I charge over $100 an hour and people pay me that without blinking an eye. I guess I should raise my rates!

Hello,
I am interested in finding a translating &/or interpreting job as well. I lived in Merida, Venezuela for 4 months studying International Business in Spanish and I lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico for one month studying Spanish Grammar.

So does somebody have a job for me?
Or, how do I set up a freelance translating/interpreting service?

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Mark L. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

83 months ago

I need a native spanish speaker with excellent English skills to translate some software that we sell to schools and families. A college student would be perfect! Please e-mail me at Mark@Marblesoft.com if you have these qualifications.

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Yolanda G. Puchner in Los Angeles, California

83 months ago

Host said: Do some companies pay a lot more for this position than others? What does a top earner make in this field?

What skills should you learn to increase your salary?

Court Interpreter salaries are the hightest. We have, so far, no steps so the only way to increase is to wait for a increase helped by your union if you have one.

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Yolanda G. Puchner in Los Angeles, California

83 months ago

michael in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: my name is michael and ive beem studying spanish in high school for 1 year now.and next year will make 2.than i will study spanish at transition plus for 3 years,and than im going to study spanish at an english college for 4 years.and i was wondering if i was 16 going on 17 what kind of spanish job i could get right now.

Teachers aide.

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Iris in Mountain View, California

81 months ago

what degree did you get in college to become a freelance interpreter?
I want to become one but dont know what to take in college? or what it fits under.

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N. Klasky in Los Angeles, California

81 months ago

Mark L. in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: I need a native spanish speaker with excellent English skills to translate some software that we sell to schools and families. A college student would be perfect! Please e-mail me at Mark@Marblesoft.com if you have these qualifications.

I am very interested in your translation project. I am originally from Venezuela and have lived in the U.S. for 25 years. I am a City Planner by profession but currently I'm staying at home. I have worked as a Spanish instructor at my children's elementary school. I volunteer as a Spanish/English interpreter and translator at a local Food pantry.

Please let me know if you are interested.

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Mark L. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

81 months ago

N. Klasky in Los Angeles, California said: I am very interested in your translation project. I am originally from Venezuela and have lived in the U.S. for 25 years. I am a City Planner by profession but currently I'm staying at home. I have worked as a Spanish instructor at my children's elementary school. I volunteer as a Spanish/English interpreter and translator at a local Food pantry.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you for your interest in our project. We recently found someone that is working out really good for us at this time. Good luck to you in your search and thank you for responding. M. Larson

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ana in Denver, Colorado

81 months ago

Iris in Mountain View, California said: what degree did you get in college to become a freelance interpreter?
I want to become one but dont know what to take in college? or what it fits under.

Did yoiu get a reply????
I am interested in the same.
Ana

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Mark L. in Minneapolis, Minnesota

81 months ago

ana in Denver, Colorado said: Did yoiu get a reply????
I am interested in the same.
Ana
Ana, we recently hired someone for our project. Thank you for your inquiry. Mark L.

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Josie in San Jose, California

81 months ago

I wasn't aware that you can really name your price to interpret?. I was called to join a company and just said $18per.hour assuming that was high,what should i do?I passed the spanish test and am qualified to work for this company, but should i raise my price?.They also pay mileage.

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Jessica in Minneapolis, Minnesota

80 months ago

Iris in Mountain View, California said: what degree did you get in college to become a freelance interpreter?
I want to become one but dont know what to take in college? or what it fits under.

I studied Spanish, my BA is in Spanish, But you could also study language and linguistics, and there are also translation and interpreting programs. To make it as a freelance translator is hard, especially starting out. I've been trying for about two years, getting experience with volunteer jobs, and current non-translation related jobs, and barely a couple paid jobs, it is really had when caught in the catch-22. Most employers and clients want a certified translator with experience, but to take the ATA certification exam, they require a minimum time of work experience. And then, only 25% may accually pass the exam. But ATA cerification is the best way to make more money.

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Maria Perry in Lawrence, Kansas

79 months ago

I think that everyone's comments(including the one from Puerto Rico)are very helpful. They give me some idea about the translator/interpreter's real world. I am a new brand interpreter and anything that is related to this job, gives me more to learn and think about what to expect in my future career.

Thanks to everyone!!

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Jorge A Calvimontes in New Brunswick, New Jersey

79 months ago

Hello:
I found the forum interesting, thans for sharing. I will be back to participate more actively.
Thanks again

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EsTodoUnaFarsa in Los Angeles, California

79 months ago

As a court certified interpreter salaries are pre-established and will vary from state to state IF YOU WORK AS AN EMPLOYEE. If you work as an independant contractor then you're SCREWED because the jobs will ALWAYS go to the lowest bidders, regardless of qualifications.

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Lore in San Diego, California

79 months ago

I was wondering under what major does spanish interpretation fall under?

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Bianca Ball in Mérida, Mexico

79 months ago

Hello, my name is Bianca Ball and I am a 22 year old feemale from Laguna Beach, CA. I currently am a student at Long Beach State College, and my major is Spanish. I have traveled all over South America, Spain and Baja California.
Also, I have studied two and a half years in Mexico and will finish my last year of college this August in Queretaro, Mexico. After graduation I would like to find employment as a spanish interperter, even in another country. Allthough I will have completed college by then and have a BA in Spanish, test taking has never came natural to me and I fear that I will experience great difficulty passing the courts test. What possibilities should I consider for my future as far as interperting?

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Weston in Kansas City, Missouri

79 months ago

David Williams in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: Hello,
I am interested in finding a translating &/or interpreting job as well. I lived in Merida, Venezuela for 4 months studying International Business in Spanish and I lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico for one month studying Spanish Grammar.

So does somebody have a job for me?
Or, how do I set up a freelance translating/interpreting service?

I need someone to do some spanish translating on Saturday, April 5, 2008, in the area of K.U. Medical Center. I am not sure how long the job will last and it may require a return on a second day.

Weston

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Lortiz in New Haven, Connecticut

78 months ago

In several states, the courts offer certification courses to be certified as a court interpreter,some, free of charge. also most states have schools that would help you be certified, there are also schools where you could get a certification in medical terminology to work as a interpreter in hospitals.Pay varies from state to state, but in a big city a court interpreter could make $60k + a year. In some states they let you work only 3 days a week for the first year, limiting your income but definitly gaining in experience, and full time after the 2nd year.

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Ana Azmitia in Denver, Colorado

78 months ago

Thank you for your response, would you recommend a school in Denver where I could get my certification and training in teaching Spanish as a second language.
Sincerely,
Ana

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Lortiz in New Haven, Connecticut

78 months ago

Ana, Try the Colorado Translator Assoc. I'm quite sure they can give you all the info you need. Kathy DiCenzo is the president and her e-mail is: kathy@kdtranslation.com

Good Luck

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Chris in Antioch, California

77 months ago

Hi Rosy, 18 dollars in a hour souds way too low if you're gonna be using your own vehicle.

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Lucia in San Diego, California

77 months ago

Hi everyone,

I am originally from Spain and I moved to San Diego almost 4 years ago.
I speak and write fluent English but I don't have any certification.
Any suggestions for this first timer looking to switch careers?
Thanks in advance!

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Janelle in Peoria, Arizona

77 months ago

I am planning to double major at a university in Spanish and another area. If I'm going to try to make it as a freelance translator, what do you recommend as a second major? Language? Business?

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Patty

77 months ago

Im looking for employment in the San Francisco area. Currently working on getting certified, however, I speak fluent Spanish.

garciapatty_1@yahoo.com

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Hi!!.  I'm a bilingual English Spanish speaker. I'm looking for a freelance job as Interpreter and  Translator. I have completed a medical-court interpreting courses and have taken the written test for the State Certification in California. michiteqmex@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Lucia in San Diego, California said: Hi everyone,

I am originally from Spain and I moved to San Diego almost 4 years ago.
I speak and write fluent English but I don't have any certification.
Any suggestions for this first timer looking to switch careers?
Thanks in advance!

Hi Lucia. Certification will be the best thing to do. You are not authorized to interpret for a Medical or Criminal case unless you are certified by the state of California...

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Joe Blow in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

The fact is NO ONE WILL ASK FOR YOUR CERTIFICATION and your ability to get work will depend SOLELY on HOW LITTLE YOU'RE WILLING TO WORK FOR.

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Raul in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Joe Blow in Los Angeles, California said: The fact is NO ONE WILL ASK FOR YOUR CERTIFICATION and your ability to get work will depend SOLELY on HOW LITTLE YOU'RE WILLING TO WORK FOR.

Amen to that :-)

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

As a court Interpretor you need state certification and for for the medical field as of jan 2009, you will have to be certified by the state of California to interpret. Of course if you work for other government agencies (dmv, ssi,irs etc) you won't need state certification..

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Elisa Garcia in San Juan, Puerto Rico

76 months ago

CJ in Enterprise, Utah said: Probably nothing right now. You'll need more fluent experience.
However, don't give up. I am a Spanish interpreter (freelance) and I charge over $100 an hour and people pay me that without blinking an eye. I guess I should raise my rates!

Where do you work?? I work with a company for 7.50 an hour!!

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Chris in Antioch, California

76 months ago

Oh my god 7.50 an ahour is absurd, What company do you work for?

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Justin in New Orleans, Louisiana

76 months ago

Hi there. I am fluent in Spanish Portuguese and Italian and I cannot make $100 an hour! How did you accomplish that? Is there some kind of certification? I have a BA from Tulane and an MA from U-Texas. What are the steps to take? Thanks for your help.

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Justin in New Orleans, Louisiana said: Hi there. I am fluent in Spanish Portuguese and Italian and I cannot make $100 an hour! How did you accomplish that? Is there some kind of certification? I have a BA from Tulane and an MA from U-Texas. What are the steps to take? Thanks for your help.

You need a lot specific vocabulary, (legal or Medical or administrative)a vast knowledge of the field were you are going to be interpreting (courts:judicial system); fluency in both languages (lot of practice) and a state certification (california for court interpreting is mandatory and for Medical will be after jan 01, 2009). The state examination is tough (takes an individual an average of 3 tries to pass it .... 2 years aprox, (examinations are schedule 2 or 3 times per year) Once certified by the state courts will pay $30 + an hour and if you work for lawyers you will be making $320 per session (1 to 4 hours per session)

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Sal Monella in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Justin in New Orleans, Louisiana said: Hi there. I am fluent in Spanish Portuguese and Italian and I cannot make $100 an hour! How did you accomplish that? Is there some kind of certification? I have a BA from Tulane and an MA from U-Texas. What are the steps to take? Thanks for your help.

Unfortunately for you there is a higher demand within the US for used soda bottle caps than for the language combination you possess. Particularly Italian. Most paisans are bilingual IF they even speak Italian anymore.

Portuguese -however- IS in demand in NJ, particularly within Hudson County. Interpreting therefore MIGHT work for you if you're willing to relocate. You might want to check it out. NJ pays $265-318 per day.

You see, as an interpreter you must learn to place yourself in an environment where your languages are spoken by a significant portion of the local population. THAT'S what requires local courts and such to provide language access for them.

Buona fortuna amicci.

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Justin in New Orleans, Louisiana

76 months ago

Haha. Point taken. I am about to sign up for classes of Pashto and Dari and Arabic. I heard that those cats get paid pretty well.

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Al Falfa in Los Angeles, California said: HAHAHAHAhahahaha. Indeed. And the Queen of England herself will bestow upon you a knighthood whereupon you shall henceforth only poop pellets of solid gold.

Really, what are you smokin'?.

Not smoking ALFALFA , it is a fact!!!! ask any of this certified working interpretors: Silvia Gold Zajn 323-934-2585, Amador Solis 323- 661-5633, Cristina Arana 323-872-1382 I have a list with 22 more for your info. No queen of England... but a lot of efort to get certification (2 years of practicing, precticing). CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF!!!!.

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magda yankelowitz in Cary, North Carolina

76 months ago

Annit, I know a company that you can use your skills as a billingual, my email is:
magda051981@hotmail.com.

Any question is my plaesure to help you.

Best regards,
Magda

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Al Falfa in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Yolanda G. Puchner in Los Angeles, California said: Court Interpreter salaries are the hightest. We have, so far, no steps so the only way to increase is to wait for a increase helped by your union if you have one.

UNLESS your union is CFI in which case you're screwed beyond hope regardless.

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Al Falfa in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

Weston in Kansas City, Missouri said: I need someone to do some spanish translating on Saturday, April 5, 2008, in the area of K.U. Medical Center. I am not sure how long the job will last and it may require a return on a second day.

Weston

The poster you're quoting in your response is in Minneapolis, Minnesota and you're still in Kansas, Dorothy. Maybe you should ask the Wizard for some help.

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Al Falfa in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

What a bunch of morons & moronic questions;
"I lived 3 months in Cancun, can I now be an interpreter"?
"I once entered a Taco Bell and asked for a quesadilla, does that mean I speak Spanish"?. "My cousin is dating a Mexican chick, can we both be certified"?.

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Liz in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

75 months ago

Hello, I'm a Legal Interpreter. (Court Interpreter) I just move to Puerto Rico but I'm originally from Cleveland Ohio. In Cleveland you can work for an agency with no experience starting at $25.00 hr. However an agency does not promise you hours. There for I suggest for you to sign up with many agency if your looking to make a career out of it. It also depends on the language and it's high demand. For example spanish is a high demand in Cleveland and many other states due to the fact that spanish is the second language in the United States. But in Detroit Michigan it is Spanish and Arabic and Chaldean and many more foreign languages so you must research to see what language is needed in your area to match your language. There is also deferent types of Interpreting. Medical, legal, telephonic and many many more. If you become state certified. Which is a test you must take. A verbal and written that the state provides, then
your pay rate will become greater and you can find employment with more than sufficient hrs depending on the language and it's demand. To prepare for your certification you may visit www.interpreting.com If this you choose as a career. You can also prepare for the federal certification to be able to work in a federal court house. Now Interpreting is verbal and translation is written many people get confuse. About translation you may search the engine that is also a great opportunity but have not much info in that are. It is also in great demand. If your not fluent in a language then it is a bit difficult to become an interpreter due to the fact you must be able to think in both languages. Been an Interpreter it's not an easy task. You must have excellent fluency in more than one language understand the languages without difficulties and have excellent short-term memory. I hope i have provided you with information that may help. One thing I can say I love it. That I can be some ones voice and I am the bridge for understanding.

Liz

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Ty in Thayne, Wyoming

75 months ago

I lived in Argentina studying Spanish on my own for two years, and I'm quite good. I don't have a degree though. I did take one year of Spanish in college, I tested out of all the easy level classes, and didn't even go to my upper level classes, I just got my assignments, and recieved higher grades than the rest of my class. I guess my question is, can I get a job interpreting that pays well, even if I don't have a degree? If I can, where should I start looking?

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

75 months ago

I couldn't find the exact web site but, you can log into the Superior Court Web Site and look for the Interpreter program.. You will find the INFO, the state examination is administrated by THOMPSON PROMETRICS (you can also check their web site...

Good luck...

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Travis in Palm Coast, Florida

74 months ago

Alright... I actually read all of these posts one by one. There are a lot of people here who really want to work as translators, and I wish them all the best of luck. I, myself, am no different. I feel as though I have an abundance of spanish-speaking credentials and experience yet, at the same time, have never found a use for my abilities aside helping random people in varied situations to overcome communication obstacles, especially in health care. I am a Registered Nurse with roughly a decade of critical care/emergency room experience. I hold a BS in Nursing and a BA in Spanish. I lived in Puerto Rico where I attended nursing school, lived, and worked as a nurse for many years. After 18 years of experience with the language, including teaching it, I feel this skill should have some marketable attributes associated with it. So, now that (apologetically) you've been practically force fed my resume... I hope you get the intended impression. I am not a newbee to either translation, health care, or the Spanish language. I would simply love to hear thoughts on how I can use it all to generate an income! I am willing to travel as needed, including internationally and have no problem with public speaking/lecturing. If anyone can let me know of any ideas/opportunities existing for my skill set, please let me know!

My humble thanks and best regards-
Travis

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Tess Tyckle in Los Angeles, California

74 months ago

Travis in Palm Coast, Florida said: Alright... I actually read all of these posts one by one. There are a lot of people here who really want to work as translators, and I wish them all the best of luck. I, myself, am no different. I feel as though I have an abundance of spanish-speaking credentials and experience yet, at the same time, have never found a use for my abilities aside helping random people in varied situations to overcome communication obstacles, especially in health care. I am a Registered Nurse with roughly a decade of critical care/emergency room experience. I hold a BS in Nursing and a BA in Spanish. I lived in Puerto Rico where I attended nursing school, lived, and worked as a nurse for many years. After 18 years of experience with the language, including teaching it, I feel this skill should have some marketable attributes associated with it. So, now that (apologetically) you've been practically force fed my resume... I hope you get the intended impression. I am not a newbee to either translation, health care, or the Spanish

My humble thanks and best regards-
Travis

Here's an idea; start an medical interpretation school!. It's very simple you could pattern it after Nestor Wagner's model. To wit some specialized terminology overviews, mock exams and lab practice and you're off. I don't think the start up costs would be too high. All you need is a classroom-sized (or two) locale, some audio euipment w/headsets, a few blackboards and a visit to Kinko's. 5 grand tops should get you going. With your (hopefully) connections in the field you could even line-up potential jobs for graduates, making your school more attractive..

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Travis Thomas in Palm Coast, Florida

74 months ago

Tess Tyckle in Los Angeles, California said: Here's an idea; start an medical interpretation school!. It's very simple you could pattern it after Nestor Wagner's model. To wit some specialized terminology overviews, mock exams and lab practice and you're off. I don't think the start up costs would be too high. All you need is a classroom-sized (or two) locale, some audio euipment w/headsets, a few blackboards and a visit to Kinko's. 5 grand tops should get you going. With your (hopefully) connections in the field you could even line-up potential jobs for graduates, making your school more attractive..

Tess- Thank you for the idea! Yours is an insightful response and one I will definitely look into to. It may actually complement the health/safety education business I already have, hopefully drawing more clientele. (www.synergyhealthandsafety.com) The problem is, I have not had enough exposure to generate an a good growing client base. The cost of advertising is, quite frankly, currently beyond my reach. You're right, I really need to need to utilize existing connections to generate more leads and ultimately more business. Thanks for all thoughts listed in your post!

Travis

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