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How can I get clients?
Thread poster: Anderson Zheng
Anderson Zheng
China
Local time: 22:21
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 6, 2008

I have been working as a freelancer English-Chinese translator for several domestic translation companies for six years. Can any one tell me how to get direct clients, especially those clients in the United States or Europe?
Is it necessary to be a member of Proz.com before I succeed in getting such clients?

I would appreciate your nice suggestions.
Thank you!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Meet them Oct 6, 2008

eppworld wrote:
I have been working as a freelancer English-Chinese translator... Can any one tell me how to get direct clients, especially those clients in the United States or Europe?


To get (and keep) direct clients, you need to establish relationships. And relationships are based on honesty and personal touch. So the first step would be to change your web site from making it sound like you're a big translation company to one that speaks the truth about you. Your site also says that you have staff... do you really have staff?

Perhaps the best place to meet American and Japanese clients are in your own city, Shanghai. There must be lots of trade shows where American and Japanese companies have stalls. Now there's an opportunity to meet people personally, give them your card, take their card, and do personal followup a week or two later with the person you met at the show.

You're bound to be busy over the coming weeks:
http://www.biztradeshows.com/china/shanghai/

Also, knowing what trade show will take place two or three months from now gives you ample time to investigate the subject field and do some small jobs (even volunteer jobs) in that field, to prepare yourself a little better for meeting potential clients.

Many of the trade shows also have their own web sites that list the names of exhibitioners, so you can do even more homework.


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Nizamettin Yigit  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:21
Dutch to Turkish
+ ...
You may read resources Oct 6, 2008

Hi,
At proz.com there are plenty of material guiding you, forums, articles etc.

You will find them helpful.

Regards,

Nizam


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Anderson Zheng
China
Local time: 22:21
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you very much Oct 6, 2008

"Your site also says that you have staff... do you really have staff?"---Samuel Murray

Hi, Samuel Murray, I don't have staff, just some friends who are also translators and cooperating with each other in a loose manner.

Thank you for your advice, I will change my website into one like a personal website.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some more comments on my own post Oct 6, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
You're bound to be busy over the coming weeks:
http://www.biztradeshows.com/china/shanghai/


For example, in less than a week there is the China Toy Fair. This may not be quite what you're looking for, since most exhibitioners are Chinese, and if I read the news reports about this fair, I see that only a few of them currently market their products in the United States successfully. Could they possibly need good translations?

The labels of Chinese consumer products such as toys often have very poor English on them, and perhaps you can exploit this by printing a three-fold brochure (on plain paper, in black and white) that explains some of the errors that might put off American clients. Google for "engrish" to see some examples. A brochure like this would be fun to read and would drive home the point of using a professional translator for your business.

To find more sites that list trade shows, simply Google for some of the trade shows mentioned on the URL in my previous post. I Googled for "Shanghai Toy Fair" to find more information about that particular trade show, but some of the results were more directories of trade shows, with more listings.

I also found the web site of the trade show itself, along with a list of exhibitioners:
http://www.china-toy-expo.com/en/search/search.asp
The list contains e-mail addresses of all the exhibitioners -- perhaps you'd like to e-mail them that you'll be at the exhibition and that you look forward to meeting them and giving them your card. They might not have any interest in meeting you (yet) but remember, the key to direct clients is the personal relationship.

One way you can prepare yourself for a knowledgeable conversation is to look at what the American equivalents of the exhibitioners' products might be. The products they sell are often on the front page of their web site, so you don't have to do a lot of research. The chances are small that you'll have the opportunity to show your knowledge, but it pays to be prepared, even if you don't say a word.


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Anderson Zheng
China
Local time: 22:21
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
you are really very kind Oct 6, 2008

You are really very kind for explaining it in detail to me. I really appreciate your help.

Thank you!


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bright21st
China
Local time: 22:21
English to Chinese
+ ...
Thanks Oct 6, 2008

I have the same headache. Now I've got the answer. Thanks.

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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:21
English to French
+ ...
Language pair does matter Oct 6, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
For example, in less than a week there is the China Toy Fair. This may not be quite what you're looking for, since most exhibitioners are Chinese, and if I read the news reports about this fair, I see that only a few of them currently market their products in the United States successfully. Could they possibly need good translations?


From what I understand, you propose to somebody translating from English to Chinese to market his/her services to companies who may need good translations into English ?
In my opinion, it's not the good target... or it's exactly how you get "Engrish".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The OP shows both pairs Oct 6, 2008

bohy wrote:
From what I understand, you propose to somebody translating from English to Chinese to market his/her services to companies who may need good translations into English?


The OP's profile shows him as proficient in both EN>ZH and ZH>EN.


[Edited at 2008-10-06 19:36]


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 08:21
English to Spanish
Here Oct 6, 2008

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb&outsourcer_country=cn&start_number=0

Click on the "5" rated agencies, go to their websites, and apply.

You'll find your way.



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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Agencies versus direct clients Oct 7, 2008

Tadzio Carvallo wrote:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb&outsourcer_country=cn&start_number=0
Click on the "5" rated agencies, go to their websites, and apply.


The OP asked specifically about direct clients, not agencies.


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