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How to market yourself globally
Thread poster: Mahmoud Rayyan

Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 11:51
English to Arabic
Oct 15, 2008

Peace be upon you all,

I wonder how a freelance translator markets himself globally to international clients and agencies?
any ideas would help
thanks in advance.


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:51
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Some background informations needed Oct 15, 2008

Peace to you too, Mahmoud,
I wonder if it is possible for you to tell us something about
your marketing strategies so far.
Did you already contact some agency?
Which feedback did you receive?
Further good to know:
Your preferred fields of activity.
Your unique selling point and so on.
We need some basic background informations as a starting point for some advice.
By the way: if you do not provide more informations you might give the impression that you are lazy.;-)
Regards
Steffi


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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 11:51
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Not lazy at all Oct 15, 2008

Thanks Tuliparola for your reply, and concerning your requests:

your marketing strategies so far.
I contact Member companies of LISA and GALA and sent them my resume asking for a chance to be entered in their database as a freelance translator and from around 500 company, 3 or 4 of them replied and sent me a test then I passed It and became a registered freelance translator

Did you already contact some agency?

yes plenty of localization agencies and few responded to my email


Which feedback did you receive?

sometimes no reply, the other time a test sent to me and when I finish it I receive pass grade then I do not hear from them again


Further good to know:
Your preferred fields of activity.

I am seeking a chance to contact organizations or web site to offer them my services to localize their web site to the Arabic language, or to be Language specialist for a copmany like HP, Jaguar, Microsoft, any firm that uses localization services and do their business globally


Your unique selling point and so on.


I hope this has been informative
Thanks for your help


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 12:51
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Start from local market to feel the industry... Oct 15, 2008

Peace be upon you,

Many freelancers before going free started with working in some agency... There, you will come across various texts and quickly get experience... It is not good (for the agency), but some clients tend to shift from working with the agencies to working with the agency's employees directly... Just the money matter... Be careful... Sometimes, when the scope of job is outside of the major scope of the agency, it is OK. It might be your starting point.
I believe you language pair is demanded.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:51
English
+ ...
Just keep at it. Oct 16, 2008

Walaikum salaam, Mahmoud.

I would have thought making use of ProZ would be an obvious place to start. I see that indeed, you have already made a very good beginning with your ProZ profile. Besides bidding for jobs in your language pairs, you can also send a letter and link to your profile and CV to companies listed under Applications, found in the menu under Jobs. "Here you will find a list of outsourcers that are looking for applications from translators and/or interpreters. Only the outsourcers you qualify to apply for are shown."

Although I had many years of experience as an English editor/proofreader/writer in the US and Israel, when I wanted to begin working as a translator from Dutch to English in the Netherlands I volunteered to translate a website about a Dutch artist I admired. This led almost immediately to more (paying) translation work, so I suggest volunteering to translate for organizations or causes that interest you. This gives you experience as well as samples of your work to add to your portfolio, and also, let's hope, recommendations and word-of-mouth advertisement of your services.

If I understand correctly, it appears that you have already contacted organizations or web sites offering to localize their sites. Do you inform these organizations/web sites of the advantages of localizing?

Maybe determine to contact 3-4 potential new clients every day. Let people know who you are and what you do. Just keep at it, don't give up. Sooner or later, your efforts will bear fruit.


[Edited at 2008-10-16 22:48]

[Edited at 2008-10-16 22:50]


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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 11:51
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the advice Suzan Oct 17, 2008

Actually I liked your question
"Do you inform these organizations/web sites of the advantages of localizing?"

Yes I missed that point, I only offered them my services, but this is a good idea actually, I believe I will prepare a short power point illustrating the advatages of localization.

Many thanks for this advice and for all your precious words.

Rayyan


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:51
English
+ ...
Elevator speech Oct 17, 2008

I once heard someone say you should have an "elevator speech" prepared about what you do. That is, a little talk that you can give in the time it takes to ride a couple of floors in an elevator, explaining what you do and why you should be the person people call when they need that done.

Interestingly enough, I just googled "elevator speech" and found it is a quite common term (I just only recently heard it), and there are oodles of sites with information on how to prepare and use a good "elevator speech."

I mention this in reply to your idea to make a Power Point presentation. My first reaction was that not many people (if anyone) is going to take the time to watch a PPP. You need to get your message over in a much quicker way.

Another handy way to advertise yourself is a business card. Sites like www.vistaprint.com provide "free" business cards (you pay postage and they have their name on the back of the card. For a quite reasonable fee you can get cards without their name on it, so it looks a bit more professional, although I doubt many people even take the time to look at the back of a business card.) You can write your own text (within their limitations). I find it quite useful to hand someone a card with my name and contact details, listing the services I offer when they ask what I do.

I have also heard, by the way, that a potential client wants to know why he or she needs your services. What's in it for them. You have to be able to convince someone that what you do will give them added value, will make money for them. And you have to be able to explain why YOU are the person who can do it best.

Oh yes, and I suppose having your own website is a very good idea. If you are a paying ProZ member you are entitled to one. It's something that I haven't (yet) taken advantage of, but if you do it right, having your own website puts you out there for all the world to easily google.

I'm off now to check out some of those websites about elevator speeches so I have one prepared to back up my business card.


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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 11:51
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the added hints Oct 22, 2008

Thanks Suzan for this added info. and I will start applying those hints by God will, actually the ideal of building my website was a dream for me years ago and now I believe I am goint to make this dream true.
I will start also searching for my own Elevator speech, or to be precise "Creating my own Elevator sppech"
Thanks again and keep me informed if you met anything that is helpfull.


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