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hypothetical situation: money is no object - how and where would you advertise your services?
Thread poster: Fan Gao

Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 07:25
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Sep 27, 2006

Hi,

This is a hypothetical kinda just for fun question. I wasn't sure whether to post it under "Money Matters" or "Getting Established" as it's to do with marketing and advertising so I played safe and went with "Business Issues"

The hypothetical situation is that you are absolutely stinking rich and money is no object whatsoever:)

Now maybe if you were stinking rich you might stop working full stop but let's just suppose that your love of translation makes you want to keep on working.

My question to you is....how and where would you advertise your services to get the maximum exposure?

Now there are many many extravagant ways in which you could do it and I guess for me it would be prime-time TV advertising, sky-writing, endorsements from movie and rock stars etc but let's face it...never going to happen!

There is a serious side to my question as I'm trying to think of more effective ways to advertise our services. Is it possible or realistic to think about advertising in top publications like the NY Times for the US as an example?

In your country is there a major newspaper or magazine that you would love to see your ad appear in?

I'd love to hear your feedback and it could help all of us. Maybe there are other options out there for all of us that won't break the bank. I also feel these days that we rely on the internet too much and tend to think that as long as you're registered with the major players or have a website of your own then that is enough. There have to be other, simple, cost effective, possibly more traditional ways which we overlook nowadays.

Best wishes,
Mark

(p.s. I haven't posted this as "off-topic" because as I said there is a serious side to my question so it's half play and half work:))

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-09-27 13:22]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
So what? Sep 27, 2006

I for one, if I were absolutely stinking rich and money were no object whatsoever, would not advertise at all. On the other hand I would not give up translation either, I'd just work for those clients I like and forget the rest.

Like I do now.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 15:25
German to English
Agree with Henry Sep 27, 2006

One of the advantages of having an independent source of income is the ability to pick and choose your clients. Advertising would only attract random inquiries which would require a response. I have a website which regularly attracts queries; most of the time the queries are from people looking for work, not trying to hire me, or crackpots wanting me to translate their life stories / novels in return for royalties (and, yes, I'd have to market the translation, to boot). I can't see the benefit of a single-shingle translator spending money extravagantly on marketing.

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Manuel Rossetti
Local time: 20:25
advertising dream Sep 27, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:

I for one, if I were absolutely stinking rich and money were no object whatsoever, would not advertise at all. On the other hand I would not give up translation either, I'd just work for those clients I like and forget the rest.

Like I do now.


If I were or became filthy rich, I would not advertise. For one, I'd be scared the mob or some wacko would come after me. I'd have others work for me and would not let anyone know I was rich. I'd operate a big language firm.


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Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 22:25
Member (2004)
English to Greek
+ ...
I would to say that... Sep 27, 2006

I agree with Henry.

Why would a stinking rich translator need to advertise (meaning looking for more clients) when we barely have time to think with the work we have now?

No, thank you. I prefer to continue with my existing clients (after discarding a few) and enjoy my money


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Filthy rich businesses advertise to get richer Sep 27, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
I for one, if I were absolutely stinking rich and money were no object whatsoever, would not advertise at all.


The purpose of advertising is to get richer. So even if you are very rich, you are able to afford bigger advertising, which leads to more customers (or higher paying ones), which leads to more riches.

If money was no object for me, I'd plough lots of resources into translator education and setting standards, pooling skills and getting a monopoly on translation services, and at the same time spend money on ways to improve the public's (and business') awareness of translation and the need for it (and not to accept translation at low prices, or from any other translators but mine).


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Cecilia Falk  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:25
English to Swedish
If not stinking rich Sep 27, 2006

Hello,
Maybe the question could be rephrased without the ”stinking rich” part. Let’s say that you needed the work and you got the opportunity to advertise anywhere you wanted for free, what would you choose then?
Personally I would not advertise anywhere on a large scale as a freelancer. I think you would probably get too many requests that you would not be interested in – wrong language combination (many potential clients seem to have difficulties with this, or just not bothering to make sure they are contacting a translator with the languages in question), strange requests from obscure sources with offers to translate something for free and get paid if their product is a success, etc.

Furthermore I totally agree with Samuel - that's what I would also do!

Best regards,
Cecilia


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 07:25
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rephrase... Sep 27, 2006

Hi,

Apologies but I think my original positing is being completely misunderstood...my fault. I tried to to combine a light-hearted topic with a serious topic in one post and it hasn't worked.

The point I was really trying to make was in the second half of my post and that is other alternatives for advertising. If I could rephrase as follows:

Remaining in the financial position you're in now but having the opportunity to advertise, just once, in the best medium for your country outside of the Internet ....how would you do it?

Apolgies again for my ramblings about being stinking rich and prime-time TV etc.

Best wishes,
Mark


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 22:25
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
media magic Sep 27, 2006

Translators seem to be a bit afraid of advertising (for all the right reasons mentioned here Id say), however if I was in need of an add or simply would wake up one morning thinking I could do something extravagant Id make an interesting design for my add to catch attention and then write something engaging that would differ drastically from the traditional business-like texts of other commercials.

Lets face it, most adds are more or less the same in shape and form, so the main point is to be different. To me - if I was ever to take such step and advertise in my local newspaper - the aim would be to create an air of some exciting new thing people had not realized so far (even if they knew it existed).

Hope Im making sense this morning

Stella


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Natasa Grubor  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:25
Partial member
English to Serbian
+ ...
If stinking rich... Sep 27, 2006

I would advertise myself - my work on the shirts of Brad Pitt and George Clooney and they would have to wear it in public. Just to think about catchy words.. if it would be ie. "write cyrillic" Clients expected to desperatelly seek my service: Мицрософт, Мерцедес...

Can i keep on dreaming?


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:25
German to English
+ ...
Full-page glossies in scientific/trade journals, fair exhibition? Sep 27, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:
Remaining in the financial position you're in now but having the opportunity to advertise, just once, in the best medium for your country outside of the Internet ....how would you do it?


Despite an unlimited budget, one would still need to advertise smartly. How can I reach an untapped (and particularly lucrative) target clientele? Personally, as a DE-EN technical translator, I'm (often) looking for German-speaking professors and researchers whose English is not quite up to speed for a major journal or conference. My top choices:

1) 1-page ads in top German or Swiss scientific journals or trade publications. Here I am guaranteed to reach the German-speaking target group, and as a researcher it is imperative to publish in English as well.

2) Alternatively, I might try a German (or bilingual) ad in a major English-language scientific publication, like Nature.

3) An exhibition stand and personal presence at a major fair in Germany (CEBIT or Hannovermesse, just off the top of my head) might also be effective. Here the target group would be more industrial.


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:25
German to French
+ ...
If money was not a matter... Sep 27, 2006

I would turn into a full blown company and not just translating.

There is a lot of activities that would be very fun but you would have to invest so much that it is not worth it.

Diversifying in my opinion is much better than advertising because one branch of your business may indirect advertise for the other without too much efforts (as long as you are good in what you are doing).

An example:
I am offering translation, my husband knows himself quite good with software and has interest in treatment of old photographies (digitalizing them to save them, working on digital photos), for him IT is however not an option, it is dead since the IT burst of the year 2000. By joining all interest, one could start from translation to DTP to internet services (homepages and internet marketing) to digital photography for printing, DTP and homepages.

It would be however be quite a huge investment that we are not prepared to make since we got on another path and our earning is going on constructing (oh, I forgot, we could add working on technical drawing for the industry together with doing the technical translations).

I am dreaming however, I will never be rich and this will never happen. Just thinking of putting adds if money was not the problem is a bit short sighted view because adds are forgotten the next day and so too is the money.


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TonyTK
German to English
+ ...
Speaking as someone ... Sep 27, 2006

who is exceedingly well-off and permanently overworked as well as slightly evil. I'd advertise my services in telephone boxes and list my mother-in-law's phone number.

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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:25
Swedish to English
+ ...
Actors... Sep 27, 2006

I'm probably going off on a bit of a tangent, but my experience is that word-of-mouth is the best way to get a good reputation and generate more customers... so, with an unlimited budget I would hire people and plant them in the right places, so that they could persuade my dream customers how very, very good I am at my job! Others my disagree, but I think word-of-mouth is the best way to promote your business, Internet included. By the way, I have just landed one of my dream customers this way - so I may be a bit biased... didn't use actors though!

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