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Advice on Growing my Business?
Thread poster: Steven Battisti

Steven Battisti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:04
Japanese to English
Feb 25, 2005

Hello all,

I've been freelancing now for about 6 months (Japanese to English). I've ended up working with 3 agencies and a few other freelancers, and all has gone well. Most of these I have met through ProZ.

I was working non-stop during the last few months of last year, but since January I've only managed to find one or two tiny jobs. I've submitted quotes for several jobs here at ProZ, but nothing has panned out.

I'd like to grow my business network so that the volume of work doesn't vary quite so widely.

I'm not involved with many agencies, so that could be an option. However, I am hesitant, because while I am confident in my abilities, I only have 6 months of experience and no certifications. I don't want to hurt my future chances of working with an agency by rushing.

What suggestions do you have for growing my business? This is only a part-time evening job for me, so working full-time for a company in-house until I build more experience is not an option.

Thanks,

Steve Battisti


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:04
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
This is nothing to worry about yet Feb 26, 2005

It happens even after years in business that within a few months nothing comes up through the usual channals. Then you have time for advertisement!
I would suggest, you contact agencies and direct clients with good reputation and offer your services. Many have online forms for freelance translators to fill in by you.
How do you know, if they are good? You look them up in payment related mailing lists at Yahoo and other sites. If other freelancers give praise to an outsourcer for good conduct regarding payment then you should consider to contact the firm.
But do not expect immediate success, be patient.


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:04
English to Swedish
+ ...
Answer KudoZ questions! Feb 26, 2005

More and more buyers of translation services find their translators through ProZ. They punch in the language combination needed, look at the top KudoZ hunters’ ProZ pages, and offer the job directly to one of them. If you don’t answer KudoZ questions, you are not in the running.

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whatabout
English
advertisement for free Mar 1, 2005

Perhaps an interesting option for advertisement. Contribute at www.e-woerterbuch.de

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gad
United States
Local time: 03:04
Member
French to English
Network and stay involved in the translation industry Mar 3, 2005

You probably already do this anyway, but just in case you do not, or don't realize how valuable this can be, I figured I'd mention to you the whole idea of networking - attend translation conferences and seminars, and also if you know fellow translators and they invite you to any kind of get together with others in the industry, it is always advantageous for you to go and talk with others, make contacts and network. You never know who might call on you, because they remembered you from a get together or a conference. If you are not a member of translator organizations, then join, and if you are already a member, don't be afraid to get more involved.

I know one very successful, experienced translator, who did all this when still a full-time translator for a company, when the networking wasn't actually needed as much - and it seems to have come back tenfold, at least, once this person moved on to be a full-time freelance translator. This person is very respected by many worldwide in the industry - of course, the reason people know enough to respect someone is because of the involvement in translator organizations and seminars, etc.

Also, your "down time" as a freelancer obviously is when you start marketing yourself again...you can send an email just letting an agency know you are available for work again (yes, I actually have gotten work just by reminding someone that I was available), for example, and you can send your cv out to other agencies, now that you have time and are not bogged down with the deadlines of the actual translations.;)

I hope this helps.:)


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