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How best to approach new clients directly?
Thread poster: AAAmedical

AAAmedical  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 23:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jul 25, 2002

Hello,



I am a freelance translator since several years and I mainly work for translation agencies. I would like to have a more direct contact with my clients but this seems to be rather difficult.



I am actually not living in the country were my \'native language\' (Dutch) is spoken. Could this be a reason why I find it difficult to approach direct clients.



How do you contact direct clients. Just sending out CV\'s seems rather weird to me and I think I\'ll just be wasting my time.



Could anybody give me some advice?


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:35
French to English
Speaking from experience Jul 25, 2002

I must do about one agency job a month and I work full-time. More than 90% of my work is direct-client.



When I started out, my client base was 50-50 agent/direct client. I am not sure quite how to read your question. Do you mean that you would like to have more contact with clients you work for via the agencies or that you woudl like to pahse out the agencies and move over to direct client work? Or both?



In the first case, when you work with an agent, then they only very exceptionally enable their client and freelancer to be in contact directly. The reasons are obvious from their point of view, however frustrating that may sometimes be.



If you are seeking to move away from agencies and towards direct clients, then you will have to think through a number of points :

- what sort of work do you want to do?

- is there a sufficient amount of that type of work around?

- who are my potential clients and where are they?

- do you have existing contacts you can make use of?

Once you have worked through these various general but essential questions, you will then have to put together a letter proposing your services, a letter which will accompany your CV. Yes, it is very much like applying for a job. If your application lands on the right desk at the right time, you may well end up being part of a team and thoroughly enjoying it.



Do bear in mind though, that you may be barred from contacting some of the potential clients you may like to work for. That will depend on national legislation and any agreement you may have signed with agencies. You don\'t want to find yourself with a lawsuit on your hands!



Good luck,



Nikki


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