What price creativity?
Thread poster: Zhuoqi Mills
Zhuoqi Mills  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:05
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jul 7, 2006

Hello to all my friends,

I really need your help again! I have a new problem that I hope you can advise me on.
I have been offered a 2 year contract working for an American firm but the work is not simple translation. To be exact, it is copywriting, very creative work in the advertising field. First I must create, without any source document, advertisements that will inspire, then I must translate my own work to Chinese.
I am up to it! My brain has the technology! BUT...what on earth to charge for this??
I have a contract before me that wants my "Fees for Translation", but what do I say? This is NOT simple translation! I really want this work, I don't want to charge too much and scare them away, neither do I want to work really hard for peanuts.
Anyone got any experience along these lines? I really need to hear from you and quite quickly!
(Hey! Gone is the girl who worked for 2 cents!)
Love to you all.

Zhuoqi


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:05
English to French
+ ...
Why not ask those who do the same work? Jul 7, 2006

I am glad you got such an interesting offer. This is the kind of occasion you don't want to pass up.

In order to be able to quote your price for this, it would be best to consult with a couple of other copywriters. I suggest you find such people and ask them how much they would charge. Also, if you phone up some publicity agencies with examples of fictitious work to be done and ask them to quote you a price, that will already give you a good indication of just how much the work is worth.

I would have loved to help you with this, but I'm afraid not many of us at ProZ can. In any case, don't quote your price until you have consulted some advertising copywriters first. Remember, you will need the opinion of several of them, and it's also good to let them know you already have a contract, so they don't think you are taking work away from them. If I was a copywriter, I would give you information.

All the best!

[Edited at 2006-07-07 23:48]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just do it Jul 8, 2006

Zhuoqi Mills wrote:
I am up to it! My brain has the technology! BUT...what on earth to charge for this??


Salaries for copywriters usually start at $50k - $65k a year (plus perks and benefits), all the way to $100k or more.

Of course, it depends on the type of product/service.

Are we talking the full gamut of marketing materials (packaging, media, etc.)?

Do they want to hire you as a freelancer, or are they offering you a position?

Also, bear in mind that copywriters do more than just sit at a desk trying to come up with cool names or phrases.

Among other things, you would be expected to handle market data analysis, consultations with clients and the rest of the creative team, sales and marketing projections, etc.

Now, I might be wrong, but it sounds like your client is looking to save some moola by hiring a rookie (albeit creative) translator instead of a trained and experienced copywriter.

In any case, I suggest that you find out in advance what exactly would you be getting yourself into, before signing on the dotted line.

--
Dyran
(who gets these type of proposals every now and then... and always says no)


[Edited at 2006-07-08 00:47]


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Zhuoqi Mills  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:05
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To Dyran Jul 8, 2006

No, I would just be a freelancer and not "employed by the company".
To be exact the contract says...

Translation per word.........Rush.......Minimum........
Editing per hour..........Rush........Minimum........
Proofreading per hour.......Rush........Minimum......
Interpreting/Voiceover(daily rate)......Hourly....Minimum....

It mentions nothing at all about copywriting. My guess is that they are new to copywriting and this is a standard form. I can't imagine they would ask me to interpret or voiceover as we are in 2 separate countries. But what do I put in the rest of their fields? I want this job and I need it done over the weekend.


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:05
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
best wishes Jul 8, 2006

This site might give you an idea of the salary for this type of job.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_newsearch.asp

You want the job and they want you, or so it seems.
Make sure that the contract will exactly reflect what you will be asked to do. Get everything in writing is a business basic.

All the best

Tex


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Assuming good faith.. Jul 8, 2006

It seems they are trying to get the copywriting for free.

I have no experience in this, but for creating advertising slogans I would either charge the same as for pure terminology (= 8 x the translation word rate), or ask for a success-oriented turnover percentage - what do you think, how much will your work increase their sales?

If they are new to the business, they might be very flexible concerning the remuneration options.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 17:05
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Go high.... Jul 8, 2006

Hi Zhouqi,

We get regular work from a UK advertising agency who pay us EUR 0.19 per source English word.

The high rate involved here is for them to give us the original idea, we then adapt it for the Chinese market and finally give them a back-translation into English so there is quite a bit of creativity involved.

You know yourself that creative ideas and the little western world advertising catchphrases and slogans just don't cut it in Asia so I wouldn't be afraid to go high.

They have obviously seen the potential in you to deliver high quality so don't sell yourself short.

Good luck and well done cos it sounds like if this all goes through then you've landed a right little earner for the next couple of years:)

Mark


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:05
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Hourly rate Jul 8, 2006

Maybe you could just add your own price table on the form and ignore the existing one? I would use an hourly rate for the creative part of the work and a rate per source word for translation.

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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aiming higher Jul 8, 2006

Chinese Concept wrote:
We get regular work from a UK advertising agency who pay us EUR 0.19 per source English word.
The high rate involved here is for them to give us the original idea, we then adapt it for the Chinese market and finally give them a back-translation into English so there is quite a bit of creativity involved.


Sorry to burst your bubble, but that price is actually very cheap for that type of job.

US$1.00 per word is not unusual for snazzy travel brochures written from scratch. High-impact ad copy costs much more.

--
Dyran


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Zhuoqi Mills  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:05
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
New idea... Jul 8, 2006

I'm now thinking of charging by the hour. My current thought is about $24, which I believe is neither high nor too low. Is this a good, bad or indifferent idea?

Zhuoqi


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
aim higher Jul 8, 2006

Zhuoqi Mills wrote:
I'm now thinking of charging by the hour. My current thought is about $24, which I believe is neither high nor too low. Is this a good, bad or indifferent idea?


You mention this is an American firm, so I would suggest charging American market rates. $24/hour is the low to average rate for proofreading/editing assignments in the U.S., definitely low for a copywriting project. I wouldn't consider anything lower than $50/hour for this type of creative assignment.

Hope this helps,

Susana


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ahmadwadan.com  Identity Verified
Kuwait
Local time: 10:05
English to Arabic
+ ...
I agree with Susana... Jul 9, 2006

Susana Galilea wrote:

I wouldn't consider anything lower than $50/hour for this type of creative assignment.



Exactly, I agree with Susana.

Kind regards

Ahmed Wadan


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