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Poll: What % of your overall working time is spent bidding for or actively seeking new jobs?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:05
SITE STAFF
Sep 6, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What % of your overall working time is spent bidding for or actively seeking new jobs?".

This poll was originally submitted by Antonio Barros

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
just beat them off with a stick Sep 7, 2006

it's a jungle out there

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
English to Italian
None... Sep 7, 2006

they usually find me...


Giovanni


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:05
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Like Giovanni Sep 7, 2006

Agencies usually find me, in particular from China,

China is going to become the largest market in the world in every sector.

Bye Bye

Angio


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
Dutch to English
+ ...
Like Giovanni too Sep 7, 2006

angioletta garbarino wrote:


Agencies usually find me, in particular from China,

China is going to become the largest market in the world in every sector.

Bye Bye

Angio


Most of my customers are in the Netherlands and Belgium and they find me.


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 21:05
French to Dutch
+ ...
Same thing Sep 7, 2006

Marijke Singer wrote:

they find me.

I work for the same clients for years now. And sometimes a new client contacts me by phone (which is an advantage: e-mail queries are a bad sign, this often means mass mailing).

There should be an option 0%.


[Edited at 2006-09-07 11:51]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
English to German
+ ...
I was a little bit shocked Sep 7, 2006

when I read about the percentage of colleagues who spend so much time generating new business. Maybe it depends on the language pair? I would love to hear from colleagues who are spending that much time and learn about the reason and circumstances, and why it takes such an effort while having a tool such as proz.com at hand.

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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
>40% here Sep 7, 2006

Dear colleagues:

I am one of those who spend a lot of time trying to generate business.

My main language pair is English into Spanish. I've been translating professionally since 2001 and I've been a full-time freelancer since July 2005. It has never happened to me that a client or prospective client has contacted me first.

To be frank, spending so much time trying to get clients (either agencies or direct clients) is sometimes a bit hard to bear. I mean, sometimes I wonder if:
(1) I don't market myself wisely enough of hard enough.
(2) My profile is not attractive.
(3) I'm jinxed (just kidding in this one).

I would greatly appreciate any idea in this regard.

I've noticed that some of you belong to some associations such as the ITI or the ATA... Do you think that attract clients?

How long did it take until clients started ringing your bell?

Thanks a lot and kind regards,
Jerónimo


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
English to German
+ ...
Hello Jerónimo Sep 7, 2006

I just checked your profile page - people can't find you! I also googled your name and I couldn't access your profile page. Google message: "The Google Maps API Key used on this web site was registered on a different web site. Etc." Nobody can find and contact you. Why is your profile page so overly personalized? You gave it the format of a personal CV. "Keywords" doesn't mean "high quality" and "long-term business relationship", those are the search terms that interested outsourcers in search of a specialist will punch in. In your case: history, tourism, user manuals, etc.

Please read the well-written proz-instructions, set up your profile page properly and the only thing you will ever ask for in the future is a weekend off.

I absolutely don't like that you ignored the proz.com instructions.

Problem solved, I guess.


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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi Nicole Sep 7, 2006

Thank you very much for your answer, specially for pointing me to the proper instructions and for the tip on the keywords.

On an aside note, I can find myself OK when I Google my name (third entry)... I'll check from another computer as soon as I can.

Regards,
Jerónimo


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
Professional Associations Sep 7, 2006

Jerónimo Fernández wrote:

I've noticed that some of you belong to some associations such as the ITI or the ATA... Do you think that attract clients?

Jerónimo


Hola Jerónimo,
There is a thread on the advantages of being an ATA member, which you might find interesting (http://www.proz.com/topic/54452). In my case, becoming an ATA member (plus becoming certified), and being included in their translators directory did help to bring new clients my way. However, there are many professional associations; maybe becoming a member of a Spanish association (I assume you reside in Spain) can also help to boost your business a bit.

[Edited at 2006-09-07 15:30]


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 20:05
0 percenter Sep 7, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Maybe it depends on the language pair?


In my case, yes.

I have a minority language (Irish Gaelic) and I am the only platinum EN-GA here on Proz. Also when you type in "English Irish translator/translation" on Google, my Proz profile appears on the 1st page. (thanks to the keywords function, Jeronimo )When it comes to Irish translation, people find me. I can't remember the last time I had to bid for a project.

There are a couple of other EN>GA translators listed here too, of course, but they are not as active on Proz as I am.

In Ireland, the Official Languages Act of 2003 (or Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla, if you will) requires Government bodies to provide copies of reports/correspondance in Irish. As long as there are civil servants and bureaucracy in Ireland, there will always be reports and files that require translation into Irish.
I can't pretend these reports are always interesting, but the money for EN-GA is good and the projects are usually long enough to keep me busy for a week or two.

I also have a "main" language as well, German. So I am usually very busy with one of those language pairs at any one time.

[Edited at 2006-09-07 15:27]


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Jerónimo Fernández  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks Rosa! Sep 7, 2006

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

Hola Jerónimo,
There is a thread on the advantages of being an ATA member, which you might find interesting (http://www.proz.com/topic/54452). In my case, becoming an ATA member (plus becoming certified), and being included in their translators directory did help to bring new clients my way. However, there are many professional associations; maybe becoming a member of a Spanish association (I assume you reside in Spain) can also help to boost your business a bit.

[Edited at 2006-09-07 15:30]


Thanks a lot for the tip!

Un saludo,
Jerónimo


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:05
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I would love to be able to spend more time on marketing Sep 7, 2006

I answered, "Below 10%". It is really part of my plan just now to try to arrange to work for a wider variety of clients, but my existing clients never give me the leisure to do that. I can't seem to get a day off from translating ever, even on a Sunday, and when I get the next day off I will have to catch up on book-keeping and administration and there will still be no time for marketing my services to prospective new clients.

Astrid


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Christopher Lord
Local time: 21:05
French to English
+ ...
varies wildly Sep 8, 2006

Like a lot of people I imagine I find looking for new clients absolutely soul-destroying, and as soon as I settle into a groove of regular work I stop looking for new agencies. However, recently I have been working mainly for a couple of Israeli agencies, and when the war in Lebanon started then work from them suddenly dropped to zero, so I spent a couple of weeks answering ads, sending off tests, signing contracts, etc. - most of which is a complete waste of time in that it never leads to anything. I don't know if it's just me, but although I live in France, I prefer on the whole not to deal with French agencies, even though they pay far better than the world or European norm. This is just a peculiarity of France, where social charges etc. are so high that payment for any kind of freelance work reflects that. The thing is that every French agency I have dealt with has ended up screwing me around in one way or another, something I put down to the depressed economy and the fact that they are finding it difficult to keep going. A separate problem is the appalling bureaucracy. I do common language pairs (French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese to English), which probably means the competition is greater than for instance for the lady doing Irish Gaelic. I must say that Proz seems to work well for finding work. I was sceptical at first, but when I paid up and spent a couple of weeks answering the ads, I did find more work. With Israel back on line now, I now have more work than I can handle. But should I not be searching and searching to find that elusive steady customer who will pay five or six times the going rate? Should we not all logically be doing that?

[Edited at 2006-09-08 07:53]


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