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Poll: Would it be good for ProZ.com to attract more potential direct clients asking for translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:01
SITE STAFF
Oct 23, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would it be good for ProZ.com to attract more potential direct clients asking for translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Fabio Descalzi Sgarbi

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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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:01
German to Dutch
+ ...
No way!! Oct 23, 2006

Many of us have their rates published on their Proz page. Those will become visible to end users, making it a lot more difficult, if not impossible, to become paid at "normal end user rates".

But even when everyone would remove their published rates - how could we see who is an end user and who is an agency?


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Be careful... Oct 23, 2006

avantix wrote:
Many of us have their rates published on their Proz page. Those will become visible to end users, making it a lot more difficult, if not impossible, to become paid at "normal end user rates".
But even when everyone would remove their published rates - how could we see who is an end user and who is an agency?


Your point is very good.
I suggested this poll because the subject is really controversial.
Nevertheless, I put it as a BIG QUESTION, because - why don't we find the way to differentiate between end users and agencies?
(Actually, on the poll I voted "Yes but be careful").
A big challenge ahead...

[Edited at 2006-10-23 17:02]


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would HATE to see one of my direct clients being attracted by the site... Oct 23, 2006

Of course there is nothing I can do against that, except trust that my old clients will remain faithful to me. But I would feel invaded anyway.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:01
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Not sure if I understand... Oct 23, 2006

avantix wrote:

Many of us have their rates published on their Proz page. Those will become visible to end users, making it a lot more difficult, if not impossible, to become paid at "normal end user rates".

But even when everyone would remove their published rates - how could we see who is an end user and who is an agency?


The rates published in profiles are visible to anyone who knows how to use Google, this includes direct clients, of course. They do browse proz.com pages searching for translators, no doubts about it.

If I understand correctly, the poll question was whether it would be good to attract more direct clients to proz.com and that is to us, translators. I would say it would be great, why not?

I'm also not quite clear about "differentiation between agency and end user"... a quick look into the company website usually gives an idea, but I guess I misunderstood something?

Magda


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, direct clients - for instance: the CEO of Coca-Cola visiting your profile on ProZ.com... Oct 23, 2006

Magda Dziadosz wrote:
The rates published in profiles are visible to anyone who knows how to use Google, this includes direct clients, of course. They do browse proz.com pages searching for translators, no doubts about it.
If I understand correctly, the poll question was whether it would be good to attract more direct clients to proz.com and that is to us, translators. I would say it would be great, why not?
Magda


That is the point in discussion.
To ask it more openly:
If ProZ.com has been so efficient attracting translators and agencies and putting them together,
and:
If ProZ.com is available online for EVERYBODY who can search on a PC,
and:
If right now, only about 5% of the users of ProZ.com are end clients,
then:
WHY NOT having, say, 50% of end clients, and 50% of agencies, all of them THROUGH PROZ.COM, dealing directly with ANY of the 130,000 ProZian translators?


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm 100% in favor ... Oct 23, 2006

I guess I'm a minority, but I've never worked for an agency. The idea of one of my clients (current or future) paying an agency rather than paying me directly fries me.

What is the "be careful" stuff about? I've issued almost 200 invoices, and I've only been stiffed once. Since I had a working relationship with that person, I could sue her, but it wasn't enough to worry about.

From what I see on the BB, agencies are often less reliable, so I'd prefer to continue to work directly with people and have a solid relationship than to risk the crap shoot of working for an agency, where I have to hope the agency is honest and their customer can write. I also wonder how often an agency is going to put my name on the material translated? I bet it doesn't happen often ...


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Requested by poster.

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
You have had good luck so far! Oct 23, 2006

Patricia Rosas wrote:
I've never worked for an agency...
I've issued almost 200 invoices, and I've only been stiffed once...
I'd prefer to continue to work directly with people and have a solid relationship....


Thanks Patricia for your appreciated opinion.
On purpose, I have left just the most important bits of your reply (at least, those which are most meaningful for me).
Your "success history with clients" is very similar to mine in quality (everybody paying on time) - just with the exception that more than 96% of my clients so far have been translators or translation agencies. Sometimes I look for jobs - but most of the time, THEY are asking me to work for them.
Just from that point of view - how will it be the day that "many end clients start knocking at my virtual door"? Hope that day will come soon, then!

Bravo for Patricia and all the positive-minded people like her!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes... maybe Oct 23, 2006

In some ways it's a fine idea, as long as the direct clients would be subject to the current system that allows us to give LWE ratings and post public comments on their profiles.

I agree, however, with the concern that it would make it difficult to discern who should be charged wholesale rates and who should be charged retail rates.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 10:01
SITE STAFF
Connect initiative Oct 23, 2006

Direct clients are particularly desirable in the context of the Connect project, see http://www.proz.com/premiumjobs

Regards,
Enrique


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:01
English to French
+ ...
No way! Oct 23, 2006

It's a simple equation: if agencies AND direct clients ended up on ProZ, many of us would go back to our regular day jobs.

I work with agencies who get their direct clients pretty fast and who have no idea of the existence of ProZ. May I remind you that most potential clients, when they do a Google search, don't simply enter translation, but something much more specific, tailored to their needs. Thus, ProZ is not the first result that comes up. Let's be honest, this place here is for agencies rather than anything else.

Would I like my direct client to find out that there are thousands of translators in my language pair who charge half of what I charge? I don't think so. On the other hand, maybe some direct clients also got discouraged by the rarity of good translators on this site and that's why they don't come here for translators. Sadly, too many people improvise and pretend they are translators because it's a fun, easy (from the logistics point of view) job and it is well paid if you can work fast enough. Too many completely empty profiles up here as well. This doesn't impress serious clients (those who prefer quality to cheap) to say the least.

I put my businesswoman hat on: I am really not willing to share my direct clients with you guys, especially since I don't want to be stuck proofing jobs assigned here - even if there are many good, reliable translators here and not all jobs will be a headache to proof.

I come here for advice, to chat fellow translators up and for different resources in the community. I don't come here for jobs anymore - I am not willing to accept 4 cents per word. I also don't want my direct clients up here so that in time, they offer me to lower my rates under pain of losing them to some other, cheaper translator.

I just wanted to add that by looking at your profile, specifically in the visitors section, you will see that most visits to your profile are internal (they come from users of the site) and there are not many Google references. It only goes to show (to those who say that direct clients eventually will find their way to ProZ).

[Edited at 2006-10-23 21:52]


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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:01
German to Dutch
+ ...
What about? Oct 23, 2006

Enrique wrote:

Direct clients are particularly desirable in the context of the Connect project, see http://www.proz.com/premiumjobs

Regards,
Enrique


Hi Enrique, I had glance over this page and noticed your remark "What can you do right now to benefit? If you have any interest at all in meeting clients via ProZ.com, we need you to fill out your profile."

I assume that most of us have filled out their profiles (more or less). Or is there another profile to be filled out for this purpose?

If you would technically be able to direct end clients to an "end clients profile" and agencies to an "agencies profile" (which I doubt) then it might be ok.

Otherwise I stick to my objection stated above (first comment in the list).

Herman


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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:01
German to Dutch
+ ...
Agree Oct 23, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I also don't want my direct clients up here so that in time, they offer me to lower my rates under pain of losing them to some other, cheaper translator.

I just wanted to add that by looking at your profile, specifically in the visitors section, you will see that most visits to your profile are internal (they come from users of the site) and there are not many Google references. It only goes to show (to those who say that direct clients eventually will find their way to ProZ).

[Edited at 2006-10-23 21:52]


I could not agree more!


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed Oct 23, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
Let's be honest, this place here is for agencies rather than anything else.


This is one of the points in this discussion: ProZ.com, these days, HAS ACHIEVED to be a good means of putting translators and agencies together.

So, how could ProZ.com EVENTUALLY achieve QUALITY jobs from direct clients?

How could ProZ.com HELP differentiate between "are's" and "are-nots"?

How could ProZ.com PRODUCE THE ADEQUATE IMAGE of every single translator, "translator", or "would-be translator"?

Which is the VERIFIABLE limit between a "well-sold-out but very bad translator" and a "not-so-well advertised but really excellent translator"?


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