Will Proz full membership really get me more jobs?
Thread poster: Marta Amigo
| Membership is important but it is not enough || Nov 26, 2007 |
Marta Amigo wrote:
I am thinking of becoming a full member and wanted to know if this would really allow me to get more jobs and why? Many thanks.
Membership is an important factor in getting more jobs (ProZ.com members meet new clients online 4 times as often as others), but it is not enough.
The most common way that clients and service providers meet on ProZ.com is via profile pages. Clients arrive at profile pages either through the ProZ.com directories (or another area of the site), or by entering translation-related keywords into search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.
The results of a directory search come sorted first by membership and then by KudoZ PRO points. This means that jobs-related members (Professional, Partial-Jobs and Corporate) are presented in a first batch and other users are presented in a second batch. Within each group sorting is done by KudoZ (more about this below).
Think of your profile in ProZ.com as a shop window that you have to “dress” in such a way that good clients will feel lured to enter the shop. Membership will give you a better-placed shop window, but you still have to make it appealing to customers.
A great overall strategy is to specialize, defining one or two favorite fields of expertise and becoming an expert in them, networking with other experts, and in general growing your niche. This is the path to move away from the "commodity" approach.
A main issue here is profile quality and completeness, and you stand on firm ground here (you have a good profile). This is beneficial for several reasons:
- Complete information will bring potential clients to your profile, for instance via search engines or directory searches. In particular, empty critical profile fields such as "Services" may leave you out of many searches (lost opportunities).
- Once they arrive to your profile, you have the opportunity to impress them (a good shop window, with attractive goods in it, nicely arranged").
- The profile should reflect your areas of expertise. All of it should spell "I am your person for translations of XXX"
Another great factor is KudoZ. Providing good KudoZ answers, especially in your fields of expertise, will help you in many ways:
- They will help make you known among those who care about your fields of expertise, including potential partners and clients.
- Each KudoZ answer has a link to your profile, so each link is a path to your shop window (directly or via search engines)
- KudoZ PRO points are used for sorting directory results, and so a few PRO points may mean a significant improvement in your positioning, especially if you focus on your fields of expertise. Note that outsourcers are given the option to sort taking into account the points obtained in the last 12 months, so even newcomers have a chance (default criterion is all-time points).
There are a couple of very good articles on these issues; this is just a sketch of a much broader answer.
In short, membership is one of the key factors to get more and better jobs, but remember that the mission statement of ProZ.com is that of providing tools and opportunities. A good tool is very important to get the job done, but it takes a good artisan to make good use of a good tool.
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Thank you so much for all this information, Enrique.
| | Samuel Murray
Local time: 03:47
English to Afrikaans
| Benefits of membership || Nov 26, 2007 |
Marta Amigo wrote:
I am thinking of becoming a full member and wanted to know if this would really allow me to get more jobs and why?
No, it won't bring in more jobs, but it will enable you to find more jobs... because you can bid on any job you want and you can see if a client is worth while by checking out the BB entry.
| | Steven Capsuto
Local time: 21:47
Spanish to English
I think the most useful benefit of membership is access to the comments on the Blue Board. The numeric ratings alone don't tell you much (unless the average is unusually low or high), but the comments are hugely useful in deciding how comfortable you are accepting work from an outsourcer.
| It can bring more jobs: real-world facts || Nov 27, 2007 |
My first year as a member will end soon, and I can confirm that membership can bring more jobs.
In fact, people who look for a translator can search the proz.com directories, and if you are near the top of the list as a member, they are more likely to contact you than if you are on the 20th page of the search results.
This is obvious: you are more visible in the Proz.com system when you are a member. In my opinion, this is where lies the main interest of membership.
The Blue Board is another incentive, but I used to take advantage of it before being a member by "buying" the right to see a prospect's blueboard with Browniz. So this benefit is only a collateral goodie in being a member.
Interesting as well when you are a paying member is to see "who" views your profile: from the IP address that displays your page, you can see where it comes from and the previous page the visitor was on (Forums, Google, Proz.com Directory, search terms, etc.) if such information is available. Good to fine-tune keywords in one's profile.
Facts after almost one year of membership (2007):
- More people contacted me through my profile. Among them, 4 became new customers (from 2 continents).
- These membership-induced customers sent me 13 POs, each between 65 and 5800 euros.
- total turnover through these new customers: 10kEUR (all paid in full or soon to be paid)
- About 20 bids for jobs advertised through the Jobs system: not a single result, but a few leads and maybe, only maybe, work next year.
From these figures (thanks to TO3000), I see that the jobs system is next to worthless for me. So I concentrate on my proz page, which gives me a much better return than replying to job offers (although I tried to be as professional and appealling as with prospects contacting me).
Figures without membership (2002-2006)
- 2 bids accepted
- 2 established customers (one from the bids, one contacting me through my profile)
There was a time where non-members could still be seen. Nowadays with zillions of paying and non-paying profiles, preference is logically given to paying members, and I doubt that you get much business return from being a mere Proz user. Still, a basic user can be part of the Proz.com community and learn an awful lot about the business just browsing the free parts of proz.com.
What I experienced with being a member may not apply to you. As Enrique mentioned, membership alone is not enough.
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| Thanks to you all || Nov 28, 2007 |
Thank you very much everyone for your information and comments.