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How to make text ads effective?
Thread poster: Yelena Pestereva

Yelena Pestereva  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:57
Member (2006)
English to Russian
Jan 31, 2009

Has anybody got experience of posting text ads? Were they effective? And are there any rules to make them more effective? My own experience was so far dissappointing for unknown reasons...

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Riens Middelhof  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:57
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
disappointing Jan 31, 2009

Dear Yelena,

I had a huge amount of Browniz, so I decided to "invest" them in text ads. Well, the Browniz didn´t cost me any cash, and I´m happy they didn´t

I´m saving my B's until somebody invents a brilliant way to increase exposure on the site.

Best regards,

Riens


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Which text ads? Jan 31, 2009

Yelena Pestereva wrote:
Has anybody got experience of posting text ads?


Erm, where can I find these ads? URL, please?


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Kristina Radziulyte  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 13:57
Member (2006)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Search results Jan 31, 2009

You can access/create your ads from My Proz.com meniu - My text ads:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=my_textads

The ads are shown on the Freelancers search results page:

"When an outsourcer searches the ProZ.com Directory using search criteria that match the Directory Text Ad, the ad is shown on the left side of the search results page, below the search form. When the outsourcer clicks on the ad, he is taken to the advertiser's profile page, where he can get more information as well as contact the advertiser directly.

If there are more Directory Text Ads matching a search than can be displayed, the ads are randomly rotated for those search criteria."


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Disappointing in what sense, Yelena? Jan 31, 2009

Did the ads fail to draw business, or were the credits unused?

I did use some BrowniZ a while back to "buy" a text ad for chemistry translations, since that's my favorite area to work in (I'm a chemist). The credits did get used, though whether this actually resulted in inquiries and business I really don't know. A lot of inquiries I receive get referred to competent colleagues, because I simply lack the time to deal with them all. My purpose in placing the ad wasn't so much to get business (plenty of that), but to shift it more to the specialties I like best. That has happened to a significant extent over the past year, but what role the text ad played there - if any - I do not know.

Since I don't know what else I can do with these points (I think we have few useful options), I figured I might as well burn them up somehow.


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Yelena Pestereva  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:57
Member (2006)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
I got no new offers at all. Jan 31, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:


Did the ads fail to draw business, or were the credits unused?



I got no new offers at all. I also used Browniz. But I have more. By the way I am now topping lists of translators in my pair in 3 fields but am not getting offers through my Profile. Can't understand how it can be.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Interesting Jan 31, 2009

Yelena Pestereva wrote:
Kevin Lossner wrote:
Did the ads fail to draw business, or were the credits unused?

I got no new offers at all. I also used Browniz. But I have more. By the way I am now topping lists of translators in my pair in 3 fields but am not getting offers through my Profile. Can't understand how it can be.


Strange. What did the text ad(s) actually say? I took a look at your profile and couldn't see anything obvious that would scare people off en masse. I might go for a nice head shot pic instead of the one with the pretty cat and scrap that statement about discounts (bad, bad idea!!!), maybe fix the odd typo or two, but your professional skills and experience are presented clearly and credibly enough. And text ads or not, you get decent traffic on your site. Not overwhelming, but more than double what I got before I started posting articles. Maybe I'm missing something, or maybe the dynamics in your language pair are just a lot different. With that traffic you ought to get at least a few new bites.

************* Edited to add:

Something that might be interesting to add for text ads would be a short-lived cookie that tracks whether an e-mail is sent via one's profile after a text ad is clicked. Or which tracks other possibly relevant behaviors if feasible.

[Edited at 2009-01-31 16:27 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:57
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Kevin! Jan 31, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:

scrap that statement about discounts


You were faster.

Yelena, your profile page is fine - however, when I read this rebate statement, it made me think: WHY???

It makes you look desperate and a prospective client might wonder why.

Do yourself a favor and and remove it.



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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:57
English to German
+ ...
Waste of money Jan 31, 2009

Disappointing experience (no new contacts, no new business) with text ads in general.
This was my last text ad: Information Technology, English - German translations: CRM Siebel Oracle ERP BI HRM.

Perhaps a "filter" controls traffic:
If Browniz are used, ignore text ad, if real money is used, cont(r)act translator


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Yelena Pestereva  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 14:57
Member (2006)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks to everybody. Jan 31, 2009

Special thanks to Kevin and Nicole for their advice. I often think that not every good translator can become a successful freelancer. One must have many other different qualities.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
What is your brand? Jan 31, 2009

Yelena Pestereva wrote:
I often think that not every good translator can become a successful freelancer. One must have many other different qualities.


For the most part I do think that every good translator who can handle the responsibilities of independence can become a successful freelancer, depending on how one cares to define success. I'll define it simply as the ability to earn enough to live with dignity. Dignity in my case does not include the latest model Porsche, though if I really wanted one I suppose I might find a way to put one in my driveway, but there are more important things.

These other things: some are qualities, some are simply knowledge. Some technical knowledge, some business knowledge. Looking at your profile, it appears to me that you've enjoyed a fair share of success; certainly your list of translated books far exceeds mine (one that I can remember on plasma technology, maybe a few others that I've forgotten), and with 20 years of experience I'm sure that you've got some insights into the profession that go far deeper than mine.

Possibly part of the problem is connecting the approach you take to the customers you want. I don't know. Just based on the fact that you have done a lot of book publishing, it seems to me that you target a different group than I do even where we may both work in the same subject area. Maybe that is a false impression. For my own business, I decided what kinds of customers I wanted, and tailored my approach in a way to ensure that was what got through the "filter". Some of my criteria are quite unique and would probably be roundly condemned by others for whom they would not work. But they are part of my "brand" and have been for over 20 years in a number of businesses beside translation. Now the real question here, I think, is what is your brand, and how do you present it in the best way to those who will be your best "consumers"? Any thoughts?


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: User's request - http://www.proz.com/ticket/226529

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:57
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Be careful what you emulate Feb 1, 2009

As the Germans say, "danke für die Blumen", but I would take my example with a grain of salt in many cases. The one thing I do which I would strongly recommend to most freelancers is distributing my business over a wide client base. Well, and transparent business practices too, I suppose. The rest - well, there you should take what's really useful and discard the rest. I do some things which are horribly "unprofessional" which work for me and probably very few others.
However, there are others whose business knowledge goes far beyond mine and whose practices are worthy of close observation and probably of emulation. Risk management is very important even in good times, and I would think it has become even more important in the past year. I keep hoping Ralf Lemster will get around to writing more on that subject some day - his articles and conference presentations are very relevant and well thought out as one might expect for someone with that background.

It sounds to me like you are in a transition from one business model to another. My impression is that book translation generally pays very badly on the whole, so once you do find a way to connect with a different clientele your financial situation might improve. There is more prestige in doing books, of course, and it's nice to be credited, but if I can double my earnings working on anonymous white papers and contracts, I will comfort myself with the knowledge that more time will remain for long walks in the forest with my dog. Your past experience and list of accomplishments as a translator makes much better reading that the list for most of us; now I suppose the "trick" is to package it in a way that will appeal to your target clientele in the best way. If you are targeting agency business in various countries and already have some good clients abroad, you might ask for their feedback on how they would "sell" you to their clients or how you might make your presentation more attractive to businesses like theirs. Once again, despite all my sage pronouncements on business issues, marketing, etc., most of what I say is based on my experience with a very particular market segment for one language pair. The parameters you deal with may be very different, and your approach will have to be adapted accordingly.


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