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What's wrong with proz.com? What's wrong with me?
Thread poster: Alessandro Marchesello

Alessandro Marchesello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 24, 2005

Hi everybody!

I'm new on proz.com (just three weeks) and I'm still discovering the opportunities this website offers.

I'm young and inexperienced, but I'm sure I could be a good full-time translator. I just don't receive enough job offers to be a full-time translator, that's the problem!

This is the reason why I decided to join this community: "more opportunities=more jobs" I guessed.

Well, I'm still waiting for the first offerer to call me and say "hey, I've something for you!". I just "scraped" three or four translation tests and the encouraging words of a Platinum Member (I really appreciated).
Maybe you're thinking "well, not much, but it could be worse!".

Ok, here's the interesting fact.
Three days ago (just three days ago!) I signed in to another website (I don't want to state which one, but it's very similar to proz.com) and, guess what, I've just received my first direct job offer! They said "we need you for a long-term project, call us for further informations". It's just a potential job, but it's the first time a client contact me and not the contrary.

So I wonder:
is it just fate or pure coincidence?
Is there anything wrong in Proz's job system?
Is there anything wrong in my way of using it?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:22
SITE FOUNDER
Your profile and CV look good. Sep 25, 2005

Your profile and CV are presented relatively well. You have indicated specific fields of expertise, you have a targeted tagline, you make use of the keywords section. And you have some KudoZ points. No problem with your rates, either. Statistically speaking, then, the only thing between you and a high frequency of meeting new clients is the fact that you are not a platinum member. Platinum members meet new clients four times more frequently than non-platinums.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:22
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You should be where the customers look for you Sep 25, 2005

I too rarely get any jobs through Proz.com. German and Finnish customers do not use this site very much, but I'm registered on a site especially for Germany (Frank Truu). And lots of contacts come through my website, which is not a very fancy one, just the essentials.
I'm sure for Italian there are specific sites, ask your colleagues. Or search for translators into Italian yourself, then you'll see where to find them. Practically everyone uses Google nowadays, so you should take care to be visible in Google.

Good luck!
Heinrich


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Three weeks???? Sep 25, 2005

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:


Well, I'm still waiting for the first offerer to call me and say "hey, I've something for you!". I just "scraped" three or four translation tests and the encouraging words of a Platinum Member (I really appreciated).
Maybe you're thinking "well, not much, but it could be worse!".



I've signed to Proz.com five years ago, and I am still waiting to get a lousy job (no offence to any outsorcer).
I still enjoy the community, by the way!
Keep going!
Gianni


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Powwow invitation Sep 25, 2005

Ciao Alessandro,

why don't you come to the Powwoww in Florence on October 2nd?
You can meet up with some of the people you have met through kudoz or on forums.
I don't know where you live, but if you're not far away you are very welcome!
It takes some time to get things rolling, and I can confirm this from my very personal point of view. Only a few months ago I was posting a timid forum inquiring about CAT tools and now I am more than busy. It takes some patience, and then...all of a sudden, bang! everything falls into place!
Answer all the job quotes you feel up to, agencies or outsourcers may not select you for the specific job but they will keep you in their database of potential translators for future opportunities.
Have you considered Platinum membership?
Ciao, DZ


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Same reason as me? Sep 25, 2005

Alessandro, try asking other members if they've been inundated with work through the site (leave out the 3 weeks). I doubt anyone will say yes.
Let's be honest, there is tons of competition, you are up against quite an elite, and even they don't get bombarded with jobs. Or, as was my case, I got contacted by people who want jobs at rates I am not prepared to accept (and I recommend you make a careful calculation of living expenses before accepting work at very low rates) or with deadlines that leave you dead (they shoot horses, don't they?) or wasting my time by getting me to fill in endless forms for their databases before disappearing into the ether so beware of "potential" jobs. I have still to get confirmation of any potential job.
You need to be patient and focus on seeking jobs through as many channels as possible.
I have networked for several years here and am now really reaping the benefits, so my advice is not to give in. I get work through colleagues who believe me to reliable through the image I have developed thanks to the site (and that is a great calling card).
Another good place for getting work is AITI - so join!!!
I paid for my membership within the week of my name going live on their list.
Whatever, the case, proz is a great place with unique features for translators that you won't get anywhere else, so continue to visit!
Angela

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:

Hi everybody!
This is the reason why I decided to join this community: "more opportunities=more jobs" I guessed.

Well, I'm still waiting for the first offerer to call me and say "hey, I've something for you!". I just "scraped" three or four translation tests and the encouraging words of a Platinum Member (I really appreciated).


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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
English to Polish
+ ...
I was like 6 months for me Sep 25, 2005

Before I got the first acceptable job.

[Edited at 2005-09-25 10:24]


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:22
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Great Expectations Sep 25, 2005

Satisfaction is a matter of expectations. The jobs in the any site are being thrown to the cheapest or most available bidder.

It is quite difficult to get any job on that basis, no matter how much experience you have or polished your profile is. I have gotton 3 new clients from Proz this year, whose total work has more than covered expenses. I would not have gotten those jobs without the site. Therefore, I am satisfied. I have gotten a similar number from a few other sites. Those which did not give give me anything for a year I don't continue.

Also, certain sites are better for certain languages. The European sites are better for French, for example.

No marketing technique can promise immediate results, unless you want to give out translating discount coupons. Judge the site after a year. That is being realistic.

Stephen Rifkind


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:22
SITE FOUNDER
Platinum membership is a no-brainer if you want to grow your business Sep 25, 2005

Gianni Pastore wrote:
I've signed to Proz.com five years ago, and I am still waiting to get a lousy job (no offence to any outsorcer).
I still enjoy the community, by the way!


It sounds like you are comfortable with the situation, Gianni, and that meeting clients is not one of your primary objectives in participating here. That's fine.

For those who do want to meet clients, though, you should understand that your odds of meeting a client here as a non-platinum member are low relative to platinum members. If you are waiting until you meet a client to go platinum, the problem with your approach is that we have built ProZ.com in such a way that platinum members are at a big advantage in terms of meeting clients. You may continue to lose out to translators with equivalent profiles and CVs, the only difference being that they have invested in platinum membership and you have not.

Some statistics:
- The average "guest" member meets a client here once per year.
- The average platinum member meets a client every three months.
- 86% of platinum members report a return on their investment. (Some of the 14% who do not realize a return only outsourcer via the site. Others have profile problems, such as not entering detailed fields of expertise.)
- 41% of platinum members report a return on investment in just three months (corresponding to the period of time to meet a single client.)
- Having met via the site, members and clients continue to work directly, sometimes for years.
- In a recent poll, 538 site users rated ProZ.com (et al) as their leading source of new clients (above word of mouth, mail to outsourcers, own websites, associations, etc.) See: http://www.proz.com/topic/36903

In short, if meeting new clients is an objective of yours, you have to take the step and invest in your business (just as you would in running an ad in the telephone directory). ProZ.com has a money-back guarantee, so going platinum is quite simply a natural step for anyone serious about growing his or her translation clientele.


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BelkisDV  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
A little patience Sep 25, 2005

Hello,

I seldom have the time to post anything in these forums but the title of your posting piqued my curiosity because when I first joined ProZ years ago, I felt the same way.

Have patience, as you say, you're just starting. I can tell you from experience there's nothing wrong with ProZ's system. I myself have been contacted and awarded large contracts thanks to ProZ.

For me it's worked the other way around, I hardly ever post bids; however, they contact me (through my profile page) and I do get those jobs.

As a matter of fact, I believe ProZ should have an option where translators can list how many jobs they have been assigned thanks to our profile pages, etc. Perhaps a simple poll would do.

Cheers and chin up!

Belkis


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Alessandro Marchesello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Sep 25, 2005

Thank you everybody for your kind support and your tips. I really appreciated.

That's so ironic.....I've just found two interesting contacts by this thread! I hope these contacts are going to become concrete jobs...it would be great!


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:22
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Many different ways to make oneself known ;-) Sep 25, 2005

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:
That's so ironic.....I've just found two interesting contacts by this thread! I hope these contacts are going to become concrete jobs...it would be great!


... which means that you are living proof that the ProZ.com network works in many different ways

Best of luck in your endeavours,

Steffen

[Edited at 2005-09-25 13:08]


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Walter Landesman
Uruguay
Local time: 14:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
only three weeks!!!??? Sep 25, 2005

Oh, the young, the`re so impatient! I don`t think anybody here or anyplace else has found the golden client, fullfilled his/her vocation or developped his career in just three weeks. Don´t rush. Three weeks is nothing.
In life, you have to learn to wait for the right moment for everything. Nothing comes out of the blue. Life is a matter of choices and options. You can make your own life. But that´s not easy. Everything takes its time. Time to time.
Walter


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Alessandro Marchesello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ok.... Sep 25, 2005

Walter Landesman wrote:

Oh, the young, the`re so impatient! I don`t think anybody here or anyplace else has found the golden client, fullfilled his/her vocation or developped his career in just three weeks. Don´t rush. Three weeks is nothing.
In life, you have to learn to wait for the right moment for everything. Nothing comes out of the blue. Life is a matter of choices and options. You can make your own life. But that´s not easy. Everything takes its time. Time to time.
Walter


Ok, that's right.....when you don't have to pay your University fee within one month!!!!!
That's why I'm so impatient!


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Walter Landesman
Uruguay
Local time: 14:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
wrong place Sep 25, 2005

Alessandro Marchesello wrote:

Walter Landesman wrote:

Oh, the young, the`re so impatient! I don`t think anybody here or anyplace else has found the golden client, fullfilled his/her vocation or developped his career in just three weeks. Don´t rush. Three weeks is nothing.
In life, you have to learn to wait for the right moment for everything. Nothing comes out of the blue. Life is a matter of choices and options. You can make your own life. But that´s not easy. Everything takes its time. Time to time.
Walter


Ok, that's right.....when you don't have to pay your University fee within one month!!!!!
That's why I'm so impatient!


Then you are in the wrong place or wrong profession, pal. I`m sorry. Nobody becomes a lawyer or a doctor and besides gets a full time job in three weeks. You have to build up your own career with patience, hard work, good feedbacks, professionalism, marketing, continual education, updatings and WISDOM.

Maybe others don`t have to pay for our tuition, because we already did it some time ago, hard working too. But we had to feed our families, pay the rent, taxes, an so on. So....?

Sorry,but you are in the wrong path also. Think it over.

Walter

[Edited at 2005-09-25 19:14]


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