Do people contact you through your ProZ site directly?
Thread poster: Elvira Stoianov

Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 23:47
German to Romanian
+ ...
Mar 30, 2004

I don't know if this is the right forum to post this, so I would like to apologize in advance, if I have placed the topic in the wrong forum.

I have seen on my counter that many people have viewed my ProZ profile, but so far I have only been contacted about job offers on rare occasions directly through my ProZ site (especially if I take into consideration the number of times my profile has been viewed).

I am aware that many people who view my site are fellow ProZ members, but still, I wonder if maybe my profile page is of such a poor quality, that it doesn't convince clients (I am sure there is room for improvement and I have alwyas intended to make my profile page more appealing, but for the last two years I've been so busy, that whenever I have a couple of days off, I do anything except staying in front of my computer).

Another factor why I haven't been contacted so often is probably my language pair (there certainly isn't so much work in my language pairs as there is for more common languages like German, French, etc.)

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not complaining about ProZ, especialley since I have acquired new clients through the bidding system, but seeing the number of views of my profile page compared to the number of times I've been contacted, I've been wondering if maybe my profile page is scaring off clients.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:47
German to English
+ ...
Don't take this the wrong way... Mar 30, 2004

but you're offering *into English* translation as a non-native speaker of English - some clients go for that, others don't. I realize the situation is more complicated with languages of limited diffusion (like Romanian), so I won't rehash the arguments for and against that way of doing business here. It's a personal and business choice.

Other than that, my suggestion would be to change your tag line from "The technical translator of your choice," which is not idiomatic English, to "Your technical translator of choice."

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about the number of people who contact you if you've been solidly busy for a year already!

Hope that helps!


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Don't feel so bad about it... Mar 30, 2004

I am one of the leaders in the biggest language pairs, yet I only receive such contacts every now and then, not enough to be really significant.

Maybe some improvements could still be made to your page but it looks geat compared to most. Also, take advantage of your good looks, get another photo without that liney background and professionally done!

Perhaps I should take that advice as well...


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:47
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I have not had many people contact me through my profile Mar 30, 2004

And I believe that my language combinations are among the busy ones. A lot of work I received by referrals from others who I worked for - I bid for their work through ProZ or obtained them as clients elsewhere.

Of course, I am happy if someone contacts me, but I have not worried about it too much because I have been busy. From what your say, you have been as well, so I do not think that you should worry too much. By the way, I looked at your profile and think that it looks fine to me. I am not an expert but I would have been pleased if I visited as a potential client.

Just keep on delivering the best work, provide excellent service and the rest will come by itself.

Take care.
Lucinda


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:47
Dutch to English
+ ...
CV, telephone number and rates Mar 30, 2004

Dear Elvira,

I get contacted around 6 times a year and usually by phone. Usually I end up having repeat jobs but I do work in the Dutch to English pair a lot. Customers usually contact me when they are in a rush (that is why they use the phone) and if I am able to oblige, they are very happy. My CV is linked to my ProZ website which has my telephone number. This way, they can check me out and phone me immediately if they want to. It does have disadvantages. A few months ago I was informed by an agency I work for occassionaly that another agency had sent them my CV and was I aware of this (the rate quoted by this agency was ridiculous). I wasn't aware nor had I given permission (never heard of this second agency before!).

Basically, your ProZ website is great but it does not have your phone number or CV. Another thing that I usually find negative is including your rates. This leaves little room for discussion. If they are already put off by your rates, they will not bother to contact you while, if they have to negotiate, you have a foot in the door (if you get my meaning). I am absolutely not saying that your rates are too low or too high just that you want them to talk to you, so just provide information that will make it easy and that will make them think you are good.

This has been my experience.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 16:47
English to Russian
+ ...
There are different reasons to visit profiles Mar 30, 2004

Sometimes when I ask a very specific question that takes a serious knowledge and an answer comes from someone I didn't meet on these pages before I would "eavesdrop" on the profile to see that person's qualifications and experience. I hope this does not sound offensive to anyone. Also, I've noticed that whenever I post something in the forums the number of visitors increase, which is quite normal, I think - people want to know who is participating in the conversation. I do that myself, feels like I get know my opponents or allies just a little bit better, which is nice when you are talking to people.

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Uwe Kirmse  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
Polish to German
+ ...
Search engines... Mar 30, 2004

...visit the ProZ.com profile pages too, and so do the robots, that collect email adresses for spammers. Every visit of any search engine is counted, and that's a lot. In the logfiles of my homepage (not ProZ.com profile) I can see, who visits my sites. Sometimes there are more spammers and search engines than normal visitors.

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Miguel Llorens  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Think about conversion rates Mar 30, 2004

Elvira Stoianov wrote:

I have seen on my counter that many people have viewed my ProZ profile, but so far I have only been contacted about job offers on rare occasions directly through my ProZ site (especially if I take into consideration the number of times my profile has been viewed).


A conversion rate is the ratio of unique visitors to a page who actually make a purchase. According to some metrics, a hugely successful page will have a conversion rate of 2%. In other words, out of every hundred visitors, two will make a purchase. And if you're in that league, you're up there with Amazon and e-bay.

Listen to this:

(...)Paco Underhill, a leading expert in consumer shopping behavior, has a wonderful quote I like to use: "Conversion rate is to retail what batting average is to baseball." Shop.org reports that the average order conversion rate for its members (many of the very top e-tailers) is 1.8 percent. Imagine, fewer than 2 people out of every 100 who visit Shop.org's Web sites actually make a purchase. (...)
http://www.clickz.com/experts/design/traffic/article.php/837381

Therefore, I think that a conversion rate of less than 0.1% for a translator is nothing to worry about. I doubt that even the most successful online translator or agency can claim much more than that (in other words, more than one client per thousand visitors). So if you're in that category, you're OK, and to expect more isn't very realistic. It really has nothing to do with your profile, just a fact of life in cyberspace. The Internet hype about instant access to millions of potential clients all over the world is just that: hype. Although it is one important marketing tool, it is not the answer to every problem for the freelance translator. And if you think agencies aren´t out there "cold calling", then think again, because I've actually had to do it for an employer. The Internet should be considered as only one avenue of self-promotion among many others, and word of mouth probably still is the most important medium for a freelance professional. A ProZ profile is a good idea, but don´t neglect low-tech things like business cards, the yellow pages, a phone call to friends from college, and even the modest little note card on the supermarket bulletin board.

[Edited at 2004-03-30 18:23]


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 23:47
German to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for the valuable input Mar 30, 2004

I have read all posting very carefully and they have been very useful, all of them. Apart from the very specific advice for my profile, I have also found a reasonable explanation for the difference between the profile count and the actual contacts, which was not su much an issue I was worrying about, it was more a matter of curiosity. I hope I won't have to end like the proverbial cat.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
And looking great Mar 31, 2004

New picture, new outlook! See if it improves business.

I put up mine only a few weeks ago after years of hiding. Now we can see whether it's age before beauty or vice-versa!


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:47
German to English
+ ...
Relevant thread: "How to get/not get a job on Proz" Mar 31, 2004

I found this post
http://www.proz.com/topic/19913
really interesting, and certainly think it is relevant to your question.


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 23:47
German to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks you, Henry and Michele Mar 31, 2004

Thank you Henry for your nice words.
Thanks Michele for the useful link.


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