Getting more direct clients
Thread poster: Animus

Animus  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
French to English
+ ...
Jul 4, 2013

Hi, I wonder if any of you can give me a bit of advice. I'm currently getting a reasonable amount of business through agencies and have my own limited company, but would like to increase the amount of direct clients I have and become less reliant on agencies.

I'm aware this is every translator's dream, and that it won't be easy! But does anyone have any advice? Anything you would advise me to do, or suggestions for good places to meet or find clients, or marketing strategies?

Any advice would be much appreciated!


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:42
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
How to find direct clients Jul 4, 2013

Yesterday I happened to watch an interview with Chris Durban. It's four years old but still very relevant to your question:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uVjn_u9YZ4

[Edited at 2013-07-04 16:35 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Golden Circle and Blue Ocean Jul 4, 2013

Blue Ocean, Golden Circle and Marta Stelmaszak (interpreter/translator and business trainer) explaining how to make it work for translators (2 hours). Enjoy.

 

Paula Dieli  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:42
French to English
+ ...
Very useful podcast on this topic Jul 5, 2013

Hi Nicola,
You might also want to listen to a podcast on this very topic that was recently posted on Corinne McKay's blog:
http://thoughtsontranslation.com/

It was an interview with FR>EN translator Joanne Archambault who described how she went about finding direct clients through translation industry conferences.

Good luck!
Paula


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Direct clients actually go to translation conferences? Jul 5, 2013

Paula Dieli wrote:

Hi Nicola,
You might also want to listen to a podcast on this very topic that was recently posted on Corinne McKay's blog:
http://thoughtsontranslation.com/

It was an interview with FR>EN translator Joanne Archambault who described how she went about finding direct clients through translation industry conferences.

Good luck!
Paula


 

Sarah Silva  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Industry conferences Jul 5, 2013

No, the interview is about going to conferences held on the subject matter/industry you translate from/into. Networking with potential customers there proved very successful for the translator being interviewed.

There is also an event coming up in September with Judy Jenner in London 27th and York 28th on how to gain direct clients. CIOL/ITI London Regional Group are organising the one in London. Might be worth you attending?


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The right answers Jul 5, 2013

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Yesterday I happened to watch an interview with Chris Durban. It's four years old but still very relevant to your question:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uVjn_u9YZ4


Chris Durban definitely has the right answers for that question.

The only point IMHO she fails to address is that a translation agency is (or should be) a professional LSP, and therefore it can provide some or most relevant services beyond translation in itself. That's probably because she didn't mention translation agencies, only direct corporate clients.

A translation agency may be expected to provide guidance/services on things like DTP, video, multilingual web sites, etc.

Meanwhile a direct client may need education, mini-crash-courses on several matters. For instance, a direct client may want their colorful, picture-rich brochure "translated". Unless it's part of their core business, they'll have no idea on what is DTP and why it exists. It may take them a while to understand why providing the translator with the DTP or PDF files is really much wiser than merely scanning the printed publication.

Likewise, I often get approached by direct corporate prospects who want "a video translated". Most often, say, it's in English, and they say they want it "transcribed in Portuguese" - which makes no sense to me. So I ask whether they want to have it dubbed or subtitled, and I can feel they are dumbfounded.

The epilogue is that I had to offer guidance on this and other issues so many times that I eventually wrote articles like this page. As a matter of fact, most of my web site was built from answers and explanations I had to give over and over again to convert prospects into clients.

In summary, a translator who merely wants to translate should strive to work for agencies; they'll supposedly take care of anything beyond that. Translators willing to work for direct clients should be also willing to educate them on issues that are not strictly within the translation realm, even if they have to outsource such additional services.


 

Animus  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:42
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jul 11, 2013

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I've watched a few of the videos now and they've been very helpful so far. I'll watch the rest as soon as I have time and I'm sure they will be very useful as well. Thanks again!

 

Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 21:42
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
100% agree with Jose Jul 11, 2013

...and you can have the same payment issues with direct clients that crop up with translation agencies.

 


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