Winning end customers
Thread poster: xxxvonflauschig

xxxvonflauschig
Germany
Local time: 21:45
English to German
+ ...
Aug 11, 2015

Hello,

I have been translating for over 7 years now but mostly for agencies. I have established a good relationship with some of them and I do enjoy our cooperation. I work for my rates and I have almost never had any payment issues.

I have been wondering how I could win more direct end customers. I have established relationships with thos agencies ages ago as I started and never cared to win end customers ever since. Any advice?


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:45
German to English
Go to trade fairs Aug 11, 2015

There is no lack of Messen in Germany. Bring a handful of business cards, brochures, etc. and hand them out. This may take some investment of time and effort (and money to pay the sometimes outrageous entry fees), but it has the potential to pay off big time. Concentrate on the smaller companies, as the representatives at the expo are generally closer to the heart of the company's operations and may have an understanding of the company's translation requirements.

 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:45
English to Polish
+ ...
Marta Stelmaszak at wantwords.co.uk Aug 11, 2015

Marta keeps talking and writing about just that, and she's a qualified business coach and translator both, not just one of the two. Read her blog on her website, find her presentations on YouTube, get her book perhaps or sign up for her training sessions (which include some individual coaching).

 

Richard Foulkes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:45
German to English
+ ...
Specialise and market yourself within that industry Aug 11, 2015

This will allow you to focus your marketing efforts while also differentiating yourself from the competition. Good luck!

 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:45
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Perhaps proz ... Aug 11, 2015

Kevin Fulton wrote:

Go to trade fairs
There is no lack of Messen in Germany.



... could make the step forward for their members and advertise more on international trade fairs (with banners etc.)? I suppose most potential end clients do not know the existence of an huge translators portal like proz.com (still) is. They mostly step into the traps of local agencies offering "best rates...proven quality...ISO 9001" and all other kind of promises. Yes, I know, agencies can have a useful function (i.e. when it comes to organizing multilingual projects, DTP etc.), but these functions can also be offered by professional freelancers themselves, provided they are organised in a network of colleagues. Suggestion should be discussed, or has it already been discussed elsewhere here?

[Edited at 2015-08-11 17:45 GMT]


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
In addition... Aug 11, 2015

The process is a little different depending on the industries that you're targeting. I've had a lot of success in finding new clients on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:45
Chinese to English
Education, particularly interpreter education Aug 11, 2015

This may not be appropriate for you at all, so I apologise if it doesn't work, but I thought I'd mention my experience.

I have a couple of big direct clients, and I got them when I was doing interpreter training. I ended up not being an interpreter, but that's where I met people. Interpreters come into direct contact with clients, so they are more able to develop direct business relationships. In my experience, businesses will ask their interpreters to help them with translation, and many interpreters are very happy to hand it off to friendly translators. So even if you don't fancy doing interpreter training yourself, get to know some interpreters.

But translation education centers will attract clients, so it's worth attending some courses at the local university, talking to your instructors, looking on uni notice boards.


 

xxxvonflauschig
Germany
Local time: 21:45
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your suggestions Aug 13, 2015

Thank you very much for all your suggestions, I am definitely going to give them a try.

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:45
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Working with end client might not be the cost-effective way Aug 13, 2015

Even if your rate for an end client doubles that you have set for your agency clients, you may find the hassle involved not worth it.

It involves a lot more that just translating.


 


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