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Setting-up own web site
Thread poster: Susanna Garcia

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:29
Italian to English
+ ...
May 6, 2009

I am thinking of setting-up my own site to try and attract more direct clients and be more in charge of my own destiny.
If you have one, has it increased business? Has it been worthwhile or just a hassle? How do you set-up payment systems.
Any recommendations as to host?
Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks
Suzi


 

Frederic Lievre
Ireland
Local time: 06:29
English to French
+ ...
I did my own May 6, 2009

not for translation but for graphic design.
I did in a way that all transactions will still be negotiated and paid the "casual" way.
I didn't bither with paypal and all those.
But a website is well worth getting your name out there...
I see mine for example, I make around 200 visits a day, and of those about 20 will ask for something


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My experience May 6, 2009

Susanna Garcia wrote:
I am thinking of setting-up my own site to try and attract more direct clients and be more in charge of my own destiny. If you have one, has it increased business?


It has been worth it in my case, although times change and one has to adapt to it. My web site used to bring me lots of work but these days I get more work through other channels. Still, it is worth your while having a web site for people to visit. It serves as a calling card where people can get all the information about you that they need.

Read two things:
* http://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/index.html
* http://www.apromotionguide.com/

Both of these are fairly old but the principles in them are still valid.


 

Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 06:29
Member
Portuguese to English
Office live May 6, 2009

Hi,

I used the office live programme (www.officelive.com)which is for free and then registered my own domain name for a short fee. I did the basics in about and hour. Very simple and user friendly, and especially good for someone with no knowledge of html (me!) My site's only been up and running a month so it's too early to comment on how successful in terms of generating long term clients, but I've had a lot of visitors and the word is being spread!

Good luck!


 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
It will not bring you direct clients May 6, 2009

Direct clients are local companies. You most often know them personally, or at least get to know them personally after they have made contact with you through finding your name in the local telephone directory.

It would be highly unusual for a direct client to trust someone just via an Internet page.

There are other uses for a web site, however. It can be used to provide information about your business procedures, e.g. quality control procedures. You write up there any information that you would like your existing or future customers to see once they are already doing business with you and decide to take a look at your web site (having seen the address of it on your invoice). In my case, I also have a glossary on my web site for a certain target group of customers.

After I finally succeeded in creating a contact form, the only enquiries I have received to date through it are applications from translators looking for work and hoping that I can provide them with it! However, they tend not to take a look first at the language pairs which I offer to my customers, since their language pairs usually fall outside these.

Setting up payment systems does not really apply in the above circumstances. In any case, you can only really sell directly to local customers, otherwise you run too high a financial risk. You invoice them normally, listing local acceptable payment methods.


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
The web can very local May 6, 2009

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Direct clients are local companies. You most often know them personally, or at least get to know them personally after they have made contact with you through finding your name in the local telephone directory.

It would be highly unusual for a direct client to trust someone just via an Internet page.



I beg to differ with Astrid.

I have attracted some excellent and local direct clients with my website.

Depending on where you are based, it may be worth stressing your locality in your website and domain address.

Another tip: you can buy very attractive ready-made websites for around 50 euros. Just add text and pictures. Search under 'templates' in Google.


 

Irene McClure
Local time: 07:29
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Freewebs May 7, 2009

I also set up my website using a free website building programme - called www.webs.com. It will even host your website for free if you agree to have all kinds of flashing ads around it and your domain name has the term "freewebs" in it, so not necessarily the best for a business site - although if you just want to try it out and see how it looks, this is a good way to do it. You choose a basic template then can add photos, graphics, links etc.

What I did once I had created my basic site was to purchase my own domain name (the WEBS site tells you how to go about that) for 20 USD for a year. It is still hosted by the WEBS people but you no longer have the flashing ads or the "freewebs" bit in your name.

It was really simple to do - especially if you have no background in this kind of thing (like me!).

My own site is very basic and as others have said above, I use it mostly as a business card - directing clients there when they want to know more about my services. It does have a contacts tab on it and you can set it up in the way that best suits you. I haven't done it but I imagine you would be able to link Paypal accounts to it when it comes to taking client orders.

It's worth a look.

Good luck
SAVTRAD


 

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:29
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Own web site May 7, 2009

Thank you everyone for your help. It's so helpful to get all the different points of view.
Suzi


 

John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
.tel can be a very cheap and effective 'first web' May 11, 2009

If you are not ready to set up your own web, then you might consider a .tel domain to be a very effective option.

These domains have only just been released.

They are intended as one-page electronic business cards. You can add your contact details and some 500 characters describing yourself and your services. No pictures and no graphics. They also work very well on mobile phones.

The beauty of these new domains is that they are sold with the webpage attached. This means that you do not need to pay for hosting, nor specialised 'web-making' software.

I have just bought:

http://johntraductor.tel

for a grand total of 18 euros a year.



Click here for more info: http://www.telnic.org/





[Edited at 2009-05-11 20:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-05-12 06:13 GMT]


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:29
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
No direct clients? May 11, 2009

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
It will not bring you direct clients
Direct clients are local companies. You most often know them personally, or at least get to know them personally after they have made contact with you through finding your name in the local telephone directory.
It would be highly unusual for a direct client to trust someone just via an Internet page.


Really? I'll have to tell most of my direct clients that they need to stop trusting me. Most of them found us through our web site. As crappy and outdated as the web site is, it has brought in a steady flow of good quality customers - both direct and agencies - over the years. The funny part is that I never even got around to putting my German pages up, but most of the direct clients who contact me after finding the web pages are German companies. So even doing a lot of things wrong with my web presence, it still works and has been a valuable part of the business. Even funnier, in my limited free time I've been working on a new site design on a DE domain, which I uploaded simply to get feedback from a few friends. It's incomplete and an amateurish mess, and we still managed to get a high-value direct client off those pages (only one, mind you, but the project paid the online fees for the next 30 years or so). I was utterly baffled by that, since I hadn't submitted it to any search engines and was surprised to find it indexed. God only knows what would happen if I took the time to get it right.

On the technical side, I think a combination static site + blog based on Wordpress software on your own domain might be effective and relatively easy to maintain. I've been setting one of those up to cover my dog hobby, and I was amazed by how easy it was to do so. All the setup was accomplished in less than an hour, and it's a real no-brainer to maintain. I'm wondering if a similar approach might not be useful for a business site; I see a number of translators and agencies doing just that.


 

Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:29
Japanese to English
Email is an extra benefit May 11, 2009

When you sign up with a reputable provider, they usually provide you with email for your account. That means that your business email has the same domain as your website, creating a synergistic effect (in theory anyway). Also you don't have to use Gmail and other questionable services.

If you use the email heavily, then that alone justifies the very small business expense of a domain.

[Edited at 2009-05-11 22:32 GMT]


 

Mykhailo Voloshko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:29
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
blog May 11, 2009

I've been running a blog for several months, and I added my services page a couple of months ago. Still waiting for any clients from iticon_wink.gif

In the meantime, I just share my experience with others, learn and teach, teach and learn, not to mention having fun!icon_smile.gif


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:29
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Good point about the e-mail on the domain May 11, 2009

Rod Walters wrote:
... your business email has the same domain as your website, creating a synergistic effect (in theory anyway). Also you don't have to use Gmail and other questionable services.

If you use the email heavily, then that alone justifies the very small business expense of a domain.


As you probably know, Rod, this is a subject which is hotly debated by those who use gmail, AOL, Hotmail and what have you and just don't "get it". However, I agree with you 100% on this one. Having your own e-mail address using a business domain under your control offers a number of advantages and represents another stage of seriousness in one's presentation. When I see a business domain on an e-mail address, I often look at the web site - I'm sure I am not the only one to do so. And if I see nothing or a "This page is under construction" notice I am *not* impressed.


 

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2006)
English to French
My website is a visiting card May 12, 2009

I made my website 3 years ago. Since then, I get around 10-15 visits a day but I did not find a single serious/regular client.

I added a contact form a few months ago and received only 3-4 messages, from non-professional people, usually asking if I could translate into English or Spanish (which I can't).

Most of my clients find me via my Proz profile and most of my website visitors come from ProZ.

Stéphanie


 

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 01:29
English to Spanish
Same here May 12, 2009

John Rawlins wrote:

I beg to differ with Astrid.

I have attracted some excellent and local direct clients with my website.



Granted, they aren't many, but one of them is currently one of my most loyal and steady clients.

I also get about 2 e-mail inquiries a week through my website, though few of them come to fruition.

Greetings
Andrea


 
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