Acquisition of direct/end clients - old topic - new methods?
Thread poster: Annett Hieber

Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:21
English to German
Apr 27, 2012

Hi!

I'd like to pick up this old topic in the hope to learn about new ideas.

I already work mainly for a direct clients, a small, but regular circle, whom I know personally in the meantime. However, as they do not have work for me constantly throughout the year, I need "fillers". Until now, that have been agencies.

For some time, I have been looking for new direct clients, but without much success. I contacted companies in my subject field who might have a need. But nothing happened, not even one single or inquiry or refusal. The only new customers I got have been through recommendations of my existing clients.

I'm looking for new ways now and would be interested to hear how others do it and if you have success.

So, it would be nice if you could share your recent experiences.

Annett

P.S. I wish everyone a long, nice and sunny weekend!

Annett


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 11:21
Chinese to English
It's not what you know... Apr 27, 2012

My experience has been the same as yours. New direct clients have come exclusively through recommendations. In my case, I've been able to get work through colleague recommendations as well as client recommendations, because I'm one of the few interpreters who actually enjoys translating as well.

I haven't really tried doing commercial marketing, and I'm not about to. I think it's reasonable that most companies would find it difficult to consider a freelancer. There are so many of us, we can't offer the same guarantees or range of services as an agency, and don't have the resources to put into really big impressive marketing. Without a recommendation/introduction, I'm sure most procurement managers would feel that don't have anything to go on.

But I do want to expand my local client pool so that I travel less. My plan is to go and socialise, get introductions to CEOs, market myself by being "clubbable". It's not something I'm looking forward to very much, but my guess is it will be more effective than any other method.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same here Apr 28, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:

My experience has been the same as yours. New direct clients have come exclusively through recommendations. In my case, I've been able to get work through colleague recommendations as well ...

I haven't really tried doing commercial marketing, and I'm not about to..... There are so many of us, we can't offer the same guarantees or range of services as an agency, and don't have the resources to put into really big impressive marketing. Without a recommendation/introduction, I'm sure most procurement managers would feel that don't have anything to go on.



Sometimes I get approaches through proz, which I suppose is a sort of "recommendation" but they are 99% from agencies offering rates even lower than my own.

As an anecdote, I find that the less available I appear to be, the more work I am offered.


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