Setting up a business website – how to handle testimonials/past clients with 90% agency work?
Thread poster: Sylvie A. Martlew

Sylvie A. Martlew
Jamaica
Local time: 21:42
German to English
+ ...
Oct 9, 2016

Hello,

I'm currently in the process of setting up my business website, as I've been translating full-time for several years and it's about time I get this done; I also want to attract more direct clients. Judging from other translators' sites, it seems that a listing of past clients and a sizable list of testimonials is a pretty essential component.

While I have had a couple of direct clients (who will probably be happy to give me a testimonial and be named), most of my work comes from agencies. Accordingly, I have actually translated for everything from start-ups to huge international corporations to governments -- but I am uncertain to what extent I am allowed to disclose the identity of any final clients on my own website. The various NDAs I have reviewed seem to suggest that I cannot name clients of the agencies. I'm sure I can get great testimonies from my project managers, but that still leaves me without a list of clients to put on display.

Any recommendations on how to populate this important section without violating any agreements? Or should I just leave it out until I've had more directs?

Any input welcome thanks.


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:42
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Rather than evade the strictures of confidentiality, make of them a virtue Oct 9, 2016

zugvogel wrote:
Any recommendations on how to populate this important section without violating any agreements? Or should I just leave it out until I've had more directs?

Put something like this:

"I have translated documents from a wide range of organizations, from national governments to major multinational corporations. However, absolute confidentiality is a core part of my service to clients and the majority prefer that I do not use their names."

Something like that. Emphasise that you keep your promises - implicit or, in the case of an NDA, explicit - not to disclose information that clients may not want you to disclose. That's an attractive point to many corporations.

Regards
Dan


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Phyllis Elago  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:42
French to English
+ ...
Personally I don't mention confidentiality directly Oct 9, 2016

Hi,

No, you can't name them since they aren't your clients. What I personally do on my website is say that I work for both LSPs and my own direct clients and so have worked for a range of organisations, from multinationals to government agencies, etc. but I don't name them. But in my testimonials, the full name of the person and their organisation are stated.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Mention agency names, give vague descriptions of jobs, and mention brands Oct 9, 2016

zugvogel wrote:
Most of my work comes from agencies. Accordingly, I have actually translated for everything from start-ups to huge international corporations to governments, but I am uncertain to what extent I am allowed to disclose the identity of any final clients on my own website.


You can't disclose the identity of the end-clients without permission from the agencies. But you can disclose the names of agencies, if you have their permission. So just ask the agencies if you can mention their names (i.e. the agencies' names) on your web site in the references section.

You can also give vague descriptions of some of the jobs, without going into any detail that would help anyone identify the end-client.

Finally, a brand is not an end-client. If you translated something for e.g. the marketing department of the London office of the Coca-Cola Company, then you can't mention that, but you can certainly mention "Coca-Cola".


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Sylvie A. Martlew
Jamaica
Local time: 21:42
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 11, 2016

Thanks, everyone, this is great advice. I had not considered the distinction between brands and clients.

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Setting up a business website – how to handle testimonials/past clients with 90% agency work?

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