Using paid leads to find clients
Thread poster: Mark Hemming

Mark Hemming  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Slovenian to English
+ ...
Oct 21

In the ever-important quest to find direct clients, I've noticed that there are several companies out there offering paid leads, i.e. access to individuals or companies looking for a translators to carry out a project. Would anyone care to share their experiences of such services?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Examples? Oct 21

Mark Hemming wrote:
I've noticed that there are several companies out there offering paid leads?


Can you give some examples of the types of companies that you're referring to?


 

Mark Hemming  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Slovenian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
bark.com Oct 21

One such example is bark.com.

 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:09
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Locally and "mixing bowl" Oct 21

Mark Hemming wrote:

One such example is bark.com.


Hi Mark,

The site you mentioned is for local services and it's a "mixing bowl" for many different professions: from cleaning to personal trainers etc.
Most of the translators do not work locally for many reasons. Just compare the translation opportunities in a metropolis (demand for many different specialties) vs. and in towns (very few specialties are needed). The smaller town you live in, the less opportunity you have in translation if you think locally.
But fortunately we are working over the net!
If somebody is specialized in medical translations, he/she won't be interested in diploma translations...

Bests,
Katalin


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 18:09
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Best does not mean locally (within a few miles) the best Oct 21

Mark Hemming wrote:

One such example is bark.com.


Plus one more thing: high-end clients look for the best translators and most of the times best translators do not live locally in that area where the end client lives. So why should they narrow down the search locally when translators do not have a local-specific profession? We don't work with paper and ink any more....

On the other hand personal trainers for example have to be physically there with the clients.
That's why "Find your freelancer professional locally" type of initiations do not work for translators.
It doesn't make sense.


Artur Heinrich
Yolanda Broad
Morano El-Kholy
Chris Foster
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Everything is quite local: No need in "globally" best general-purpose disposable Jacks Oct 21

While somewhere there's always someone better at something, real direct clients (not headhunters/middlemen) are mostly businesspersons doing biz at certain places with reliable parties. They often need just the right man for the job in the region--(1) a dedicated specialist in a field with decent (2) business and (3) foreign language skills, who simply can do the job (I) properly, (II) timely, and (III) as agreed. Indeed, an experienced business owner will surely prefer a direct contac... See more
While somewhere there's always someone better at something, real direct clients (not headhunters/middlemen) are mostly businesspersons doing biz at certain places with reliable parties. They often need just the right man for the job in the region--(1) a dedicated specialist in a field with decent (2) business and (3) foreign language skills, who simply can do the job (I) properly, (II) timely, and (III) as agreed. Indeed, an experienced business owner will surely prefer a direct contact with would-be collaborators, interviewing either personally or via a responsible specialist. Furthermore, unlike mere jobbing, serious direct clients consider prospects for a mid-to-long term cooperation.

Shortly, they need a reliable trouble-free specialist HERE-and-NOW, not some virtual best-of-the-best somewhere about there on the internet.
(Why, I do know a much better cafe, but still my people and I prefer to get together at a local place.)

For instance, as a recent graduating student, I visited every local office of small and medium businesses, leaving my tailored CVs and resumes. Indeed, some of them were my occasional clients and knew me well enough. A couple of months later, a new foreign business partner wanted to open a new office nearby, so they urgently needed someone young to travel on biz a lot, yet experienced and standing well... I still remember as one of my first local direct clients put aside my pack of papers, called a Russian-speaking specialist, gave me a techy manual and said: "Now, show us what you can do!"

I cannot visualize any outsourcer/agency official as one who could add to the contract more favorable conditions for the translator/interpreter, deleting irrelevant and funny clauses; let alone asking why exactly $0.10/word, not $0.05 or $0.15--and having a good laughing at the answer: "Well, it's just a probation period rate."

Thanks gods I have nothing to do with agencies and the rest
Collapse


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:09
Serbian to English
+ ...
They are NOT selling "leads" Oct 22

Mark Hemming wrote:

One such example is bark.com.


they are in fact offering "free leads" to make you pay a "finder's fee"

take a look at

https://thebig.co/bark-review/

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bark.com

https://www.photography-forum.org/threads/anyone-else-being-spammed-by-bark-com.129331/

try a search on " bark.com reviews"

I would stay clear of them.

[Edited at 2019-10-22 11:34 GMT]


DZiW
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Re: Bark.com -- worth a look, but expensive Oct 22

Daryo wrote:
Mark Hemming wrote:
One such example is bark.com.

They are in fact offering "free leads" to make you pay a "finder's fee".


I had a look at their site, posted a dummy job, logged out, signed up as a professional, and had a look around (including a look at the dummy job that I posted). I later logged in to the account that was automatically created when I posted the dummy job, and deleted the job, because AFAIK while the job is there, any translator can pay money to see the dummy job's poster's contact details, and I'm not cruel. Oddly I was not able to cancel the dummy job immediately -- I had to wait for my password, then log in using that password, and then look around a bit before I noticed how to cancel the job. I wonder how many people "test" the site with dummy jobs that they then can't (or forget to) cancel.

So, as far as I can tell, they do sell "leads", i.e. they sell contact details of people who told them that they're looking for a service provider for a specific job. One could say that they're selling "jobs", except that the job is not guaranteed even if you pay for access to it, and the odds that paying them money will lead to a paid job are very poor.

They show you information about the lead for free, but if you want to see the person's contact details, you have to pay (on average about €6-10 per lead). The leads are shown to multiple people, so you may be buying a lead that someone else has already bought as well. There are no refunds (unless the client's phone number doesn't work and the client doesn't respond to your instant message within 7 days, but you have to manually request the refund).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Go2U2m_RPw

Buyers can specify a number of things about their project (e.g. number of words for translation), but they can't specify a budget or a preferred budget range, so you have no idea if the client has realistic expectations of what a translation would normally cost.

I think if you're going to use this system, you have to evaluate the information in the lead to determine how likely it is that the lead will lead to a job. This could be useful as one of the ways to get new clients, but you have to keep your eyes open, because the leads are high-risk.



Not very useful, I'm afraid. Most of the "reviews" are from people who complain about a service provider that they found via bark.com, or the treatment that they received from a client that they had found via bark.com, and not about bark.com itself.


 


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