Client asked not only for translation, but also for help marketing products. Is this normal?
Thread poster: VIVA VOCE Ltd.

VIVA VOCE Ltd.  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
English to Croatian
+ ...
Aug 8, 2007

I understand clients' urge to get the most out of a translator, however I was asked not only to translate a promotional brochure for a furniture producer but to help market their products in my country. What am I to answer these guys?

I'm dumbfounded. Or is this also normal, something to expect as a freelancer? Please share your views. Thanks.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-08-08 18:10]


Chinmayi Sripada
Local time: 14:31
English to German
+ ...
Reply to Aug 8, 2007

I have had to face the exact the same thing before. Promotion and sales. I said that we would get the translation done and then speak about the rest. When I got the payment, I did not respond to their EMails nor was I interested to work for them anymore.
Somewhere in between, they had actually asked me to take a percentage of the cost of the product (of course, once I sold them!) as payment for the translation, until the bill was settled.
Thereafter, if I have had doubts, I clearly tell them beforehand that I will not have anything to do with promoting their brand in my country.
Best of luck!

[Edited at 2007-08-08 17:27]


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on your Business Aug 8, 2007

Perhaps it could be a good business to get into, but if it's not your line of business then it's not for you. Just answer them that you are not involved in that business and know nothing about it.

Then again it would seem strange for a company to be asking someone to help market their products without having any idea that such person would be qualified and able to perform such a function.


Erika Pavelka (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
French to English
That is weird... Aug 8, 2007

It's never happened to me, but if I were you, I would tell them that you do not provide marketing services (strictly translation) and that an advertising agency would be in a better position to help them.


Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
strange idea Aug 8, 2007

If I would have been asked and decide to keep politeicon_wink.gif I would tell them, that my translation skills are of considerable higher quality than my promotion skills.

Maybe I should ask my plumber next time, if he can do the washing up after completion of his work?icon_wink.gif


Michał Szcześniewski  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
English to Polish
+ ...
maybe... Aug 8, 2007

your client meant word-of-mouth marketing:)

I don't know the business profile of the client, but there is a significant number of companies willing to market their products or services that way.

I was approached by such businessmen a couple of times. Once they shared they great ideas with me, I politely refused even to make the translation. I don't like this kind of attitude.


Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
English to Russian
+ ...
why not? Aug 8, 2007

if they are ready to pay for this as well and you can make some additonal profit for yourself.


Dubravka Hrastovec  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
English to Croatian
+ ...
Huh... Aug 8, 2007

Although I 've had no similar experience with such 'diversified' requests of my clients so far, I can only tell you that I really don't like such approaches to our emerging markets, especially in Eastern Europe. Perhaps those guys think that we are still inexperienced enough to be easily deceived into taking up someone else's work for a fistful of dollars (preferably the very same one that we get for our translations!icon_biggrin.gif). It is seriousness and professionalism that they lack big time, I would say…


Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
You can hardly have too many sales channels Aug 8, 2007

When I was a beginning freelancer and urgently looking for work, particularly for localizing software, I thought about the many software developers who would not have the money to invest in a localization, which is a considerable risk of expenses.

This could be financed by a sales representative who is also a translator. I proposed it to some shareware developers, but they were not sure that they wanted it.

I think in the third world many people would be happy for any legal business opportunity, whereas in the first world they tend to sacrifice flexibility for specialisation.

[Edited at 2007-08-08 22:10]


Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:01
German to English
+ ...
Your choice Aug 8, 2007

Ljerka Polegubić wrote:

I'm dumbfounded. Or is this also normal, something to expect as a freelancer?

Not in my experience. But if you are interested and feel you could do a good job, then go for it. Remember to charge/negotiate (very) well.

Harry makes a good point.



Local time: 09:01
Reply Aug 9, 2007

Maybe the client is not very familiar with what does actually a translator do... or he doesn't have good contacts in your country and thinks that he can kill two birds with a stone.

I won't do it, but then I am not suitable at all for the sales business. If you are a person with a sales drive and think you can do well... go for it!

However this service should have separate rates and not be included in your fee for the translation...



Local time: 03:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
...Make Lemonade! Aug 9, 2007

Suggest to them that this would be work as a marketing consultant. If you feel qualified to take this on, I believe said consultants charge upwards of $100 hour for their expertise; they hire college interns, etc. to do the grunt work and make tons of money! I smell opportunity!

[Edited at 2007-08-09 18:58]


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Client asked not only for translation, but also for help marketing products. Is this normal?

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