How can I get more jobs?
Thread poster: Annet Fransen

Annet Fransen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jan 20, 2004

Dear translators,

I have been working as a freelance translator (English-Dutch) for almost a year now. When I started doing this, I compiled a list of companies (lots of publishers) I wanted to work for and sent out lots of letters, introducing myself as a translator. I got some response and a few jobs and everything seemed to be going smoothly. But now things are extremely slow. I've tried doing more mailings, going to conferences to shake hands, chat and exchange business cards, but so far this hasn't really paid off. Would you be willing to share some techniques that have worked for you?

Many thanks,

Annet

PS: Most of my customers have been repeat customers, so I imagine they ARE happy with my work


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:56
SITE FOUNDER
Specialize - and join related association(s) Jan 20, 2004

It looks like you have some expertise in travel and tourism. Consider really specializing in that, and joining local association(s) for those in the field--not a translator association (though that is advised, too), but an association of travel/tourism professionals.

Other than that, keep doing what you are doing: use ProZ.com and KudoZ, contact language companies (and maybe clients) directly, by email and mail, get in the phone book, etc., etc. Good luck.

Oh, and make your own website. List it in the search engines.


 

mdcdc
Local time: 03:56
English to French
+ ...
Join and Specialized Jan 20, 2004

Annet Fransen wrote:

Dear translators,

I have been working as a freelance translator (English-Dutch) for almost a year now. When I started doing this, I compiled a list of companies (lots of publishers) I wanted to work for and sent out lots of letters, introducing myself as a translator. I got some response and a few jobs and everything seemed to be going smoothly. But now things are extremely slow. I've tried doing more mailings, going to conferences to shake hands, chat and exchange business cards, but so far this hasn't really paid off. Would you be willing to share some techniques that have worked for you?

Many thanks,

Annet

PS: Most of my customers have been repeat customers, so I imagine they ARE happy with my work


 

mdcdc
Local time: 03:56
English to French
+ ...
Join and Specialize Jan 20, 2004

This is the best advice that one can give you. I have been doing some translation/proofreading and editing since last year. It is not a full time job for me but more to "have fun" and keep up with the technical vocabulary of my mother tongue. When I started, I simply joined the ATA, posted my resume and a few weeks later I received calls from agencies not only in the US but also in Europe. You should seriously think about joining the ATA (only about $130/year and the exchange rate with the Euro is great for you right now) as well as the European equivalent.
Also, try to go to meetings. All societies have annual meeting where you can meet people, hand out your business card, be known and get work.
Finally, focus, choose one or two areas where you have the background, knowledge, expertise. It will be easier to promote yourself and you will quickly be recognized as "the one who knows" .
Good Luck,
Catherine


 

Annet Fransen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jan 21, 2004

Thank you so much for all your kind, helpful, positive remarks so far. They have all been very encouraging. Keep them coming - not just for myself, but for all other translators as wel. You're wonderful.

 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 13:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Tourism may be a problem Jan 23, 2004

When I started my business I too thought of Tourism as my main speciality, but nowadays only a small fraction of my jobs comes from this field. Somehow the tourism clients try to save on translation and give the jobs to students and relatives "who know language X well". Many do not even care, if the translation is good.
Technical or medical translations are more rewarding.


 

denardis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:56
Italian to English
+ ...
Many thanks Feb 21, 2004

I also want to say thanks for the many useful advices shared on this website. I have recently started and sometimes it is frustrating when we don't get enough results for the amount of time we spend looking for clients. I love to see my Kudoz and Browniz points grow and I don't lose faith. Grazie mille.
Anna


 


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