Problems with meeting clients - help needed
Thread poster: Matej Matijević

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
May 23, 2013

Hello everybody,

where shall I begin? Well it all started 3 months ago when I learned about this site from a friend.
Since I have very good language skills (English in particular, of course), I got attracted immediately.
I did everything I was asked to do in improving my profile and updated credentials (CAE Exam).
I responded to every job offer in my area of expertise, even wider. But, the problem is that I still haven`t heard from anyone.
So, I would appreciate if there is someone who could help me a bit. Thanks in advance =)


Profile link : http://www.proz.com/translator/1733159


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
Meeting clients at ProZ.com May 23, 2013

Hello omis1506,

Though quoting on jobs may be an effective strategy to get started, you should also know that, at ProZ.com, the main channel to get jobs are direct searches outsourcers conduct in the directory.

With this in mind, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure potential clients searching the directory for language professionals see you, and that once they see you, that they get interested in what you have to offer. These few things are what, at ProZ.com, are called winning strategies. ProZ.com winning strategies include:

1. Membership, as members are ranked ahead of non-members in the directory of freelancers and interpreters, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and are then more visible in searches. Visit this page to check your current directory ranking. Also, check the current membership campaign page to learn why there is no better time to upgrade than now: http://www.proz.com/membership/campaign (2013 Mid-year campaign: May 20 - Jun 20).

2. Specialization. Let potential clients know what your fields of expertise are by listing fields in your profile in order --your specialty fields must be ordered accordingly, earning KudoZ points in those fields and in your top language pair, providing details in your "About me", etc. More tips on how to show your specialization are available here.

3. A good profile, as your profile serves as your business card and directory listing, and it is the first impression of you that colleagues and potential clients will have when they find you at ProZ.com and when running web searches.

4. KudoZ PRO points in your language pairs and fields of expertise, as this is how directory search results are ranked among the first group (members) and the second group (non-members). A few minutes of effort, a few times a month, may be all that is needed to boost your position in the freelancer directory.

5. PRO status, as becoming a certified PRO will allow you to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, including companies seeking the services of certified PROs only. (it is extremely important though that all previous strategies are put into use, and that all required information is gathered, before applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network).

I invite you to attend one of the free webinars offered by site staff on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" to learn more:

http://www.proz.com/pages/meeting_clients_webinar

Or else, watch this short video:

http://www.proz.com/videos/tutorials%20on%20proz.com/607

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Lucía


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, membership May 23, 2013

Just to emphasize: in quite many cases, the very first order won via Proz.com more than covers the annual membership dues (and this is not just my point of view, but experience of many colleagues). If you decide to upgrade to full membership, contact me, I can offer you some BrowniZ so that you have some discount.

[Edited at 2013-05-23 11:24 GMT]


 

felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:45
German to Slovenian
+ ...
You might want to May 23, 2013

raise your rates a bit. I mean, no serious outsourcer will hire you for €0.01/word. Even your highest rate is very low. I also suggest to create a PDF version of your CV.
As already suggested, proz.com membership is almost necessary for you to get better assignments. I started as a non-member and got practically no jobs. After I purchased the membership, the first project already covered it.
Just apply for jobs and eventually you will get them.


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
An idea May 23, 2013

With the impending accession of Croatia to the EU, I'm sure that there is a market in your language combinations.
Your rate for freelance work probably wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone. Look under 'tools' at the top right-hand corner of your screen to find rates quoted by the community in your language pairs to get an idea and definitely take stock of Lucia's comments.

Also, work out what would be acceptable to you as a monthly wage, practise translating a text (from Wikipedia or something) well and work out how many words you've done in a full day. Then divide your desired monthly wage by 15 (for 15 days of work in a month - to be realistic), then the result by the amount of words you have worked out you can translate, and this should give you an indication of a per word rate you could work at.

If you're interested in translation as a career, you could perhaps try looking into working at the EU in Brussels as I've heard that there is a lack of Croatian translators and I can imagine that there is a lack of native English speakers with Croatian too so I'd think that it's valid that you work in both directions.

It is hard to break into the industry because many clients will not look twice at someone with no experience, creating a chicken and egg situation. I would say that at the start, you have to look out for jobs at weekends which will have fewer applicants and perhaps approach agencies direct who deal with your language pairs.

Don't rely on Proz. It's a good resource but it's not the only route to market.


 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:45
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Membership Helps May 23, 2013

felicij wrote:

raise your rates a bit. I mean, no serious outsourcer will hire you for €0.01/word.


I agree with felicij - increase your rate to more around the €0.07 mark and you'll appear more professional and therefore attractive. I would also accept esperantisto's kind offer for Browniz so you can get cheaper Proz membership. Having membership helped me get a new repeat client - they actually contacted me rather than me having to contact them.

Another idea could be to post something on the Proz exchange offering to proofread/translate a CV or cover letter for another translator in exchange for them doing the same for you. It helps the community and you can get a positive WWA rating if you do a good job.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:45
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm afraid you aren't inspiring confidence at present May 23, 2013

Hello omis1506,

I'm actually surprised you haven't received any response to your job quotes, as there are quite a few agencies posting jobs on the ProZ.com job board who are looking for translators in your rate range. Most of the professional translators here wouldn't touch such work for such low rates. However, your hourly rate is perfectly average, which must mean that you expect to translate very, very fast - over 1,000 wph, in fact. I imagine that's what's putting off these "bottom-feeders". After all, they expect good quality work, with terminology research and self-proofreading thrown in for their couple of cents per word.

I have to say that your profile/CV combination does not inspire confidence, as you're giving a very jumbled message. In addition to the rate per word vs rate per hour conflict, you say you have 5 years of experience and yet you finished high school in 2013. Also, a specialisation of military/defence texts calls for absolutely top credentials - look at it from the point of view of the client and the importance of texts you may have to translate - so it needs to be backed up by something more than an interest, IMHO.

I don't mean to be negative here, I'm just pointing out what potential clients will be able to figure out for themselves. I think you should follow Lucia's excellent advice, and that given by others here, and you should make some of your best (non-confidential) translations visible in the portfolio section of your profile to show people what you can actually do, regardless of your minimal experience and qualifications.


 

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 24, 2013

Thank you all for your precious time.. I will take all your advices in consideration, and will act accordingly..
Many thanks =))))


 

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rates May 24, 2013

Can anyone suggest rates I should post?

 

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply May 24, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Hello omis1506,

I'm actually surprised you haven't received any response to your job quotes, as there are quite a few agencies posting jobs on the ProZ.com job board who are looking for translators in your rate range. Most of the professional translators here wouldn't touch such work for such low rates. However, your hourly rate is perfectly average, which must mean that you expect to translate very, very fast - over 1,000 wph, in fact. I imagine that's what's putting off these "bottom-feeders". After all, they expect good quality work, with terminology research and self-proofreading thrown in for their couple of cents per word.

I have to say that your profile/CV combination does not inspire confidence, as you're giving a very jumbled message. In addition to the rate per word vs rate per hour conflict, you say you have 5 years of experience and yet you finished high school in 2013. Also, a specialisation of military/defence texts calls for absolutely top credentials - look at it from the point of view of the client and the importance of texts you may have to translate - so it needs to be backed up by something more than an interest, IMHO.

I don't mean to be negative here, I'm just pointing out what potential clients will be able to figure out for themselves. I think you should follow Lucia's excellent advice, and that given by others here, and you should make some of your best (non-confidential) translations visible in the portfolio section of your profile to show people what you can actually do, regardless of your minimal experience and qualifications.



Dear Sheila,
about the rates - well I thought, since I am still a newbie on this site, extra low rates could provide me with a quick jobs because today everyone wants to pay as cheaper as possible..I was wrongicon_wink.gif

about the YOE - in the past few years I worked actively as a tourist interpreter, answered E-mails regarding accomodation, sightseeing etc. in my area, even wider.. that`s why I stated that I have 5 years of experience, regardless I am (now - was) still a highschool student.


 

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks May 24, 2013

Lucia Leszinsky wrote:

Hello omis1506,

Though quoting on jobs may be an effective strategy to get started, you should also know that, at ProZ.com, the main channel to get jobs are direct searches outsourcers conduct in the directory.

With this in mind, there are a few easy things you can do to make sure potential clients searching the directory for language professionals see you, and that once they see you, that they get interested in what you have to offer. These few things are what, at ProZ.com, are called winning strategies. ProZ.com winning strategies include:

1. Membership, as members are ranked ahead of non-members in the directory of freelancers and interpreters, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and are then more visible in searches. Visit this page to check your current directory ranking. Also, check the current membership campaign page to learn why there is no better time to upgrade than now: http://www.proz.com/membership/campaign (2013 Mid-year campaign: May 20 - Jun 20).

2. Specialization. Let potential clients know what your fields of expertise are by listing fields in your profile in order --your specialty fields must be ordered accordingly, earning KudoZ points in those fields and in your top language pair, providing details in your "About me", etc. More tips on how to show your specialization are available here.

3. A good profile, as your profile serves as your business card and directory listing, and it is the first impression of you that colleagues and potential clients will have when they find you at ProZ.com and when running web searches.

4. KudoZ PRO points in your language pairs and fields of expertise, as this is how directory search results are ranked among the first group (members) and the second group (non-members). A few minutes of effort, a few times a month, may be all that is needed to boost your position in the freelancer directory.

5. PRO status, as becoming a certified PRO will allow you to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, including companies seeking the services of certified PROs only. (it is extremely important though that all previous strategies are put into use, and that all required information is gathered, before applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network).

I invite you to attend one of the free webinars offered by site staff on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" to learn more:

http://www.proz.com/pages/meeting_clients_webinar

Or else, watch this short video:

http://www.proz.com/videos/tutorials%20on%20proz.com/607

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Lucía


Thanks, I will try to follow your advices =)


 

Matej Matijević
Croatia
Local time: 23:45
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 24, 2013

Charlotte Farrell wrote:

felicij wrote:

raise your rates a bit. I mean, no serious outsourcer will hire you for €0.01/word.


I agree with felicij - increase your rate to more around the €0.07 mark and you'll appear more professional and therefore attractive. I would also accept esperantisto's kind offer for Browniz so you can get cheaper Proz membership. Having membership helped me get a new repeat client - they actually contacted me rather than me having to contact them.

Another idea could be to post something on the Proz exchange offering to proofread/translate a CV or cover letter for another translator in exchange for them doing the same for you. It helps the community and you can get a positive WWA rating if you do a good job.



Dear Charlotte, do You mean RPW, or AR?
And I would do that exchange ASAP, but I don`t know howicon_frown.gif

[Edited at 2013-05-24 16:33 GMT]


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:45
English to Polish
+ ...
Pro status May 25, 2013

Lucia Leszinsky wrote:

5. PRO status, as becoming a certified PRO will allow you to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, including companies seeking the services of certified PROs only. (it is extremely important though that all previous strategies are put into use, and that all required information is gathered, before applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network).


I'd apply for that one myself, except I can't endorse the ethical guidelines, some of which are quite badly drafted. For example, you require interpreters to communicate only to the extent required to interpret. Greetings and hellos and being nice to people, such as telling them the time or giving directions, is not necessary to interpret. Just one example. Or, 'accept responsibility for their work even when it has been subcontracted,' (to the translator by someone else or by the translator to someone else?).

It's a shame really to see myself unable to take advantage of some of the exclusive features on this portal that are limited only to people who endorse those rules, which I can't do the way they are drafted. Also sucks to see you guys uninterested in fixing the problem. Fix the drafting, and I'll join the programme in a heartbeat if there's nothing I find objectionable in them. Otherwise, no chance. I'm not going to sign my name under any obligation that I know from the get-go that I'll need to trim down to a reasonable size in the practical performance of it.


 


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