References of former clients on own website
Thread poster: Egmont Schröder

Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:04
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Jul 4

Hello everyone,

First of all I am sorry if this question was posted before, but I am not able to find any answers via the search button.
I am building an own website now, and of course it would be nice if I could refer to former clients as a reference of my work.

The best option would be to put a company logo on this site. The problem is that I worked mainly through agencies so far, I don't know if I am allowed to do so and what consequences this will have.
... See more
Hello everyone,

First of all I am sorry if this question was posted before, but I am not able to find any answers via the search button.
I am building an own website now, and of course it would be nice if I could refer to former clients as a reference of my work.

The best option would be to put a company logo on this site. The problem is that I worked mainly through agencies so far, I don't know if I am allowed to do so and what consequences this will have.
The second option would be to put quotes from the Outsourcer Feedback on my site, together with the logo of the agency. Do I have to inform these agencies about this?

Thank you for your advice!
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I doubt there's a definitive answer Jul 4

Egmont Schröder wrote:
it would be nice if I could refer to former clients as a reference of my work.

The best option would be to put a company logo on this site. The problem is that I worked mainly through agencies so far, I don't know if I am allowed to do so and what consequences this will have.

I don't see how it can be right. Those logo owners have no idea who you are. Are you even 100% sure your texts came from them? Competitors can request texts for intelligence; courts request them as evidence, etc.

The second option would be to put quotes from the Outsourcer Feedback on my site, together with the logo of the agency. Do I have to inform these agencies about this?

AFAIC, my clients decide when, where and whether to leave feedback. It isn't up to me to reproduce it elsewhere. But I can certainly point other potential clients to it. Or I can ask the client for permission to do something else.

But many freelance translators have different ideas about what's acceptable.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Joe France
ahartje
Teresa Borges
 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:04
German to English
The agencies are your clients ... Jul 5

not the end customers.

If contacted for a reference, the agency's customers would have no idea who you are.

Prestige isn't transferable. You may have translated documents for Rolls Royce or Maybach, for example, but your potential customer only cares whether you're a competent automotive translator, specializing in (fill in the blank).

This topic has been covered here numerous times.


Michele Fauble
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
good name Jul 5

Hello Egmont.
A company logo = its image = reputation.

Even if you directly and successfully worked with a company, you should ask them first if they really (a) want to be mentioned on your site and would (b) recommend you again.

However, if it was a one-two time co-op, they don't even remember you, nor they would risk their brands, associating and connecting it with your proficiency.

As colleagues mentioned, it's better to describe the areas of your clients and estimated words, just diversifying your services and offering your best samples (removing sensitive information like specific names and data) in the portfolio.


Although I saw many unfair agencies and translators abusing big companies logos (often retouched a bit to avoid litigations), you'd rather care for making your personal branding (image), spreading good words among satisfied clients. (Yet I'd rather go for direct clients or biz

Take care


Philippe Etienne
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Egmont Jul 5

Egmont Schröder wrote:
The best option would be to put a company logo on this site. The problem is that I worked mainly through agencies so far, I don't know if I am allowed to do so...


Many companies have guidelines about using their logos. Try to find those guideliness -- some of them may actually permit you to use their logos in the way that you propose.

Coca-cola does not want you to use their logo unless you sell Coca-cola products:
https://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/the-coca-cola-company-terms-of-use
Ford requires you to apply for a license:
http://www.fordbrandlicensing.com/
Apple also requires you to obtain a license, if you're using the logo for promotional purposes, which you are:
https://www.apple.com/legal/intellectual-property/guidelinesfor3rdparties.html

I suppose "fair use" of "fair usage" rules may override these company-specific guidelines, but what is a translator's web site other than a promotional instrument?

I don't think it would be a problem to mention the end-clients if they are large corporations and there is no risk that you might be breaching confidentiality by making mention of them. But if you use a company's logo, it looks like an endorsement (they endorse you).

The second option would be to put quotes from the outsourcer feedback on my site, together with the logo of the agency. Do I have to inform these agencies about this?


You should do more than just inform: you should get permission. If the feedback was submitted via some feedback system that normally makes the feedback available to the public, then you don't need permission (or even tell them), but if feedback was given via e-mail or telephone, or on a web site with restricted access, then you can't just reveal it on your web site.

I think it would be okay to use the agency's logo, if you have permission to use the quote. I would not even bother asking specifically for permission to use the logo -- if the agency says it's okay to use the feedback, along with their name, then you can use the logo, too. Ask specifically if you can use the project manager's name, or if you must identify the feedback giver as "project manager at Agency XYZ" instead of "Joe Soap, project manager, Agency XYZ".

In fact, the most successful approach is the write down exactly what you intend to put on the web site, and show that to the agency when you ask for permission.

The third question, which you did not ask, relates to whether it is okay to put agencies' names on your web site, without any testimonials. The answer to that question depends on whether you consider the agencies' identity to be part of the confidential information that you have about the agencies and their jobs.



[Edited at 2019-07-05 08:40 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:04
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Egmont Jul 5

My website has a list of most of the clients I have worked with over the years and feedback and testimonials from a few customers. I asked them permission to do that when I built it. Sometimes I also refer my potential clients to my WWA…

 

Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:04
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the answers Jul 5

I just asked some agencies if I can publish the feedback on my site, and I just got the first confirmation.

Apparently it is not a problem at all, and it is better to go the official way.

DZiW wrote:

Although I saw many unfair agencies and translators abusing big companies logos (often retouched a bit to avoid litigations), you'd rather care for making your personal branding (image), spreading good words among satisfied clients. (Yet I'd rather go for direct clients or biz

Take care


This is what I am doing now. I will ask some direct clients if I can use their logo after I finished some projects for them.

Do you have any advice on how to fish for direct clients?


 


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