Welcome to the Marketing for translators forum
Thread poster: Jared Tabor

Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:33
Feb 18, 2010

Dear members,

This Marketing for translators forum has been created specifically to discuss and share different approaches to marketing yourself as a language professional, via your ProZ.com profile, website, and elsewhere. If you need advice, or want to share what has (or has not) worked for you, please feel free to post in this forum.

By the way, remember that your ProZ.com profile is a basic component at your disposal to better market yourself. Some of the basics on how your profile can work for you are included in this video.

This video and others can also be found in the Video center, http://www.proz.com/videos/ under the "ProZ.com tutorials" section.

Best regards,



Carla Guerreiro  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:33
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Excellent idea! Mar 20, 2010

Hi Jared,

The creation of this group is an excellent idea! Thanks!


John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:33
Member (2008)
French to English
Excellent! Mar 21, 2010

I am very much of the opinion that marketing is the skill most needed to combat low rates for translators. The more we can help translators market their services, the better it will be for the whole industry, I believe.

[Edited at 2010-03-21 20:35 GMT]


Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:33
English to French
Stay tuned May 14, 2010

Good stuff Jared!

I just "hired" a marketing trainee for 2 months.

I pay for his trip + accomodation, + 10% on any business he will bring, during the training or after, no salary (he is a student) does that sound fair to you all?

My purpose is to find "direct clients", instead of translation agencies. To bypass the intermediary(ies) - make 2 to 4 times more money, with more quality

I have not always been impressed by the QA level of many "translation agencies", forwarding e-mail and pocketing 50% or more for doing nothing.

My daily work might change: I will translate less, or not at all, I plan to sub-contract to freelancers like myself. It will be a lot about reviewing, proofing, and finding the right partners.

After 12 years of translating, it seems to be a path toward natural evolution.

We are going to work hard on that, and I will keep you posted.

While doing this, I do not receive any new order, and it now becomes critical. I already went bankrupt in France a while ago, after too many "dead" months, so I feel very concerned.

March was excellent, I declined 5 orders, worked 24x7.

In April I traveled - and got stuck 10 days because my suitcase got temporarly lost + there were no flights in Europe.

I went back to Ireland by ferry, retrieved my suitcase (and the charger for my rare laptop, which I could not find in Paris). Finally after 10 days I was fully operational.

But since then, peanuts.

How come the business can go up and down so violently? From too much work to doing nearly nothing, from one month to the next?

I currently work on a regular basis with roughly 12 translation agencies, for years with some of them. Do they call each other to starve me to death?

This is what I will look forward in this forum: when the business goes dead-cold, what can you do?

Is there a "miracle solution" to receive one or more order like right now?

Once I tried something like that: I accepted to work for 0.03 Euro (per word, EN->FR).

I got very busy - it works - but the translation agencies and the clients which pay that "much" make it a hell.

They want to be delivered 24h00 before they order, they provide images (PDFs), not text, they have no clue about translation, you could deliver a translation in any language, they would not notice it since nobody reviews the delivered translations.

I went back to 0.05 - my absolute minimum: I live in Dublin, Ireland - a very expensive place - and I currently have a marketing problem here.

So we will help each other. This is a very private forum, I think that we can speak freely, it is very unlikely that your clients will read about this.

Sorry it was a very long message. I had a lot to tell about it.

What is your experience, you people reading this? Please share.

"Mind yourself" as they say here.



Tally Fenney  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:33
English to French
+ ...
Marc - thanks ! May 16, 2010


Just wanted to say that I really appreciate your honesty. It may prove helpful to many.

I'm currently in a well paid job and looking at translation to get more freedom in my work hours as well as geographical location.

It seems however a steep price to pay! Your experience is so sobering and makes me question my own sanity... Where else do people employ folks with perfect language skills, knowledge of at least 2 cultures and usually a PhD and/ or Masters thrown in for good measure and pay them peanuts?

Ever since I have embarked on this journey I'm dumbfound.


James_xia  Identity Verified
English to Chinese
+ ...
Say hello to all Aug 6, 2012

Hello Jared, hello everyone!

It's a great pleasure to be here with all of you to spend the next round of MOD-year.icon_smile.gif

I would like first to say thanks to Jared for his efforts in establishing this featured forum. This is a very special place for the site users with ProZ.com, particularly for those new comers. Actually, it talks about something that can somewhat be viewed as the key to a successful translation career for freelancers like most of us present here.

I believe that a translator who lacks the marketing sense should not be considered as one of the best. The word “best” should have a deeper meaning here: it refers to his/her project acquiring ability, rather than their translation skills. Busy translators may not have more time to market themselves out here and there now, but there might be a thing we should realize: They probably have already found one or more ways to market themselves efficiently before we knew.

For those experienced users, this forum may bring back good memories for you. For the new ones, please take it easy, be sure to go out and find the different marketing ways for you to actively sell yourself to others before it’s too late. Simply act now and be ahead of your peers, that’s what they call it.

Hopefully, every one of us will have more fun while sharing our valuable experiences in this year to come. That’s our common determination and our good will to win over more collaborative chances in this dynamic industry.

Cheers and good luck to you all,

James Xia


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