Poll: How much of your work comes through word of mouth?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:21
SITE STAFF
Jul 13, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How much of your work comes through word of mouth?".

This poll was originally submitted by John Cutler. View the poll results »



 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
A small but very agreeable amount Jul 13, 2010

Because these clients already believe in you as a translator, they expect the same that you have "trained" the recommenders to expect (and know not to send things in pdf!), and they, in my case, provide interesting work like the people who have recommended them.

So of course I am even nicer to the recommenders! You scratch my back...

What they call a win-win situation these days.


 

ChrisGT  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:21
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
All of it... Jul 13, 2010

All of my business is word-of-mouth. I started with one client, who used to be an employer of mine in another position I was filling out at the time. Then my part-time translation gradually became full-time in the course of 2 years, which I'm very happy with.
I had tried mailers and ads but they never worked. Too many translators and especially people who call themselves translators out there. But the moment you get that first important client, you get that snow-ball effect IF you're good at what you do... of course... AND provide a fast and personalized service.


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 18:21
English to French
+ ...
Most Jul 13, 2010

of it over the years

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
English to German
+ ...
The majority Jul 13, 2010

Even being recommended among the PMs at one single agency ist word of mouth, i.e. you start working with one PM and end up working with half a dozen who - ideally - will fight over you.icon_smile.gif

 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:21
Member
German to English
+ ...
Little or none ... Jul 13, 2010

... unless Proz itself could be seen as one big instrument of word of mouth!

 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Proz = word of mouth? Jul 13, 2010

In response to Mary's comment, well yes, there is a lot of that, and I hadn't thought of it. Not just being recommended by another client, but also by fellow translators who recommend work be passed on to you either because they can't take on the project at that moment, or because they know that it is an area that you can take on. Thanks to all who have done this for me!

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
English to German
+ ...
@ aceavila - Noni Jul 13, 2010

aceavila - Noni wrote:

In response to Mary's comment, well yes, there is a lot of that, and I hadn't thought of it. Not just being recommended by another client, but also by fellow translators who recommend work be passed on to you either because they can't take on the project at that moment, or because they know that it is an area that you can take on. Thanks to all who have done this for me!


That's how I found my largest clients.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Virtually All Jul 13, 2010

I have always gotten my work through word of mouth, never through advertising or any other means. That is why a satisfied client is worth gold. Furthermore, when a new client reaches me, I am pre-sold. Nothing about tests, CVs, interviews, etc. It is just "I hope you can help me."

 

Yvonne Becker  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Most of it Jul 13, 2010

Almost all of my translation jobs are a result of one client recommending my work to another one. Exceptions: Five clients that contacted me through proz and some clients that contacted me through the list of Certified Translators of the Ministry of Justice.

I've tried sending my CV to companies I am interested to translate for, but only got one answer saying they had an in-house translator already.

[Edited at 2010-07-13 16:15 GMT]


 

Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
exactly my experience Jul 13, 2010

ChrisGT wrote:

All of my business is word-of-mouth. I started with one client, who used to be an employer of mine in another position I was filling out at the time. Then my part-time translation gradually became full-time in the course of 2 years, which I'm very happy with.
I had tried mailers and ads but they never worked. Too many translators and especially people who call themselves translators out there. But the moment you get that first important client, you get that snow-ball effect IF you're good at what you do... of course... AND provide a fast and personalized service.


I said "most of it" but actually, I began like Chris--editing/translating in a job that had a much larger scope of responsibilities.

I've never advertised although I think I did once send out letters to a targeted group, and nothing came of it. I've had three or four people find me through my web site or ProZ, but everyone else was the result of a recommendation by an existing client.

So, what has worked for me is to focus on my clients and treat them not just professionally but also supportively (because writing good prose isn't easy!) and to produce the best work I possibly can.


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Has changed over time Jul 14, 2010

If you had asked me this question 10 years ago I would have said the majority, but now I'd say it's a smaller percentage. At that time, I was combining teaching English with translating. That meant I had a lot of contact with people in various companies and language schools and when they needed something translated I was their logical choice. Eventually, I started translating fulltime, so I lost the personal contact with people and that method of finding clients (or them finding me).

I still have some of those original clients, but these days the balance of my work comes through unsolicited offers by email. Some potential clients write saying they found me through proz.com; others don't mention how they found me.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:21
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
All of it, at the very beginning Jul 14, 2010

but like John Cutler it has changed slightly over time. I keep most of my "historic" clients, but nowadays much of my work comes through my website.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
From all to only a small fraction Jul 14, 2010

For decades it was word-of-mouth, but in the last three years I have acquired a lot of clients through ProZ. So far this year I have worked for 12 clients, and only 1 of them came to me by word of mouth. Thank you, ProZ!!

 


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