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Poll: Has your professional website helped you promote your business?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:10
SITE STAFF
Aug 25, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has your professional website helped you promote your business?".

This poll was originally submitted by zkt. View the poll results »



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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 14:10
German to English
+ ...
Is there a difference Aug 25, 2011

between a website and a professional website?

I have a site, but it has produced exactly 0 clients cos I don't really use it at all.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:10
English to German
+ ...
My ProZ.com profile is my website Aug 25, 2011

I don't have any other and it can't get any more professional than that. If it has generated any business? All of it! I don't reply to any job offers on the job board and I have never, ever sent any "application" to any company.

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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:10
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
It has made a major difference Aug 25, 2011

Taking my web presence as a whole, the combined effect of my website together with my profile on proz and other professional translation networks, it has made a major impact in promoting my business, since I have found the majority of my clients that way. Trying to break it down my profiles have probably generated more business than my website, but the latter remains a useful resource and performs a supporting role. In any event, I prefer to think in terms of the compound result, since clients may find me via my profiles and then contact me via the website and vice versa, but it is analyse this sort of activity.

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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:10
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Other Aug 25, 2011

I didn't use my website for promotion or marketing. I consider it is important to have one for many reasons, beginning with a personal domain name for your emails and ending with the idea of online business "space". My website didn't bring me new clients, but it is always a good online reference for them. I always give links to my website and proz.com profile when quoting for jobs, for example. My email signature also contains links to these pages.

I keep reading in forums that freelancers consider it less important to have a website. But don't you think it is a little bit suspicious when a potential client doesn't have a website and only a tiny and incomplete profile on proZ or similar portals? Potential clients may think the same about freelancers.

Now I am working on another website, that I am gonna use for promotion and marketing. In 1-2 years I may be able to answer this question differently.


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:10
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
recommended website builder Aug 25, 2011

I completely condone what Veronica just said. Sending your email from a professional domain looks so much more professional. Getting a website may seem daunting but there are specialist freelancers who can help you and who don't charge much for a basic site. I can recommend www.internet-image-co.uk - based in the UK - as a cheap and sensible agency. The guy there did my website and has maintained it for quite a few years now.

[Edited at 2011-08-25 09:52 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:10
English to German
+ ...
So true. Aug 25, 2011

Anne Lee wrote:
Sending your email from a professional domain looks so much more professional.


I bought my domain name 10 years ago, I have to renew my ownership every year, and I use it as my paid email address, aside from my preferred one with the cable company. I have never set up a website under this domain name, though.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't have one Aug 25, 2011

Would be a waste of time as far as I'm concerned. Am usually too busy working to spend time setting one up. I did have a jokey free website for a while ... which I still might upgrade someday for a laugh.

Right now it's hard enough trying to get Office 2010/Windows 7 up and running without tearing my hair out in exasperation at its needless/useless bells, whistles and name changes (it took me about an hour to find what used to be called the "My Documents" folder).


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Victoria Burns  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:10
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Don't have one Aug 25, 2011

Setting up a website did used to be on my to-do list when I started freelancing four years ago, but I was very soon so inundated with work, and have been ever since, that I don't know what more a website could do for me as I'd only have to turn down the extra work anyway and I'd rather not disappoint.
As I see it, there's no professional information about myself I could put on a website that isn't already contained in my Proz.com profile.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:10
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
My ProZ profile Aug 25, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I don't have any other and it can't get any more professional than that. If it has generated any business? All of it!



Well, this site here has not exactly generated all of my business but most of it.
I do have an additional professional website, but hardly ever get on there.


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Definitely! Aug 25, 2011

My ProZ profile brings in most of my clients, but nearly all visit my website from there. Some searches bring up my website first, especially in the more obscure subject areas. They are linked and traffic between them goes both ways.

A major role of my website is to act as a "client filter". It sets a very personal tone so that potential clients can get a real feel for who I am, what I do and how I work. Several people have said that it was the impression made by the site that reassured them that they had found the right translator. Those who don't like what they see will go elsewhere, which suits me just fine!

I designed and cobbled it together myself, but it now needs a bit of technical streamlining and a major update. So far this year, I've been too busy working, so I guess it's a victim of its own success.

Alison


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It definitely did! Aug 25, 2011

Maybe it's because I'm a sort of an oddball translator. Most of my colleagues simply... translate! On top of translation, both ways between one single language pair, sworn translations included, I offer a rather wide array of post-translation services, such as DTP, video editing, dubbing and subtitling, DVD authoring, and a few others.

My web site began mostly as a page with Q&As on sworn translations in Brazil, which are regulated by specific law, and on which information is scarce. AFAIK, apart from a few never-updated repubs of it elsewhere, it is still the only place on the www where this information is available in English. I thought about offering that info also in IT, FR, and ES, certainly edited by competent colleagues, however what would be the point? I can't translate decently from/into these three (not to mention that I'm not certified in them to issue sworn translations), and if I did I'd have to pester these (or other) reviewing colleagues forever.

Then it grew... Every time I noticed that I had to write some kind of information to clients over and over again, I tried to put together all related details, and converted that into a page within my site, so I could simply give them the link.

Like anyone else, I have critical incidents that teach me valuable lessons for my profession. So I convert the ost relevant from them into articles, which led me to build a corresponding section on my web site. Most people do it with blogs, which apparently attract more traffic than a conventional web site. However it seems that a blog implies a commitment to put something new every single day... or week at least. However I wouldn't be willing to commit to that.

Some colleagues, such as Danilo Nogueira and Fabio Said have really brilliant blogs on translation. As my site-building software (WebSiteX5) allows building a blog within my web site too, I still think of some day replicating my articles on a blog, keeping them redundant - at least for a while - to compare traffic with the section within the site itself.

The e-mail address I have published on my web site is not my main one. As some colleagues mentioned here, it does use my (domain) name. However as it's published, I get tons of spam there. So I open that on webmail, bulk-delete the unopened spam with a couple of clicks, and redirect the business messages to my main e-mail address, from where I'll reply. All online message forms on the site, captcha-enabled, are sent directly to my main e-mail (which is not revealed), properly identified as such.

So my professional web site has helped a lot in promoting my business. Many clients from everywhere found me through it. The information I offer there helps building my image as someone knowledgeable in the trade.

One warning for those here who get excited about it, though: I've never spent one cent in SEO or any pay-per-click contrivances. I only read advice on how to make my site search-engine-friendly to some extent, and took the time to get it listed in as many search engines as I could, regardless of their prominence. Later I noticed that my entry on a completely unknown, small search engine will appear too on the larger ones. Regarding pay-per-click, I see no point in using it, as I have no idea/control on who will be clicking.

So, unless a translator is backlogged for life with their current clients, I think having a web site is worth the investment, which involves actually more time than money.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 12:10
Japanese to English
Next up Aug 25, 2011

Creating a professional website is the main item on my "To Do" list for October 2011.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:10
German to English
+ ...
Fairly foolproof and free Aug 25, 2011

TransAfrique wrote:

Creating a professional website is the main item on my "To Do" list for October 2011.


I did mine less than a month ago using the tools provided at www.wix.com.
I did everything using a blank template, and learnt as I went along. Total time spent doing it (including having to redo some things at the beginning): 36 hours.

It may not be the best design in the world, but I think prospective clients can gauge from the site and links to ProZ whether I am the translator they need. To early to tell if business has benefited from it, but if someone visits my ProZ profile from my website, I know about it.

When I can cope with getting my own domain name, I will. I also have a web designer/graphic designer (re-established contact via Facebook) lined up to help refine things when that happens.


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TranslatorJames  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:10
Italian to English
+ ...
What I've learned in a short space of time Aug 26, 2011

Hello everyone,

I am new to Proz and just starting out as a part time freelancer. I am sorry to not really answer the question but would like to take this opportunity to impart what I have learnt so far.

The first thing I would say in setting up a website is please don't pay someone to create a website for you with having a go yourself. It is not anything like as difficult as you would think. There are many online courses for free that will teach you website creation and html.

For example this is a great course in html which is totally free and gives a certificate at the end of it:

http://webdesign.about.com/c/ec/9.htm

There are also web design courses:

http://search.about.com/?q=free%20html%20course

I have registered a domain name as the same name as my Proz profile. I used GoDaddy.com and it wasn't at all expensive, about €10.00 but there are loads of registrars. One piece of advise I would give is not to search if a domain is available!!! There are loads of unscrupulous individuals out there who will find out you have searched a domain and buy it then the resale will cost double or more, for more info see the following link:

http://www.thesitewizard.com/gettingstarted/precautions-to-take-when-buying-domain-names.shtml

In fact thesitewizard.com gives loads of info in the A-Z of how to create your own website.

My website is just an instant page that you get free when you register the domain with GoDaddy.com and took about twenty minutes to setup. As I am learning I will soon choose a host and start to create my own using templates (possibly from Wordpress).

While I cannot say that having a website boosts business, it is just common sense that if you have a site with example translations, more in depth education history, rates, more about yourself etc it can only count in your favour and show that you are committed to what you are doing.

Also it is a great opportunity to learn a new skill set!


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