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Poll: Do you get to use your business cards?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:46
SITE STAFF
Sep 25, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you get to use your business cards?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
I have some ... Sep 25, 2011

... but meet real or potential customers so rarely in the flesh that I just don't get to use them. And those times that they might have been useful I invariably don't have them with me.

I end up giving more of them away for personal reasons than business ones.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:46
Member (2006)
German to English
Have some Sep 25, 2011

and when I used to send invoices for the first time by post (in the past!!) then I put one in the envelope as well, but nowadays, I only have the good old electronic business card attached to my mails.
When I go to powows for the first time or conferences, I take them along as well.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:46
English to French
+ ...
yes Sep 25, 2011

I use them even socially - I've had referrals for work through social networking a lot - the more people know you're a translator, and your language combination, the more referrals you'll get. Virtually all my business I would say 90% comes from personal referrals, and once you've met someone in the flesh, you are more likely to get some business.

it's worth going to business networking meetings

[Edited at 2011-09-25 09:11 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 25, 2011

This question rings a bell - and the last time I answered it (perhaps not on proz) my response was the same: "I must remember to get some new ones printed".

I suppose that's because I really don't need them, but no doubt I'll get round to it some day, although mainly because "it's the done thing" or in the vague hope that "it might make me look a bit more professional"...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sure Sep 25, 2011

I use them both for business and socially. They have led to connections with colleagues and also some work, and they identify me as a *translator*.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 08:46
English to French
+ ...
Yes Sep 25, 2011

I use them when I attend conferences, seminars, pow wows and so. That is, if I do not forget to take them along.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, but more in social contexts Sep 25, 2011

I give out cards when I meet people socially or on the relatively rare occasions when I'm at professional gatherings (either translation-industry gatherings or local networking events). I'm glad I have them, but I think the current batch of 500 cards has lasted me about 8 years. Having new ones printed next year.

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Laura Bissio CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 04:46
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
same here Sep 25, 2011

Interlangue wrote:

I use them when I attend conferences, seminars, pow wows and so. That is, if I do not forget to take them along.


They are useful, but no longer as much as they used to be before the digital era.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:46
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, absolutely Sep 25, 2011

There are still many things I do that are not through the "virtual world". I am also an interpreter, so I always handle some cards, not only to the customer but also to the location's staff, some participants, fellow interpreters, and the equipment technicians (just got called yesterday by one of these for another event next week).

I also attend seminars, translator & interpreters' meetings, etc. where I handle these.

Finally, some customers still ask for printed translations, often signed, so I slip in the envelope the translated text, receipt, all together with a business card.


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:46
Member (2009)
French to English
An absolute must Sep 25, 2011

I will go months without passing one out, but I could not imagine going to a professional conference without them. In addition to translation conferences, there is also a Business Expo in my town which focuses on B2B services. They require business dress and ask for business cards as IDs as a way of weeding out job seekers. You are not allowed to pass out resumes, but you can give out your business card and perhaps will be contacted later. In fact, this is how I acquired one of my biggest clients. Socially, they are also an indicator that when I say I "work at home," I am not talking about housework or stuffing envelopes.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:46
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You never know where work will come from Sep 25, 2011

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
I use them both for business and socially. They have led to connections with colleagues and also some work, and they identify me as a *translator*.


People you meet socially are also potential business contacts. Maybe they don't need to hire a professional translator, but maybe their boss at work does. They can then earn brownie points for themselves and work for you. The parents you meet in your kids' school playground are often not "just" parents, or their something-in-law might well be an executive in an international company. Who knows?

I use mine in every conceivable business situation, but then I also use a business card to jot down my address, or anything else, for social contacts. I remember once asking for a double glazing estimate and leaving my business card - that turned into a website translation for me and... nothing for them! Who said business is fair?


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James A. Walsh
Spain
Local time: 08:46
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
My email footer is my business card Sep 25, 2011

Simple as that

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Marzia Nicole Bucca  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:46
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, I use them often Sep 26, 2011

Jenn Mercer wrote:

I will go months without passing one out, but I could not imagine going to a professional conference without them. ... Socially, they are also an indicator that when I say I "work at home," I am not talking about housework or stuffing envelopes.


I couldn't have put it better!

[Modificato alle 2011-09-26 02:55 GMT]


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Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:46
Member (2006)
French to English
Projecting your image Sep 26, 2011

Like others, I use them in social/networking situations, but I also attach one or two cards to the printed documents whenever I am giving or sending the client a hardcopy translation.

It's just a little bit of visual branding. Even if people throw it away immediately, a card is a tangible (& hopefully positive) message about your professionalism.

I have heard of a colleague who used to "accidentally" drop her business card in taxis if the driver was a likely language pair... I'm sure there are many possible variations of that practice!

Melissa


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