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Poll: Do you work with direct clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:22
SITE STAFF
Feb 7, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with direct clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Irène Guinez. View the poll results »



 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 04:22
Turkish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 7, 2013

Rarely. Most of the time the end client has to pay far more for my services by coming to me via an agency (although I accept that reputable agencies add value through services such as proofreading).

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Feb 7, 2013

I work with a good mix (almost 50/50) of direct clients and translation agencies.

[Edited at 2013-02-07 09:16 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Feb 7, 2013

Most of my clients are direct and have come to me by word-of-mouth recommendation. In fact, in the past 3 years I've only really worked for 2 or 3 agencies. Lucky me!
Yesterday I had to turn down an offer from one of them because I'm too busy trying to sort out my taxes etc due to an unexpected audit by Hacienda...


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:22
Member (2009)
French to English
Yes, but Feb 7, 2013

only for one-off jobs (happened three or four times last year). My only source of regular work is from agencies.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 10:22
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Very occasionally Feb 7, 2013

I work for industry since almost 100% of my work is tech trans.

And industry-based customers can be tough nuts to crack and work with. Also, regular visits to their offices as part of sales are mandatory.

This is why I actually prefer to work with agencies who actually act as a "buffer" and do all the proofreading and interfacing with the end customer. Japanese customers can be quite picky and finicky, and make unnecessary demands on you.

By working with agencies who actually work to earn their "cut" and commission, I am actually freed from a lot of aggravation, which lets me concentrate of what I do best -- the actual translation. icon_smile.gifAnd my agency customers know this. So, it's a win-win situation.

Although I appreciate and enjoy the social aspects of cooperating and working directly with end clients, I think it'd drive me bonkers to deal with the crass inquiries, etc. that my agency customers have to front on my behalf.


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:22
English
+ ...
Yes, only. Feb 7, 2013

Wonder why that wasn't an option.

 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 03:22
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
What he said... Feb 7, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

This is why I actually prefer to work with agencies who actually act as a "buffer" and do all the proofreading and interfacing with the end customer. Japanese customers can be quite picky and finicky, and make unnecessary demands on you.

By working with agencies who actually work to earn their "cut" and commission, I am actually freed from a lot of aggravation, which lets me concentrate of what I do best -- the actual translation. icon_smile.gifAnd my agency customers know this. So, it's a win-win situation.


Couldn't have put it better myself - there are so many cultural hurdles to cross when dealing with Japanese clients that I find myself feeling incredibly grateful that there are agencies that stand between me and the client.icon_biggrin.gif I've also managed to find a lot of agencies that offer very decent rates - much higher than I initially expected at times - none of this 0.05 USD per word nonsense...


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 04:22
Turkish to English
+ ...
Hypothesis Feb 7, 2013

I have a hypothesis that, while agencies are happy to work with people on the other side of the globe, direct clients want to work with somebody close by.
This means that, if you want to work mainly for direct clients, location is very important.
Is this hypothesis correct?


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not exactly! Feb 7, 2013

Tim Drayton wrote:

I have a hypothesis that, while agencies are happy to work with people on the other side of the globe, direct clients want to work with somebody close by.
This means that, if you want to work mainly for direct clients, location is very important.
Is this hypothesis correct?


I have direct clients in France, Portugal, USA, Mozambique, Germany and... Belgium!


 

Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Mostly Feb 7, 2013

I like being involved in the creative process and providing broad, ongoing support for a small number of long-term clients - rarely possible with the way most agencies operate. But there are some good eggs out there that I'm very happy to work with... icon_wink.gif

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Correct Feb 7, 2013

Tim Drayton wrote:

I have a hypothesis that, while agencies are happy to work with people on the other side of the globe, direct clients want to work with somebody close by.
This means that, if you want to work mainly for direct clients, location is very important.
Is this hypothesis correct?


Tim, your hypothesis is correct. I gained a new direct (and repeat) client last year precisely because of location. I beat an out-of-state provider (a translation agency) because I live/work relatively close by. Price was not the main concern.

I answered sometimes I work with direct clients as I am currently moving the needle towards always in my marketing, PR, advertising and networking efforts. The thing is that some direct clients may not become repeat clients, not by fault of the translator but because of a different set of circumstances.


 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 08:22
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Rarely Feb 7, 2013

And I want to have more direct clients in the future for my pair, English-Indonesian.

 

polyglot45
English to French
+ ...
direct clients ONLY Feb 7, 2013

I wouldn't touch agencies with a five foot bargepole. Much better to cut out the middleman and deal directly with the end customer. The price is higher and the satisfaction of working in dual harness with a regular partner, to whom you can even make suggestions (don't say that, the end customer in such-and-such a country wouldn't appreciate it, there are inconsistencies in your text, quoting chapter and verse.....) is far greater than working for an anonymous client visible only to the agency.

And, I would add, once they get to know you, the end clients come to you and not the other way round, provided that you can do the job, of course.

Agencies - I leave them to the bottom-feeders....


 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely. Feb 7, 2013

Despite what Julian says, working with direct clients can be more satisfying and profitable than working for agencies.
Approximately 50% of my work if for direct clients. I have a client that has sent me work consistently for about fifteen years and who alone amounted to a good chunk of my income last year. Needless to say, any work coming from that company gets top priority.


 
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