Poll: Has it become more difficult to get regular clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:52
SITE STAFF
Mar 3, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has it become more difficult to get regular clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Alan Corbo, CT. View the poll results »



 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:52
Member (2006)
German to English
No Mar 3, 2016

but on the other hand, I have not tried to get any more.
I have been working with the ones I have for many years now, and when every now and then a new customer contacts me and they seem okay, then I add them to the list.

All of this being "Touch wood" of course!!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never been easy Mar 3, 2016

As a translator now working almost exclusively with direct clients, all I can say about my own personal experience is that I never went out of my way to acquire them. Two of them are a legacy from my TEFL teaching days (there used to be three, but one was the regional government and they haven't contacted me for anything for at least a couple of years now). All my academic clients came to me by word-of-mouth, after I did a couple of things for a local university. I now collaborate with roughly half a dozen different universities and associated research institutes. Another regular client (and source of amusement/annoyance in equal measures) came to me recommended by a fellow proz member and friend living in the area (Cheers, Mr G).

I imagine it must be really frustrating to be actively seeking direct regular clients and not finding any. However, I'm afraid I can't offer any advice other than just to do the best you can all the time... and if you're lucky, things might just work out for you.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (don't know) Mar 3, 2016

I haven’t been looking for new clients. Like Michael, I have been working with my “regulars” for many years (two of them for over 20 years and one since the very beginning: 1986). On average, last year I worked with 9 clients on a regular basis. I’m always interested in expanding my clientele but within reason. Most of my new clients have come either by word of mouth or have contacted me directly (some through ProZ.com since I became a member in 2007).

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not any *more* difficult Mar 3, 2016

I have already landed a new client this year, and I think the company will be a regular. Last year I gained three but lost one because she retired.

But like Teresa, I haven't been looking very hard because my mainstays keep me busy.


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:52
Member
German to English
+ ...
Not easy Mar 3, 2016

I agree with Neilmac. Never been easy to get good regular clients. Too many people fishing around for low rates. I usually have enough work but am always on the lookout for new clients who pay a fair rate. Most prospective clients turn out to be frogs, though.

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:52
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No Mar 3, 2016

I have never thought much about it.

Mostly I have been contacted by new clients via proz.com; and with some I just get on very well (they pay my rates and pay on time, good relationship with the PMs etc.). So they have turned into regulars (provided they have work enough in my language pair).

I lost one regular client last year, and I am not really sure why, but I did not worry too much about it, since I still had enough work.

However, it goes to show that you never know what can happen, and it is important to keep the door open for new potential clients.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good question Mar 3, 2016

Clients have usually come to me, not the other way around, since I started my practice in 1992.

That being said, I find wisdom in what my colleagues are answering today. Ergo, there is no universal silver bullet to the age-old challenge of finding clients, direct, regular or otherwise.

I have done several things that, according to the “experts” in our so-called translation industry, should make me attractive to high-caliber clients: presentations at ATA and ATA chapter conferences, blog writing, active Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, membership in chambers of commerce, paid advertisement in trade journals, professionally designed business cards and well-written website content.

It's a tossup: it's like being one of those male birds of paradise, trot out your stuff in the best of courtship dances, and still not land the chick of your dreams. Try hard as you may, that is, but we're facing macroeconomic realities that we can't do anything about. As my colleague Michael Harris said: touch on wood.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:52
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't think so Mar 3, 2016

Actually, the longer you are known in the market, it should become more common. However, I have had a lot less contacts from those undesireable clients that offer peanuts, which is excellent. I don't want any of those. The market is clearly separating between peanuts and clients who care for quality a apy decent prices. If you are able to work for the latter, you shouldn't be having problems. If you belong to the group that works for peanunts, then you'll always have all kinds of trouble.

 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 16:52
German to English
+ ...
"irregular" end clients has increased... Mar 3, 2016

....a lot over the past five years. This is my new "regular" as a group. Similar to what others have said, I have not gone out to get them - they tended to come to me by word of mouth, or by looking for a certified translator on the site of my professional organization, and on occasion ProZ and TC by googling my language pairs. It is good not to be complacent about the regulars in the usual sense of the word, however.

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Looking for client when one is not translating Mar 3, 2016

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

....a lot over the past five years. This is my new "regular" as a group. Similar to what others have said, I have not gone out to get them - they tended to come to me by word of mouth, or by looking for a certified translator on the site of my professional organization, and on occasion ProZ and TC by googling my language pairs. It is good not to be complacent about the regulars in the usual sense of the word, however.



Many regular clients have a relativistic sense of loyalty, but there are those who will work with you no matter what because it's you and they have forged a relationship with you. These are the small outfits, the women-owned or minority-owned translation agencies with project managers who like working with you, and vice versa.

We have to rely on word of mouth. The marketing gurus here (in America) who specialize in the translation markets keep telling us to make time to market yourself every day, every week, etc. Yeah, sure. Some people may have the schedule to do that, or find easier to discipline themselves to slice off 30-60 minutes to make calls, do follow-up visits, go out with prospects on lunches and so forth. But all that effort takes time and money, which some of us don't have to spare.

In a way, being a freelance translator is more like being a lion, going after the wildebeest migrating wherever there is water. We might eat that week but not the week afterwards, depending on what we score in the hunt.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Has it become more difficult to get regular clients?

Advanced search






Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search