Poll: Where do your direct clients come from?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:00
SITE STAFF
Jul 12

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Where do your direct clients come from?".

This poll was originally submitted by Toby Wakely. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:00
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 12

1. Word of mouth (mostly)
2. Open competition (I wonder why this option was not included…)
3. Proz.com (I was contacted at the end of last year by a direct client – an international organization – for a very profitable and enjoyable project. Another one followed some months later)
4. My website


[Edited at 2017-07-12 14:00 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:00
Member (2006)
German to English
Combination Jul 12

Actually I have made a few customers from ProZ events and still have them. Apart from that, mostly from here.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 12

Most of my direct clients came to me by word of mouth or through contacts made when working as a TEFL trainer.
One of my students on an English course for managers turned out to be the head of sales for a locally-based international firm; he asked me if I did translations and I said yes. That was the start of a relationship that lasted about 15 years. I'm still on their books, but I put my rate up 20% for them 2 years ago and since then I've had very little work from them.
My main direct client also came to me through EFL classes. The company was sending some of its staff to an Academy where my friend worked. They wanted her to do individual and group classes on the company premises, but she was too busy, so recommended me as a freelancer. I taught individual and group classes in the company for a few years, but eventually ended up also translating their manuals and marketing materials etc. Other friends and colleagues are still teaching in the company, but nowadays I only do translation for them.
I don't remember who initially recommended me to the local university, but after doing a couple of proofreading/post-editing jobs for authors wishing to publish their works. I ended up getting more and more offers of similar work in related areas and from other universities as well. I currently work with about half a dozen universities and related research institutions.
And my other main direct clients are a sort of small cluster of a few market research companies. Like the universities, I started out working with one and gradually ended up with 3 or 4 as permanent clients with whom I collaborate on an occasional basis.
I must emphasise that I never set out to look for any of these jobs or collaborations - I suppose it's just a question of being in the right place at the right time, perhaps with a bit of luck thrown in. And, of course, being able to do the job well enough to keep the customers satisfied.

[Edited at 2017-07-12 09:01 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:00
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Jul 12

Suggested by my ex girlfriend
email sent during a "marketing campaign" long time ago
proz (I was contacted by them or I replied to a job offer)


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Anna Herbst  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 07:00
Member (2008)
English to Swedish
+ ...


Posted via
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MODERATOR
Other Jul 12

It is probably more like a combination of ProZ.com and word of mouth plus mainly the NAATI and AUSIT directories of professional T/I practitioners in Australia where I live.

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Texte Style
Local time: 21:00
French to English
word of mouth Jul 12

just about all my clients are people I got to know when working in-house. The students I trained often went to work at other agencies afterwards, they were all delighted that I was now freelancing, and some clients followed me (luckily the non-compete clause was null and void).

more than a couple found me on LinkedIn even though all I had in my profile at the time was my name, place of residence and "translator". I have since fleshed it out and another previous client just found me the other week.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:00
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Jul 12

My website

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Romina Eva Pérez Escorihuela
Argentina
Local time: 17:00
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Word of mouth + local professional directory Jul 12

Most of my direct clients come from word of mouth from relatives, friends and from the fact that I am a professor of consecutive interpreting at University - this alone opened very interesting doors.

Now, most of my job comes from former University professors who have been in this industry for 20 years and trusted me from the very beginning of my professional career -now we are extraordinary friends, colleagues and kind of "associates" But in these cases, I work for their clients, not mine.

I also have a webpage which I promote in a local (paid) professionals directory (and other sites alike) which brought me some direct clients.

My question to those of you who found direct clients at ProZ: I only work for agencies or even colleagues from ProZ, but never for a direct client, say a company, an organization... I do not see job posts from companies or organizations outside the translation industry, and all the inquiries I receive from ProZ Directory come from agencies... I wonder where the Oil&Gas, Finance, Environment, Medical and Telecommunications companies hide in ProZ, so as to find them! Any hint? Or, by "direct clients", do you all mean "direct contacts" (whether they are agencies and/or colleagues, as in my case?) I've been investing in ProZ since 2010 and find it really interesting, but of course I would like to get more direct clients from private companies through this site. Thanks for the help!


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:00
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Word of Mouth, mainly Jul 12

The vast majority of direct clients I got were surely from word of mouth. I got some by networking and social media, and I don't have a site or blog for that purpose.
Although ProZ is where I get most of my clients from, I don't remember getting direct clients from it. I do receive e-mails from direct clients regularly through ProZ, but I usually don't take jobs from people who are not in the Blue Board or not members, so I discard most of them.


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:00
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Word of mouth (mainly) Jul 12

Like Mario, I get my clients from Proz. but they are all agencies. For my direct clients word of mouth and Facebook (or, rather, their combi) are the main sources.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:00
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Teaching contacts Jul 13

Previously, I worked as an 'In Company English Teacher' for different companies and in the process of changing careers all my clients were notified. So, that is where my direct clients come from.
As for agencies, all from overseas, I got them from Proz.com and from my website.



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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 14:00
German to English
+ ...
prof. site (ATIO), word of mouth, recomendation Jul 13

It's always frustrating to get a poll where we must check ONE answer, when the real answer is a combination. I guess the poll system (software) is set up that way.

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Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:00
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
one-off Jul 13

My direct clients were only one-off clients so far, though they were happy with my work.
I hope to find some regular direct clients through emailing and less probable via Poz and my own website.


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