Poll: What is your annual marketing budget?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:55
Aug 17, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is your annual marketing budget?".

This poll was originally submitted by ISABELLE MEURVILLE. View the poll results »


Rita Utt  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
English to German
+ ...
Proz membership Aug 17, 2017

is part of my marketing budget, as well as membership in other translator organisations.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 13:55
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ditto! Aug 17, 2017

Rita Utt wrote:

is part of my marketing budget, as well as membership in other translator organisations.


Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:55
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Like Teresa and Rita... Aug 17, 2017

I consider membership of Proz and ITI partly as marketing expenses, but also (in the case of Proz) as training expenses. Proz's webinars, forum discussions and Kudoz are also important for training purposes, I think.

My average is over 500USD, but under 1,000USD.

[Edited at 2017-08-17 09:31 GMT]


Neil Paterson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Danish to English
+ ...

Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile

Markering Aug 17, 2017

Agreed ProZ membership is in part marketing yourself on their website.

Costs for this and other translation sites where you have a visible profile is not only costing you in membership fees but also work hours as keeping them updated is taken from hours that could be used on translation projects, but are a necessary part of keeping you visible on as many platforms as possible.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
What are you talking about? Aug 17, 2017



Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't have a fixed marketing budget Aug 17, 2017

A lot of the marketing I do costs me little or nothing apart from time.

I subscribe to Proz.com and the CIoL, but what I really consider marketing is making myself visible, whether it is the little extra comments on mails to clients, or attending and commenting at events for translators.

The cost of attending a seminar would probably be counted as training rather than marketing. However, I sometimes let my clients know, first that I am not available that day, because I am improving my skills to serve them better (or however I choose to put it), and afterwards that I have been listening to this or that guru and what I have learnt.

I tend to have enough clients to keep me busy, so my marketing aims at keeping the good clients happy rather than searching for new ones.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Marketing Aug 17, 2017

Marketing is the sometimes less respectable cousin of sales. I prefer to be friends with advertising.

As I see it, marketing is the persuasive argument used to sell a product or service. It's not advertising because it's not brief.

The fees I pay to associations are not, in my view, marketing expenses but professional expenses. That some of these associations do some marketing on behalf of their members is true and it could be considered marketing, but that's not --and should not-- be the main goal or activity of those associations. The way I see it, professional associations should be more in the PR (public relations) business, informing the public of the association's goals and activities, as well as the benefits they bring to the community.

Sadly, some associations have been more involved in marketing than I would like to see, because they're not chartered to do that. That fact, in my view, is an affront to the profession, disloyalty to the members of that association and a betrayal of its principles.

To me, marketing activities include writing a brochure, giving a business presentation, writing or co-writing a blog or a magazine article (your own or someone else's) with the purpose of offering services or products, attending trade shows for the sole purpose of learning about an industry and offering products or services to other attendees, writing anything on behalf, in favor or in support of a product or service (for instance, a review of the latest version of memoQ or an Apple or Android app).

To some, writing a CV geared to a specific industry or company is a form of marketing. An indirect form of marketing, yes, I agree.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ad-lib and ad-hoc budgeting Aug 17, 2017

I remember my days in multinational corporations when an army of people spent months preparing next year's marketing budget, making the benefits of the ends justify the cost of the means, IOW the cost/benefit analysis of the annual marketing plan and its associated budget.

As my entire present corporation headcount has consisted of ONE for a few decades, the decision-making process has been streamlined to its max.

I stay on the lookout for opportunities to promote my services.
As each one comes up, I ask two simple questions:
1. Can I afford it for as long as it takes to be worthwhile?
2. Does my (not the vendor's) best prediction of the benefits make its cost worthwhile?

If it takes longer than a few minutes to get the answers, the default is NO.

At times I get contacted by prospects who strike me as having high potential. Some of them offer me rates lower than my standard, though not totally despicable, otherwise their potential would be so, too. For Q1, if I am facing high demand, I'll give them a "not now, maybe some other time" reply. If I'm riding a low tide, I'll state my rates and payment terms, and say that I'll take this job on their conditions as a one-off promo, funding the gap from my marketing budget. If they like what they get, next time - provided there is one - and thereafter, they know it will be on MY terms.

I got a few - very few - recurring clients this way. Sadly, most such prospects have built a business equation - and thereby a clientele - that doesn't value/demand my level of service. Yet those few permanent clients are still worth all those cheaper one-night stands. Quick decision-making was essential.


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:55
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I answered none, Aug 17, 2017

because I have plenty of work and must turn a lot down.

However, coming to think of it, I have my website, which cost more than USD 1000 to set up - but it has been worth it.



Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same here Aug 17, 2017

Rita Utt wrote:
ProZ is part of my marketing budget, as well as membership in other translator organisations.

ProZ is one investment, participation in social networks and blogs have no cost, mouse-to-mouse and indications have no cost, rataining clients through good quality has no cost...
Plus, the type of client/service one may get by means of the regular marketing techniques of the market may not be exactly the type of client/service you want (my case).


Local time: 14:55
English to French
What about time spent? Aug 18, 2017

Hi all,

My goal in launching this question was to get an idea of what can be done for marketing our freelance services.

As to what has already been written in this discussion, I agree, ProZ and other platform membership can be included in our marketing efforts, and seminars rather fit a training envelope. The short list of what belongs to marketing (thank you, Mario) seems quite fair to me.

So, I would like to go deeper into what it means to me to market my services.
First of all, marketing includes all what needs to be done about:
- positioning myself in the translation market, i.e. getting to know what are my distinctive qualities, and defining my translation specialties
- defining my target clients, those I really would love working with forever, and
- organising a structured communication schedule.

This is much time and thought. My experience showed me that it has to be constantly (yearly) revised. As Christine and Yetta put it, it is not a question of having enough work now, it is a question of constantly looking for other, new, better clients, and acknowledging the idea that I appreciate some changes, too.

Therefore, I guess the first marketing expenditure amount would probably be the time dedicated to it. Time should be reckoned as # hours X your hourly rate, and this is not “peanuts”. Do you agree?

And many thanks for your comments so far.



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Poll: What is your annual marketing budget?

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