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Poll: What is the main reason your clients choose you as their translator rather than someone else?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:09
SITE STAFF
Sep 17

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the main reason your clients choose you as their translator rather than someone else?".

This poll was originally submitted by Kay-Viktor Stegemann. View the poll results »



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:09
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The quality I deliver ... Sep 17

... At least that's what my clients tell me.

Teresa Borges
Nikolay Novitskiy
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:09
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Specializations Sep 17

but some of the other options are also important

Els Govaerts
Liena Vijupe
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 17

Mainly word-of-mouth recommendation from satisfied colleagues, and some of the attributes from the list. Not in any order of importance, but I'd like to think it's a combination of these five:

The quality I deliver
My areas of specialisation
My reliability/timeliness
My passion for language
My rates

[Edited at 2019-09-17 08:36 GMT]


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:09
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
specialisation and quality Sep 17

Some clients mention they are happy with the quality of my work, or pass on positive feedback from their end clients.
This is almost certainly related to my specialisation, too - I only tend to accept work in areas I feel comfortable in, and with my experience as a researcher I feel I can really add something extra that would be difficult to pick up otherwise.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Sep 17

Except for the cases where they contacted me following a recommendation by a client or a peer I’m not sure why they choose me in the first place, but when they keep on sending me work it must be because they are happy with my quality…

[Edited at 2019-09-17 16:56 GMT]


Platon Danilov
Philip Lees
 

Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:09
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
not sure Sep 17

A combination of some above, like reliability and quality, I'd like to believe. But I am not sure: they don't report it to me and I will never ask them such a weird question: 'why do you choose me instead of someone else?' (okay, next time we'll choose someone else).

[Редактировалось 2019-09-17 10:02 GMT]


Teresa Borges
ipv
Tanja K
Elizabeth Tamblin
Liena Vijupe
Michael Harris
Rachel Shaw
 

ipv

Local time: 17:09
Member (2015)
English to Croatian
+ ...
:-D Sep 17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XkPUwwYpA0

[Edited at 2019-09-17 16:11 GMT]


 

Nikolay Novitskiy  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:09
Member (2018)
English to Russian
+ ...
Rates, it's all about them! Sep 17

Most of my clients choose me because of my rate. Yes, it may sound shocking to somebody here, but a price I ask for my tranlations becomes often a decisive factor.

My rate is a somewhat higher than an average rate. And it's a good deal, because they get great quality for a relatively modest price.


Stefania De Liberato
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Good enough for many became the best for a few Sep 17

I just was nearby, they heard something good about me, and I showed myself worthy both as a specialist and a person. Perhaps, I did lack exp in their fields, but still I was quite promising, let alone reasonable and confident giving my 'because' for every 'why'.

That's how ten local clients agreed to pay me $0.25-$0.50/word on my terms and now they are my people.

Why, I use languages only as a means of communication, yet I still believe there should be no "pure" transl
... See more
I just was nearby, they heard something good about me, and I showed myself worthy both as a specialist and a person. Perhaps, I did lack exp in their fields, but still I was quite promising, let alone reasonable and confident giving my 'because' for every 'why'.

That's how ten local clients agreed to pay me $0.25-$0.50/word on my terms and now they are my people.

Why, I use languages only as a means of communication, yet I still believe there should be no "pure" translators.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:09
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quality for sure, not rates for sure Sep 17

It's actually a combination of factors.
Of course delivering high-quality jobs, always on time (in advance AMOF), with a good revision, spelling/grammar/quality checks, and accuracy + the correct jargon of the area, are all factors that save work and time to the client.
Good communication with the client and several other differentials I offer are also important factors that may place me in a position a little better than the others.
The clients do consider several things one
... See more
It's actually a combination of factors.
Of course delivering high-quality jobs, always on time (in advance AMOF), with a good revision, spelling/grammar/quality checks, and accuracy + the correct jargon of the area, are all factors that save work and time to the client.
Good communication with the client and several other differentials I offer are also important factors that may place me in a position a little better than the others.
The clients do consider several things one might think they don't, and you see that reflected when they come back to you several times.
I have many regular clients, some for five years or more. I believe this is a sign that I'm probably doing the right thing.
Lower rates are provenly not the right track. Everyone who lowers their rate to "get" clients soon finds out it's a bad idea.


[Edited at 2019-09-17 15:25 GMT]
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Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 17:09
Member (2016)
English to German
Field(s) of specialization Sep 17

I believe in my case it's my fields of specialization. Anyway, thanks to all for answering this, and of course I did not expect that many people actually ask their clients why they chose them, but at the same time, knowing why (or why not) people send you work is quite important to know for a freelancer.

I suspected from the start that "passion for language" and "number of working languages" would not get many votes. At the same time, it seems that many translators advertise their "
... See more
I believe in my case it's my fields of specialization. Anyway, thanks to all for answering this, and of course I did not expect that many people actually ask their clients why they chose them, but at the same time, knowing why (or why not) people send you work is quite important to know for a freelancer.

I suspected from the start that "passion for language" and "number of working languages" would not get many votes. At the same time, it seems that many translators advertise their "passion for language". Think about it. I believe that passion for language does not do much harm, but you can be a successful translator without putting too much passion into it

People who are about to start a career in translation should also consider the "number of working languages" option. Adding more languages might not help you much in becoming a successful translator (for the simple reason that most translation jobs have only one source language). If you add more languages to your portfolio, this just means that you compete against more other translators (and if you have nothing else to offer than being "just another translator in that language pair", you can only compete on rates). On the other hand, if you stick to one language pair only (or very few), and add more specialisms/expertise to your portfolio, you narrow down the competition because not so many other translators can offer what you can, and you do not need to compete on rates.

That "quality" ranks first in this poll is not surprising, but it is obvious that this can only apply to repeat customers, since a new client will mostly have no chance to evaluate your quality beforehand, at least not in depth. Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any freelance business, so we need to keep them happy. However, are all your clients able to appreciate your quality, and do they? I believe that factors like reliability and capacity/throughput might be somewhat underrepresented in these results, and we should be aware that both is often much better visible to clients than the quality of your output, and the importance of both should not be underrated. Just my thoughts.
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Jorge Payan
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:09
Member (2012)
French to English
I don't know Sep 17

I love these opportunities to brag about myself, but really...

Iwona B. BA (Hons) MCIL
peter jackson
 

Iwona B. BA (Hons) MCIL
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:09
Member (Jun 2019)
English to Polish
+ ...
Online marketing combined with qualifications .. Sep 17

As I am relatively new to the freelance translation, my online presence has been definitely a great factor in attracting new clients. Then it is my Translation degree the clients wanted (and want) to see. They were also very much interested in the type of translations I completed during my studies and internship.
I do not believe in offering low rates or work for next to nothing just to get a foot in the door. I will let my qualifications, my confidence, newly acquired skills and passion
... See more
As I am relatively new to the freelance translation, my online presence has been definitely a great factor in attracting new clients. Then it is my Translation degree the clients wanted (and want) to see. They were also very much interested in the type of translations I completed during my studies and internship.
I do not believe in offering low rates or work for next to nothing just to get a foot in the door. I will let my qualifications, my confidence, newly acquired skills and passion do the trick. It has worked so far and fingers crossed it will only get better...!
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Elizabeth Tamblin
 


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