Poll: Do/did you announce your services in a telephone directory?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:50
Apr 24, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do/did you announce your services in a telephone directory?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Julio Torres
English to Spanish
+ ...
A tie Apr 25, 2006

Well, I paid an announce in a telephone directory and the whole year I earned exactly the money to pay the announce.

I have contacted more clients by Internet, so I considered it wasn't necessary to continue paying a space in the telephone directory.

But I think this is a matter of the country, competence, economical situation, size of announce, etc. And other colleagues could have had a better experience.


Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:50
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Yellow Pages - Australia Apr 25, 2006

I have advertised myself, forked the money for a respectable size ad in colour, and got very few the first year. Persisted, and in the second year got many more (paid for itself and topped). The third year, quite a few clients came through the yellow pages, mostly government, businesses and individuals looking for a specific language combination.

I did not advertize under my name, but under the business name, and made sure I have one which sits well on the top of the list under TRANSLATING. Both businesses and individuals in Australia feel more comfortable dealing with a business.

No marketing tool works immediately. It usually takes a minimum of 18 month of repeated viewing before your ad "sticks" into clients' minds. My website has been around for 3 years, and I handed out over 250 business cards and 500 brochures, stuck them on unsuspecting victims at every remotely related seminar and workshop, not to mention community services, and only this year I am beginning to get work through the "Quote Form" on my site.

It is my humble opinion that no overheads in marketing may save a bit of money, but it also wastes lots of money one could have made if only one was a bit more "visible".

I am very interested to hear from people who said they "never would". Why not?


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:50
English to Polish
I don't and don't plan to Apr 25, 2006

Somehow I believe in these times internet is primary source of information, so I prefer to maintain my website, than be in telephone directory.

Maybe it's just because when I look for something, I go to a search engine, nowhere elseicon_smile.gif



Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
English to French
+ ...
I did, it didn't wok at all, but ... Apr 25, 2006

... but it was at the begining of my carrer, i.e. about 23-24 years ago. I had been paying for an advertisement in the French Yellow Pages for 3 consecutive years. I never earned the first centime of the price of only a one-year subscription. So, I decided to stop. In fact, I think that the main problems were the following :
1) By this time (in the '80s), in France the telephone directories were then the sole property of France Telecom, so you were obliged to have any ad written and printed only in FR.
2) I was living in Paris, where there were a lot of translators and translation agencies
3)My specialty (Medical Translation) could not interest the potential lambda client.
I remember that the only call I received in the 2nd year of advertizing was from a Portuguese worker who needed the certified translation of half a dozen of birth and wedding certificates. At least, I could redirect him towards a more appropriate specialized colleague.
Twelve years ago, I registered to a "pharmacy-oriented professional directory", unfortunately restricted to the Paris area. It was very, very expensive, but it brought me 2 good clients that same year.
When I moved to province, Internet time had raised. So, now, I'm only using internet-based professional supports and directories.
The only advices I can give you is 1) if you look for translations of daily and legal life-related documents (e.g. birth certificates, etc.) you can use ALSO the paper phone directories of your region. You'll rapidily be "over-booked", and it could be a profitable reasonable investment, whatever are yr language pairs.
2) If you have a more "exotic" specialty, use a) Internet and b) a very narrowly targeted professional paper directory. Some professional syndicates/chambers/societies, etc. do offer advertizing in both forms. Even if it sounds a bit expensive, it might be profitable.
3) If your specialties are not too much rare/exotic, forget it. It will cost you a price that you are unlikely to recover.
Afa I'm concerned, I have been on the telephone "red list" for nearly 10 years. My clients love that : they think that it is an asset in terms of security for their documentsicon_smile.gif))
Have a nice day


Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
i had considered it... Apr 25, 2006

but my goodness, it is pricey. Especially if you want to advertise in more than one region.

I've always found the internet to be much more effective.

We're in the internet age now. It's easier to search for what you want through Google than opening up the phone book and flicking through a couple of pages.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I didn't opt out... Apr 25, 2006

Our local telephone book includes a one-line entry in the yellow pages for anyone who is VAT registered - unless they specifically opt out.

I have not paid for a bigger entry... and one client found me last year, when looking for someone to update the local tourist guide. He came back again this year too.

A couple of others have found me 'through the grapevine' - they knew me personally.

If I had to pay for the service, it would eat up anything I earned on rather small jobs.

My Proz. profile is quite effective, and a few clients find me through the Chartered Institute of Linguists service. I don't have time for more anyway!

Happy translating, folks!


Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
French to English
Privacy Apr 25, 2006

Aside from the cost, I simply don't want that much exposure of my phone number. I find it a lot safer to list with T&I-specific entities like this one.


Ricki Farn
Local time: 08:50
Member (2005)
English to German
Question of one's specialization Apr 25, 2006

I'm a software localizer, nobody searches for those in a phone book. If I translated birth certificates or letters/correspondence, I would try the yellow pages - well, basically, if my target group was "the general public", which is not the case.icon_smile.gif


avantix  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
German to Dutch
+ ...
A pain.. Apr 25, 2006

Ricki Farn wrote:

If I translated birth certificates or letters/correspondence, I would try the yellow pages - well, basically, if my target group was "the general public", which is not the case.icon_smile.gif

I agree with Ricki. I did years ago in the local Yellow Pages and the only thing you get out of it is "general public with birth certificates", etc., i.e. people who in the end also complain that they would have known someone who'd done it for only half the price and... and... and...

It's just a pain in the a.. eh.. bottoms.


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
I just don't see it working for repeat business Apr 25, 2006

which is 97% of my output... Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
organic growth Apr 25, 2006

For me, advertising in the yellow page has created excellent ‘organic’ repeat business… a big chunk of my assignments consists of work for new immigrants who require certified translations of all their personal documents. Yes, many clients will initially phone to have *just one* certificate done…but only to phone back a week later with some 20 certificates that their immigration lawyer advised them to have translated. And not only do they refer me to their friends/relatives back home who might still be in the preliminary application phase, but once they have established their livelihoods here, they will also send me all their business documents, including employment contracts, web pages, marketing brochures etc. I’ve been advertising in the yellow pages for years, and it has paid for itself many times overicon_smile.gif



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