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Job postings are up - are you getting your share? How? Clients, what do you look for?
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:47
SITE FOUNDER
Aug 1, 2003


Job postings made on ProZ.com reached a new high in July, after 40% growth over the last 7 months. Here is a graph, updated in real time.

While many members now have work than they can handle, some members have been frustrated with unseccessful attempts to win jobs. Therefore, I would like to ask members who have met clients via ProZ.com to comment on the following:

- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result? (We strongly encourage members to specialize)

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?

Also, I would like to hear from clients on what catches your attention. Can you save everyone some time by commenting on the types of bids that you never consider?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


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Marcela García  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very positive Aug 1, 2003

The answer to my translation proposals has increased and at the same time I keep working with the same clients that I contacted through Proz bids one year ago. These clients are mainly agencies in the US and Europe, not direct clients.

Thanks for all.

Marcela


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Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:47
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
Use of job posts as a translator Aug 1, 2003

As a freelance translator and Proz member since June 2001, I would like to reply point by point to Henry's inquiries.



- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

No real marketing effort other than filling out my profile page.

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?

I really don't think so, no one has commented on this aspect.

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?

Not that I know of.

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?

I have no CAT tools.

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result?

Yes, they do come mainly in my specializations. I have increased my specialization in the IT area, mainly because I keep getting contacts for this area.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

I would say half and half. First I suceeded in getting a few jobs through bidding. Now I am often contacted directly and asked to translate in specific specialized areas. Namely IT and musicology.

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?

Yes in a way, because I know what criteria to look for in a good client. Professionalism in the way I'm contacted, the way I'm treated as a person and as a translator. I now know there are good people out there to work with! I have brushed shoulders with a few clients that have made me feel uneasy, but everything worked out in the end. I have been lucky.

I am interested in hearing everyone's comments in this forum. I'm sure we all have different experiences to share.

Gayle


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:47
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
What specifically has worked for you, Marcela? Aug 1, 2003

Marcela García Henríquez wrote:

The answer to my translation proposals has increased and at the same time I keep working with the same clients that I contacted through Proz bids one year ago. These clients are mainly agencies in the US and Europe, not direct clients.


Good to hear. What specifically has worked for you, if you do not mind sharing?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:47
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
How did you "increase (your) specialization"? Are there many musicology jobs out there? Aug 1, 2003

Gayle Wallimann wrote:

Yes, they do come mainly in my specializations. I have increased my specialization in the IT area, mainly because I keep getting contacts for this area.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

I would say half and half. First I suceeded in getting a few jobs through bidding. Now I am often contacted directly and asked to translate in specific specialized areas. Namely IT and musicology.


Could you expand on that? When you say you "increased (your) specialization in the IT area", do you mean you modified your profile to empasize that? I see you have made good use of the keyword features.

Also, is there significant job flow in musicology? Do you have any comment for the many members who are under the impression that by specializing in a field so specific you may be doing yourself a disservice?

By the way, you nonchalantly say that all you have done is fill out your profile. The easy part must have been the data entry, because the things you did to "fill it out" (the doctoral theses, translation experiences, KudoZ points) are nothing to sneeze at! I also like your Brit>US glossary...


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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 17:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Answers Aug 1, 2003

Hi,

I would like to answer to Henry's questions since I consider ProZ.com is a very valuable tool for my work.

- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

No marketing approach other than filling in my profile (and trying to keep it updated).

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?

I do not know.

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?

I do not think so.

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?

I do not work with CAT tools (although I am planning to start working with them soon).

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result?

Not always.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

All the jobs I got through ProZ.com came via the job posting system. I have received many job offers via group e-mails, but no one was successful (mainly because of the rates).

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?

Yes. I do not bid on every job I see in my pair, I read carefully the comments on the Blue Board and other PP lists and if I have doubts I contact the translator who has worked for that agency to get more feedback.

HTH.

ALE

[Edited at 2003-08-02 14:26]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 17:47
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I'm pleased to share because all my jobs come from ProZ Aug 1, 2003

I really started to live in ProZ in November 2001.
ProZ helped me to start my translator career. At the beginning my resume had no translation experience and it's very difficult to start with nothing to put in the profile (related to translation).
But I could show that I had some idea of what it was about in the KudoZ, and it's there where we really meet and "feel" people.

The first job I got bidding was really made for me, a former teacher. I had to translate and summarize. Unfortunately it was when the jobs records disappeared from profiles. I would have been so proud of my first little star! (Henry...is the record going to come back?)

I don’t think my credentials have been important, but I decided to study translation, because I had the impression that I could miss something. The fact that I’m studying in Canada (via Internet) also enlarges my options (as my French is European). This could be my “specialization”...

My marketing approaches are not professional at all. It’s mainly based in meeting people. In KudoZ, in the forums. It took me more than one year to put my profile in English and to become a “translator” (as my former profile presented a teacher). I did it slowly but surely.
I changed in my mind too, and this self confidence helped me to bid with a higher level of confidence.

Last week I was contacted by an external client who told me for the first time that it was for my KudoZ that he chose me. He didn’t know what they meant, I had to explain. I think KudoZ can be useful, but not for all the clients, of course (one out of a hundred). But my participation there has been really useful to meet and know other translators.
I’ve made really good friends, good partners, good teams. People with whom we share work. In my pairs and in other pairs too. In other pairs when I’m asked if I know somebody in another pair or somebody else thinks of me, and in my pairs for large projects.

At the beginning my jobs came from the jobs system. And I bid on all of them. Now, I can watch them, and feel happy because I don’t need to react immediately. Even if I’m not interested I have a look at them, I go to the Blue Board...then, when I see the questions in KudoZ I know who got it
Some clients came via my profile, but most of my jobs come from people I know from here. I prefer to say that “my jobs came” than my clients because they’re seldom direct jobs.

Oh, yes I’ve become more selective. First, the outsourcer. I won’t take useless risks. I look at the Blue Board, write to those who rated the agency...Of course, it might happen, but I’m careful. Second, the price, and third, the languages (in English-Spanish the fight is harder than in my other pairs).

I think CAT tools are looked for by some kind of clients. I prefer the others.

I’m glad to say that my situation has changed so much that yesterday I could post my first job offer because I wanted my specialized translation to be proofread and my friends were not available. It has also been the opportunity to meet a translator that I didn’t know very well.

Henry, I have already said how thankful I was to ProZ and you, but as the situation changes and it’s always better, I say it again,
Thank you

[Sorry...
I come back to say what I'd like now...
I'd like to know how to make a client come back to me. Although I have never had any problem or unsatisfied client, I sometimes feel like a spare wheel...Really very few clients met this way come back, they prefer to post the job first. I suppose that it's to be sure that the person is available, but there must be something that I don't know how to do.]

[Edited at 2003-08-01 19:06]


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:47
English to French
+ ...
My comments Aug 2, 2003

- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?
*** My profile pages helps me attract people to my own website, the more you answer Kudoz or participate in forums, the more people come to visit my site, then I let the word of mouth effect happen.

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?
*** Definitely, being a professional translator by training is always a plus I think.

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?
***Not direct clients or agencies, but it helped get jobs from other translators, or it helped me find partners. When I see someone reacting a lot on Proz, I am sure that if I contact that person, he will answer quickly, there is nothing worse on the net than someone taking forever to answer. It attracts people to your profile too.

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?
*** Since more and more job require a CAT tool, the fact that you mention it indeed helps.

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result? (We strongly encourage members to ...
*** I am a generalist, do a little bit of everything, so I can't really comment on any specialization as long as it it not medical, legal on overly technical.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?
*** "Lousy requests" or uninteresting requests came from my profile, real jobs happened when I bid.

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?
*** I get more clients outsite on Proz, than via Proz, but this site allows to get larger jobs in general. Some customers have remained loyal since I found them on Proz. When things are quiet outside, turning to Proz for filling the gaps always paid off for me.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:47
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Standing out is the secret Aug 2, 2003

A great problem with answering your questions is that one rarely gets to know the answers from the outsourcers. When I ask an outsourcer how s/he found me, I often get the vague answer "On the Internet". After probing I most often get a more specific answer but that's about it. They rarely divulge their detailed reasons for choosing me.
I harbour some hunches and pieces of info though:

What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?
Having a fairly complete profile page containing all contact information possible so that any one can contact me conveniently. (For the same reason I always sign my emails and forum contributions (see below) with the same info. It's convenient, informative ("Aha, he is Swedish and there are his homepages") and time-saving to have it all at hand).
I often notice that this has worked because the client already knows all such details when approaching me.
If I were an outsourcer, I would tick off all those empty profile pages as a sign of disinterest and thus as an uninteresting translator.

Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?
No, but on the other hand I mention them on my profile page and on my websites. Nobody has ever asked me about it and above all: Nobody has ever asked if I am a member of a professional translator organisation.

Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?
KudoZ is the way to stand out !
Or as a colleague put it: "Earlier, I had to take jobs at 0.07 cents/word. My KudoZ in my specialisations have helped me getting jobs at 0.15-0.20"

There is also another aspect of Kudoz: They strengthen your self-confidence. You can show a certain degree of expertise in the fields concerned.
Zero KudoZ does not tell much!

Also to remember: KudoZ is a training ground for yourself, increasing your self-confidence and teaching you a lot about where to find answers to difficult term questions.

Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?
Of course! The number of jobs where CAT is a prerequisite, grows constantly. One can of course always say: I'd rather go for the jobs that don't demand CAT. I agree that CAT-oriented outsourcers much more often are unpleasant and very often not very understanding as to what translation is all about. They often think that it means the swapping of unambiguous words!

Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result? (We strongly encourage members to specialize)
Yes, especially if the outsourcer has found me by himself.

Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?
No. Via the directory.

Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?
Yes, definitively. With the growing number of enquiries one can say no to unpleasant word-swappers with silly and unfair contract clauses and insulting rates.

To be honest, I must confess to getting more good jobs via a German list than via ProZ.com, which in my view proves the importance of localizing and marketing ProZ.com on important markets.
Above all direct customers, the golden eggs of the translation industry are more inclined to choose a translators' page in their own language than in English.
So: www.ProZ.com should be a language choice page (automatic choice for cookied users) leading to an impeccably translated Page 1 in the language chosen by the caller.

BR

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/translator/1749
(ProZ.com deu>swe & forum moderator)
eMail : MatsWiman@tele2.se
Street: Träsk 201
Post : S-872 97 Skog
Tel : +46-612-54112
Fax : +46-612-54181
Mobile: +46-70-5769797


[Edited at 2003-08-02 06:27]


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:47
Latvian to English
+ ...
Jobs through proz.com Aug 2, 2003

What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

I haven't done anything more than complete my profile page. Being a platinum member has put me higher up the list in my language pairs (but then again there aren't so many of us anyway!) I was also contacted through my profile page when I was a guest member - but again, I think this is because there are so few of us.


- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?

Definitely - and experience.


- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?
No! Perhaps only to the extent, that someone can see that I am 'active'. The system is easily open to abuse**, therefore clients shouldn't base their judgements on the number of points someone has accrued.

[** Henry/moderators: please look at the Latvian-English-Latvian KudoZ questions for the last week. My comments are under the 'what's going on?' question. There are a number of us, who have tried to diplomatically put a stop to this, but to no avail.]


- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?

I don't use CAT tools (yet).


- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result? (We strongly encourage members to specialize)

Yes, but I've also been contacted via proz for jobs which aren't in my specializations, in which case I've recommended someone else.



- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

Mostly through 'direct' contact. Most of the 'bidding' jobs are for extremely low rates, so I don't bother. As it is, most of my jobs come through other sources.


- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?

I've become more selective only to the extent that I've turned down a number of 'please fill in this form and we'll add you to our database' requests. I've also been able to outsource a lot of work.


[Edited at 2003-08-02 11:38]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 16:47
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
A great community Aug 2, 2003

Mats Wiman wrote:

Above all direct customers, the golden eggs of the translation industry are more inclined to choose a translators' page in their own language than in English.
So: www.ProZ.com should be a language choice page (automatic choice for cookied users) leading to an impeccably translated Page 1 in the language chosen by the caller.



Agreed, Mats! I've often thought that.

Meanwhile I would like to add my own experiences: through Proz I have met wonderful people, some of whom I work with regularly now. It's an informal team, where one can contact the others with a large bid on hand. It gives us a bit more leverage.

I held a Pow-wow in Cornwall in January and now another one is coming up in Montreal, and I am looking forward to seeing some of the same people again, like a reunion of long-lost friends. Of course, I'll tell you all about it when it's done.

As for jobs, Proz has indeed helped me: at first, like Claudia, I jumped on every job offer in an effort to be known in the community. But I haven't bid on a job in weeks, because I have work for the month as it is!! It's been like that since February

So, thanks Henry et al for all your work and improvements. Indeed I have specialised, more than I had intended, but it just turned out that way; I've become a car gal, and that's OK (after all, I did sell Ford products in my youth )

Now if we could ust get certain players to come to terms with the difference between European and Canadian French.... I think we'd all be happier They are not interchangeable you know!

Enjoy the weekend folks.

Nancy


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 16:47
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Reputation Aug 2, 2003

Jana Teteris wrote:


Mostly through 'direct' contact. Most of the 'bidding' jobs are for extremely low rates, so I don't bother. As it is, most of my jobs come through other sources.

[Edited at 2003-08-02 11:38]


Therein lies the difficulty. One problem with Proz is its reputation for being the place to find cheap translation. Of course as a result some people look down their noses at the whole site, which is unfair. I mean, Proz has so much to offer, it's not just a job site! However, judging by the recurrent rate theme in these fora, it's apparent that raising rates is a long, uphill battle. And yes, one reason I have stayed away from bidding, in addition to having so much work of course, is that this work is much better remunerated than many of the jobs listed on Proz.
At any rate I love the fora, Kudoz and glossaries are great, and I look forward to visiting the site several times per day!
Regards to all,
Nancy

Nancy


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 23:47
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
my answers... Aug 2, 2003

- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

I have filled in my profile and included every information I could think that a client might find useful. It is a wonderfully useful tool for presenting yourself to clients and fellow translators. I tried to compose a profile that is representative of who I am, what I do and what I believe in, professionally speaking.

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?
Yes, I think one of the criteria clients consider is the credentials, and some times, though too rarely, clients ask for diplomas and proofs of these credentials.

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?
I like to think so. I like Kudoz very much and use it both ways; I answer and ask questions frequently. It is a wonderful tool and it helps strengthen the community. It helped a lot in meeting fellow translator and in communicating with them.
As Matt Witman has pointed out, the secret is to stand out in the crowd. Some complain they find Kudoz ranking unfair, but, as with all systems you have to find a ways to make it work in your advantage.

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?
I love using CATs and they help bringing good jobs from reliable clients. One should always keep pace with new developments. CATs also help me assure better quality, speed and save me a lot of work and time. Although, I confess I sometimes translate draft versions (exclusively when working on books) first in writing on paper, the old fashioned way. It relaxes me and I find it more inspiring.

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result? (We strongly encourage members to specialize)
Yes, I have gained more jobs in my specializations. Clients look for and value specialization. Also the jobs have helped me specialize further. It is one of the things I love about translation; you always have the opportunity to learn new things.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?
Both. I have gained jobs by bidding, though mostly at first and I have been contacted by very good and reliable clients through my profile page or the directory. When bidding, I always check carefully all the details first and try to compose a good winning bid, when the bid is in my specialization area and the bidder checks out as reliable. Both systems have helped in winning clients that keep coming back.

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?
Yes, I think it is the natural way things work. I have become more selective, as time is limited and I can now choose whom for and what I work. For instance, I do not like rush jobs, they are stressing and Cronos is a translator's worst enemy. Time is limited and it is better to make the best use of it and have some fun in the process, too.

Best of luck to all and warm regards!

[Edited at 2003-08-02 12:42]


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sandhya  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:17
German to English
+ ...
Good... but not very good! Aug 2, 2003

- What approaches have worked for you in marketing yourself via ProZ.com?

No special approach, just my profile page.

- Have you noticed that your credentials are important to outsourcers?

Not really, unless the client is looking for my specialization.

- Has KudoZ participation or KudoZ point totals played a role in your meeting new clients?

I dont think so, because no client that I acquired thru Proz has commented on the Kudoz points.

- Have CAT tools helped you to market yourself or win jobs?

Yes, to some extent.

- Have your jobs come mainly in your specializations? Have you specialized further as a result?

A couple of clients thru Proz have been in my specialization (railways, IT, SAP) and I have now been working with them regularly for more than a year now.

- Have most of your jobs come via the job posting system, or "directly" (via your profile page, ie. the directory)?

Not many have come through the job posting, more have come directly via my profile page.

- Has winning new clients allowed you to be more selective? In what ways?
Yes, certainly, since the beginning of this year, I have reduced the number of specializations and subjects that I translate. I also select projects that interest me. And I avoid working for clients that have received a bad review!

While I have not exactly been flooded by work via Proz (I get more via my website)... but since I joined, I have made a few steady clients via Proz... perhaps the number will increase gradually!
Proz is a great help to translators, both full-time professionals and for beginners... it provides a lot of insight into this profession!! Thanks to Henry!!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 16:47
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Please tell us about your website, Sandhya Aug 2, 2003

Sandhya Murthy wrote:

I get (jobs) more via my website...

Great website. Others should have a look.

What about your website seems to have worked? Is it a different clientele that you meet through it? Do your specialties again play a role?

BTW, do you track where your website traffic comes from? How much comes from your profile page, versus google, etc.?

Thanks for comparing notes...


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