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How can I meet clients at ProZ.com?
Thread poster: Eloisa Aquino
Eloisa Aquino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 24, 2011

Hey guys,

I am a very experienced translator. In December, due to the loss of a major client, I decided to go Pro in this website. I apply to jobs every single day. At first, I cut my tariff in 25%, now it's less than half, and yet, nothing.

Today I got an email from an unrelated website saying that my tariff for my pair (a very low US$ 0.05 per word) was too high, and they expected me to reduce it to US$ 0.03 or US$ 0.02 per word. So is that the reason I am not getting any jobs? US$ 0.03 per word would be something like 15% (or a 85% cut) of what I made before, and it's actually insufficient to survive where I live. McDonald's pays better.

Anyone out there is getting jobs through this website that are fairly paid? Or are you a member for different reason, for the sense of community, etc?

I appreciate the time and effort of mods and Proz people, but I am mostly interested in knowing other members' experiences!

Thank you!


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Caroline Lett  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:17
French to German
+ ...
I am afraid... Jan 24, 2011

Hello Eloisa,

I am very afraid, because I have the same experience even you have... I do not know how to get jobs on ProZ.com, maybe there are reasons why, but I am not knowing which.

Kind regards,

Caroline


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Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
How to meet clients at ProZ.com Jan 24, 2011

Hello Eloisa, hello Caroline,

First of all, thank you both for supporting the site with your membership. Site membership will give you visibility to potential clients. However, there are a few other aspects to keep in mind to help you do more with that visibility.

The first thing you should know is that the main channel to get jobs at ProZ.com are direct searches outsourcers conduct in the directory.

Now, having this in mind, check the following strategies to meet clients in the site (i.e. winning strategies):

1. A good profile, as your profile serves as your business card and directory listing, and it is the first impression of you that colleagues and potential clients will have when they find you at ProZ.com and when running web searches.

2. Membership, as members are ranked ahead of non-members in the directory of freelancers and interpreters, http://www.proz.com/translator-directory/ , and are then more visible in searches. Visit this page to check your current directory ranking.

3. KudoZ PRO points in your language pairs and fields of expertise, as this is how directory search results are ranked among the first group (members) and the second group (non-members). A few minutes of effort, a few times a month, may be all that is needed to boost your position in the freelancer directory.

4. Specialization. Let potential clients know what your fields of expertise are by listing fields in your profile in order --your specialty fields must be ordered accordingly, earning KudoZ points in those fields and in your top language pair, providing details in your "About me", etc. More tips on how to show your specialization are available here.

5. PRO status, as becoming a certified PRO will allow you to network and collaborate in an environment consisting entirely of screened professionals, including companies seeking the services of certified PROs only. (it is extremely important though that all previous strategies are put into use, and that all required information is gathered, before applying for inclusion into the Certified PRO Network).

As explained above, membership will give you visibility. But you have to make sure that, once you are visible to potential clients, you attract their attention and keep them interested by showing them a great profile and what you have to offer.

If you are willing to give these strategies a try --some of them you have already implemented, please let me know and I will be glad to assist you both personally.

Also, perhaps you would like to sign up for the free webinar on "Meeting clients at ProZ.com" I will be offering this next Friday at 16:00 GMT:

http://www.proz.com/translator-training/course/4180

For more information on ProZ.com winning strategies, please visit http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/ProZ.com_winning_strategies

Or else, watch this short video:

http://www.proz.com/videos/tutorials%20on%20proz.com/607

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Lucía


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Katrin Lueke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:17
Member (2006)
English to German
some suggestions Jan 24, 2011

Hello Eloisa,

- do not despair, it takes some time to get new clients
- do not lower your rates, search for good payers instead
- do not only rely on the jobs posted here
- use your access to the Blue Board to find agencies with top ratings which are based in countries where you can expect decent rates
- send them your resume, together with a short, polite cover letter
- polish your profile
- ask your previous clients for references
- be active at KudoZ questions, the more points you have, the better is your ranking in the directory (and that is where the clients look for translators)

Especially the last point is what helped me the most in finding (or rather being found by) very good clients.

Good luck!


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:17
English to German
Lucía is right Jan 24, 2011

Lucía explained it very well.

At the beginning, it might take a while to become "visible" for the outsourcers. But the more you are visible by activity, the more often you will receive direct inquiries by outsourcers.

When I started on ProZ.com I made the same experience. Then I had enough from quoting for low-paid jobs and stopped quoting. Now, I receive direct inquiries all the time and, when I want to I quote for an interesting job, but with my prices.

Take your time and don't give up. Become active. It really is worthwhile and will pay in the long run!

Good luck to you both,

Annett


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 17:17
French to English
Don't lower your rates, but personalize your replies Jan 24, 2011

As a translator, I have replied to countless jobs, here and elsewhere (well, I suppose I could count them, as I keep a file of them. But I digress). It was only recently that necessity drove me to post an offer on this website (to form a team to reply to a big job offer by a direct client), and I got a slew of replies. Not only did I find some mighty fine translators, I also learned some valuable lessons by putting myself in the PM's position.

First of all, I wasn't looking for the lowest rates; the important thing was to be able to count on someone doing the job properly and on time. (I, too, have had people insist that I lower my rates, but they can insist all they like; I’m the boss of me.) All of the translators who replied to my offer were within the price range that I had cited, and many were below. I did not reply to the lower bidders, but then I did not really take the price range into consideration. However, the list of replies was long, so I had to narrow down the choices. Here is what I did.

I had posted the offer in French. Now it may sound rash, but I began by throwing out any replies that were not in French. The lesson is: always reply in the language that the job is posted in (and be careful about typos or poor grammar). I was looking for French-to-German and -Dutch speakers, and reading their replies was a quick way of testing their French (I trust that they are good in their native language). After reading the French replies, I narrowed it down to those who had sent a well-written reply – I must say that a few of them had me balking. You needn’t translate into a language other than your native, but if you are a translator, you should at least be able to write a decent note in your source language.

Next, I was naturally attracted to the people who had personalized their note; those who had taken the time to look at my name and what I was asking for, and reply in kind. (However, in French we have a formal and informal form of address, and I didn’t much appreciate being addressed in the informal way; it just didn’t seem businesslike. The same goes for those who used smileys – for me, smileys are reserved for friendly exchanges, and not when you are looking to impress.) The smart ones listed experience that was specifically relevant to the job. Most of them thought to attach a CV, although I hadn’t mentioned it, and I printed out the CVs of my ever-narrowing selection of translators to make my final choice. I didn’t look at the CVs too carefully, but I made sure that there was something there that reflected the specialization I was looking for.

To contact the translators that I chose, I called them. Now, it’s not very kind of me, but I admit that I hung up when I got an answering machine. I had a lot of competent translators on my list and I didn’t want to leave a message with one, only to call another and perhaps give the second one a false hope, only to have the first one call me back… You get the picture. Impatience on my part, perhaps. But I’m sure that agencies and other clients do this, too.

After this experience, I will be replying differently to jobs, here and elsewhere. I will only reply to those where I have some kind of relative experience, I will personalize my reply, I will include my contact information all over the place to make it easier for the client to reach me, I will include a CV even if it is not requested. And I will keep trying, every day that I don’t have work to do, and so should you!

Best wishes - and please don’t stoop to lowering your rates!


[Edited at 2011-01-24 18:18 GMT]


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Eloisa Aquino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, i needed motivation! Jan 24, 2011

very useful comments so far, thanks all!

keep them coming!


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guest1234  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 19:17
French to English
+ ...
cv Jan 24, 2011

verslanglais wrote:
I didn’t look at the CVs too carefully, but I made sure that there was something there that reflected the specialization I was looking for.


very interesting

and yes please don't lower your rates lol or it will come to the point where you pay them to give you jobs

[Edited at 2011-01-24 18:01 GMT]

(if someone pays me, i will create a job for that person, i'm serious)

[Edited at 2011-01-24 18:05 GMT]


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