Interested in paying for membership with ProZ, but not sure if it's worth it.
Thread poster: AriDiaz

AriDiaz
English to Spanish
May 4, 2009

Hi, I'm interested in becoming a member of ProZ.com, but I'm not sure if it will be effective for me. If I get some convincing, I'll probably join. I have a degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. I am fluent in English just as I am in Spanish, and I have performed extensive translation and interpretation work within my own job. So, the questions are. would I qualify to become a member? Would my likelihood of finding translation jobs in your site be positive or negative for me? If I could make this a full-time commitment, I would do it, but I want to make sure I'm making the right investment. Nevertheless, I'm seriously excited about the opportunity. Thank you.

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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:10
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Purpose of Proz May 4, 2009

As I see nobody has answered your question, I'll put in my two Eurocents.

If you think Proz is going to make you rich, you will be very disappointed. There are too many low bid items. Also, the ratio of jobs to translators is not good in most langagues.

However, if you want to get 2-5 new clients a year, it is a good investment. The biggest problem in this business is the first job from a Client. They don't know anything about you.

Aside from professional translators association sites, by far IMO the best place to get work, proz is filled with real jobs. Most of them you have no chance of getting for a variety of reason. However, sometimes you get lucky or are available when nobody else is and you get a job. It is irrevelant whether it is for 20 or 2000 Euro. What counts is an opportunity to show that you are professional. How much is a single regular client worth? Probably more than the membership fee. If you can 2 or more, you clearly make money.

That's my view of the matter.

Stephen Rifkind
(a member for 5 years)


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AriDiaz
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for replying! May 4, 2009

rifkind wrote:

As I see nobody has answered your question, I'll put in my two Eurocents.

If you think Proz is going to make you rich, you will be very disappointed. There are too many low bid items. Also, the ratio of jobs to translators is not good in most langagues.

However, if you want to get 2-5 new clients a year, it is a good investment. The biggest problem in this business is the first job from a Client. They don't know anything about you.

Aside from professional translators association sites, by far IMO the best place to get work, proz is filled with real jobs. Most of them you have no chance of getting for a variety of reason. However, sometimes you get lucky or are available when nobody else is and you get a job. It is irrevelant whether it is for 20 or 2000 Euro. What counts is an opportunity to show that you are professional. How much is a single regular client worth? Probably more than the membership fee. If you can 2 or more, you clearly make money.

That's my view of the matter.

Stephen Rifkind
(a member for 5 years)


Thank you, rifkind! That was a very honest answer, and I appreciate that. I am thinking about going to professional translating school, here, in California, so your response helps a lot. Again, thank you.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:10
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Start by filling in your profile May 4, 2009

Your profile is your advertising page, and it costs you nothing to start filling it in so that prospective outsourcers can learn something about you and your abilities. Fill it in as well as you can. Fill in your education, qualifications and background, as well as your native language and working languages.

Start participating in Kudoz and earn yourself some Kudoz points.

Participate actively in the forums.

All these things will already help you to find clients.

However, in order to have a good place in the freelancers' directory, where outsourcers search for translators or send a notification about a job to the first 20 or 50 or whatever on the list, you will need to pay a subscription. Otherwise you will be at the bottom of the list, behind all those who have paid, and outsourcers will not be very likely to ever see your name in the list or include you in a batch notification. Please be aware that it is through the freelancers' directory, not through job advertisements, that most work is passed.

However, you have time to think about joining. Start with your profile first. As long as you remain anonymous, nobody is going to give you work.

If you are not yet qualified to take up working as a translator, consider joining as a student first, while you work towards a translation diploma. However, please bear in mind that student membership does not permit you to bid on advertised jobs.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Kudoz glossary+ May 4, 2009

Having access to the Kudoz glossary alone is worth the membership fee.

On a further note, I've only bid once for a job here on proz.com, but many agencies have got in contact with me through proz.com. Translators aren't the only ones who browse the site. I believe many agencies and PMs do as well.

If you participate constructively and positively in Kudoz questions and the various forums, you won't have to be looking around for work, you'll find job offers coming to you. (That's my experience anyway.)


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:10
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Qualify to be a member? May 4, 2009

AriDiaz wrote:

So, the questions are. would I qualify to become a member?


The only qualification to be a member is to pay the fee.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
ProZ is a place to see and be seen May 4, 2009

I can only second everything Astrid wrote, especially this:-

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
Please be aware that it is through the freelancers' directory, not through job advertisements, that most work is passed.


Firstly, if you are an active paid-up member, then you will be very visible in searches made by those who need the services of a reliable translator.

Secondly, when you are contacted regarding a job that never appears on the job-board, as a member you can consult the Blue Board to your heart's content. The BB is a very useful tool - if you are sending your CV to agencies, it's nice to know beforehand what other translators think of them.

Thirdly, if you decide to quote for a job, then as a member you can do so before the job is open to allcomers.

Only you can decide whether it's a good idea to become a paying member. Personally, I'm probably well in the red, bearing in mind training course and conference participation, but I still feel I'm getting my money's worth in other less tangible ways.

Anyway, member or not, welcome to the site!


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AriDiaz
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you to all... May 4, 2009

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful responses. This is a reliable site, and I appreciate your advice.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Check your cost/benefit May 4, 2009

I remained a free user of Proz for some five years before the its demand for my language pair (EN-PT) and specialties developed to become significant. Though as a free user you won't have access to several features, prospects will be able to find whatever you offer, and you'll be able to track the frequency of jobs that might be worth applying for.

I am still a free user in some Proz competitor sites (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to name them here), where the demand for my pair has not yet reached an acceptable cost/benefit ratio to justify paying their fees. However this has not prevented me from occasionally landing a job there.

It's as simple as that!


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:10
German to English
+ ...
Get Googled May 4, 2009

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Your profile is your advertising page, and it costs you nothing to start filling it in so that prospective outsourcers can learn something about you and your abilities. Fill it in as well as you can. Fill in your education, qualifications and background, as well as your native language and working languages.

Start participating in Kudoz and earn yourself some Kudoz points.

Participate actively in the forums.

All these things will already help you to find clients.

However, in order to have a good place in the freelancers' directory, where outsourcers search for translators or send a notification about a job to the first 20 or 50 or whatever on the list, you will need to pay a subscription. Otherwise you will be at the bottom of the list, behind all those who have paid, and outsourcers will not be very likely to ever see your name in the list or include you in a batch notification. Please be aware that it is through the freelancers' directory, not through job advertisements, that most work is passed.

However, you have time to think about joining. Start with your profile first. As long as you remain anonymous, nobody is going to give you work.

If you are not yet qualified to take up working as a translator, consider joining as a student first, while you work towards a translation diploma. However, please bear in mind that student membership does not permit you to bid on advertised jobs.


Consider it as as a (minor) investment, do what Astrid recommends and remember to add tag words to your profile. Google knows Proz quite well. If you had your own site, the likelihood of being found by search engines would - shall we say - be on the thin side.


Good luck.


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Kathryn Sanderson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:10
French to English
Web sites, Proz, and Google May 4, 2009

Textklick wrote:

Consider it as as a (minor) investment, do what Astrid recommends and remember to add tag words to your profile. Google knows Proz quite well. If you had your own site, the likelihood of being found by search engines would - shall we say - be on the thin side.


Good luck.


...but if you *are* a Proz member, it's worth having a web site because the Google hits on your profile will lead prospective customers to your site. Is that correct?

Kathryn


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:10
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Read the archives May 5, 2009

This question occurs so often that it's really not worth repeating the arguments in favor, which I believe remain overwhelming. If you can't do the basic research to find these old discussions, then I wonder what would happen with translation jobs that require a bit of research. Despite recent controversies over various matters, ProZ is probably one of the best values for portals of this type when one considers the visibility it offers. Whether that is converted into paying work depends a lot on what you do. See the archives for further details.

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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 02:10
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
How to start a career as a translation service provider May 11, 2009

rifkind wrote:
If you think Proz is going to make you rich, you will be very disappointed. There are too many low bid items. Also, the ratio of jobs to translators is not good in most langagues.

Absolutely agree. I do get work here, thanks to the fact that my main language combination is demanded, with relatively few people working at professional level, and the inflow of specialized jobs is interesting. In other language pairs (such as my second combination), competition is really fierce.
rifkind wrote:
However, if you want to get 2-5 new clients a year, it is a good investment. The biggest problem in this business is the first job from a Client. They don't know anything about you.

Agree too. It took me a full 2 years of hard work to make a career here. But I did it! I keep clients from the very first year.
rifkind wrote:
Aside from professional translators association sites, by far IMO the best place to get work, proz is filled with real jobs. Most of them you have no chance of getting for a variety of reason. However, sometimes you get lucky or are available when nobody else is and you get a job. It is irrevelant whether it is for 20 or 2000 Euro. What counts is an opportunity to show that you are professional. How much is a single regular client worth? Probably more than the membership fee.

Agree absolutely. I started from zero here. Five years ago, too!
Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
Your profile is your advertising page, and it costs you nothing to start filling it in so that prospective outsourcers can learn something about you and your abilities. Fill it in as well as you can. Fill in your education, qualifications and background, as well as your native language and working languages. (etc. etc.)

Astrid gives interesting instructions you should follow.
But, bear in mind: no matter how wonderful your profile is, if all you do is fill in your profile, pay for the membership and then sit waiting for jobs to come, they will simply NOT come.

My 2 cents,
Fabio

[Edited at 2009-05-11 11:59 GMT]


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