Article: How to find direct clients? Skip the middle-man!
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 14:10
Sep 10, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "How to find direct clients? Skip the middle-man!".

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Ernesto Veras  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
English to Portuguese
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Direct contact and mailing lists is a waste of time Sep 23, 2005

I think your article has a lot of good points, and I thoroughly agree with you when you say that most companies will look for a translation agency because they usually don't know any individual to take the assignment.
However, the suggestion of sending out fliers or e-mails is a waste of time. Just as direct contact is rather a nuisance.
I can use my own experience as an example. I teamed up with a fellow translator and together we started a firm. We got beautiful and impressive fliers and binders, business cards and all sorts of materials. We then started a marathon of visits to potential clients, including all sorts of businesses [from medium-size to large international companies]; hundreds of contacts [e-mails, fliers, regular mail, etc.]. The result: zero. No assignment came out of this.
We later dissolved our partnership because my partner was hired to an in-house position at a multinational company [to head the translations department]. After she started in her new position we eventually got to get an explanation to our failure. She receives everyday a large number of fliers, e-mails, brochures, etc., many of them as beautiful and impressive as the ones we had designed in the past, but all of they invariably end up in the trash bin. One reason is that she doesn't have the time to read all of them, and another reason is that the company already has a number of listed translation providers. I guess most companies already have their own providers database.
After this experience I found myself back to my old portfolio of clients. It had taken me more than twenty years to build my portfolio. This portfolio includes a number of companies to which I provide translation services directly, and but a few agencies.
My conclusion is that, although direct contact with companies [the end user of your services] is the best, it takes a long time for you to build the trust, the reliability, that will eventually build loyalty. And prices not always are the deciding factors.
I don't know elsewhere, but in Brazil such strategies as fliers, mailing lists, and even direct contact proved to be a waste of time and money. One faces monoliths, huge stone walls, when one tries to pierce one's way through and reach the head of translation departments in most companies.
Thanks for the chance to share my views.

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Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Arabic to English
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Strategies that Work Jan 17, 2013

Happened to read this article today and was wondering what strategies my fellow translators are using to connect with direct clients.

I acquired most of my direct clients while doing other kinds of work for them. I am a freelance writer/editor, and the people who use my services frequently need translators as well. Haven't really done a lot of marketing to direct clients and am thus looking for new ideas.

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Article: How to find direct clients? Skip the middle-man!

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