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How much should you invest financially to begin with?
Thread poster: Rachael Clayton

Rachael Clayton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (Jun 2019)
French to English
+ ...
May 8

I'm particularly trying to decide whether or not to buy Proz membership, I'd prefer not to at the moment but it seems to be the way to start getting jobs rather emailing CVs everywhere.

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Go for it May 8

Rachael C wrote:

I'm particularly trying to decide whether or not to buy Proz membership, I'd prefer not to at the moment but it seems to be the way to start getting jobs rather emailing CVs everywhere.


Go for it, and work on your profile to make it 100% complete. It's a good investment that you won't regret. Having a good Proz profile, and a specialisation that makes you stand out in a particular sector of the translation market, will get you noticed by prospective clients who are looking for a translator with your specific skills.

Oh, and you can write it down as a non-taxable business expense

[Edited at 2019-05-08 15:43 GMT]


IanDhu
Teresa Borges
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Sheila Wilson
Melanie Meyer
Rita Pang
Angus Stewart
 

André Sainderichin  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 23:26
Member (2014)
French to Dutch
+ ...
Subscribe NOW May 8

Hello,

A no-brainer!
There's no doubt. You'll have recouped your money in a few weeks.
For me, it got things going, while I tried to develop a clientele of my own. I still get requests from new clients through ProZ.
And some of my oldest clients came to me via ProZ.
Plus you've got all the other services.
And occasional group discounts.

Good luck!
André


Tom in London
IanDhu
Teresa Borges
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:26
Member
English to French
+ ...
ProZ Plus May 8

The initial investment is very low compared to other industries.

You may consider the ProZ Plus membership, so that you can cut on other costs (CPD, CAT tool, invoicing software):

https://www.proz.com/professional-membership/

http://www.proz.com/about-plus-pa
... See more
The initial investment is very low compared to other industries.

You may consider the ProZ Plus membership, so that you can cut on other costs (CPD, CAT tool, invoicing software):

https://www.proz.com/professional-membership/

http://www.proz.com/about-plus-package

Among other things, you get access to an extended video library (past training sessions), an excellent cross-platform CAT tool (CafeTran Espresso) and a translation project management/invoicing software (BaccS).

Just make sure you gain some KudoZ and your profile is as complete and engaging as possible.

If you consider other CAT tools, definitely check out the Translator group buying
- https://www.proz.com/tgb

Jean
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Sheila Wilson
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Making progress May 8

Hello Rachael.

You've been at here for almost six years now, so you should be aware a little that buying a membership does improve your ranking in the language pairs--at ProZ only. While you can increase your chances, considering your current KudoZ activity, you still will be lagging behind most competitors drastically.

So, did you check local opportunities, trying diversification into other places/pairs/specializations/activities--from rewriting, copywriting,
... See more
Hello Rachael.

You've been at here for almost six years now, so you should be aware a little that buying a membership does improve your ranking in the language pairs--at ProZ only. While you can increase your chances, considering your current KudoZ activity, you still will be lagging behind most competitors drastically.

So, did you check local opportunities, trying diversification into other places/pairs/specializations/activities--from rewriting, copywriting, transcreation, mentoring, consulting or interpreting to not so related businesses, yes?

However, do you really know your audience/niche?

Clever fishermen use many tools, trying various baits at different spots and times)
Collapse


Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:26
Chinese to English
Do them all! May 8

Rachael C wrote:

I'm particularly trying to decide whether or not to buy Proz membership, I'd prefer not to at the moment but it seems to be the way to start getting jobs rather emailing CVs everywhere.

Those two shouldn't be an either/or. They should be a both and! And use social media, and use university contacts, and use face-to-face meetings with whoever you can get...

I used Proz membership to boost my client base when I needed to, and it paid for itself very quickly. If you're going to translate professionally, there's no reason not to aim high. So don't sweat the small expenses, because they're help you earn more.

(Another example: I recently re-upped on SDL Studio, which was a bit expensive, but I can't live without it. It saves me hours on almost every job.)


Sheila Wilson
Emma Page
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I agree with others May 8

Rachael C wrote:
I'm particularly trying to decide whether or not to buy Proz membership, I'd prefer not to at the moment but it seems to be the way to start getting jobs rather emailing CVs everywhere.

Just to summarise:
- You need a "shop window" somewhere in the translation high street; ProZ.com is the biggest department store in the street with the highest number of customers.
- You need to occupy a prime spot and present a quality front, so even just paying isn't enough. You need a full quality profile and lots of KudoZ points to elevate your stall to customer eye-level.
- You need to obtain various items of software (e.g. CAT tool) and you need skills (I.e. training) so go for the PLUS membership for best ROI.
- You need to bring customers to your stall by sending your CV/brochure (not a jobseeker's CV) to potential clients, being active on social media where you display a link to your profile, and printing and distributing business cards (among other things).

Applying for jobs that get posted here is just one way to land clients, and not the best way.


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Rita Pang
Dan Lucas
Teresa Borges
Heike Holthaus
Michele Fauble
Sarah McDowell
 

Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:26
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
My thoughts May 8

I am a forum mod and have been on Proz for a while now, so some may argue that my views are biased (and they are), but truth of the matter is, Proz is a business and a business has to make money. If they are selling memberships they need to offer something unique to the people who paid for it, and site ranking is one of the things you'd get when you purchase a membership. Proz doesn't hide this fact either; look up the tutorials and numerous posts about this and you'll see that whatever language... See more
I am a forum mod and have been on Proz for a while now, so some may argue that my views are biased (and they are), but truth of the matter is, Proz is a business and a business has to make money. If they are selling memberships they need to offer something unique to the people who paid for it, and site ranking is one of the things you'd get when you purchase a membership. Proz doesn't hide this fact either; look up the tutorials and numerous posts about this and you'll see that whatever language pair/fields of interest/work etc you pull up with your research, members always rank higher than non-members. Most clients likely won't click past the first 3 pages of search results (if not even page 1), so you can do the math and see if it's worth it.

Back when I was just a wee member on Proz, there used to be something called a jobs only membership, which was considerably lower in price than the full membership, and that's what I got started with. I believed I paid USD 70 per year which was a lot more affordable - I totally understand your concern about investing and getting your money's worth. Soon enough because of my own activities on Proz, getting a full membership appeared to be a natural next move to me, so I did it and it paid off every year. I don't actually get a lot of new clients these days, but the 1 or 2 that come through to me from Proz usually paid off my yearly membership dues with 1 or 2 projects. Long story short, investments like these paid off, but the return may not be immediate. That being said, you do need to invest to make yourself more visible, whether it is a membership on Proz, a website (hosting fees), social media or whatever else. The choice is yours.
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DZiW
Elizabeth Tamblin
Heike Holthaus
Sheila Wilson
Melody Yi
Christine Andersen
Zolboo Batbold
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
cost price/break-even May 8

Generally,
ROI = [Gross_profit + Costs] x 100%
                       Costs
, where a sustainable business has 20%+ ROI.

While the ProZ is living and kicking, the industry averages (rates) here are rather agencies-oriented. Thus, some $0.07/word minus fuzzy/internal/repetition/grid "discounts" may often turn as $0.0125/word or even less--after 45+ days.

Certainly, it may be ok for newbies, students and part-timers, but not for most established businesslike specialists, alas.
Opposite of what they say, earning big has very little to do with working hard (let alone for low rates).
However, many freelancers seem to prefer paying the price for business ignorance.

Rachael, and what exactly--after six years--prevents you from earning more, requiring more investments? What makes you think the efforts will be repaid?
The exp may differ badly.

It appears at the ProZ there're just a few "pure" freelancers who get $0.25+/word NET, so plan your biz carefully.

[Edited at 2019-05-08 21:06 GMT]


Gareth Callagy
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:26
Member (2018)
French to English
0 May 9

I suppose I was lucky in that I had people asking me to do translations before I had even set up my business. I then reached out to my LinkedIn contacts and was given work straight away by a former colleague now working in another agency. She knew the quality of my work and she remembered especially that I was one of the few colleagues who didn't go in for biting and stabbing in the back.
If you don't have contacts like that, well Proz was my next stop once I'd made the most of LinkedIn.
... See more
I suppose I was lucky in that I had people asking me to do translations before I had even set up my business. I then reached out to my LinkedIn contacts and was given work straight away by a former colleague now working in another agency. She knew the quality of my work and she remembered especially that I was one of the few colleagues who didn't go in for biting and stabbing in the back.
If you don't have contacts like that, well Proz was my next stop once I'd made the most of LinkedIn. I have had several jobs, the subscription paid for itself with the first one. At least two clients there are turning into regulars, which I'm delighted at. I'm now at the point where I can raise my rate for those who pay the least without it being a problem, indeed it will free up more time to concentrate on the better clients.
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Rosa Plana Castillón
DZiW
Iwona B. BA (Hons) MCIL
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Good business sense May 9

Rachael, it's obviously worthy, if for success you may need the ProZ membership (e.g. higher local rankings, privileges, courses/conferences, BB, groupbuys/discounts, powwows hosting, teaming up, invoicing etc). Yet if you lack basic skills, persistence, business awareness, planning--or prefer something else... Mind the ProZ branding vs and personal branding too.

On the other hand, w
... See more
Rachael, it's obviously worthy, if for success you may need the ProZ membership (e.g. higher local rankings, privileges, courses/conferences, BB, groupbuys/discounts, powwows hosting, teaming up, invoicing etc). Yet if you lack basic skills, persistence, business awareness, planning--or prefer something else... Mind the ProZ branding vs and personal branding too.

On the other hand, what handy you could buy for mere $120 or $180?
(some 700 words for $.25+/w or many more words for lower rates)
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Rachael Clayton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (Jun 2019)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again. May 9

Tom in London wrote:

Rachael C wrote:

I'm particularly trying to decide whether or not to buy Proz membership, I'd prefer not to at the moment but it seems to be the way to start getting jobs rather emailing CVs everywhere.


Go for it, and work on your profile to make it 100% complete. It's a good investment that you won't regret. Having a good Proz profile, and a specialisation that makes you stand out in a particular sector of the translation market, will get you noticed by prospective clients who are looking for a translator with your specific skills.

Oh, and you can write it down as a non-taxable business expense

[Edited at 2019-05-08 15:43 GMT]


Thank you!

Excellent news about the tax.


 

Rachael Clayton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (Jun 2019)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 9

André Sainderichin wrote:

Hello,

A no-brainer!
There's no doubt. You'll have recouped your money in a few weeks.
For me, it got things going, while I tried to develop a clientele of my own. I still get requests from new clients through ProZ.
And some of my oldest clients came to me via ProZ.
Plus you've got all the other services.
And occasional group discounts.

Good luck!
André


Glad to know I won't be making a loss!


 

Rachael Clayton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (Jun 2019)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CAT tools May 9

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

The initial investment is very low compared to other industries.

You may consider the ProZ Plus membership, so that you can cut on other costs (CPD, CAT tool, invoicing software):

https://www.proz.com/professional-membership/

http://www.proz.com/about-plus-package

Among other things, you get access to an extended video library (past training sessions), an excellent cross-platform CAT tool (CafeTran Espresso) and a translation project management/invoicing software (BaccS).

Just make sure you gain some KudoZ and your profile is as complete and engaging as possible.

If you consider other CAT tools, definitely check out the Translator group buying
- https://www.proz.com/tgb

Jean


Thank you. Do agencies/clients mind if you don't have a big name CAT tool (i.e. Trados)?


 

Rachael Clayton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (Jun 2019)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your posts May 9

DZiW wrote:

Hello Rachael.

You've been at here for almost six years now, so you should be aware a little that buying a membership does improve your ranking in the language pairs--at ProZ only. While you can increase your chances, considering your current KudoZ activity, you still will be lagging behind most competitors drastically.

So, did you check local opportunities, trying diversification into other places/pairs/specializations/activities--from rewriting, copywriting, transcreation, mentoring, consulting or interpreting to not so related businesses, yes?

However, do you really know your audience/niche?

Clever fishermen use many tools, trying various baits at different spots and times)


I joined six years ago to ask where to study, then I went to study and didn't come on ProZ at all.


 
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