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Poll: Are you planning to attend any translation-related events this year?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:06
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Networking Jan 30, 2017

Chris S wrote:

I'm still skeptical.
Then just try it! But be aware that it takes some time to get results. And of course, if you go to an event but don't say a word to anybody and sit on your own in a corner all the time, sure you won't get any results.

I always ask new clients where they got my contact from, so I can make some stats.
Back in 2008, my first full year in business, 52% of my clients came from Proz (or similar) and they made up 75% of my income. Referrals from colleagues or contacts from an event (let's call it networking) made up 7% of clients and 5% of my income.
In 2016, 42% of my clients originally came from Proz (or similar) and they made up 37% of my income, whereas networking brought 39% of my clients and 52% of my income.
I did nothing special for that, except:
- going to events and being very talkative (online too, as you may have noticed)
- occasionally recommending colleagues too, or helping them in other ways.
Which I would do anyway, no matter if it pays back or not.

You don't necessarilly need to go to an event to network, it works online too. I happen to get a referral from a colleague I've never met, and when I thank them, they tell me they read what I write online, here or in other places, and like it and feel we have someting in common, and so they are happy to recommend me. But of course it works even better once you've met people in person. And there are so many other advantages in going to events. Learn new things, new tips. There are some useful things you will only learn in the course of small talk. And some others that people will be willing to tell you face to face, but they will never write down anywhere (like their rates).
At the moment, for instance, I feel a drop in demand in my services and I'm very interested in knowing how things look like for colleagues, if it's just me or if it's a general drop, and if they have done something that helped them out of it. These are things you can discuss online, but again, it works better in real life. Tongues tend to loosen.

[Modifié le 2017-01-30 11:44 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
No Jan 30, 2017

My job is my event!

I don't work with agencies for I coop with direct clients only, so I don't need more clients; I steadily have enough projects as a translator and quite plenty of hours as an interpreter, so I don't need more jobs; nowadays I don't have to go somewhere to learn the related things and news for there're sources like ProZ, FB, LI, and many others; and if I really feel like meeting or dining out, then I'd prefer my people here, not strangers some 500km away.
... See more
My job is my event!

I don't work with agencies for I coop with direct clients only, so I don't need more clients; I steadily have enough projects as a translator and quite plenty of hours as an interpreter, so I don't need more jobs; nowadays I don't have to go somewhere to learn the related things and news for there're sources like ProZ, FB, LI, and many others; and if I really feel like meeting or dining out, then I'd prefer my people here, not strangers some 500km away.

Refer to others? I wouldn't be such an eager carefree gambler, to put it mildly)

[Edited at 2017-01-30 12:01 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes sir, I can boogie Jan 30, 2017

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:
And of course, if you go to an event but don't say a word to anybody and sit on your own in a corner all the time, sure you won't get any results.

In my head, everyone at these events is sitting in the corner. Translators, innit. Like early doors at a nightclub. Nobody wants to be the first to dump their handbag in the middle of the dancefloor.

These are things you can discuss online, but again, it works better in real life. Tongues tend to loosen.

Ah, get them drunk and gain a friend for life. That's more like it!

In 2016, 42% of my clients originally came from Proz (or similar) and they made up 37% of my income, whereas networking brought 39% of my clients and 52% of my income.

Interesting. I'm on 0% for ProZ and networking and 100% referrals from other clients.


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 12:06
Member (2005)
English to German
Define "event" Jan 30, 2017

I plan to attend an online event or two. Offline, not so much - the opposite of a digital nomad is a digital mussel. Clinging (to) rocks!

If I bought a mobile device, I would instantly turn into an immobile device


 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:06
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
? Jan 30, 2017

Chris S wrote:

In my head, everyone at these events is sitting in the corner. Translators, innit. Like early doors at a nightclub. Nobody wants to be the first to dump their handbag in the middle of the dancefloor.
In your head? What do you mean? That this is how you believe it is? Then once again, just go there. I've been to dozens of events, maybe even hundreds, small, big, formal, non formal, in my home town, in my home country, abroad, and I've never seen such a situation happen.
(PS: by the way, not all translators are introverts.)

Chris S wrote:
Interesting. I'm on 0% for ProZ and networking and 100% referrals from other clients.
Hm. Interesting. And where did your first clients come from in the first place? I mean, those who referred you. Or are they no longer your clients? (although this is entirely off-topic ^^)

[Modifié le 2017-01-30 14:07 GMT]


 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:06
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
I actually organise Jan 30, 2017

meetups/powwows (on average 3-4 a year) and I go to conferences when they fit with the rest of my schedule. I find meeting other translators helpful both in terms of ranting to someone who knows what you're talking about - and discussing professional challenges.
Conferences are better for meeting clients and learning completely new things (still happens after all these years in the business).
Sadly, with Trump in office in the US, I will not be crossing the border from Canada (in sol
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meetups/powwows (on average 3-4 a year) and I go to conferences when they fit with the rest of my schedule. I find meeting other translators helpful both in terms of ranting to someone who knows what you're talking about - and discussing professional challenges.
Conferences are better for meeting clients and learning completely new things (still happens after all these years in the business).
Sadly, with Trump in office in the US, I will not be crossing the border from Canada (in solidarity with translator friends affected by the travel ban) anytime in the near future, so no ATA conferences for me this year. I'm looking for something in Europe in September or October instead.
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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:06
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
It is easier than you think Jan 30, 2017

Chris S wrote:

I'm still skeptical.

I wouldn't touch 95% of the translators in my languages with a bargepole even with two pairs of Marigolds on, so how would I identify the other 5% at such a meeting and how would they know I'm not one of the 95%?


When translators get together, they tend to discuss translations and their life in general so it is quite easy to find out who is good at what. And then I can only second Sophie - talk and refer and people will remember and refer you.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure I agree with all you eager-beavers Jan 31, 2017

I was active in the American Translators Association (ATA) for quite a few years. I wasn't a wallflower: I was a committee chair and gave a number of presentations. For me, the main benefit was that I met many nice people, some of whom became lifelong friends. I also learned a lot about the profession. However, I only met one colleague who ended up helping me grow my business. The trips were expensive and took time away from work.

My clients (about 75 of them) have come from contac
... See more
I was active in the American Translators Association (ATA) for quite a few years. I wasn't a wallflower: I was a committee chair and gave a number of presentations. For me, the main benefit was that I met many nice people, some of whom became lifelong friends. I also learned a lot about the profession. However, I only met one colleague who ended up helping me grow my business. The trips were expensive and took time away from work.

My clients (about 75 of them) have come from contacts developed over 25 years working in-house in international organizations, ProZ, word-of-mouth, and my website (murieltranslations.com), in that order.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:06
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same here Feb 10, 2017

Chris S wrote:
I'm still skeptical.
I wouldn't touch 95% of the translators in my languages with a bargepole even with two pairs of Marigolds on, so how would I identify the other 5% at such a meeting and how would they know I'm not one of the 95%?


I have the exact same impression.


 
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