Marketing is a very important part of a translator’s career.
Are There Negatives for This Type of Advertising?
Unfortunately, yes, there are negatives with this type of advertising; and possibly the biggest negative is that these sites advertise your competition right alongside you. This also applies to online translation marketplaces and LinkedIn. Now you have a potential online client looking to buy a service that they don’t completely understand; a service like interpretation or translation services, and because they see that there are many people offering the same service (or what looks like the same service), unfortunately, they’re likely to gravitate towards the cheapest option. It’s not all doom-and-gloom, though, because we hear more and more from translation clients who have used the services of UpWork, and other sites, who said that they didn’t necessarily choose the cheapest translator, but read through their advertisement very carefully and chose a person who seemed the best fit for their translation job. And that’s great news. However, when there are 20 different translators for a potential client to choose from, that’s very different from attracting a new client to your website, where the feature of the site is you!
There can be other negatives with these types of sites. The first is that they may use a closed system, whereby you’re not permitted to communicate with clients outside that platform. Also, because you’re using their site, they may take a commission for any work you’re successful in winning. They may even promote bidding by way of a reverse auction on translation jobs, or force you to state a specific per word or hourly rate, with a guarantee that any work you find via their site will be completed for that amount or less.
Don’t Negotiate Rock-Bottom Prices
Another negative is that these sites may only attract clients who are working with very small budgets, or clients searching for a rock bottom translation rate, and both of these are clients that translators could well do without. It’s important that translators place a high value on their translation knowledge and skills because you are professionals, and you’re offering a professional service, so don’t get caught up in negotiating rock bottom rates.
So, in conclusion, sites like UpWork, Craig’s List, and Yelp are sites that are worth a try, but our advice is that translators should not depend on these sites as a source of good, high-quality clients. Of course, there will be translators out there who have discovered great clients on one or more of these sites, and that’s why they’re certainly worth a try. As all experienced translators know, marketing is a very important part of a translator’s career, and marketing on these and other relevant sites should be just a small portion of your overall marketing strategy.