ProZ.com has turned out to be a good website for me to go to, whenever I want to get more clients. The site has its own job board, where clients can post their jobs, but there’s much more to ProZ.com than that. The slogan ‘workplace’ describes it well. I recently upgraded my membership to full member, which gave me access to even more of the workplace functionality. I believe this upgrade has already provided me with extra clients, who have contacted me, instead of me contacting them. I’m still looking forward to seeing all the benefits from this upgrade, but even with a basic, free account, you can still benefit from the internal job board.
Whenever I am looking for new translation jobs I usually start by logging into my ProZ.com account, and on the front page there’s a list of relevant jobs, which have been filtered out from the complete list of jobs, which is very big. The automatic filtering is based on the fields of expertise that I have set up in my personal profile, in addition to language pair, or pairs, and what tools I have reported, that I’m using.
Some people say, that the jobs that can be found here are low paying jobs, but that has not been the case for me. Actually, those of my clients, that pay me my highest rates, are clients that I have found here, if I look at the entire market that I’m aware of, in my particular language pair.
It might not be a place you spend much time at, if you’re well established and have been translated for many years, and have many old clients who trust you, but I have an idea about how this works, when you’re just starting out.
How it Works
Let’s assume there’s a client who receives an extra job. If it wasn’t an extra job, they would just send it off to the their regular translator, and you wouldn’t notice anything – business as usual among the established. But since this is an extra job, the client has the potential to grow the business, and this is were you come into the picture: you want to grow too as a new supplier. If the regular suppliers are already booked, the extra job might very well end up on the job board, maybe even with a rush rate on top, since the client is trying to fit in an extra job, on top of its regular commitments. Which would give you a decent price, even as a new translator.
If there is a rush rate, that you don’t necessarily see, the client would have to take a chance and trust you, that you are good enough to handle this job. But hey, isn’t that what all growth entails? Courage and extra energy.
If you get the job, and complete it successfully, you would have immediate trust, and a good rate. Again, it’s based on the assumption, that this is not the normal way for clients to shop for translations, but I can’t see how it should result in low rates. It could in fact be the opposite. The downside would be the tight deadline, compared to the situation you’re in, when you have an existing relationship with a client and they can fit you into the schedule early on in the process, because they know who to call.
Quality vs. Speed
If it’s true that the jobs are in fact low rate jobs on this board, it could be explained by assuming that the clients themselves are new in the industry, and they haven’t got their business up an running in full speed yet, which would result in less money coming in to pay the translators. It’s probably one big mix of all types of clients, because one day I can meet a client who pays the rate I’m asking for, no questions asked, and the next day, a new client asks me to cut my rate in half, because that is the market they’re looking at. I would have to produce twice as much to keep the same level of income, so why not do that in the first place? Well, because of quality. It takes time to produce quality.