Yesterday’s post was about publishing fees on your website. I’ve had my say, now it’s your turn. Take our poll and let us know what you think! (Or — especially if you select “Other” — tell us in the comments).
Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster.
From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group.
She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options.
Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland.
She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.
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I absolutely share your views about “Price” sections on translators’ websites that do not really say anything, or at least contain the same truisms as anyone else’s site. It must be irritating for a prospective client expecting actual information on rates.
Which is why I expressly stated my rates when I started out two years ago – five price levels depending on the overall complexity of the job, taking all factors into account, plus one “super” level without price capping for extremely tough jobs. I explained all factors that went into pricing and gave examples. I even invited prospective clients to tell me what they thought the price level for their text should be and that I would then consider and accept it or suggest a different level. My hope was that we would then start to talk about the difficulty of the text and its job requirements, shifting away from a price-centred discussion.
What can I say, maybe it was because it was early days for me as a freelancer, but I caved in after a few months with almost no response and took that whole price system down. I was just afraid clients with no idea about what a professional translation costs would be put off by my rates before even contacting me and land with competitors who might charge just as much without giving their rates away on their sites. Nowadays, I am ashamed to say, I have a rather uninformative ‘Price’ section like (almost) everyone else.
Now that I am somewhat better established in the business, I might give that concept another try, though.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alexander. Have you noticed any difference in business since you removed your prices from your site?
I gained a few good clients during the months after taking the price information down, but that may just as well have been a coincidence. After all, you never get to ask those who just have a quick glance at your site and then leave about their motives. Plus, I started out as a freelancer in the middle of recession, which was certainly the major factor for the slow start.
The more I think about it, the more I feel sure that these dire first months were not really due to my naming rates. If anything, it can help keep cheapskates away.
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