As you know, Smartcat allows you to find new customers with least effort. But the magic works both ways: If you bring your own clients to the platform, this will give you a number of competitive and professional advantages, which we will discuss in this article.
Posted by Vladimir Zakharov on November 16, 2016
I know what you might think: "They want me to bring my own client to a platform where they will be able to find thousands of other translators? No thanks."
Been there, done that. As a translator, I, too, hesitated before sharing the gem of Smartcat with my existing customers. But in the end the opportunities outweighed the fears. Here are the main factors that made me make my choice so you can make yours:
1. Communicate in real time and in context
One of the biggest problems in customer communications is staying in context. Your questions on the original; customer's questions on your translation; answers to questions and questions to answers — all these form an avalanche of emails submerging the both of you and leading to lost threads and unresolved issues. But in Smartcat, you can add comments to segments that will never be lost. Moreover, you can add them on the go, and the customer can come back to them at any time — just as if it was a shared Google document.
2. Receive feedback to get more customers
If a customer hires you as a freelancer on the Smartcat marketplace, they will be able to add a quality rating and a review of your work. Once they pay for the job, the rating and review will be added to your profile. This will in turn boost your search ranking, bringing you even more orders from other Smartcat customers. Needless to say, getting positive feedback is much easier from an existing customer, so you can get this competitive advantage with a relative ease.
3. Show that you are not afraid of competition
When you bring your own clients to a platform where they can find thousands of translators, it's like saying, "I am not afraid to give you a choice. I am confident in the quality of my work, and I don't mind your checking out all the other options before making the educated decision to hire me." After all, we translators must compete (if at all) not by hiding each other from our respective customers but by providing a service that will make them want to come back to us.
4. Give the customer a "plan B"
One of the main reasons customers can be reluctant to hire freelancers is that they don't feel confident. What happens if you suddenly get ill (god forbid) or otherwise unavailable? That's why they go to an agency that does give them this confidence. On Smartcat, however, they can always be sure that if anything goes wrong they will be able to assign the document to another translator, with as least haste and hustle as possible.
5. Earn fifty bucks
I didn't want to mention this earlier, because monetary motivation should never be the main one, but you can earn $50 for each onboarded coporate user you bring to Smartcat through our affiliate program. What does "onboarded" mean? For corporate users, it means that they have translated more than 100,000 words within one month. That's peanuts for an agency, and quite possible for a direct client, too.
If I managed to convince you, keep in mind that there are three ways to bring your own clients to Smartcat:
- By having them hire you as a freelancer on the platform.
- By having them add you to their corporate account.
- By adding them as a proofreader to your corporate account (it's free as well).
Each option have its pros and cons. If you are hesitating which one to choose, feel free to ask for an advice or clarifications in the comments!