Hi everyone! I have a question for the clients, if you guys could please help me out...
I always like to ask questions on the proposals I sent, first because I really want to know as much as I can about the job and the client, and second because I believe it is a good way to show interest, to show that I chose to apply for that job for a reason.
Do you, as clients, think it is a bit too straightforward to do that? Does it bother you? Are there questions that should be off limit?
This is especially tricky for me on job descriptions that don’t have many details, but still could be promising (for instance, if someone wants a translation of a scientific article on biology, which is right up my alley, but doesn't say much else).
Is it alright to send a proposal with questions to find out more about the job, but to back off if it doesn’t suit you; or would that be rude?
I know that's a lot of questions, so I thank you all in advance for your answers.
If you ask pertinent questions in a proposal, it shows you are more intelligent and more engaged with the project than 95% of the other applicants.
Most applicants are pretty dismal, and demonstrate no knowledge of the project.
I can't think of any way that legitimate questions would be held against you by any reasonable client.
re: "Is it alright to send a proposal with questions to find out more about the job, but to back off if it doesn’t suit you"
I think it's totally okay.
I'm both a freelancer and client, so I've found that there's a need for balance.
As a freelancer, you want to show interest and expertise, which is necessary to win good clients over.
But as a client, I've seen that people ask a ton of questions and most of them are basic and not very thoughtful. I imagine that for some clients this can be a little intimidating, especially during the first interaction.
I think that if you can get a good balance (one or two well-thought-out questions), you'll be ahead of the game. The type of questions it is appropriate to ask will depend a lot on the type of client (a pro ho needs some assistance or someone who's hiring because they don't know how to do the work themselves).
For example, for vague descriptions, I ask simpler questions just in case ( because a more in-depth question could confuse or scare off a client who isn't into the technicalities of a project).
As for asking just to get more info, it is absolutely within your rights to decline if you are not a good fit. Of course, tact is important when explaining this, but it isn't rude to decline.
I ask questions that pertain to my ability to give an accurate estimate and set the right contract price before I start work. A client would prefer you ask questions rather than give a low estimate, then ask for more $ after work started because you didn't get clear on what they want.
When I ask a question, I also give them the budget options. For example, "Do you want images embedded with the copy? If so, will you provide them or will I need to locate images. If you provide images, the cost to embed is... For an additional fee of _ I'll locate images and video for you."
Bottom line, ask questions that help the client understand the value you provide, and consider aspects of their project that they may have missed or options they didn't know were available.
Patricia, I'm a client in your field (although not specifically biology translation). If you are asking sensible, relevant questions that show you have carefully read the job, are interested in doing it, and want more information to help with your bid...And you *also* address in general why you are the best choice to do the job etc (i.e. your cover letter is not just questions but also includes regular cover letter stuff)....Then like Preston said, you are ahead of the pack and will rate a closer look.
If you're just asking questions for the sake of asking questions, or you ask questions that are already answered in the job post, then I would skip over you.
Hi, i'm a freelancer as well and i believe clients want to eventually understand "who you are" (and from there what you can add to my business) rather than "what you say" and use this for their hiring decision. So, you can be "someone who is genuinely interested in the job" by asking relevant questions and that would be a big plus!
In our initial interaction with a new client i believe all we are selling/buying is trust! Because thats what we initially need to start building the relationship. So let's consider this sittuation :
- As a client i post "I need a translator in biology field"
Freelancer A : sends a full page text on what a great translator they are (but no mention of biology)
Freelancer B : sends "That's great because i am indeed a translator in biology field! I'd love to know more about your project over a quick zoom call and from there we can see if i can add value to your project"
I trust freelancer B more! There are stronger signals that i will be able to get the genuine interest and attention as well as high quality work (that comes from someone who can put the needed effort and energy).
I hope this perspective helps,