Is ITI Qualified Membership worth it?
Inițiatorul discuției: Haluk Aka, Chartered Linguist (MCIL)

Haluk Aka, Chartered Linguist (MCIL)  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
Local time: 04:20
Membru (2016)
din engleză în turcă
+ ...
Mar 26

Dear Colleagues in the UK, Hi. I’m in a bit of a pickle, and I’d much appreciate if you could share your thoughts about it.

I have been a translator since 1997 (full-time since 2002). In January 2020, I moved my freelance business to the United Kingdom (what a timing, right?). Before I fully establish and grow my business here, pandemic broke out. I had to use most of my seed money for survival (plus monthly google ads burnt a whole in my bank account and yielded absolutely noth
... See more
Dear Colleagues in the UK, Hi. I’m in a bit of a pickle, and I’d much appreciate if you could share your thoughts about it.

I have been a translator since 1997 (full-time since 2002). In January 2020, I moved my freelance business to the United Kingdom (what a timing, right?). Before I fully establish and grow my business here, pandemic broke out. I had to use most of my seed money for survival (plus monthly google ads burnt a whole in my bank account and yielded absolutely nothing), so I am very budget conscious right now. Currently I have ATA and CIoL memberships. I get referrals from ATA (not too much, but enough to cover membership fee and then some) so I am not worried with that. But CIoL did not bring any business whatsoever in the last 3 years I’ve been a full member (although it is good for recognition). Obviously, I need to do more to promote by business here in the UK and therefore I am now considering ITI membership. But, as I said, budget is tight and I don’t want to shell out 565 pounds (total sum for application fee, assessment fee and membership fee) if it will turn out to be another CIoL.

So my question is: is ITI membership worth it (in terms of referrals)? I haven’t been in the UK long enough (3 years AFAIK vs. my 15 months) to have clearance to work with courts etc. What other advice would you have for me in relation to promoting myself?

Thank you for taking time to read / reply. All the best.
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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
Utilizator
din română în engleză
+ ...
Thoughts from my perspective Mar 26

The people who would be best placed to answer this question would be ITI members who work in your language pairs, but I don't know if any of them are on ProZ. I will answer this question from my perspective as an ITI member in a different language pair. I will shy away from giving a "yes/no" answer to your question as there are too many unknowns from my point of view, but I can tell you what my personal experience has been.

Since you say that getting work is your priority, I will fo
... See more
The people who would be best placed to answer this question would be ITI members who work in your language pairs, but I don't know if any of them are on ProZ. I will answer this question from my perspective as an ITI member in a different language pair. I will shy away from giving a "yes/no" answer to your question as there are too many unknowns from my point of view, but I can tell you what my personal experience has been.

Since you say that getting work is your priority, I will focus on that angle. Without knowing anything about the TUR-ENG and ENG-TUR translation markets specifically, of course it's impossible for me to say how many clients out there would be likely to search the ITI's directory for this language. However, in the CIOL's Find-a-Linguist directory, I see that you are one of 34 listed English-Turkish translators. It doesn't surprise me that you don't get any business through it, partly because you are one of nearly three dozen members, and partly because I doubt that the level of demand for certified ENG-TUR translations in the UK will be high; I imagine it would be far smaller than that for certified TUR-ENG translations. In the UK, certified translations from translators who are members of recognised professional bodies tend to be submitted to UK authorities of various kinds - government departments, the courts, the police and the like - and since the language they use is English, I think it stands to reason that the demand will be mainly for TUR-ENG, not ENG-TUR.

If we think about the profile of clients who are likely to use these directories to find linguists, I can say from my own experience that with few exceptions, the clients who contact me are private individuals who need translations of personal documents, especially certificates, and occasionally property-related documents. These jobs tend, on the whole, to be one-offs and small. I get a few every year.

In the ITI directory, I see that the numbers of members listed for TUR-ENG and ENG-TUR are small (fewer than a dozen in both cases), and comparable to the number of members for ROM-ENG, for which I am listed. However, in recent years, I have got less work through the ITI directory than I have through the CIOL directory; in fact, last year, I think I got just one very small job through the ITI directory. If getting work through the directory were my only motivation for being an ITI member, it would be difficult for me to justify staying in, but I have other good reasons for maintaining my membership due to my particular circumstances.

As for promoting yourself in general, I think I will have to pass on that question as I make little effort to market myself and am probably one of the worst people you could ask, but there are regular contributors to these discussions who, I'm sure, could give you good advice if they stumble across this thread, so let's hope they do. If they don't, there have been a lot of discussions about general marketing tips, so you could search for those.
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Aisha Maniar
 

Chris T  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
din suedeză în engleză
+ ...
Slightly off topic but maybe also completely on topic Mar 26

Why can’t you continue working for the clients you’ve worked with for the past 24 years?

 

David GAY
din engleză în franceză
+ ...
Try Mar 26

Why not try it for one year and give up your CIOL membership during this period in order to save money?

[Modifié le 2021-03-26 13:14 GMT]


 

Haluk Aka, Chartered Linguist (MCIL)  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
Local time: 04:20
Membru (2016)
din engleză în turcă
+ ...
INIŢIATORUL SUBIECTULUI
Thank you Mar 26

Peter Shortall wrote:

The people who would be best placed to answer this question would be ITI members who work in your language pairs, but I don't know if any of them are on ProZ. I will answer this question from my perspective as an ITI member in a different language pair. I will shy away from giving a "yes/no" answer to your question as there are too many unknowns from my point of view, but I can tell you what my personal experience has been.

Since you say that getting work is your priority, I will focus on that angle. Without knowing anything about the TUR-ENG and ENG-TUR translation markets specifically, of course it's impossible for me to say how many clients out there would be likely to search the ITI's directory for this language. However, in the CIOL's Find-a-Linguist directory, I see that you are one of 34 listed English-Turkish translators. It doesn't surprise me that you don't get any business through it, partly because you are one of nearly three dozen members, and partly because I doubt that the level of demand for certified ENG-TUR translations in the UK will be high; I imagine it would be far smaller than that for certified TUR-ENG translations. In the UK, certified translations from translators who are members of recognised professional bodies tend to be submitted to UK authorities of various kinds - government departments, the courts, the police and the like - and since the language they use is English, I think it stands to reason that the demand will be mainly for TUR-ENG, not ENG-TUR.

If we think about the profile of clients who are likely to use these directories to find linguists, I can say from my own experience that with few exceptions, the clients who contact me are private individuals who need translations of personal documents, especially certificates, and occasionally property-related documents. These jobs tend, on the whole, to be one-offs and small. I get a few every year.

In the ITI directory, I see that the numbers of members listed for TUR-ENG and ENG-TUR are small (fewer than a dozen in both cases), and comparable to the number of members for ROM-ENG, for which I am listed. However, in recent years, I have got less work through the ITI directory than I have through the CIOL directory; in fact, last year, I think I got just one very small job through the ITI directory. If getting work through the directory were my only motivation for being an ITI member, it would be difficult for me to justify staying in, but I have other good reasons for maintaining my membership due to my particular circumstances.

As for promoting yourself in general, I think I will have to pass on that question as I make little effort to market myself and am probably one of the worst people you could ask, but there are regular contributors to these discussions who, I'm sure, could give you good advice if they stumble across this thread, so let's hope they do. If they don't, there have been a lot of discussions about general marketing tips, so you could search for those.


Thank you Peter. You made some very valid points and I will consider these. Yes, as you pointed out, CIoL have 34 members in my language pair. Actually, I am one of 5 or 6 Chartered Linguists of CIoL in my language pair but for some reason they do not prioritize Chartered Linguists in their listings.

Chris S wrote:

Why can’t you continue working for the clients you’ve worked with for the past 24 years?


Thank you Chris. Because my portfolio consisted mainly of clients from Turkey and I can't continue working with them for various reasons: Firstly, I sold my translation agency before moving here and signed a non-competition agreement with the new owner -so, old client portfolio is gone. Secondly, the rates in Turkey are much lower -I can work all day, every day, and still be unable to make enough money to live in the UK. Thirdly, my clients in Turkey wouldn't go through all the trouble of making international payments (no PayPal in Turkey and bank fees are high). But also, most importantly, it makes more sense to work with people / companies in my locality.

David GAY wrote:

Why not try it for one year and give up your CIOL membership during this period in order to save money?

[Modifié le 2021-03-26 13:14 GMT]


Thank you David. This might be something I try if I'm unsure after hearing from people here. However, I need to have good reasons to make an additional 400-450 pound one time payment to ITI membership.


 

Chris T  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
din suedeză în engleză
+ ...
Aha Mar 26

Haluk Aka, Chartered Linguist (MCIL) wrote:]
Thank you Chris. Because my portfolio consisted mainly of clients from Turkey and I can't continue working with them for various reasons: Firstly, I sold my translation agency before moving here and signed a non-competition agreement with the new owner -so, old client portfolio is gone. Secondly, the rates in Turkey are much lower -I can work all day, every day, and still be unable to make enough money to live in the UK. Thirdly, my clients in Turkey wouldn't go through all the trouble of making international payments (no PayPal in Turkey and bank fees are high). But also, most importantly, it makes more sense to work with people / companies in my locality.

Ah, now I understand your problem. I am not an ITI member but my instinct is that it would not bring in much work. My experience is that the ability to sell is generally more important than what you’re selling.


 

Tom in London
Regatul Unit
Local time: 04:20
Membru (2008)
din italiană în engleză
Oho Apr 2

Chris S wrote:

..... My experience is that the ability to sell is generally more important than what you’re selling.


Like you would know.


 

Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
Regatul Unit
Local time: 04:20
Membru (2014)
din olandeză în engleză
+ ...
Not necessarily Apr 2

Haluk Aka, Chartered Linguist (MCIL) wrote:

Dear Colleagues in the UK, Hi. I’m in a bit of a pickle, and I’d much appreciate if you could share your thoughts about it.

I have been a translator since 1997 (full-time since 2002). In January 2020, I moved my freelance business to the United Kingdom (what a timing, right?). Before I fully establish and grow my business here, pandemic broke out. I had to use most of my seed money for survival (plus monthly google ads burnt a whole in my bank account and yielded absolutely nothing), so I am very budget conscious right now. Currently I have ATA and CIoL memberships. I get referrals from ATA (not too much, but enough to cover membership fee and then some) so I am not worried with that. But CIoL did not bring any business whatsoever in the last 3 years I’ve been a full member (although it is good for recognition). Obviously, I need to do more to promote by business here in the UK and therefore I am now considering ITI membership. But, as I said, budget is tight and I don’t want to shell out 565 pounds (total sum for application fee, assessment fee and membership fee) if it will turn out to be another CIoL.

So my question is: is ITI membership worth it (in terms of referrals)? I haven’t been in the UK long enough (3 years AFAIK vs. my 15 months) to have clearance to work with courts etc. What other advice would you have for me in relation to promoting myself?

Thank you for taking time to read / reply. All the best.


Nobody can give you a definitive answer on this as we're all different. I do get enquiries through the ITI directory from time to time, but if you're already paying for IoL membership I'm not sure that adding ITI membership on top of that will be the best use of your money.

As with anything, though, membership of a professional organisation is just the start point - your success will depend upon what you do with it in terms of how you present yourself in the directory, how much networking you do, whether you can spare time to get involved in running a local/subject network, etc. Most forms of marketing require a more active approach than just paying your money and expecting the jobs to roll in.


Jana Teteris
 


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Is ITI Qualified Membership worth it?






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