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Presents Webinar at on the theme of The Art, Science and Commerce of Bidding.

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Presentation on theme: "Presents Webinar at on the theme of The Art, Science and Commerce of Bidding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presents Webinar at on the theme of The Art, Science and Commerce of Bidding

2 Discussion Schedule and Tone Two modules will be covered in approximately in one hour There will be Q/A sessions after Module II Module I will provide the inner dynamics of the Freelance Marketplace Module II would be a series of tips, examples and actionable input A List of Further Reading is given at the end of the presentation A Free E-Book – Wordsmith Book of Business – Journey of a Linguist in Translation Business is enclosed

3 Welcome to Module I Highlights : Overview of Freelance Marketplace Why does a Job come for bidding ? [ The Outsourcers Need ] Why does a Freelancer Linguist Bid ? [ The Supplier Expectation ] Role of the Platform / Market Dynamics Key elements to communicate and convince that you deserve Bidding is not an event but a process Understanding the idea of winning a bid

4 Module 1 : Freelance Marketplace – Overview Complex layers of competition : between suppliers, between providers and between each other Fluid Nature of Roles – provider and supplier Zero Barrier of entry in the marketplace Self regulated and hence delicate balance Weakening geographical advantages (and disadvantages) Experiment with new business models Masquerading [ Big as small and Small as big ] Issues of Trust and Trust Models Foreign Exchange Rate Volatility Unusual Entrants : a high-school student experimenting, a senior corporate manager searching for a different career path The Market Platforms and their characteristics / policies, e.g proz

5 Module I: Why does a Job come for Bidding ? [ Looking from the Outsourcer Side] Scenarios – Major Ones The skill is NOT DIRECTLY available with the Outsourcer The skill is available, the PRICE is the issue The skill and price are fine, VOLUME overflow Potential Job but not telling as a POTENTIAL one Anticipated Supplier Conflict, PRO-ACTIVE Measure Urgency and Crisis : REACTIVE

6 Module I: Why does a Job come for Bidding ? Scenarios – Additional Exploring a way to increase PROFIT MARGIN – Reverse Auction Outsourcer lacking information : CROWD SOURCING [ Intention genuine] Competition Scanning and gathering intelligence [ Intention different from what actually expressed] General Database Extension [ non-job] Signpost In Module II, we would discuss ways to identify the scenario(s) the job belongs to and taking appropriate action

7 Why does a Freelance Linguist bid for a particular Job ? Scenarios – Major The Linguist thinks that she/he has the requisite skills and experience He/She is available He/She likes the project He/ She expects, with a strong information asymmetry that his/her offer would match the requirement Because a notification has come Because it is considered good to bid – And bidding does not cost anything (unlike / Because some marketing guru or book has advised that you need to send 50 marketing messages everyday ! None of the above

8 Why does a Freelance Linguist bid for a particular Job ? Scenarios – Less Frequent but significant Making a Contact - Estimated high value client Seeking Permission – Building the permission asset Building a Relationship – The greatest asset Solving a problem – To be a competent friend rather than some soldier in the army of freelancers Anticipating something which the outsourcer did not or was not able to express – pre-cognition Using key phrases/ keywords to make long term impact Seeking Feedback [ extremely helpful for a new entrant in the market]

9 Module I : Role of the Platform / Market Dynamics Bidding : the process of matching need and expectation is NOT new Platform implies Internet (as a Technology as well as a Workspace), the Facilitators (proz, TC ) and the Trust and Payment Models Trust Models : Certification, Feedback, WWA, Kudoz, Contribution etc. Real Time and Public Domain Data Verifiability Social Networks and what is the buzz there Your online Identities and the linkages Cost to access the platform and the cost to bid Analytics and Data Mining Flow of Information across channels Specific Project Related special parameters

10 A Role Play – Consider yourself being an Outsourcer Consider You have decided not to do a project in your pair by yourself today and you are going to post this as a Job in proz Job – IMAGINE project : A PDF document – approx 5000 word needed in 2 days as per source file You have received 20 bids in first 2 hours. You have received 10 more bids in next 4 hours Many bids need at least 5 minutes to read [ Long paragraphs, attachments] You note that many wrongly address you or use Sir /Madam whereas your bid had your name and click on that tells who you are in detail Many have a subject line which does not include your Job reference number and instead writes linguists marketing tagline, for some – unrelated to the job posted or vague

11 Role Play – Contd… Some are completely unrelated to the Job you posted Some does not talk about exact time of delivery, only this – we will deliver on time Some does not talk clearly about the fee or does not mention it at all Few sound too desperate Few dont ask relevant questions, like : a. The text cannot be copied from the PDF, b. what about the format ? c. Do you need DTP ? D. Which variant of Portuguese or Chinese ? E. Do you have any specific requirement of fonts ? (Unicode / non- unicode) ? Few ask that they are ready to go ahead as soon as you confirm. Same as above and ask for sending the PO if you want them to go ahead How would you decide ? How do you feel ? And the time is ticking………

12 Module I : Project Imagine…. How does an Outsourcer Feel while he /she looks at the inbox when your bid falls in ?

13 ROLE PLAY In 95% of the cases, The Outsourcer Feels same as you, not similar As You felt while deciding whom to assign the 5000 word IMAGINE project. Too many choices, too many similarities, too much information, too much uncertainties……..

14 Module I : Conclusions This Role-Play Exercise makes it reasonable to conclude 1.The complexity of Decision-making for an Outsourcer is not easy, neither comfortable, very demanding and risky. 2.To win a project through bidding increases proportionally in understanding and the situation the outsourcer is in and acting the way to provide comfort level. 3.Winning a project is fine, but finest way to win in a bid is to keep the Outsourcer away from bidding place 4.Get the Outsourcer addicted to high-quality, high-comfort environment of your service, presence and perception of you.

15 Module I : Review Principles, Need and Expectation of Bidding parties remain same but the current online environment make new rules (and new ways to use them for your advantage) Bidding happens across segments : Not all offers are for all and not all will bid for all Bidding is a process, guided by available technology and platform dynamics to match the need of outsourcer and expectation of suppliers Due to factors like time, information asymmetry and available choices, there is no perfect or imperfect match Decision Making for a Outsourcer is complex, risky and troublesome process To win a bid is good, to understand the clients situation is much better To keep the client away from bidding place to continuing to do so is the Perfect Art !!!!!!!

16 Module II Highlights Key Parameters to consider while bidding Indicative Templates Tips – Operational and Psychological How to convert an apparent failure into consistent winning ? Keeping an eye on the final perfection of Bidding : Thus they lived happily thereafter !

17 Module II: Key Parameters -I Research the Outsourcer Dont bid just because the job matches your profile and / or it does not cost to bid. Restrain the temptation. Try to find out the segment and the decision maker Check the Job History of the Outsourcer as well as all credentials and rating Bidding is an event, play it that way If you have decided to bid, put your bid early. Write only the essentials in the bid : improve the subject line Essentials of the bid are : Why you, your take on the deadline, relevant questions that show you know, your fee in most clear manner, payment mode you prefer/use, a link to your publicly viewable ratings and feedback All contact information including Time Zone Write in bullet points and not in paragraphs. Highlight or italicize the key information

18 Key Parameters – II Research to keep a list of outsourcers and wait for opportunity Address the person by name in the bid – dont mis-spell names/title – thats a very cardinal error Seek Permission : Dont send attachments – CV and all in the first letter – instead send a link with a permission request Tell briefly as much as to show that for this project, how much value you can add Address the urgency, if there Be very clear in your price quote, when there is an area of different interpretation If you ask questions in your bid, please provide options Use pre-cognition, research, dialogue, other information posts to find out the segment in which the bid belongs : potential job, supplier conflict, market scan, urgency / crisis.

19 Indicative Templates – I Subject : Job No 5555 – X > Y – Experience and Understanding of a native professional Dear Mr. John Smith, In anticipation of large number of bids you might have received, let me very brief : 1. Your experience, competence etc [ 2 to 3 lines ] – Why you/ self intro ? 2. Deadline compliance, Time of delivery, Format, Quality aspect, Credentials – Key Parameters 3. We would use the European variant. Kindly confirm. We would have a review as well. – Value Add / You know 4. We would deliver as per format and if you need DTP as well, please let me know – Informing further 5. My fee is $x per word / source word and and * days payment term – Payment Terms 6. Your Full Contact Information / General Availability with Time Zone

20 Indicative Templates – II ( Post Bid Period ) Subject : Job No 5555 – Consideration for future projects Dear Mr. John Smith, I happened to write having seen your advertisement. I was not in a position to quote at that time for the specific project. However, I am submitting the following hoping to be considered in future : Self Intro / Competence / Experience Credentials Value Addition Indicative Price of services Contact Time Zone

21 Indicative Templates – III (For beginners / New Entrants) Subject : Job No 5555 – Consideration for future projects and Feedback Dear Mr. John Smith, Ref Last project, I happened to bid and my bid was not successful. I am a new entrant but I am passionate about my work. I understand your busy schedule but would be immensely grateful if you can share as what made my bid not getting selected. This would help me to improve myself and may be able to assist you in your valuable projects. A very short brief of mine is attached as below Self Intro / Competence / Experience Credentials Value Addition Indicative Price of services Contact Time zone

22 Indicative Templates – IV New Outsourcer [ Check No of Jobs posted by the Outsourcer metric by research ] Subject : Job No 5555 – Quality, Cost and Convenience Dear John Smith, Ref. as above, I would like to put my bid for this project and I can assure you I am going to provide not only a piece of translation but a comprehensive support for the project. Self Intro / Competence Credentials Value Add : Stress here about comfort and convenience you are going to provide Inform that you know – Being new, they would depend more on someone knowledgeable Pricing Contact Time Zone

23 Failures – How to build Pillars of Success A. I made bids but was not answered…… B. My bid was rejected with a cause C. My bid was rejected without any cause Case A and Case C are fundamentally same for you as far as this specific project is concerned. However, in terms of relationship and future value, Case B has already provided you with an invaluable permission asset : An email from a decision maker with a context !

24 Bid Failures : Change of Media It might so happen that your email had a bad luck ! The clients mailbox had overflown just before Your bid was all fine but client assigned a few minutes back Something else…. Change Media…. [ The Medium can modulate the Message ] Design a Paper Brochure / Nice CV Post the brochure and a handwritten letter to the client by normal post You know the decision maker : The Person who posted the Job The person who sent an email to you

25 The Psychology of Bidding – Freelance side Bidding is complex, risky and troublesome for Outsourcer Bidding is strenuous, tense and psychologically draining for the Freelancer ( To be or not to be successful is the question) There is a common interest for both the Outsourcer and Freelancer not to go for bidding for each project Repeated Failures or Un-realistic expectation can put ones spirit in the low One can even become depressed looking sometimes at the unfairness of it One can find Outsourcers as unfair, rude and even outright liar and unethical The best way to bid is to eliminate the uncertainty associated with the bidding process itself

26 The Most Confidential Knowledge about Bidding Look at Bidding as a stepping stone. Find, relate, acquire and retain clients – Keep them away from bidding ! Research to find clients you would like to have Focus on the Jobs they are posting New Job posters are very good targets Review your bidding techniques if there are repeated failures Failures are not important, its psychological aspect on you is more serious Build relationship and permission asset from all failures.

27 Summary Review Be selective in bidding. If you decide to bid, bid early Dont write paragraphs, maintain building block approach with bullets or numbers [ Why you – credentials – Value Add – Price – Contact-Time Zone ] Remember the Role Play as Outsourcer [ Dont Do Unto others what you dont want to be done to you ] Getting a project is good but building a relationship is much greater achievement Use the permission assets (email/ contact person name, postal address) acquired from bids (failed ones) Review your Bidding Process periodically Pay special attention to the Name / Title / Initial of the Outsourcer. Double Proof it ! The Perfect Bid is to convert an Outsourcer saying Bye Bye to bidding platform for your pair / s

28 Further Reading Practitioners Tips for Email Marketing in Language Business - An essay which touches to tell Quality in the story form How to market your marketing message over Social Networking Noise – A Practitioners Primer Wordsmith Quality Model WQM 10 - A short essay which narrates the 10 point Quality Model more elaborately. Price as Signature for Freelance Translators The Wordsmith Book of Business by Pritam Bhattacharyya - My own chronicle of developing the language business from scratch. Seth Godin Blog : Arguably the most influential Marketing Thinker of our times. Read his blog here at


30 Thank You Me and my team members at, Thank you for your time, patronage and patience. Please send your feedback. As a customer, your feedback is the best way to deliver better. Give your feedback at proz or here at

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