To post or not to post: a new KYW-endorsed campaign

After browsing through social media, listening to our colleagues working on all sorts of different markets, and taking part in numerous discussions both online and offline – when that was still a possibility, that is, – Julia Poger and KYW have realised that the interpreting world was ready, and, in fact, much in need of, a new campaign: #clientauthorized

One hashtag along the same lines of treating our posts with more care already exists: #1ntHUSH. The idea behind this one is that we shouldn’t show off our work on social media to the detriment of our clients’ confidentiality. 

After all, confidentiality is one of our profession’s most basic and sacred rules. 

But what about when we ask the clients for permission to post something about a project or an assignment, and they give it to us? 

Or when they themselves ask us to post about their events from our point of view? 

Both have happened to countless colleagues of ours, and many more have found themselves in situations when it would seem that posting about our work would be not only pardonable but, mind blowing as it is, quite welcome. 

Hence the rather pressing need for a distinction, made even more urgent by the changing times and the fact that everyone seems to be simply beside themselves to be finding their booths and more traditional consoles once again after what has felt like an excruciatingly long break.

So, to differentiate between all those times interpreters just decide on their own to post about their work and those that really have the permission from their client, we have decided to come up with a way that would show the client’s support. 

Which is why we are proud to introduce a new hashtag to the world: 

#clientauthorized

Do you agree? 

This way #1ntHUSH and #clientauthorized could work hand in hand, and this all-important premise of our profession would still be upheld. 

Let us know what you think in the comments below, or better still, share your own examples. 

Stay healthy, stay in touch, and #uncrownthevirus.

Getting together with Troublesome Terps

Sometime earlier on in the pandemic, when we were still on lockdown, and our future seemed even more uncertain than it is now, the four wonderful people behind the Troublesome Terps podcast invited our instructor Julia Poger for a cozy fireside chat about marketing, business, and the art of negotiation.

We all know that sometimes some good ol’ shop talk is in order, and this turned out to be an exciting hour and a half that covered everything from pricing models, to negotiation tactics, and everything in between.

To listen, please follow the link, and let us know what you think!

Confinement Chronicles. Chapter 1. Keeping busy

Dear all,

Being surrounded by vast volumes of new information when we’re working means that we get used to the feeling, and miss it sorely when it stops. As conference interpreters we are addicted to constant learning, which is why it is hardly surprising that the idea of having a quiet and lazy confinement didn’t stick. We were barely two weeks into our respective lockdowns, when we started discussing which language to add next, and which CPD course to do now that we suddenly have the time. 

We here at Know Your Worth have been keeping busy too, and over the past two weeks we’ve had not one, but three highly successful editions of our KYW Lockdown Seminar, talking not only about some of our more evergreen principles, and how we’ve been using them rightly and wrongly, but also about the current situation we’re finding ourselves in. 

Some of us were prepared for this crisis, others much less so, which means we can, and should, use this time to make sure we are better prepared both for now and for when this enforced isolation is over.

We looked into ways in which we can help our existing clients, and we talked about weathering this storm, and moving forward into whatever the future holds. We also discussed how to best prepare ourselves for that future, no matter how uncertain it may seem at times, and we enjoyed an incredibly interactive and positive exchange with all of our participants. 

I didn’t expect the on-line format would be this informative, insightful and interactive. 

Libor Nenutil

True, every group felt very different. Different languages, different concerns, different dynamics. But one thing remained constant: at the end we had all become close, just as close as if we had met in person, and no wanted to hang up. 

Thanks again for a wonderful seminar. I have been sending e-mails to relevant clients today, and had one good result already.

Catriona Howard

We saw that with our first group, and we had the exact same feeling when the time came to say goodbye to the next two. 

Which is why we would like to thank you all for that, and to officially welcome you into the KYW family. 

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We would also like to use this opportunity to announce a new edition of our Lockdown Seminar. Based on your comments and impressions, we would like to tweak the format a little bit, moving from one hour and a half long sessions to two hour long ones. This will give us the possibility to focus even more on some of the pricing and negotiating related aspects of the course that you seemed to be particularly interested in. 

We are an evolving course. These are challenging times, and the next several months won’t be easy. But we are determined to help you through this. An important part of our philosophy is that we adapt to offer a programme that would best suit your needs, and best answer the questions you might have, given the current situation on the market. 

April 27 – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – 1. Your Mindset

April 28 – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – 2. You

April 29 – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – 3. Your Client

April 30 – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – 4. Your Money

All times are listed in Brussels time (GMT+1).

We are currently offering the full webinar series at a special #uncrownthevirus rate of EUR 200, and we are looking forward to sharing these coming weeks with you. 

To sign up, please e-mail us at kyw.seminar@gmail.com, and we’ll walk you through the next steps. 

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 10 people, and we restrict enrollment to those who can make all four parts. 

We will be scheduling more webinars, and releasing more content in the coming weeks, because all of us here at KYW are deeply committed to helping you thrive during this slow period, and on into the future.

Stay healthy, stay in touch, and stay tuned for more updates.

Announcing a KYW Seminar for the Lockdown

Dear all, 

In what is now being referred to more and more often as “the times of the corona”, we have all seen a considerable portion of our assignments disappear, our savings drain from our accounts, and a generally panic-stricken mood set it on all sides, with everyone desperately waiting for life to go back to normal, at the same time wondering if it ever, truly, will. 

As we wrote in our open letter published a few days ago, even if this current lack of income is weighing on us, we cannot give in to depression. 

During our enforced isolation, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves – and we also have more time than we usually do. Which means we can, and should, use this time to make sure we are better prepared both for now and for when this enforced isolation is over.

Which is why our instructor, Julia Poger, is offering a free 

Know Your Worth Taster

March 31st at 4:00 – 5:00 pm Brussels time (GMT+1)

Julia will talk about the basic mindset changes that you should make to have better relations with your clients.

This will be followed by a webinar:

Know Your Worth Lockdown Seminar

April 6 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – 1. Your Mindset

April 7 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – 2. You

April 8 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – 3. Your Client

April 9 – 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – 4. Your Money

All times are listed in Brussels time (GMT+1). 

We will work together on issues that have blocked us from seeing what we can do in these unusual times, and figure out a plan to move forward so we can work and earn both now and when things get back to normal – though it will definitely be a new normal. While principles from the Know Your Worth seminar will be discussed, this will be a more hands-on approach to what you personally can do today.

We are currently offering the full webinar series at a special #uncrownthevirus rate, and we are looking forward to sharing these coming weeks with you. 

To sign up, please e-mail us at kyw.seminar@gmail.com, and we’ll walk you through the next steps. 

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 10 people, and we restrict enrollment to those who can make all four parts. 

We will be scheduling more webinars, and releasing more content in the coming weeks, because all of us here at KYW are deeply committed to helping you thrive during this slow period, and on into the future.

Stay healthy, stay in touch, and stay tuned for more updates.

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An Open Letter from the KYW Team

Dear all, 

In these times of COVID-19, it’s been really hard for us all to see our assignments evaporate, our income dry up, and to hear confusing reports from all sides on when – and if! – our world will right itself and all will go back to normal.

Unfortunately, it looks as if we are in this for the long haul, with at least another 3 weeks to (depending on whom you are listening to) 6 months or more before we can stop the social distancing, etc.

While the lack of income is weighing on us, we cannot give in to depression.  Our countries are starting to move, in some giving tax and mortgage holidays, in others getting cash payments out to everyone.  And we also need to make sure that we are also helping ourselves.

During our enforced isolation, take time to take care of yourselves.  Try out an online exercise class, start that meditation program you thought you didn’t have time for, learn to cook new recipes (food is still available, thank goodness, even if toilet paper is a rarity…)…  

And there are many different online outlets for staying together, if not physically.  There are skypéros (having a drink with friends on Skype), virtual concerts, opera nights and museum tours, webinars, meetups, and enormous amounts of ways to connect and learn online.

We want you to thrive during this slow period, and on into the future – whatever that future will look like, which is why we are thinking about ways of expanding the seminar into something that could help people more deeply and in detail.

We want to keep you all going, and make sure that we can all come out of this ready to explode into action and start – and keep on – earning what we are worth!

Please stay in touch, and so shall we. 

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Winter to Summer on Fast Forward

This year has definitely taken off to a busy start for all of us here at Know Your Worth, and, now that our mini-marathon is over, we’re delighted to sit back, relax, and share with you some highlights from the past month that saw us do four editions in four countries.

Our year started in beautiful Kyiv, that welcomed us for an anniversary edition with delicious food, incredible artwork, and new participants eager to learn more about marketing and negotiating.

We spent two busy days looking into ways to improve your presence on the market and your negotiating techniques, and we also looked at some possible mindset changes, which is probably the right thing to do at the start of any new year, to ensure you not only keep your existing clients and get new ones, but also understand them better to ensure they stay loyal to you, and keep returning.

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This, like our edition there last June, and the one a year ago, would not have been possible without the help and the incredible organizing skills of our local coordinator Andrii Biesiedin.

We then went to Moscow, where we had a one-day intensive training, focusing not only on the Russian market, but also on the European one, looking at strategies that could be applied universally, and brainstorming new negotiating ideas. It was particularly interesting to see our participants share their own stories and experience, and come up with some very creative solutions.

Thank you for the inspiring talk and the great workshop. It was interesting, practical, and motivating for anyone who wants to get insights into the world of marketing and negotiating in the field of interpreting

Elena Kravets

“It saved at least three years of my life.”

Kirill Chereshko

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During our time in Moscow our instructor Julia Poger also spoke at the Global Dialogue Forum, and we would like to thank the organizers for their kind invitation and warm welcome. Julia also gave a taster of her Negotiating seminar during the education portion, and took part in two panels, one called The Interpreter of the Future, and one called International Interpreters: How to Train Them:

It really is impressive to see how the interpreting community in Russia gathers to discuss topics of interest.

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 And on our last day in Moscow it snowed, so we got to see the city in winter!

 We then decided it was time to turn our attention to warmer climates, and headed to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, at the kind invitation of our colleague and KYW alum Heather Adams, before diving even further into summer, and bringing Know Your Worth to Guadalajara.

In Las Palmas we delved even further into the many whys we need to be aware of when talking to clients and even looked into the psychology behind negotiating, taking a more holistic approach to the entire process, while focusing at the same time on the particularities of the regional market.

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And the Guadalajara edition would not have been possible without the hard work and amazing energy of Jesse Tomlinson, who made sure not only our Marketing and Negotiating, but also the Intelligent Note Taking for Consecutive Interpreting went smoothly and without a hitch.

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I am convinced that you never stop learning and that one should always be eager to grow; lack of curiosity is one of the biggest mistakes that can lead to failure. I had the first consecutive interpreting assignment after taking Julia Poger’s Intelligent Note Taking course, and I confirmed that analyzing the speech has a whole new meaning in my mind, and it rocks!

Tania Saldivar Alonso

It was the first time we had both courses back-to-back, and we were happy to see that our participants remained active and energetic throughout, despite the sheer volume of new cases and information, with one of them referring to it as “an inspiring four-day journey”.

It certainly felt the same way for us.

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We are now going to take it easy for a few weeks, but not because we have nothing to do. The opposite, really, as we will be using the time to plan for a busy summer season, and look into a couple of new ideas, which we hope we will be able to present to you in no time.

In the meantime though, thank you so much for staying tuned, thank you for joining the ever-growing Know Your Worth family, and thank you for trusting us with your time, and you business.

We will be back with more news soon. 

Season’s Greetings from the KYW Community

It has been a very busy year for all of us here at Know Your Worth, and we’ve a lot to be grateful for.

We kicked the year off with editions in London and Kyiv, where we’ll be returning to, by the way, in just a little over a week, and we then went on to hold editions in the Hague, Istanbul, Saint Petersburg, Ljubljana, and Montreal. We got to organize seminars in new and exciting locations, and we saw our Know Your Worth family grow even bigger.

We hope you too have had a good year, and we hope we’ll be seeing more of you in the months to come. For now though, enjoy the holidays, and have a brilliant start to the new year!

A Busy Start to a Busy Summer

Most people use their summers to slow down, relax, and go on holidays, but not us, and definitely not the members of our close-knit and constantly growing Know Your Worth family. After all, what better time to dedicate some of your hard-earned free time to CPD, and to think about ways to change and improve the way you run your business?

Which is why we are so happy – thrilled really! – about the way our summer has been going so far. It started sooner than expected, with glorious weather and an invitation from our colleagues at AIIC Turkey and the TKTD to hold an edition in the beautiful and magical city of Istanbul at the end of May.

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The seminar was organized in record time, and we would like to start by thanking our hosts and local coordinators, Bahar Cotur and Asuman Okatan, for doing such a wonderful job and for welcoming us to Turkey. We would also like to thank Ali Can Karamahmut for the organization, Esin Aslan Gurbuz for the coffee breaks, and Cem Kaan Gundogar for the lunches.

Thanks to their hard work and incredible energy we were able to focus on the seminar, and so we spent two truly wonderful days studying the mindset necessary for successful marketing, regardless of your language combination or current market, and looked at ways to better understand not only you potential clients, but also your existing ones, to ensure they stay loyal to you, and keep returning. We firmly believe that one of the most important steps necessary for any marketing or negotiating to work is making sure you understand your existing and potential clients, as well as the why? and the what for? of the game, and that is why we always make sure to cover these topics during our seminars.

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We also talked about pricing and negotiating, covering same basic principles before diving into an in-depth discussion of real-life practices and the steps necessary to building a more sustainable and a much more successful interpreting business. Our participants also had a chance to work on several carefully selected case-studies, and we were delighted to see how well they coped with them, and how ready they were to think outside the box.

The seminar, business-oriented as always, also covered some market-specific issues, and our participants took a very active part in all of our discussions and brain-storming sessions.

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Overall, it was a brilliant edition, and we are very grateful to AIIC Turkey and the TKTD for the invitation.

Julia’s training was just what we needed: We had known for a long time we had to change our mindset and view our relationship with existing clients and prospect in a completely different way. We knew we were all highly competent and qualified, but always assumed the clients had to understand that – somewhat miraculously. Julia gave us the tools to make this change happen, not overnight, not next week, but in the medium to long term. She shared with us her experience and knowledge that would help us work on ourselves, our way of interacting with the client, correctly positioning ourselves as experts in the relationship. It was absolutely worth the money, and more importantly, the time we invested in this seminar. We’ve all seen how critical continuous professional development is, and we are all grateful to her for that…

Bahar Cotur

 

We would also like to wish the TKTD a very happy 50th Anniversary, with many more years of successful work on the market, and a wonderful celebration in December.

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Following our return from Istanbul, we had a short break before our trainer Julia Poger went to Kyiv to teach at a Know Your Worth spin-off event, a seminar on Consecutive Interpreting and Note-Taking.

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It was wonderful to return to Kyiv again, following our edition there in January, and we are already planning another edition there for the winter of 2020 with our wonderful host and coordinator Andrei Besedin, so please stay tuned for more updates. We won’t disappoint.

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And now, with July already upon us, we are looking forward to a very busy and exciting summer, with an edition a month, and at least two webinars in the works.

Come and join us in Saint Petersburg, Montreal, or Las Palmas, and, if you would like to hold a seminar in your area, please contact us via this website, or by contacting the seminar organizer Tatiana Kaplun at kaplun.tatiana@gmail.com.

The Business of Interpreting: FAQ 11 – How do I win the bid?

We’ve all been there, right? We get a phone call with our perfect assignment, all but offered on a silver platter. It’s in our niche, with our ideal customer, we know what the market will bear, and we know we are in the right geographical area. We have all the information the prospect wants, and they are speaking to us one-on-one.

And then… silence. Or the dreaded “thank you, but” email comes – thank you, but we have decided not to go through with this job. Or perhaps – thank you, but we have found someone else who better fits our budget.

Why you don’t want to win the bid

Of course we didn’t win the bid! And frankly, under these circumstances, nor should we have. Someone called us and asked our availability and price. That’s it, nothing else. They didn’t offer any more information, and they didn’t answer any of our questions – if we bothered to ask any.

These are all signs that the prospect was just looking for the service provider with the lowest price.They have limited knowledge about our profession – all they know is that they need someone with our working languages. They assume we are all the same, because they found us on the website of our professional association. So their only point of comparison is price. Even if we volunteer more information, send in a CV, or try to engage them in a conversation, they would still only look at the price. And there is always someone cheaper than us.

That means that to win the bid, we have to be cheaper than anyone else the prospect can find with a quick online search. But do we really want to be the cheapest? It’s a tough position to defend, as someone else could always come in just that little bit cheaper. And it’s not like we don’t have bills to pay. It’s true that we can have a large amount of flexibility in the rates we charge, but if we are always the cheapest then we have to work more hours to pay those same bills.

Moreover, we have to find a partner to work with – interpreting with us, providing the equipment. Which means that the fact that we charged rock-bottom rates will spread to the rest of the market, becoming part of our reputation and brand. And even if we can find someone to work with us at these low rates, we won’t inspire loyalty in our partners.

Surely there’s a better way to win bids?

Don’t worry, it can be done. Perhaps I can illustrate with a personal experience:

A tale of two jobs

Two jobs, both alike in every respect:

two lawyers – let’s call them Lawyer A and Lawyer B – called within a month of each other

to interpret for similar legal jobs – Job A and Job B – with

the same language combination

the same team strength, and

the same type of interpreting.

Legal interpreting happens to be one of the areas where I do a lot of work. I know the pitfalls, so I know what to include in my contract. I know the rates that the market will bear. I know who I’d want on my team. I probably know more than the lawyers about the rules in certain venues.

I sent in my fees and conditions to each of them. I also sent in a CV, and expressed my desire to help.

This is where the story splits:

I found out later that Lawyer A was shopping around. They had spoken with at least one other interpreter, and most probably several. Fair enough.

As you can imagine, I did not get Job A. Lawyer A wrote a polite “thank you, but” email declining my services. Reasons given (to me and the other bidder I know of) were many and strange: they wanted someone closer to the city (where all of us are based), they wanted someone who could better accommodate their client’s schedule (we all could). And they wanted someone who better fit their client’s budget. Ah, now there’s the rub!

Lawyer B, in contrast, contacted only me. Having asked for my fees and conditions, they said everything was fine, and asked that I note down the dates of the event in my calendar. Thank you very much, very happy to do business with you, fait accompli!

Every respect but one

The crucial difference between Lawyer A and Lawyer B is how they found me.

Lawyer A searched my professional association’s website, and wrote to me (and others) from that list. There was no attempt at any personal connection and no relationship at all.

Lawyer B had a need, and asked a former colleague for a referral to a good interpreter. The colleague referred me. Lawyer B then contacted me, gave me the details, and accepted my fees and conditions. There was no bid, nor any competition. There was just a satisfied customer, with whom I stay in touch, giving a recommendation to a former colleague. This meant that from the outset there was a foundation for trust and reciprocity, even before we discussed availability or price.

Start the relationship

To convert your Lawyer As into Lawyer Bs, you must build a relationship. In Lawyer A’s case, I made sure not to send only my fees and conditions, but also a CV that showed my expertise in this field, as well as an email stating that I was ready to help. While nothing came of it this time, perhaps I managed to plant a seed. They may call again for a future client with an appropriate budget, after having had experience with someone with less expertise, or less of a desire to build a relationship.

In the meantime, Lawyer B will not have complete radio silence from me. Nothing too much, but a note now and again to keep me top of mind. If the job gets cancelled, it won’t be due to concerns about my professionalism, but because one of the parties decided not to continue. And by the time we meet in person, I will be cemented in their mind as the best choice they ever made.

Learn to recognize and avoid the reverse auctions out there. Rather, focus on building and maintaining relationships. In the longer-term it will pay off.

Originally published on the blog of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (https://aiic.org/site/world/newsEvents/blog)

A few weeks ago our instructor Julia Poger spoke on the podcast of the American Translators Association’s Slavic Languages Division, talking to Veronika Demichelis and Ekaterina Howard about the Know Your Worth: Understanding Marketing and Negotiating for Interpreters seminar, the benefits of a proactive approach, and the value of CPD and professional training. You can listen to it here:

https://soundcloud.com/atasld/episode-14-interview-with-julia-poger

The podcast covers some common issues with marketing and negotiating that most of us conference interpreters have to face in our daily lives, and Julia generally shares her personal and professional experience in the field.

She also talks about Know Your Worth, the seminar for interpreters that started as part of the Cambridge Conference Interpreting Course back in 2002, soon evolved into a one-day, then its current format. It has now taken place in cities and locations all over the globe, and most of our editions seem to support the age-old idea that all too often people are too comfortable sitting where they are. Interpreters are not that different. It is easy to stay within your bubble, and to remain within your comfort zone, but the market is changing, and the profession is as well. And often all you have to do is change just one or two things in your current approach.

If you want to stop being reactive and start being proactive, this seminar is for you. All it takes it “a simple mindset shift”. And that’s exactly what KYW can do for you.

Try to listen more than you talk, try to understand your clients and your prospects, and why they are looking to hire you. You need to present yourself as an expert, you need to know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and in what way is it different from what everyone else does.

What makes you stand out?

How to think in business terms?

How to avoid being treated as a commodity?

If you want good, solid suggestions as to where to get your marketing facts and advice, then listen to the podcast as Julia shares some of her favourite sources on marketing and negotiating, as well as a few suggestions of courses you might want to consider taking if you’re really serious about marketing and turning your interpreting into a successful interpreting business.

Even if you’re a recent graduate, take a look, or rather a listen, so that you don’t make some very disappointing mistakes when you’re starting out.

And drop us a line if you’re interested in joining us at one of our upcoming editions.