I don’t recommend you send a referral to a freelance site. Let me explain why.
Let’s say you are a client in need of a service: transcription, audio/video editor, graphic design, logo creation, virtual assistant work, et cetera. You are not sure of what company to use or of any solopreneur that might be a good fit for your needs, so you put a job bid out on a freelance site.
In short order, you find a freelancer (on a freelance site) that appears to be a good fit. You go ahead with the agreement and hire them to perform the service. That person performs the service for you and does a GREAT job. You’re excited; it worked out really well.
Your satisfaction likely isn’t coming from the processes and procedures of the freelance site itself, but that of the freelancer and the high quality of work that they had performed. In fact, your satisfaction level was so high that you don’t forget about that freelancer. You might even go back to that freelancer on several occasions to perform the same or similar services.
At some point in the future–whether talking with a colleague, others in a group forum (such as Facebook), or maybe your own client–you become aware that they are also in need of someone to perform that same or similar service and ask whether you can refer them to a person or company. Of course, the first person that pops into your mind is that freelancer who did a GREAT job for you.
PLEASE do not send that referral to the freelance site! Often I hear people say, “Oh, just check out _________” –insert name of freelance site here. Chances are you’re not helping that colleague or client out at all! They will have to go through the same vetting process, weeding through good and bad freelancers until they find one that will deliver consistent, high quality services.
PLEASE do not give that referral the freelancer’s freelance site link! Why? Because, if at all possible, cutting out the third party will not only save the freelancer those extra fees, but you also might save your own colleague or client some fees as well. While some freelance sites only charge the freelancer a fee, there are a few that charge the client too.
I understand that, in some situations, clients and/or freelancers may only want to work through a freelance site, and that’s okay. That’s your choice. But, there are many reasons why it’s a great idea to be able to work with clients directly.
Again, if you are a client and you’ve had a wonderful experience with a freelancer through a freelance site, think twice before you send the referral to the freelance site or to the freelancer through the site link. Please take that extra moment and, if possible, give that referral the freelancer’s website link, direct email address, phone number, or even just point them to the freelancer’s social media page such as Facebook or Twitter.
It’s a great bonus that is not costing you any money, just a little bit of time, and it’s a BIG thank you to that freelancer because you’ll be saving them that extra third party fee. And, in some situations, you’ll be saving your client or colleague a little bit of a fee as well. Referrals are such an important part of building an online community and are very appreciated.
I’d like to say thank you to each and everyone who has sent referrals to me. They are very important and appreciated. Thank you.