I've recently started recommending other freelancers to my clients when I'm booked up. I felt it's helpful to clients and also to others I know who are perhaps short on work. However I'm curious as to how people work with referring to protect their own interests.
- If you were given a referral do you take any future work from that client, or would you check with the person who initially passed that client to you?
- Rates, do you discuss with the person you're referring just to make sure you're in parity in terms of pricing?
- Do you only refer people who are close friends, or for clients who you have a very strong relationship with?
- Would you only refer if something felt specialist or outside of your remit?
A couple of months back I came unstuck by point one and two. I had an agency client I'd worked with for around 3 years go with an animator I refereed a few months before when I was booked up. I questioned it and found out we had a disparity in rates, he was half my rate, the client project was simple so it became way more profitable to the agency to use him instead.
Obviously that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and it's difficult to see what I'm gaining from referring now as I was free at the time and may have lost a client as well as the work.