General Question

calculust's avatar

What's an appropriate finder's fee to charge for referring web work to freelancers?

Asked by calculust (53points) April 27th, 2009

I’ve been connecting a lot of people lately for free. I know it’s appropriate to charge a finder’s fee but I’d like to know what the standard amount is.

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20 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

As a designer, I’ve never seen “finder’s fees” in 25 years. If you are acting as Art Director or some kind of hands-on liason you’re eligible for a cut of the fee, but not for just passing along a referral.

squirbel's avatar

Same. Finder’s fees are not appropriate for the freelance web design/developer field. If you were of some position where you find constant work for the designer, then yes, you would be entitled to a cut.

richardhenry's avatar

Agreed. I’ve never spoken to anyone who felt that referring someone to a particular designer or developer warranted a fee. It’s also a shady practice that will leave a sour taste in the client’s mouth if they find out that your recommendations are really just going to the highest bidder.

Say you run a branding/advertising agency and you’d like to form a partnership with a web development company so that you can refer your clients to them for websites; that’s totally different.

Amurph's avatar

I disagree with everyone here, while you shouldn’t recommend to the “highest bidder” at all, there is nothing wrong with obtaining a small “finders fee” from the people you are recommending.

The way my group of contacts does it, the person “receiving” the job offers money to the person who “finds” it, depending on the pay rate and term of employment. This really works well with fellow freelancers as situations are often reversed.

If you, or other people, are not comfortable asking for / offering money, you can also make sure to recommend each other, pass each others’ work around, or even just buy lunch.

Of course, you should never recommend someone for a position unless you think they’re the best for the job. More important than fees, or work, is your reputation.

squirbel's avatar

I disagree.

Most clients who come to you [the designer] as a referral are not large accounts. They don’t pay a designer much at all, so cutting a piece off the top is an insult because the account isn’t worth piddles.

I rarely accept referrals anymore.

richardhenry's avatar

@Amurph What you’re talking about sounds like an overflow arrangement between freelancers, not simply “hooking people up”.

PupnTaco's avatar

If I was asked to pay a fee, I’d never recommend that person in turn. Quickest way to put the kibosh on a potential long-term relationship.

fireside's avatar

The only time I can see a fee is when the job is sold by the time the client is “referred” in which case you are basically acting as their agent and sales team. Sales is a valuable role for freelancers who may not have the time or the communication skills to sell their own work. It should also include a detailed list of specs and defined scope of work.

But if you are just telling the potential client to talk to someone else who has to go through the whole process of showing samples of work and selling them on the service, that is not the same thing.

dynamicduo's avatar

I would say the appropriate fee is $0.

I do not believe it’s appropriate at all to collect a finder’s fee unless you have actually set up yourself as a company where you do exactly this (connect freelancers and people looking for work).

goose756's avatar

I don’t think a finders fee is appropriate here.. all you are doing is establishing relationships between people. By referring someone you are developing your relationship with that person who needs work, you’re helping them out… in no circumstances should you expect such a reward. Unless of course a few people stated above, if you are employed as someone who finds work for a freelance designer, then a fee could be charged based on the extensiveness of the site, but this would be the only situation that I see a “finders fee” being suitable.

richardhenry's avatar

Also in order to collect a fee of any kind, you would need to have a contract with the person getting the work prior to making any connections whatsoever. You can’t hook someone up with a designer and then be all like “so hey, how much of that is for me?” Not cool. But like I said; “finder’s fees” are a silly idea anyway, in most cases. They cheapen business relationships.

Amurph's avatar

richardhenry – this may be the case, but we’re really not that organized. I’m speaking from a different field, however, and my experience may not be applicable here. Freelancing is tricky no matter what, and my field (film & TV) is especially tough when everyone and their brother is in the running for a job. My friends and I just do this to help each other out.

richardhenry's avatar

@Amurph It’s totally different to asking for a fee when you simply recommend someone, though. Especially for someone who isn’t a web developer/designer themselves.

Amurph's avatar

Shrug – ok, bowing out.

YARNLADY's avatar

My son is a web designer, and he says that when a friend refers a client and he gets paid for the work, he offers the friend a small thank you $ in hopes of getting more business.

Response moderated
mrgettingpaid's avatar

get yo damn money.. if u dont connect them the web designer wouldnt of gotten nuthin.. business is money.. remember that.

EBDesign's avatar

I tell my friends and family that I will give them %14.29 of whatever they get me, but for waybeyond just a simple referral. Some of my friends and family actually need the work – and do work for it. They push my business cards and have learned my packages and I have one friend who even calls businesses for me to let them know Im taking new clients.

thumbtackthief's avatar

Yeah, I’m sorry but I just Googled this looking for the answer from the other side… I have a friend who constructs databases for a living as a freelancer. I know he has more work than he can handle, and as a newcomer myself, I was hoping to ask him for some of his overflow. I think it’s only fair that he gets a cut of what I earn—I want to know what’s an appropriate amount to offer that will be fair to both of us. If I’m making money off of his established reputation and previous hard work, he deserves a cut.

thumbtackthief's avatar

@EBDesign That’s a really specific number—can I ask how you came up with it? Not just 15%?

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