How to avoid freelancer platform fees for repeat clients & referrals

Freelancers Dec 04, 2020

TLDR: First, you need to formalize the project with a good Agreement. Do it easily with Claver. Then, make sure you have a good way to receive payments via a secure.

The best recommended way to get these done outside freelancing platforms mentioned below.

Let's first explore why repeat customers, or referred clients, are different and need to be managed differently. For starters, these are highly trusted clients, way more than new customers because either you have already dealt with them in the past, or there is strong social proof that your personal contacts are providing when they are referring clients to you.

Considering these facts, it is extremely unlikely that these highly trusted customers would ghost you and end up not paying. Therefore, do not talk yourself into "exceptional" cases, as you are also talking yourself out of a lot of recurring opportunities and piling on unnecessary costs for everyone, if you insist on using freelancing platforms for referral or repeat customers.

Seen from another angle - the freelancing platforms did not help you find these repeat or referred customers. It does not make sense to lose 20-25% of your earnings by asking your clients to manage the project on freelancing platforms. Little did you know, as well, that you are causing your clients to pay 10% extra when they use the platform. It's a lose-lose situation.

Instead, consider this win-win method which ensure that your rights are protected via a formal agreement, and making sure that there is a cheap, fast, and good way to get paid.

1. Use Claver to formalize the project

Simply use the free Freelancing Templates available in Claver to draft a freelancing Agreement quickly. The templates have been provided by legal professionals and are used by other freelancers. They are fit for your purpose, which means you can secure the deal more quickly without administrative fuss.

Then, send it to your client where you can both digitally sign it within minutes.

2.  Use a trusted platform for payments

Arrange for your clients to send you payments via trusted service providers (as an example, we suggest Transferwise), again without fuss and way easier than you having to check on third-party platforms whether the funds are credited, and arrange for withdrawals.

3. Build a unified business Reputation

Your reputation is consolidated and built, whenever you sign digital agreements with your clients on Claver. You don't have to manage ratings from different platforms differently anymore. Anyone can view your unified Claver Reputation if they want to know how many Agreements you have signed with other clients and how trustworthy they think you are.


Lower Costs

You save 20%-25% platform fees. Your clients also save 10% platform fees. Win-win.

Stronger Business Relationships

You can use more direct communication means without the restrictions on the freelancing platform. You and your client can both reach out in the future for even more repeated businesses.

No Fragmented Reputation

Your business reputation can now be unified under Claver. Any agreement you sign on Claver, it contributes toward building a reputation for yourself.

Bonus: you can also view your clients' business reputations too. Gauge whether they can be trusted. Avoid getting into projects with untrusted parties altogether.

Final word

In summary, you need to recognise that repeat or referred customers are not in the same class as those that the freelancing platforms helped you discover. As a savvy freelancer,  you can manage repeat or referred customers differently and in a more clever way. By using the win-win method above, it allows you to earn 20-30% more for the same amount of work done. It also results in happier clients who you had helped save on platform fees, and who you can build stronger business relationships with.

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Team Claver

Among with Kevin C.

"Team Claver" is a team effort; used when one of us has something worthy of sharing to post. Thought leaders will "graduate" and write from their own accounts soon enough!

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