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Curious why clients don't rehire...

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Active Member
Mark D Member Since: Nov 14, 2016
1 of 7

I'm typically looking for longer-term client relationships, so I look for that in job postings. I also review client history before I submit a bid. What makes me curious is when I see a client give someone 4 or 5 stars, that freelancer says they would love to work with the client again---and then a week later the job is reposted with "long term potential." Sometimes there's several freelancers in the previous few months who fall in this category.

So, what gives? What value does a client gain by advertising for long term potential, but not actually go back to freelancers they gave excellent reviews too? And even if they didn't advertise "long term potential," why wouldn't they ask the freelancer they literally just completed a project with instead of reposting? Is there some kind of business benefit in operating like this that I'm not grasping?

 

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Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
2 of 7

Mark D wrote:

I'm typically looking for longer-term client relationships, so I look for that in job postings. I also review client history before I submit a bid. What makes me curious is when I see a client give someone 4 or 5 stars, that freelancer says they would love to work with the client again---and then a week later the job is reposted with "long term potential." Sometimes there's several freelancers in the previous few months who fall in this category.

So, what gives? What value does a client gain by advertising for long term potential, but not actually go back to freelancers they gave excellent reviews too? And even if they didn't advertise "long term potential," why wouldn't they ask the freelancer they literally just completed a project with instead of reposting? Is there some kind of business benefit in operating like this that I'm not grasping?

 


I feel like it's usually one of two things:

 

1. The client does want ongoing relationships but doesn't want to put all her eggs in one basket, so she's "test-driving" a number of different freelancers. When she narrows things down to the ones she loves, she will then return to those, and keep that little group as her primary source.

 

2. The client didn't actually love the freelancers as much as she's saying she did. She's just trying to be nice. (Seriously, that's a "thing.") She wants to make a clean getaway without any grumbling from the freelancer and without feeling like the bad guy. So she goes "great work! Wowsers," gives good public FB, possibly more honest private FB, and keeps looking for that great freelancer (or freelancers) to return to again and again.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 7

The client may not have liked the work the freelancer did enough to hire them again, or the freelancer did not enjoy the work enough to work with the client again.

 

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John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 7
It might also be the case that the previously hired freelancer is unavailable at the time the client would like to rehire the freelancer.
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Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
5 of 7

@yitwail wrote:
It might also be the case that the previously hired freelancer is unavailable at the time the client would like to rehire the freelancer.

 

That's possible, although I would think if the description were ongoing work, the freelancer would be someone who wants ongoing work (i.e. isn't unavailable). And job descriptions that ask for ongoing work don't usually state that they want the actual ongoing job to start well off into the future. They want their freelancers in place ASAP. So a serious lag time to the point that when the client finally does want the bigger project to start, the freelancer isn't available, would seem to be more rare. (Just based on what I've seen.)

 

I *have* seen projects that state they want a trial period and will want the larger project to start much later, but I don't think that's what the OP is talking about.

 

For me, I've had clients return, and I do think some clients test out various freelancers and may close the project and then return for the ongoing project. However, in my personal experience, my jobs where the client asked for "ongoing work" have just remained open and, well, ongoing. I've had one for over a year, for example. The client wanted ongoing work and he kept me and I believe two other freelancers going with it. He never bothered to close and then reopen; he just kept (keeps) assigning milestones. Meanwhile, with some others, he closed the project after a very brief period.

 

My general feeling is that more often than not, with the situation the OP describes, the freelancer(s) just weren't the right fit. The client doesn't want to award them the longterm project. They're still looking. JMO.

 


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Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 7

In addition to the other very likely explanations, some clients use the promise of a long-term relationship to get the freelancer to lower their fee. Sometimes the client will ask for a lower fee for a 'test job' before committing. But, they never commit. Instead, the client just moves on to the next freelancer and makes the same promise. I don't know that this happens often, but it happens enough that people post on the forums complaining about it. 

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Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
7 of 7

Tonya P wrote:

In addition to the other very likely explanations, some clients use the promise of a long-term relationship to get the freelancer to lower their fee. Sometimes the client will ask for a lower fee for a 'test job' before committing. But, they never commit. Instead, the client just moves on to the next freelancer and makes the same promise. I don't know that this happens often, but it happens enough that people post on the forums complaining about it. 


Yup, I've had this happen, or I've had clients try for it, rather. It's usually stated at the front end so it's easily avoided. I.e.: "So I realize I stated $X per article, but that's if you're chosen as my ongoing freelancer. Let's start out with a trial article at $Y (wayyyyyyy lower fee) instead." 

 

I politely decline. Smiley Very Happy My writing is worth it or it's not. And frankly, as you've noted, Tonya, I've rarely seen such arrangements end well. I suppose they can, but I've seen enough cases where the carrot just dangled and dangled and the freelancer wound up poor and overworked and screaming on the forums. So I just avoid such arrangements, personally. If someone winds up loving the arrangement and the client does indeed come through eventually with an adequate fee for that freelancer then I don't begrudge either a thing. But I don't have the patience, personally.

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