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Old February 17th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #1
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Shooting Referral Commission?

I find myself passing on an increasing number of requests for shooting, mostly in Thailand, that I can't or don't want to do. Producers find me on recommendation or through web searches etc.. Until now I've typically replied to the producer with my list of local guys who I know can do a good job.

However I'm not getting referrals back and it's now got the point where I feel I should probably be asking for a referral fee.

Is this normal and how does it typically work in the industry? What percentage of the fee would typically be given for a referral?

Thanks!
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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In the freelance world some guys charge referral fees most don't. When I can't do a shoot I refer it to a colleague that will do a great job for the client and will kick jobs back to me when they are busy. Guys who only take referrals but never give back in return get off the list pretty quickly. The system actually works quite well and I have a list of qualified folks to call on when I need help too.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Rick. Nice to hear from a fellow underwater shooter.

Until now I have freely passed recommendations on to producers from my short list of local shooters. But since I'm submerged in editing for the time being, and not taking on shooting jobs unless a cracker comes along, I'm thinking of asking for a fee in acknowledgement of the huge amount of work it took to get to the position where I'm the one getting the enquiries.

Do you have any idea what typical percentage "finders fee" gets charged by those who charge?
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Old February 18th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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5-10% is standard. BUT keep in mind that when they pass work back to you they'll take a cut too. I've got a about a half dozen colleagues with whom I trade work back and forth. I don't take a cut from them or vice versa and I've more than made up for any lost revenue from a "finders fee" and instead have loyal colleagues who trust me and I trust in return. Sometimes good business isn't just about the numbers.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Have you considered subcontracting the work instead of just passing it on? Your profit margin is lower because you're not the one working the job, but it keeps your name on the project and some of the money still in house.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Rick, until now I've been working on that principle, freely passing jobs I can't do and getting some back too. The problem now is that I badly want to concentrate on editing jobs and so the traffic is all one-way.

Philip, sub-contracting might be an option but for the time being I don't want to get into that because of the time it would take up that I should be spending editing.

Incidentally I already ran this past one of the shooters on my list and he tells me that a "finder's fee" of 15-25% is normal for a simple, "no-strings attached" referral. This sounds rather high to me, as borne out by Rick's figure of 5-10%.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hope View Post
Rick, until now I've been working on that principle, freely passing jobs I can't do and getting some back too. The problem now is that I badly want to concentrate on editing jobs and so the traffic is all one-way.

Philip, sub-contracting might be an option but for the time being I don't want to get into that because of the time it would take up that I should be spending editing.

Incidentally I already ran this past one of the shooters on my list and he tells me that a "finder's fee" of 15-25% is normal for a simple, "no-strings attached" referral. This sounds rather high to me, as borne out by Rick's figure of 5-10%.
You seem intent on that fee, no matter what.

Remember that passing along the referral for free is better than just telling the person "no" (and it requires no more effort from you). Next time that client (or someone they know) needs someone, they may call you again, and that time you may be able to take it.

Don't be so hung up on keeping track of all the give-and-take. Goodwill and recognition can take a while to pay off. I also give and take, but personally I would not take a referral minus a finder's fee from someone - the pay is already low enough, and I wouldn't feel any professional courtesy towards someone who acted as a mere agent out of financial consideration.


J.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 11:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
You seem intent on that fee, no matter what.
Not at all Jacques, just looking at the options.

Thanks for your opinion.
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