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“Get Protection Now” or Just Hire Directly

We have all seen sales tactics in third-party software for job sites “protecting” freelancers from clients and clients from freelancers, but today’s scenario was worthy of a blog post. While scrolling over a prospective new client’s offered email address on the third-party’s website, a message popup “warned me” about contacting my client directly and offered: “Get protection now by starting a video or voice call on [name of third-party software].” First of all, my client wants to connect by email, and second, this was likely the most blatant thing I have seen yet regarding stated “protection” that the third party recommends I need from my clients. (Do you hear laughing sounds yet?)

First of all, direct client relationships are so much easier, for both the client and the freelancer, that I am able to reduce charges a full 20–30% for directly served clients. Yet a third party claims we need “protection” from each other; their claim should come as no surprise—they need to make money! What better way to keep such a business model thriving than to try bringing fear to mind. This is a very, very old sales tactic.

To the third-party software: I am not afraid of my clients! And my clients, even new ones, can “risk” $20 for a trial order, order in small increments from there if they wish—and save 20–30% of third-party costs by ordering directly rather than having their $20 somehow “protected” by your software. This time-wasting nonsense and more is why experienced, in-demand freelancers cannot even consider small orders through third-party websites, while anything is possible in direct professional relationships.

Third-party job sites often generously guarantee that freelancers get paid. Furthermore, freelancers get docked in algorithms when refunding client money or “losing” disputes. PayPal has none of this nonsense. Payment guarantees for freelancers, no matter what the quality of completed work, is the only way third parties get freelancers to work through their websites. Without such guarantees, freelancers could not afford to give 20% of a project’s total earned income to the third party. Have you ever tried arbitrating a third-party refund? Such arbitration decisions are based simply on deliverables. If the freelancer delivered (no matter the quality), they worked and will get paid. PayPal, on the other hand, offers clients a stronger guarantee policy.

Instead of locking you and your freelancer into using inefficient software with mandatory 20–30% fee increases out of artificially induced fear, free yourself from the marketing and just reach out. Try a very small, PayPal-protected, freelancer-protected order if you wish, just as I often recommend to clients who are hesitant in any way, for any reason.

[“On sale: Get your protection now for only an additional 20–30% of total costs! (sic)”]

Thanks for reading,

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