Freelancers

Why do most people not like dealing with Creative Circle, The Creative Group, etc? New to freelance life and trying to close the learning curve

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🍿 this is going to be good... I’ll start. Basically they take half your rate for doing absolutely nothing. A high commission would be borderline excusable if they actually advocated for their people, got them into good places, kept them busy etc but these staffing firms do no such thing. They will send your portfolio along with a dozen or more others and they are just trying to place SOMEONE... they don’t care about you personally at all. Oh, and if they do introduce you to someone ( even if that agency doesn’t bring you on) they now claim they own that relationship for 12 months so if you work with that agency again as freelance you are locked into giving the staffing agency half your rate.

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WOW. Thanks for the help, officially putting all their emails in spam ✌🏾

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How is 40 not terrible if your main rate is 75?

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I was in a dry spell and met with CC in NYC. Mainly because there is one consultancy you can’t get into any other way. I just felt shitty the whole time filling out their forms for an hour. And speaking with someone who doesn’t really know what being a conceptual ad creative is. I haven’t seen a rate above $65. It brings down the bar for everyone when we accept that. Middle men and women are vampires. Working direct or working with recruiters who don’t take a cut is the best way for all of us.

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Wow, I didn't realize that you're tied to them even if you don't get brought on! That's so slimy, I don't care HOW they justify it. 😐 Thanks for that heads up.

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For all the reasons listed above, you’re better off going with a real recruiter. Also, I keep hearing everyone say half. But let’s be real, a $75/hr cap is what I’ve heard in the past. If you’re coming in offering gigs at that hourly rate to Senior level and higher professionals instead of their day rate, then what are you for? Recruiters “own” the relationship for a year if they submit you. That’s just fact. And they collect commission for a placement. But all that should be because they have a relationship with the place that gives you better access as a candidate and should also yield your rate (within a reasonable range). You basically get none of that through these companies. I’ve never gone far enough down a path with them to find out, because the warnings from fellow freelancers were so strong.

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👆everything CD is saying is right. Please do not get these companies confused with real recruiters who will care about you and try to find something that’s a good fit for you and make sure you are compensated fairly in which case they more than earn their commission. The half thing is real.. the reason the rate caps at $75/ hr is because the real rate the agency is offering is $150/hr and CC is taking half. Anything much over that and the agency won’t really be looking to a staffing agency to fill the role.

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You could represent yourself for twice the rate in half the time - that’s one reason

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Also those groups will have non competes — say they introduce you to a company for an interview but you don’t get the job. Now you’re tied to them for any future opportunities with that company. Just leave them out of the equation and you’ll get more $$ in the long run.

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But are you OK with being paid $25 an hour, FAD1?

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I appreciate hearing something good about them. I was being a little sarcastic regarding 25. The problem for most of us here is our rate is 100 up an hour, so when we're offered 55 by CC, we know the client is paying 110. I hope when you convert those clients to using you direct, you double your rate.

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I personally know of a small agency that hired a designer through CC and was severely disappointed, because this designer was fine with (for example only) $50 an hour, because she was a $50 an hour designer, but CC billed her at 100. Client expected that level of work and it wasn't delivered. I've heard of similar situations about 600 a day freelancers being billed to client as 1200 a day and again, can't deliver. No one needs CC to start in this biz. That's what LinkedIn is for. Also calling around and meeting reputable independent recruiters. They're out there. As an aside to FAD1, if your "main rate" is 75 but your clients were paying CC 80 to 110, and they like you enough to keep you, and you provide superior product, why discount yourself? You already know they have more money and are willing to pay it.

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Idk about you, but I prefer to bill full time at 40 on a weekly basis than ignore CC because they take a cut. I see a lot of people here recommending you market yourself and find your own clients, but you can’t discount the amount of clients that go straight to those agencies for freelancers. It might not be for you, but OP is new to freelance and it’s a great way to get started. Don’t discourage another profesional from growing just because you have a stick up your butt about making 100/hour

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Reach out to friends & get into those shops on your own. I hate recruiters.

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I’ve never had any of the issues I’ve seen listed here. I actually work with creative circle in multiple cities (NY, SF, Atlanta, LA, Portland and Denver). They almost always keep me engaged full time and I’ve developed lasting relationships with some of the clients they put me in touch with who are now recurring direct clients for me. Sure, your first engagement with a client is going to be at a reduced rate, but you can’t put a price on all the relationships you get to form if you actually put in the work. I’ve never had them do anything weird to me and they actually recommend me internally to other offices.

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They will also use your email to cold call the last place you worked and fish for contacts. They did it to me.

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I’m not. I’m on engagements for $45/hour or up. This week I’m actually on 4 clients paying me at $55/hour. Differentiate yourself from the bulk and you’ll be one of their “special gems”. Seriously, they treat me great and are super nice

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You’re basically a palette of goods to them. And they will take half your rate. Half! If you’re desperate I understand the temptation, but more often than not you end up regretting it.

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Yeah. My main rate is at 75, so getting 40-55 is not terrible. And once they engage me directly they get a reduction in what they pay and I get my full rate

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Ahhhhh! That’s gross. 🙅🏽‍♂️

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