- On Not Providing Referrals
I often get hit up for referrals. Usually these are in the shape of a company needing an ExpressionEngine developer either to take over an existing site or develop a new one. The latter often happens if it’s a job that (for whatever reason) I can’t take on.
I am flattered that people ask. It’s a sign of trust. But for the last couple of years I have stopped providing referrals and here’s why.
I Got Burned
A client contact me with a new build. I was too busy to take it on. I referred it onto another developer. About 8-10 months later I had another email from the client, letting me know how unhappy he was with the developer I had sent him to. The site was unfinished and the developer was unresponsive. Guess who felt responsible? Guess who got to finish the site? Guess who got to do the IE6 compatibility and other not-fun nit-picky things that got left until last?
Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy that experience. I realized how the project turns out post-referral reflected on me and yet I had no part in how the project progressed.
Everyone Wins But Me
There are three parties to the referring situation - the end client, the developer, and me. When I would provide the referral the developer got a nice project and the associated income - so they win. The client got their project done and enjoyed the business benefits that it should bring - so they win. Me? I spent time playing matchmaker. I took advantage of my years spent in the marketplace and building personal connections through a variety of situations - all in an effort to save the end client time vetting developers, and saving developers time vetting clients.
And my reward for that part in the process? Bupkus. It’s been all risk for no reward.
I’ve suggested charging. I’ve offered access to a mailing list for a fee. In the odd case I’ve gotten a small referral fee. But overall those ideas have not been well received. In lieu of a solution that rewards value for all parties involved I have been declining to provide referrals and instead pointing clients to resources like http://director-ee.com/ and letting them know they need to do their own vetting rather than rely on me.
But maybe I’m missing a better way. How do you handle referrals? Have you been similarly burned? Have you found a way to be rewarded for the service you are providing?
- 10 years == $10
Today marks ten years since I joined the ExpressionEngine (pMachine then) forums and started working with products created by Rick Ellis and EllisLab. To celebrate the occasion I’ve discounted the price of the electronic version of my ExpressionEngine book from $29.99 to $10.
The sale will run until approximately 5:00PM Mountain Time.
- Technomadism - Getting Away with IT
The information is currently lacking from the EECI website but we’ll be doing it in the same room as the Developers Track, Tuesday night from 7-8:00 PM. You should have time to get your supper, hear our presentation, and still make it to the “reely big shoooew” planned for that night.
We’ll cover our first year on the road, why we did it, what the challenges were, and how it changed us permanently. We’ll be available to answer any questions you might have around our full-time travel lifestyle (that includes teenagers).
Hope to see you there!
- Family Salons
The Boyink family comprises myself, my wife, a 15 year old boy and a 14 year old girl. We’ve always been homeschoolers - it’s one of the life choices that has enabled our mobile lifestyle.
The one big issue that the non-homeschooling worlds loves to bring up (and homeschoolers quickly tire of hearing about) is socialization. The fear is that by not being around 30 age-mates in a dedicated school building all day homeschooled kids will not develop what are seen as “necessary” social skills that traditionally-schooled kids will develop.