The most recent INSEE study on the wages of the self-employed is authoritative: the disparities are greater among the self-employed than among the salaried population. While the number of self-employed workers continues to increase, more than a quarter of them earn less than half of the annual minimum wage. In France, they make up 13% among the poorest tenth of households, compared to 5% of employees. Competition among freelancers sometimes lowers their rates to get more assignments or renew their contracts more easily. wrong ! Because this practice drags the market down, it tends to make the freelancer’s status, so widely acclaimed, more precarious than ever. Fortunately, this limitation does not apply to everyone, far from it. In the richest 10% of families in France, there are twice as many self-employed workers as in the rest of the population. So … suppose your TJM, negotiate, choose your clients: only in this way will you be able to stand out!
The harmful effects of digital “catalog” platforms
After visiting client/freelance relationship platforms, many freelancers tend to align their pricing with the rate posted by their peers. In the freelance job market, competition is sometimes fierce. Providing its services at the right price is not easy. This is especially true for young people and new independents. Beginner profiles often lack self-confidence or tend to underestimate themselves. So offering a low rate is a way to combat imposter syndrome by attracting more potential customers.
Freelancers who embark on the adventure of self-employment after a long period of employment may miscalculate the costs inherent in this situation. Let’s keep in mind that income is not a turnover rate… Unlike a traditional employee, a self-employed person must include Social Security contributions, administrative time, operating costs, vacations, and breaks in his rate. , search time… So we must move from salary logic to real Entrepreneurial approach.
Added to this is an image problem: a price considered too high—particularly because other freelancers sell their products—can scare off companies, either because they don’t know the true value of the experience, or because they tend to compare TJM and gross salary…without taking into account the employer’s contributions. , the cost of an employee’s compensated absence or an assessment of the additional flexibility afforded by the use of self-employment. However, the value perceived by the client also depends on the price the freelancer charges!
Between cuteness and acceptance, set the right price
Getting your tariff right means finding the balance between the value of your market experience and your financial needs. This may vary by sector of activity, expertise or even regions. Only a market study can determine the price that will find its audience adapting it to its own expectations.
the TJM – Average daily price – is the reference value in most negotiations. It’s also the one that gets featured on freelance platforms. To set your own TJM, it is therefore important to ask yourself the right questions: What market condition are you operating in (help yourself with the barometers, consult several sources)? Who are your potential customers (SMEs, large groups, etc.) and what are they looking for? What is your legal status (self-entrepreneur, sole proprietorship, corporation or wage transfer) and what are your fees? Determining your TJM also means knowing how to present yourself. The latter makes it possible to enhance not only your professional skills (technical knowledge, diplomas, experience, experience, etc.) but also your interpersonal skills, your human and relational qualities, or your adaptability. It should also reflect “scarcity” in the market. In short, your uniqueness!
All of these elements can be assets in the client negotiation process. Here again, it’s not about selling, but knowing how to adapt according to the challenge of the task, the way it fits into the company’s strategy, and its duration. It will be to your advantage to offer a more attractive price if you know the job will have to be renewed, thus to secure your income over time. In any case, do not rush to announce the price. It is essential to gather as much preliminary information as possible, assess the risks, and make a proposal that matches the proposed opportunity.
Determining your price is not an exact science and requires the incorporation of many parameters. Above all, do not rely solely on the information available on the markets, which is more akin to a resume catalog than a realistic overview of the market. The price of the call is seldom the price that is exercised in reality… Do not underestimate yourself and do not hesitate to be accompanied by market players who are able to offer you tasks that suit you and guide you as best as possible. The right attitude: you!
Column written by: Charlie Gillard, Founder and CEO of Beager
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