Understanding the freelance rate for a client

Understanding the freelance rate is difficult, often seen as coming from another universe for a client. The fact is that each one more innovative than the other, ideas are omnipresent in our heads. Due to the reality of money, few of them are implemented. Contacting a freelancer or an agency is an obvious choice: we technically realize the people’s dream. So freelancers are the target of a multitude of requests. All more or less feasible. However, the client (often) tries to negotiate following the received ideas about freelancers and their rates. And that’s why this article helps to explain how pulling on the price string can be annoying.

Photographie d'une plante grandissant dans de l'argent avec un livre des comptes pour le tarif freelance /  freelance rate

Misunderstood charges for a freelance rate

In 2020, the employee is guaranteed a salary of 1 216€/month for 228 days worked. The self-employed person alternates between a period of work, a period of leave, a period of management without guarantee and a period of prospecting. The employee benefits from many advantages such as being under contract, enjoying paid vacations, obtaining the right to unemployment and having a place dedicated to work with the material provided. It is a situation that allows stability and to blossom in its own way in life.

People who have chosen another way of life, such as self-employed, have to maintain about 44€/hour. This takes into account many aspects other than active production: prospecting, unpaid vacations, social security contributions, retirement, health insurance, rent (optionally coworking), professional expenses (electricity, internet, furniture, telephone, vehicles, equipment, licenses, etc.), accounting, taxes. So many elements are taken into account in order to understand that the life of a freelancer is composed of so many factors 😉

Take into account unpaid work

Apart from the periods of unemployment provided, keep in mind that each service performed requires preparatory work and time: management of returns, the time required, drafting of the estimate and invoice, the brief, delivery of files, etc. . And the latter is not invoiced. Thus, prospecting, contact, communication, monitoring, and others are tasks that take up space on the work year of freelance. This invisible part makes us available for a client. It is part of the service because it makes us accessible, competent, and in order for them. And this, without remuneration unlike an employee. That’s why the freelancer charges a rate that seems colossal: he has to compensate for these days. 😮

Photographie d'un agenda sur une table pour montrer l'organisation nécessaire pour le tarif freelance

Availability management

The freelancer is at the disposal of the client, he starts when the client asks for it, and stops at the end of the need. There is no commitment between the two parties. When I talk to my freelance colleagues, they have few months to plan in advance, so it varies from a few days to 6 months! When no mission comes up, the low period is for our cash flow. This also justifies part of its rate.

By choosing a freelance service provider, the client has access to a flexible service with a certain freedom of action. These are quite different from a hired employee. The heavier the constraints, the more the freelance rate varies accordingly. By simple analogy, let’s think about a magazine: a magazine bought by the number costs more than a subscription.

The freelance is a company without employees

Because of all these factors, the daily rate (TJM) accepted by most professionals, so a freelancer without experience, nor reference, is around 350€/day minimum for a decent freelance rate. While an employee benefits from a good number of advantages, the freelancer may be subject to preconceived notions about the finances received because of a figure considered high at the time of the estimate. If the gap remains after a fair deduction on both sides, let’s not forget the price of competence and flexibility 😉