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Freelancers: time to stop fleecing them with commission charges!

Benoit Fillon
Benoit Fillon
Product engineering

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First and foremost, freelancers are entrepreneurs. So it’s time we stopped fleecing them by charging commission! Let me explain—in under 2 minutes…

There are all sorts of reasons for going freelance, and there are as many different ways of freelancing today as there are freelancers, be it in terms of status, profession, working practice or place of work.

Nevertheless, I think that many of them do it because they want to be “independent,” or rather to be able to choose who or what they depend on. They have decided to choose their own path and deal with it in the literal sense of the French word “entreprendre” (from the Latin “inter prehendere”: to take hold of. The Latin word “prehendere” therefore means “to take hold of something and be physically in control of it”).

What freelance entrepreneurs need to know

So, as entrepreneurs, freelancers have to find take control of the following issues:

  1. How do I find assignments?
  2. How do I handle being offered too much work and balance out my workload?
  3. How do I increase or maintain my income?

Question 1 is now answered fairly easily thanks to the platforms that began to appear 5 or 10 years ago.

Question 2 hasn’t yet been addressed to any great extent, but freelancers are increasingly forming collectives or even creating companies associating a number of freelancers.

Question 3 is a thorny one: some platforms award stars, give recommendations or require freelancers to perform technical tests. All this is necessary—but it is not enough, and, obviously, as only a freelancer’s “good points” are highlighted and not their weaknesses or limitations, in the end all the profiles seem to get 5 stars. Unfortunately, sometimes yesterday’s price/availability paradigm is once again becoming the only selection criterion.

In search of good clients

We’d all agree that the key issue with both platforms and IRL is obviously the clients (by which I mean good clients). There’s a reason why it’s practically impossible to find out anything about the people looking for freelancers. Even if we are aware that some can be extremely cunning.

freelance skillvalue

Freelancers can be craftier than we may think.

Only last week, I spotted a little survey on Slack Freelance France showing that freelancers use platforms and professional networks equally when it comes to finding assignments. That’s why I feel freelancers should quite simply be paid for bringing in business.

There’s no reason why freelancers shouldn’t be paid for finding new clients or bringing clients with them.

Increase income yet still have the freedom that goes with being a freelance entrepreneur

Based on this idea and some practices that have already begun to spread, we are building a Freelance Franchisee program with SkillValue and Pentalog. As part of the SkillValue / Pentalog platform’s range of tools and services, we are offering freelancers the chance to earn extra income by bringing us assignments that you either can’t or don’t want to handle.

We’ll share up to 20% of our commission with freelancers who help us find new assignments, be they:

  1. Freelance jobs
  2. Recruitment opportunities they’ve discerned with one of their clients
  3. And, more generally, anything that leads to us building local or even nearshore / offshore outsourced teams

Obviously, all this requires a bit of support, so we’re offering selected freelancers from those who sign up the chance to explore our offers in detail plus help in identifying a need they may have discerned (meetup, CTO support, etc.)

Are you a freelancer? Then take a look at our full program here.

I hope everyone takes this message in the positive spirit in which it is intended…

Let’s stop fleecing freelancers with service commission charges and include them properly in the value chain instead, so that they are no longer seen as just “temporary” service providers but as the genuine entrepreneurs they really are!

 

Read also:

Freelancing, outsourcing, and hiring: how to tap into digital work resources

 

Do you need a freelancer for your business?


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