Freelancers Shouldn’t Be A Race To The Bottom
Jon Westenberg 🌈

I love the idea behind this, but for seasoned professional consultants (as the job application listings seem to be asking for) the rates feel rather low for the benefit of maybe not having to haggle…. assuming that’s an issue for someone seasoned in the industry.

A senior writer would be applying for positions where there is a standard $30-$50 payout on 300-500 words that needs to be delivered within 4 hours. Feels quite low for senior level rush work that could be syndicated by the client (a much higher value in such work, like ghost writing, etc — in fact, who does keep copyright for the writing or design? Logo work was mentioned, and that’s very valuable work indeed, usually done at a higher cost for copyright transfer reasons).

It looks like design jobs are about the same. Positions requiring a wide range of work and references, too. And although the design jobs are limited to 4 hours, they must be delivered within 4 hours but still only average $30–70. Even if I look at the middle — 2 hours for $50 — add in overhead we’re nearing a number not much beyond minimum wage (or what it will be here in the very near future) for professional rush design work.

Not to mention, on both fronts, not even being able to build a client list (?). This must be factored in to any middleman — a huge cost of business for any Etsy shop, for instance.

So yes, I totally admire the effort and idea behind this, and that it is certainly a step up from some of the budget offerings out on the gig sites today. And it’s fantastic you’re building a business around a better version of it, the site looks great.

But I wonder aloud (because this is on Medium), is it answering an industry problem or inching away from the disaster (or, “bottom”) out there today? I’m glad it’s solving a real problem for the client — say, design theft or non-delivery as is common on these gig sites. Less plagiarism also benefits the design community and I adore that you are helping address this problem. But I really don’t see this particularly valuing the experience, expertise, and business overhead when senior-level, rush work is still set at such a low rate.

I fully accept, however, it could very well just be the landscape of 2017.

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