In his blog for Contently’s Freelancer site (Airtasker and TaskRabbit Are Set to Battle for Your Freelance Work), Charlie Kasov compares the services of two freelancer job sites: TaskRabbit, a popular site which has recently moved to an curated agency model, and Airtasker, an Australian site that still works on the more free-for-all open marketplace.
He also offers some advice to freelancers who try to sell their services via these online marketplaces. For example:
Since July, I’ve successfully been able to command higher rates because I try to give each client the best possible experience and make sure they write the most florid possible review of my abilities. I also take precautions to never work with crazy people, which has helped me avoid bad reviews.
As reviews editor for Computerworld, I don’t usually complain about queries I get from freelancers — they usually veer from “Hmmm, maybe I should give this one a try” to “Sorry, but not right for us.” But I recently got one that was so useless — and at the same time, seemed so inappropriately confident — that I thought I’d quickly offer a “Don’t let this be you” message.
The email I got was short and to the point. The subject was “query from journalist” and the message read:
“Would you care for a review of the new Seagate Wireless Plus? Thanks.”
With the person’s name and a link to his website. And that was it.
There was no introduction telling me who he was, why he was qualified to do a review for us, or what it was about that particular product that deserved reviewing. The website that he linked to featured a description of an apparently self-published book that had nothing whatsoever to do with technology.
He had also apparently send a similar query to at least one other staff member.
I checked my past email, and he had sent a similarly worded query a few months ago for a different product. That time, I was a bit amused, and simply sent an equally terse answer of: “No, thank you.”
This time, he doesn’t get an answer. If he happens to be reading this, a quick word of advice: If you want to work for a new publication, make sure you introduce yourself properly. If you can’t take the time to offer a well-composed query, I won’t take the time to answer it.