Think of all the professions that require anonymity. The list is pretty short: CIA agent, the Phantom Chef, and…um…escorts, I suppose. That’s basically it. For all other professions, especially a freelance writer, anonymity just gets in the way.
In my brief career, I’ve yet to hear someone utter the phrase, “I really just want to work with a total stranger. I don’t even want to know their name.”This is why I’m so perplexed that most freelancing sites (particularly freelance writing sites) continue to require anonymity. An unknown freelancer working with an unknown brand. If that sounds like a terrible way to get important work done, that’s because it is.
I understand why this is the case.
The operators of these platforms are trying to prevent workers and companies from transacting outside the system. What perplexes me is that people are somehow okay with this arrangement. I’m not one of those people. Neither is our growing client base.
One of the biggest factors in hiring—freelancer or full-timer—is that person’s background and experience. You want to know where they’ve worked, what they’ve achieved, and what they’re an expert in. This is why we decided to make nDash a transparent platform for both writers and companies.
This decision carried some risk. Whenever I would explain this concept to a prospect or colleague, this is how the conversation would typically go:
Them: “What’s to stop writers and customers from just going outside the system.”
Me: “Nothing really, but nothing really stops them from doing this on the other platforms either. It’s not hard to drop an email or phone number, despite the roadblocks they put up.”
Them: “So you’re okay possibly losing that business?”
Me: “No, we want the business. But in my view, the anonymous nature of these platforms prevents more work from being done. In other words, by making our platform open, we’ll get revenue from assignments that would not have occurred otherwise in an anonymous setting.”
Them: “So it’s like an honor system?”
Me: “In a way, yes. But it’s also about the usability of the platform. If we build something that’s easy to use and doesn’t complicate things, people will be less likely to circumvent the system.”
Them: “You’re a genius, Mike. And very handsome.”
Me: “Thank you so much. I do what I can.”
Yup, just like that. To conclude this post, I’d like to share a few other benefits that we’ve realized by emphasizing transparency in all that we do here at nDash.
A Freelance Writer and their Pride of Work
The biggest complaint we hear about our competitors is the lack of quality writing being produced. This happens for two primary reasons. One, the price per assignment is far too low, but that’s a topic for another day. The other reason is that when a writer’s reputation isn’t on the line—if their name isn’t attached to the deliverable—they are less likely to do great work. We’ve discovered that when a writer’s personal reputation is on the line, the quality of work increases tremendously.
Building Lasting Relationships
Great content doesn’t always happen instantly. It takes work on the part of the writer, as well as that of the company. Over time, though, the more these two parties converse and interact, the better the content becomes. It’s about relationships, in other words. And when neither party knows the other, that’s virtually impossible. It’s the work equivalent of being cat-fished (analogy of the month).
Experience Sells Itself
I’m very proud of the fact that work in the nDash platform is being awarded to the most talented and experienced writers—not the ones who charge the least. What we’ve discovered in letting writers list their full work history and writing samples is that their experience sells itself. Had they been anonymous, the skills and experience they’ve developed over the years would have remained hidden and would not have enticed companies to send them assignments.
Final thoughts: Should a Freelance Writer Work Anonymously?
You want to know who you’re working with. Scratch that; you need to know. I envision a freelance workforce free from anonymity. I hope you feel the same.