My pricing is variable and somewhat intuitive according to what the prospect says about what they want done and their current situation. For example, I generally charge students a lower rate for editing than I would an employed or self-employed professional; and I will also charge less for writing for a startup or very small firm that I will for a larger company or organization. For any job over $200, I will ask for a 50% deposit, with the balance payable on completion.
With Thumbtack, I have usually already sent samples as links and attachments, so they have an idea of my capabilities. My preferred way to proceed is to have them give me a sense of the type and scope of work, whether by email or in a phone or Skype consultation. We continue to use whichever channel they prefer for conversation, though email is still best for transferring files. Once we're agreed on price and deadline, I ask them to send me the informational resources I'll need for the job and let me know of any research I'll need to do. With web copy, that could be notes, rough drafts, a business plan or pitch deck, a whitepaper, or the like. With editing, I just ask to see the draft. Sometimes a client will want a ballpark quote for the job as a whole once I have that, and sometimes they're okay with proceeding on a per-hour basis. As a precondition, many customers ask me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which is fine. I even have boilerplate for that. At that point, I prepare a Work Order that lays out the work to be done and prices per item or else just the hourly rate. Once signed by the client and myself, this doubles as a contract. On projects over $200, I usually require a down payment of 50 percent. When the project is completed to the client's satisfaction, I request a review.
I hold a Master's in English and a BA in English and Spanish. I was a professor of English and Writing for 21 years. I hold a California Multiple Subject Elementary Teaching Credential. I have written $200,000 in funded grants from both government and private foundations I have been a professional editor and writer at least part-time since 1986. I have edited technical and scientific books and articles, dissertations and theses, user guides and manuals, memoirs, self-help books, novels, web copy, children's books, textbooks, and much else. I have written print and web advertising copy, marketing collateral (emails, flyers, brochures), web content, business proposals, executive summaries, pitch decks, instructional materials, whitepapers, blog posts, and feature articles for trade publications. I can write in any style, and I'm a quick study on subject matter.