Thinking about listings, I was working for an artist tracking their material in a London studio about 18 months ago and they put an advert on here looking for a mix engineer (I don't like to mix really, just track). They thought they might find somebody good for a good rate, so they made up an ad and stuck it on here.
Observations that you might find interesting:
1) We got an imperial f..kton of responses. Some from people who were evidently far too new to the game to be taking on freelance work, some who weren't half as good at writing crafty CVs as they thought they were... but also quite a lot of fairly established guys with reasonable credit lists.
2) We also got the full spectrum of rates. I remember one that offered to do it on a per-track basis and if we did 12 tracks it'd cost about £600. When you boil that down, that's £50 a track. I mean, we were paying more for mastering... Equally though there were others that were a flat rate of £1000 a track. I'm not wholly against paying that, but I wouldn't expect them to be chasing work through an internet forum.
3) Some were more keen than others to display their gear list. Some e-mails we got literally had an A-Z list of every single thing they owned down to what brand of cabling they use and what programs they had on their mac apart from their DAW. (What makes you think people have time to read this, x100?). Some were just a brief indication, although this could be equally bad - we'd get something saying "in the studio we use equipment from Manley, SSL, Tubetech etc", an what they meant was they had 1 manley unit, 1 SSL unit, 1 tubetech unit, and an SM57
And the results?
1) There were quite a lot who claimed to have very extensive gear lists, and very extensive credits, but would work for sub-£100 a day. These got binned straight away. Something just doesn't add up.
2) There were a few who claimed hundreds of major label credits and when we googled them we found out they were very young. Again, something just doesn't add up. Somebody said he'd worked for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. After a bit of digging, we found he had, as local crew at a gig. Employed by the local crew company, and certainly nothing to do with the recording.
3) Then we had the rest. There were guys who evidently had good experience, had some music online which sounded great, and had good gear lists. Sensible prices, which we were happy to pay. And one of those got the gig. We paid a LOT more than the cheapest rates we'd been offered. Even a lot more than an offer with similar level credits and a comparable gear list.
But something readers might find interesting is that there were also a couple of very honest young guys with not a lot of experience or gear who didn't dress it up as something it wasn't. They e-mailed and said "I'm looking to gain experience etc etc". We had one in the studio by the end of the week helping to set stuff up, and another did a load of the guitar edits. Neither mentioned rates up front, we couldn't pay either, but the one in the studio got fed and got drunk for free.
Point being if you are a seasoned guy don't cut yourself short. It makes sense to nobody how it is that you've developed such a good studio and such a good credits list yet still work for so cheap, so nobody wants to know. But also, new guys, don't go sending off e-mails pretending to be a seasoned freelancer. The real ones will read straight through the lines and either put your e-mail in the e-bin, or print it out and pin it up on the wall for people to laugh at. Be honest and ask nicely, and whilst they're unlikely to offer you the job, they may be able to help you out in another way.