People Per Hour | How To Succeed As A New Freelancer

By |2018-12-11T17:17:13+00:00January 6th, 2017|Freelancing|
  • PeoplePerHour How To Succeed As A New Freelancer

PeoplePerHour is an online freelance platform that empowers people across the globe with the ability to monetize their skills.

Unfortunately, many who begin to use PeoplePerHour don’t last very long. It’s not easy to compete with thousands of other freelancers who have more reviews and bigger portfolios.

A few months ago, Martin and Rob each decided to give PeoplePerHour a proper go of it. They each formulated their own strategies and began their respective journeys towards freelance success!

The strategies they decided to utilise were:
Martin – The Proposal Strategy
Rob – The Hourlie Strategy


One of PeoplePerHour’s primary features is its job board. On which, ‘buyers’ can post specific jobs for ‘sellers’ to propose to.

I opted for this proposal focussed strategy due to the fact that my main asset is my ability to design and build websites. Websites by nature can be fairly expensive and thus, the likelihood of selling one via an Hourlie is unlikely.

Starting out on PeoplePerHour is, of course, a difficult and at times disheartening experience. With no reviews or endorsements, I wasn’t getting any responses to my proposals!

In order to land my first job, I decided that I had to make a few changes to my strategy. One was lowering my prices, and the other was improving the way that I proposed to jobs.

I realized very quickly that I was charging too much for my services, however, the most noticeable change in my results was when I altered my proposal demeanor.

Initially, I was proposing to jobs in a very robotic and “professional” way. This, of course, is not effective at all! I started chucking a smiley face here, an exclamation mark there and soon enough, I had my first response!

The hardest part of the entire process was landing that initial sale. I completed the job, got a 5-star review and now was armed with more trustability as a freelancer.

Of course, PeoplePerHour also utilizes a ranking system called CERT that grades freelancers from CERT’s 1 through 5. There is additionally a ‘Top’ CERT that is reserved for the most successful freelancers!

PeoplePerHour CERT

As more reviews and endorsements are acquired through the platform, your CERT score rises and with that, so does your chances of landing the jobs that you propose for.

In order to acquire even more 5-star reviews, I was putting more and more effort into ensuring my clients were happy. Gradually, due to the increase in the quality of my service, I decided to raise my prices. To my surprise, I was still securing jobs consistently!

This was largely due to the level of trust that my profile now presented. My increased reputation enabled me to apply to more lucrative projects that I otherwise wouldn’t have stood a chance at securing!

To summarise my experience with PeoplePerHour, I found success by increasing the amount of trust that my profile garnered as well as improving the way in which I was conducting my proposals.

A few tips to maximise proposal success:

  • Be as personable as possible and avoid being too robotic in the way that you communicate. Your potential clients want to work with a human after all!
  • Avoid copying/pasting proposals. You will see a much higher acceptance rate if you write each proposal individually, taking into account the specific job requirements.
  • Make your portfolio as enticing as possible and remember, quality over quantity.
  • Ensure that your profile picture and bio isn’t too generic. You want to stand out from the other freelancers whilst appearing as friendly and professional as you can.
  • Follow up with clients shortly after the work has been completed to ensure the service delivered as expected and to inquire regarding opportunities for follow up work.


Besides the proposals-based job board, there’s also another way to attract clients through PeoplePerHour using the ‘Hourlies’ system. Hourlies are permanent online listings which freelancers can use to advertise their services at a fixed rate.

Hourlies V Proposals PeoplePerHour

Hourlies differ from proposals primarily due to the open market dynamics which mean that all pricing & job-specification information is publically available to both potential buyers & rival sellers.

The information transparency creates a highly competitive business environment that has a two-fold effect of driving down prices, yet increasing the quality of service provided for the buyer.

Freelancers who opt to list Hourlies, however, can experience a huge time-saving advantage as listings are available for potential buyers to search for on PeoplePerHour 24/7.

Another benefit to using Hourlies is that you are free to define exactly the scope of the type of work you wish to perform. This means that because clients will be required to read your job spec prior to ordering, you are less likely to attract the wrong type of client.

Furthermore, I have also found that Hourlies often tend to be quicker, lower-value tasks than some of the work you may find on the PPH jobs board.

By using Hourlies, it’s possible for you to passively accrue sales, which when backed up with a consistent track-record of positive feedback can grow exponentially into a relatively automated tertiary revenue stream. I’ve even managed to make a sale at 2 am whilst I was fast asleep!

Competitor information is freely available to view due to the open nature of Hourlies. it’s important for budding sellers to review the competition on offer in order to get a feel for the marketplace and to identify any niches that other sellers aren’t catering to.

Getting positive reviews and taking action to increase my CERT score has also been vital to my success as a seller on the platform. As my reputation & CERT score increased, my profile views and search volume did too and since I have achieved CERT 5, my Hourlie sales have grown exponentially month-on-month.

A few tips for you to maximise success with your Hourlies:

  • Use search-friendly titles to increase the chances of people finding your Hourlies.
  • Create an eye-catching featured image & maintain a vibrant portfolio of work within the listing.
  • Focus on the sales copy within your listing to differentiate from competitors.
  • Create compelling upsells for your products to increase your average order value per client.
  • Consider the lifetime value of a client – complete work to a high standard to attract recurring customers & gain more positive reviews.

About the Author:

Trendjackers are a creative trio who write blogs about all things digital marketing.


  1. Ishq July 14, 2017 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I have posted an hourlie on PPH 4 days ago and also featured it 2 times, To my surprise my hourlie has got only 3 views so far. My profile is new but 4 views only after paying them $30 ???? Either I am doing something wrong or they are just looting money from users and not featuring their listings.

    Could you please put some light on this issue ?

    • Trendjackers Team July 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Ishq,

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog, and also for your interesting question.

      I apologise if the following reply may not be the response that you were looking for, but unfortunately none of us at Trendjackers work directly for PeoplePerHour. So it might not be exactly possible that we will be able to give you the precise reason for why your hourlie isn’t performing so well.

      Nevertheless, we’re always up for a challenge and we would be more than happy to investigate your hourlie to see if there are any clear improvements that can be made.

      It may be worth taking a look at your direct competitors on PPH to see if they are positioning themselves in a more unique or interesting way than you are currently. You say that you have started a new account so perhaps the problem lies in your current pricing strategy.

      PPH is a big market place and early on, you may find that your niche has a really low price elasticity for a profile with no reviews. For example with very simple job on PPH, there may be others with more reliable reputations that are offering an equivalent or superior service.

      Maybe start concentrating on delivering a few awesome pitches to a couple of jobs in order to increase your ranking and reputation, which in turn will have an impact on your ability to reliably sell on the platform. Once your credibility has been established – you’ll have a much easier time.

      If you want us to take a look at your listing, just drop it in the comments or send it over to the inbox.

      Thanks again for reading,


  2. Wazeem October 19, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

    hi I post many hourly jobs on my profile but am not getting any order please tell me.
    Whats wrong to my hourly or why am not getting any jobs

    • Rob Thompson November 27, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Wazeem,

      I can’t see your hourlie so am unable to give any specific tips, but make sure to check out your competition and try your best to create something thats atleast 10 times better than everyone in the first page of the search results for your term.

      If your still struggling, maybe using the promotion tool to advertise your services wouldn’t hurt either.

  3. nelpomc December 19, 2017 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    This post is very useful! I actually signed up to PeoplePerHour today. Do you have any pointers on how I can sell myself?

    My background is in the legal industry doing company and market research. Currently doing my masters in law and completed a degree in law.

    • Rob Thompson November 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Nelpomc, good start to see you’ve set up your profile.

      It’s important to ensure you’ve got your latest and greatest work on show in your portfolio and don’t be affraid to mention your academic credntials when you apply for positions as it will certainly be sure to provide you with some leverage. Perhaps you could even use a profile photo with your graduation photograph if you really wanted to drive the message home in a very obvious way.

  4. Sasi January 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Hi, Do you get any orders on PPH by tweeting and sharing on FB? I have completed my first job and got a 5 star rating. I also want to create an hourly and promote it. Is social media helpful at all in promoting hourlies? Thank you for the write up. I know this is an year old article and i am late to comment. Any direction would be helpful since I am just starting out in the freelancing world. Thanks.

    • Rob Thompson November 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Sasi, thanks for reading our post.

      Sharing your job on social media can work, but it ultimately depends on who your connected too on the platform. I’d imagine you’d have a lot of friends and family on your Facebook account so it might not be the right platform for this. Alternatively, if you did want you use FB you might want to check out business networking groups in your local area which are often filled with like-minded individuals and professionals who may indeed need your services.

      Twitter on the otherhand is a discovery network so it’s quite likely that if you post interesting content that you can generate a following which would be a good way to direct traffic to your PPH profile. We wrote an article about how to get free Twitter followers that you might want to check out for some more info.

      To answer your question, social media can certainly be useful in promoting hourlies – but you’ll need to carefully consider your target audience and how specifically you are going to reach them.

  5. ROOBASH May 8, 2018 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    informative. Thanks

  6. James June 2, 2018 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Hey guys, great post!

    I recently started on PPH (3 days ago!) and have had 3 hourlie sales and one proposal acceptance, all of which I have been very happy with.

    I’m just wondering if you guys continued using PPH and if so, how many clinets/jobs you gain from it a month roughly now that you’re a year into it?


    • Rob Thompson November 27, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Hi James,

      Admittedly, over the last few months we have pivoted more to generating new leads in some different ways (we will write about this in an upcoming article).

      However, PPH was a really good springboard for when we where just getting started out and certainly led to some strong relationships and interesting oppertunities for us.

      Nevertheless, we still do get inbound inquiries on the platform from time to time, but now we are a little more selective about which gigs we go for.1

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