People Per Hour | How To Succeed As A New Freelancer

People Per Hour is an online freelance platform that empowers people across the globe with the ability to monetise their skills.

Unfortunately, many who begin to use People Per Hour 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 People Per Hour 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 are:
Martin – The Proposal Strategy
Rob – The Hourlie Strategy

The Proposal Strategy

One of People Per Hour’s primary features is it’s 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 hourly is unlikely.

Starting out on People Per Hour 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 realised 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 demeanour.

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, People Per Hour also utilises 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!

People Per Hour 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 People Per Hour, 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 enquire regarding opportunities for follow up work.

The Hourlie Strategy

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

Hourlies V Proposals People Per Hour

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 People Per Hour 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 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 2am 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 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.
By | 2017-01-07T21:22:48+00:00 January 6th, 2017|Freelancing|2 Comments

About the Author:

Trendjackers are a digital marketing agency based in the UK. We blog about our insights into digital marketing, amongst other things.

2 Comments

  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 team@trendjackers.com inbox.

      Thanks again for reading,

      Trendjackers

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