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!
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 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.