For anyone who hasn’t heard of People Per Hour it is a brilliant website and community through which freelancers across any number of sectors may apply or send a proposal for jobs that are posted. PPH charge some fees (I know, how dare they!) when you are paid on completion of the work however all in all it is a great way to make money and increase your contact base.
People Per Hour facilitate payments, communications between clients and freelancers and provide a platform through which many people are able to shout about their business and their skills which in turn enables them to earn more.
When I first joined PPH back in 2011 it was a busy site and did the job it was supposed to do. Then, last year (to the outrage of many!) PPH changed. A fresh new design, new features and more were introduced and the freelance world found itself united against the mighty PPH who dared to change things. I mean really, did they think they owned the site?
I’ll admit that at the start I found many of the changes bewildering. Everything had moved, I couldn’t find a thing and while some of the changes made perfect sense the reasoning behind some of the others was certainly not obvious. Many continued to scream, shout and throw tantrums over the changes however over time most people have come to realise that the changes were for the best and that adopting a Moaning Minnie stance wasn’t going to earn them any cash!
Thankfully the door was left open for feedback across the PPH forum, Facebook, via the support team and more. I myself was one of the lucky ones to enjoy a Google+ Hangout with the big boss himself at the time who was very open and receptive to feedback and over the past six months the feedback received has been actioned and the site works better than ever.
Personally I find PPH a fantastic place to pick up one-off pieces of work or to forge on-going working relationships. I have earned a substantial amount through the site and have enjoyed finding new and interesting projects and people through it. While not all of my business comes from PPH some does and it all adds up folks.
The issue that many people have had with PPH in the past is that people always posted jobs wanting people with real skills to work for peanuts. This was seen as belittling the worth of the freelancer, although no-one HAS to apply for a job if they aren’t happy with the terms. PPH have put a lot of work into making the platform a fairer place for all. There are still very low rate jobs that do pop up occasionally and I was once questioned regarding why I had bid on one of these. My answer was:
“You see that X wants me to do this work for £7 an hour and that I have bid for this job. What you don’t see is the proposal that I have sent or the actual amount I’ve said I will work for. Through writing a compelling proposal explaining what I would actually work for and why the client should pay that, I have been known to triple if not quadruple the amount originally offered AND have gone on to enjoy future projects with that same client at the higher rate“.
PPH is a platform to be used to identify new work opportunities and to increase your own visibility in your sector, and it works.
If you have any questions about my experiences with PPH ask away as I am happy to answer them and if I can’t I will direct you to the right support solution. This business tool is one to look into further and which will if used properly, especially since the changes have been implemented and the kinks ironed out, increase your income.
**This post has been entered into the “Be a PPH ambassador” scheme (a chosen freelancer gets a shiny badge and could win some £ to use on the site) however I only endorse sites, tools or cheese that I really do like and my content remains very much under my own control. This means that you may confident that when I recommend something I do it because I truly believe in it.
As many of you know I work from home. We moved house back in October partly because my previous office had been nabbed by a beautiful boy back in 2010. What I now have is space. Wonderful space to work in and to store my files, folders and everything else that I need.
After a couple of years of working with my laptop on my knee or at a cluttered kitchen table this is indeed a thing of beauty. Having to walk past the pushchair downstairs, the wash basket at the top of the landing, the chest of drawers littered with library books, odd socks, a night light and then onwards to find this beautiful desk is probably not something I want to invite a client or prospective client to try.
Meeting new clients, discussing their needs, working out budgets and making plans are all part of my weekly work. Fortunately I manage to usually convince people that Skype is the best way forward for these meetings however what do you do as a self-employed person with a less than glamorous home office when the client wants to meet in person? Other than panic I mean.
I can tell you from experience that coffee shops or similar venues, while they may serve delicious coffee and all too tempting cakes are really not fantastic locations for such meetings. Confidentiality in a crowded cafe is hard to maintain and holding onto your concentration over the noise of chatter and the hiss of the coffee machine is not ideal either.
It really isn’t appropriate for me to rent out an office away from the home. 95% of the time it is a perfectly adequate for my needs and I don’t see the need to pay a lease for an office that I would hardly use. I suspect that this issue comes up quite often with many self-employed business owners and freelancers struggling to find appropriate and affordable places to hold meetings.
One alternative to this problem is to perhaps find a serviced office nearby. Whoever thought up the idea of having offices ready at the drop of a hat for those face-to-face meetings that you simply can’t do at home is nothing short of a genius. Having a serviced office at your disposal means that you only pay for the time that you need it for, that you have a clean, tidy and modern office space to use as and when without having to clean and tidy it yourself (this appeals to me!), you have a choice of room sizes so that you are able to choose to an appropriate setting for your needs i.e. a small room for a 1-1 meeting or a larger space for a conference or similar. Added to this there are all the mod cons and the usual refreshments and what not available so that you may wow your client and not have to worry about a huge bill.
I haven’t personally used a service such as this however am able to see the huge benefits that it offers and it is something that I am likely to use in the future, especially as if I was to have more than one client in to visit my office at the same time that the extra person would probably have to sit on a bed.
A question for all of you self-employed people who are reading, when you can’t get away with using Skype for meetings what do you do about meeting up with clients?
*Written in collaboration with the mentioned business yet true to my thoughts, feelings and experiences
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