Sunday, 14 August 2016

#HerFreelanceLife PART: 1 - Freelance but NO work coming in?


Us freelancers are beautiful creatures that the world DOES need, but man if you are a freelancer then you will definitely know how it goes in this freelancers/contractors life!

I mean yes we all love the freedom (or at least the idea) of choosing how and when we work and whom and how much we work for, BUT on the flip side when freelancing, one month we can be feasting in the top restaurants after a great pay packet and the very next month we can't even be seen to spare the money to buy a cucumber!  "Preach Crystal" I hear you scream! 
Well yes, I've definitely been there and done that...

However fear not my fellow freelancers! For I am a prime example that there is actually hope! Over years of continuous freelance work and ups and downs I managed to find great ways to make freelancing work for me, ways which I will be sharing with you in these forthcoming #HerFreelanceLife posts! 
So don't you dare give up, stick with me.

Actually a freelancers life can be a fruitful one indeed, once you find the best ways to work within your means and once you find yourself regular clients that just keep on coming back for repeat bookings of your excellent services! Remember, the clients ARE out there; its just your job to find them, attract them to your services and genuinely convince them that you are the perfect person for the job!

To kick start the process of this #HerFreelanceLife series of blog posts I thought I'd first start with a recommendation for a site where you can all get started (beginners and professionals) on listing your services and finding new potential clients for yourself in a relatively easy way. So here in this first post I introduce you to  "People Per Hour", a great way to get you started off on your freelance journey (if you are a beginner) while also being a great way to find new clients and project to work on for great pay if you are already experienced. Anyone who has a quality service to offer can benefit from having and using a profile on the People Per Hour platform to showcase, promote and deliver their services and getting paid good rates to do so.

If you are a Freelancer seeking more structure, more clients, more work and more money today then I recommend you to try People Per Hour for starters.



What is people People Per Hour?
People Per Hour is a great online platform which allows you to set up your own profile based on whatever you do and whatever services you provide, and to sell these services online to paying clients who are actively seeking freelancers for all kinds of work.

Many freelancers use platforms like People Per Hour to make more money in between their major projects and some pro sellers are even said to have made it to a level where they are actually able to gain their whole monthly income, working solely as an online freelancer on platforms like People Per Hour. Whether you are a graphics designer, a blogger, a virtual P.A, a content writer, photographer or singer, there is space for you on this platform and if you have a service that people out there need, you can be found and booked for it via People Per Hour.

In my opinion, the reason that People Per Hour is one of the best sites for finding freelance work online is simply because you can set your own preferred rates of pay, based on your skills and experience and actually get paid what you deserve for the level of service that you provide. Other platforms such as Fiverr - where you originally would only get $5 no matter what your service are now catching on to the fact that people want more for their hard work and are now offering sellers the chance to up-sell their services and charge more for their work, but People Per Hour have certainly been doing this effectively for much longer. (I will touch on Fiverr in a future post - they too are actually excellent now that you can up-sell and make more on the site - but let's stick with People Per Hour for this primary post)

Now before you ask "but Crystal can I make any real money on this site"? The answer is simply yes. It is true that you will find various other similar sites are just full of clients seeking to extort crazy bargains out of freelancers during their drought periods, a time when, quite frankly, you just need the money... any money! These sites have led to freelancers under valuing their services and charging much less than they deserve just to get some money in. Now don't get me wrong, of course some clients seeking freelancers on People Per Hour will also be out hunting for a bargain BUT many are very professional clientele that genuinely need a job done well and therefore are more than willing to pay its worth in pounds to have it done, plus it is YOU who sets the bar for payment here, later being able to accept or decline any counter offers.

Once you sign up as a freelancer on People Per Hour you are prompted to set up a profile for yourself to showcase your work and services, including space to upload examples of your work as a portfolio for prospective clients to view. You can set an hourly rate of pay that you expect to receive and can provide a set fee for whole projects. This fee can later be negotiated up or down directly with clients depending on what they require from you at any given time and their overall budget and what you are happy to accept after discussion of the project.

Alongside clients finding you via your profile you can also FIND THEM when they post a job to the site. There are many posts popping up daily from people seeking freelancers to apply to their post with any relevant experience for paid work. When this happens you can read the clients brief and then "pitch" to them letting them know how much you would charge for that particular job or service  and encourage them to check out your portfolio and see if they think that you are the one for the job. 

#HerFreelanceLife Key Tips and The Do's and Dont's for freelancers using People Per Hour - by Crystal King UK


- Make sure your portfolio shows your true potential! 
When clients are browsing the site the first thing they will see is your profile and your portfolio, this alone will determine whether or not they choose you for the job! So make it worth viewing! 

- A clear, clean cut professional image on your profile is a must 
Something smart if you are a professional or maybe something expressive or creative if you are from the creative sector
You may decide to put an image relating to your work or one of yourself, that is up to you, but just make sure that whatever you choose to showcase, it effectively portrays what a client would want to see within your industry at a first glance.

- Have the best examples of your work on display for clients
 I'd say that it is a good idea to have least three to six excellent examples of your past work on your online People Per Hour Portfolio. Pick the best examples that you have to upload. It can be tempting to just upload everything you have but clients receive so many applications they cant look through every video and every sample of work in its entirety, so ensure whatever they do click on is good enough to get you the job! 

- Be wise about your pricing / charges 
Always offer a generously competitive price alongside a great portfolio. There will of course be others also pitching to the same clients that you are pitching to, but there's still a great chance of being chosen if you have a great portfolio and a price to match the quality of it. Don't over price services and don't de-value yourself either, stick to your guns and make sure your price matches the quality of your work shown.

- Quality and price matching
It can be tempting to charge like a pro before you have earned it. Don't do that! We all have to grow into what we always knew we could be! Be realistic, remember People Per Hour is also a great way to build you portfolio, so before you know it you will have more great work to upload to your portfolio, sometimes directly via the work you do on the site and then later you can raise your fees, when you know that you are in the position to do so. 

- Don't be disheartened if you don't get booked at first
Just keep right on applying for the jobs and posts that suit your profile and relate to your services. Clients are always prompted to let you know WHY they are declining your pitch whenever they do so, which is actually great because it allows you to understand why you have not been successful this time and to potentially improve your profile for the next pitch. It could be that the price is too high or too low (either or both can actually be a turn off for the client) or it could be that someone else sent them a better offer or that they don't believe your profile showcased the right level of skills or the right style of work for their vision. If you see the same comments continuously on declined gigs then maybe you need to tweak a few things on your portfolio based on these results and work on making it a bit better based on the feedback given.

- Always be honest and only display your own genuine work. 
There is not point in just googling something amazing, pretending its yours, getting a booking based on that alone and then not being able to deliver the same quality of work when the time comes! No, no! Believe in your work, be genuine and you will get great reviews and more bookings.

- Put in the effort to get the results
I am not going to tell you that all you have to do is create the profile and leave it alone and the jobs will come.. that would be a LIE! Once you are set up and ready to go I would advise working People Per Hour into your "freelance schedule" (which I will go into detail about in part 2 of this series of #HerFreelanceLife) and make sure that you set aside at least 20-30 mins each day or every other day to apply for work on the platform in order to get maximum results.

So the time has come for you to go and try it out! 
Get a discount off your first service on PPH CLICK HERE

Article by @CrystalTheKing 

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