OMG, I Just lost my job due to Covid-19 and now what!? It’s 2020 and we are now being faced with social distancing, lockdowns and many of us have experienced loss of business. I’m here to offer a shining light in the dark tunnel, so please read on!
Unfortunately this is the sad reality that many of us are facing, and now, even more than ever, it is important to find alternative revenue streams! The internet claims to be a “Get rich and famous overnight” dreamworld, only for you to accidentally click the wrong button and now you are about to marry a Russian bride !?
That does happen, and that would suck, but there are SECURE and TRUSTED websites out there which could assist you… I am sharing the one I use, and hopefully it will help someone start FREELANCING on the internet – weird concept for some who are used to going to an office job… well… let me share a little “freelancing online haven” to use, to build up a side income. Enjoy!
I continue to motivate everyone around me to think creatively about using digital solutions during this horrible time of uncertainty. As a digital person myself, I did not stop working during the lockdowns and social distancing, in my country I managed to re-brand my graphic design business brand, you can check the evolution here. I have been a digital design geek for many years now… and I think a lot of the time people are unsure how simple it can actually be! I know and understand that it does not come easy for many people. There are people in my family who are complete techno-phobes! It is a real thing. They literally get afraid to get too tech in fear that something might happen? What, I don’t know, but I sympathize and I understand that this might cause fear and anxiety, and I am here to help!
Let’s dive in!
Today’s article is about creating a professional, online profile on a website called PeoplePerHour.
If you have not yet seen or heard of this website, please go and Google it now.
TRUTH BOMB: this is not the solution to take if you are looking for that quick and easy overnight internet success magic solution, which I do not believe exists. I believe we reap what we sow. I work hard for my money and my clients know my hard work and standards, and they are happy to pay me for this. That’s why PPH does work for me. However, you have to be willing to put the work in.
Buyer and seller? Terminology explained
You’ll notice all over the website it mentions Buyers and Sellers and it’s a little confusing at the beginning. Simply put, if you are looking for freelancers, i.e. you are going to buy from them, then you are a buyer. If you are a freelancer, you are looking to sell your services, then you are a seller. You can also be both.
You can consider PeoplePerHour if:
- You are skilled enough in your craft, trade or services (either as a beginner, mid-weight or an expert) so much so that you can confidently offer your skills to clients to get paid over the internet.
- The services that you are going to sell on PPH, are services (or work) that you can do online, remotely, or at a distance.
- You have a good internet connection and you check your messages regularly
- You possibly already offer your skills to people or businesses, and you want to expand (get more clients) and/or working hours outside of your traditional 8-5 jobs, if your current employee contract permits it!
- You are looking to build an online freelancing profile to share with new clients as you do not have a portfolio website, your PPH profile can act as an online portfolio for you to share with future clients.
- You want to build up a professional, side-hustle or part-time job
- You want to work the hours that you want, be it part time work, or weekend work, or full-time freelancing. You decide on your hourly rate and you negotiate with the buyer the terms of the project each and every time that you submit a proposal. So if you are looking to take more control in the way you work, this could be an interesting option for your online freelancing business.
If any of the above resonates with you, or if you are interested in setting up an account and profile with PPH, to start earning money online, then read on and I will explain to you step by step, how you can set up your account and profile.
Step 1 Familiarize yourself with the PeoplePerHour website
In order to be able to create a relevant profile, take a moment to browse the PeoplePerHour website, browse user profiles, offers and learn what the website is actually all about.
I actually spent many days on this step… Personally, I just could not start writing my About Me page and creating offers on my profile if I didn’t know what the possibilities were… I searched for people working in my field and I took some screen shots to kept as reference on my phone. I drew inspiration from these great profiles, I tried to find the ones which were getting high ratings, and I asked myself, why? Why is this particular profile getting such success… Once you recognized what seems to be working for others, then you know what to build on your own profile to attract those same key clients.
Then it also (totally normal) takes time to familiarize yourself with all the pages and buttons.
Step 2 Go to the website and sign up
Once you’re ready to sign up, go to https://www.peopleperhour.com and click SIGN UP to start creating your account.
Above is the landing page of the people per hour website
Once you click on the SIGU-UP button, a pop-up window will take over your screen and it will ask you: “What do you want to do?”
- I want to hire a freelancer
- I want to work as a freelancer
Above is the pop-up, the blue button is the selected option.
In this guide we’re creating an online freelancing profile, so we’re going to select the option “I want to work as a freelancer“. You can also adjust this later. Then you need to choose if you wish, set up via Facebook or email. For the purposes of this guide, I will choose “Sign up with email”.
It will then give you this window, where you can simply fill in your details, first name, last name, email and password, you click SIGN UP.
Now you should have a pop-up telling you that an email has been sent to you, which you need to verify. Simply go check your mail, and don’t forget to check your spam/ junk folder if you cannot find it in your inbox.
Above is the pop-up telling you that an email has been sent to you.
Above is the welcome email asking you to verify your account.
Step 3 Verify your account
Follow the instructions outlined in their welcome email. By clicking on the first link, you will be confirming your email address and verifying your account. You can then click on the “complete application” button to add your profile information, freelancing pricing and skills. You need to include this information this in order to set up your profile.
Step 4 Add your information to complete the application.
By clicking on the second link, you should open the below page, where you will be guided to add your information in a 5 step process. To explain, the PPH team have divided your profile into these 5 sub-sections:
- Tell Us About You
- Select Your Skills
- Add References
- Set Your On-Site Preferences
- Personalize Your Application
Each of these arrow blocks above, are clickable. Click on the first one to start adding your relevant information.
Try to be as detailed as possible and read the little descriptions that the PPH team offer you, for example, they will say if the text needed should be a detailed (long) paragraph explaining something in a lot of detail, or they will tell you if it should be a simple keyword summary.
PRO TIP: Remember to use SEO friendly keywords describing your skills. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and this is very important, because you want people to be able to “discover” you and your profile, via the Search Engine “Optimized” keywords that they will type, when searching for freelancers. You want your page to come up in their results, right? Then you should use relevant keywords (called search engine “optimized” keywords), when filling out your profile. What does this mean? Try writing short, “keyword” filled phrases and not a bunch of unnecessary words. Use to-the-point phrases and try to include relevant keywords that someone else might type, when they are searching for your profile. If you would like to view an example, go check out the About me section on my profile, which you can visit: here.
For example you will see my profile uses mostly key words to describe who I am and what I can offer the buyer, however I tried my best to come across as human and real as possible.
Step 5 Get specific, they want details
This step might become complicated, so to help you out, let’s take a closer look at some of the sections you will have to fill in.
You will start by confirming if you represent a company or not, what your job title is and your phone number. You will then be able to choose the currency of preference, as it’s an international website, they don’t have South African Rands (ZAR) but you can work in any currency and the app will convert your money into Rands once you complete a project and get paid, so don’t worry if you cannot find Rands. Notice also, that by default, the value starts at an hourly rate at £6, this could be different for you. I would advise you to research what your current service skills rates are sold for in foreign currency. For example, I had to Google, “how much does a graphic designer get paid in £ / € / $” to learn which was the best suitable hourly rate for my level of skills. Then you can adjust this as you go along, because you might find that you start off way too low or high and you might find yourself revisiting this regularly, testing what works for you, in order to maximize your offerings and get paid adequately for your skills.
Step 6 create your cover art and profile picture
You will see that the first section gives you the option to upload a COVER IMAGE and PROFILE PICTURE. This is very important as it is the first thing buyers are going to see when they come to visit your profile. This (hopefully) should happen every time you submit a proposal to get a job, if you write an interesting proposal a buyer will be enticed to come and visit your profile! Now will be the moment when they decide yes or no to use you and your skills! This could also happen when you create your “offers” which we will cover later, then again, potential buyers will scroll and scroll through a bunch of “offers” made by different freelancers, and if your “offer” looks interesting, the buyer will click to come visit your profile!
So you see how important it is to choose a PROFILE PICTURE where you look professional and ready to take on the job. Then for the COVER IMAGE you could have a little more fun! You could add some text, use beautiful photography (check out unsplash for incredible free images which you could use), you could showcase a piece of your work with a strong call to action! The sky is the limit here, so get creative, and if you need help creating this, please feel free to contact me.
Step 7 choose your best work to demonstrate your skills
The same principle applies when you add examples of your work into the “portfolio” section. Don’t compromise on what you show the buyer! You have limited time and visual space on your profile to make a quick impression. Do not load all of your 1001 work examples. Here, it’s really quality, over quantity. You should hand select only the best pieces of your portfolio. Copywriters like to show their certificates and awards, graphic designers like to use mockups (like below), web developers like to share live, clickable links to websites that they have built. You should use visual examples to showcase your work so that the buyer can literally see the type of work that you offer, so that they know what to expect. This will increase the chances of your profile getting selected above others. They should really be impressed with the examples of your previous work for them to be able to award you the job!
Example of gift card mockup visuals used to demonstrate graphic design skills.
Step 8 Create some “Offers”
By now you are familiar with this concept on the PPH website, they have “offers”, which are quick, project proposals designed to get buyers to make quick purchases on the top skills that you offer. You should keep these simple, and the beauty of these, is that you start with just the essential offering, then you can give the customer the option to buy small, valuable “add-ons” to up-sell your customer’s purchase.
Above is what the “Offers” pages look like.
When we look at this offer posted by Zargham, his offer is “1000 word SEO Tech Article” selling for €20, then when you scroll down to the bottom, he has these value “add-ons” which the buyer can add to the purchase, making it more affordable for the buyer, and allowing the freelancer the change to up-sell to earn more!
Some people prefer to make Offers and have great success on having many offers, and then you also have the users, who send great proposals, so they prefer to send proposals instead of focusing on offers.
You should setup both and the one that suits you best. For me the whole Offers thing was not really working for me. I have better success search individual job posts and then I take time to write personalized proposal, which seems to be working for me. I think then someone will see that I al human, that I am taking the time to work on the project from the very beginning, which is actually the proposal! If writing Offers works better for you, write a comment below to share some tips and advise for fellow boss mamas, because sharing really is caring.
As a freelancer, it is not always easy finding clients, so sometimes it helps to use a website like PPH as a freelancing platform, which has really helped me in the past few months… I had to test it out for myself and now I feel that it is a solid, trusted, secure website which is built for freelancers and buyers all around the world, and when you crack the code, and start getting hits! The effect should snowball…
Now that you have come this far, READ OUR NEXT BLOG ARTICLE: 7 TIP on how to improve your PPH profile to land clients!