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How to Succeed on PeoplePerHour as a New Freelancer

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Penned by Top-Rated PeoplePerHour freelancer, Jodiemoon

Freelancing is a great way to develop your skills and earn extra money while working hours that work for you. Businesses turn to freelancers to outsource work, as well as introduce skills not currently in-house. If freelancing on PeoplePerHour (PPH) has caught your eye, here is how to navigate one of the world’s biggest freelancing platforms. 

What is PeoplePerHour? 

In 2007, PeoplePerHour began as a platform for freelancers and those who seek freelancers to connect to complete jobs or gain hire. Offering the option for clients to hire per the hour or workload, PeoplePerHour provides flexibility to both the client and the expert freelancers on the roster. 

peopleperhour home page

Each year, more and more people sign up to offer their services on PeoplePerHour, with the skill set broadening from administrative services to social media assistance, writing to design, and even programming to music and audio. 

How to Optimize Your PeoplePerHour Profile for Get Hired

Starting as a new freelancer can be daunting, but to position yourself for the best opportunities, you’ll need to first optimize your profile, and that means making certain your profile is complete. 

Write a bio that sums up your value, but you don’t have to use this place to chronicle all of your experience. It would actually be best to create a portfolio. If you don’t have anything to put in it just yet, add a portfolio to your profile the moment you do. Be sure to identify – in your bio, your portfolio, or both – what you specialize in and select several skills (which double as searchable keywords when clients are looking to buy services)  you want to be known for providing.

screenshot of Jodie's freelancer profiel

How the PeoplePerHour CERT Rating System Works

On PeoplePerHour, a rating system is used for its freelancers called CERT, and freelancers are ranked from CERT’s 1 to 5. The ‘Top’ Cert is for the more successful freelancers. 

So, how do you get the top Cert? Well, to get on this rating system, you need to complete a project with a client and earn a rating. The higher the rating (or the larger the job), the more ‘points’ you earn. You increase in rankings with each project you complete. 

Screenshot of PeoplePerHour CERT rating system

To rise quickly, it’s crucial to complete jobs on time and receive top ratings from the project. In the beginning, consider setting your hourly rate as something you’re happy with but lower than some of your opposition. Yes, you may earn less than what you’re worth, but as long as your rates are competitive, you’re also more likely to win more of jobs. When you’ve built up consistent work and boosted your Cert rating, you can consider increasing your prices. 

PeoplePerHour’s Most & Least Competitive Categories

PeoplePerHour has recently streamlined its categories to the ones shown on the banner when you enter the homepage. They are:

  • Technology & Programming
  • Writing & Translation
  • Design
  • Digital Marketing
  • Video, Photo & Image
  • Business
  • Music & Audio
  • Marketing, Branding & Sales
  • Social Media 

Under each of these are a range of sub-categories, which is good because it allows clients to find exactly what they are looking for, and freelancers can be found for the skills and disciplines in which they specialize. 

Screenshot of nav bar on PeoplePerHour

Because of the way PeoplePerHour showcases its categories, you have to use  your best judgment to figure out which categories are more competitive. 

For example, currently, there are over 300 projects in ‘Business’, however, upon further inspection, most of these are for ‘Administration Assistants’ rather than the rest of ‘Business’. 

Design services are a popular request with over 1,000 jobs waiting to be picked up (as of this article being written). But again, when you drill down, within Design, the subcategory of Web Design is the skill most sought. 

Check out the image below. There are more than a dozen different subcategories that fall under the general category of Design. This means there’s room for freelancers who are really good at one or two things, and there’s room for freelancers who are pretty good at lots of things.  

Screenshot of different design jobs on PeoplePerHour

Music & Audio is the least in-demand category, with the subcategories listed below in the image and each of these subcategories evenly spread. 

Screenshot of Music & Audio category on PeoplePerHour

Similar to most freelancing services, all of these can fluctuate from week to week. For example, during the pandemic when people moved to online working, Business and Writing & Translation sky-rocketed, but has since settled down to its usual number. 

It’s crucial to subcategorize yourself and your business as much as possible. You can offer multiple services over many of the categories. While a subcategory may be quiet now, it may be in high demand in a few weeks. 

Tips For Submitting A Winning Bid on PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour provides you with 15 credits to submit proposals every month. For each proposal you submit, you use one credit unless you’re the first freelancer to bid on a job, then that submission is free. After that, proposals will cost you. So, let’s talk about the ways you get the most use out of those first 15 [free] credits. 

Read Project Specification Carefully

It may sound like I’m stating the obvious here, but be sure you read the project specifications carefully. While it may seem like any job is a great job, you could wind up working a job that doesn’t resonate with you, or that’s far more work than you understood. Ask questions to get the full scope of the job and what the client needs. 

Don’t Duplicate Pitches

As each client is looking for something different, don’t repeat pitches. Each pitch you write should be personal to the client and the project specifications. Keep your pitch anchored on what the client is looking for, and write how you would achieve this. Addressing the client makes your pitch more personal, and taking the time to do this can put you ahead of clients who reuse pitches to win jobs. 

Be Realistic 

When it comes to completing a project or setting your price, be realistic. Be honest with yourself about what you think it will take to complete the job, and pitch that. If you’re happy with the offered price, pitch that and explain why in the pitch. Putting all of this upfront can aid the client with their decision-making. 

Offer Suggestions and Ask Questions

If the project specification has missed something or has left something open to interpretation, ask questions. It can help show the client if you’ve aligned with their vision and that you’re thinking ahead and showing how serious you are. 

How To Get Top Reviews

Top reviews on PeoplePerHour come from completing great work and building a relationship with the client. For any work I do, I always offer to send over a draft to the client if it’s the first time working. It can be easy to assume how someone wants something written, but it is always best to be sure. 

Delivering on time is also key to rising the ranks, with PeoplePerHour being very strict on it, and you can lose ranking for being late. However, sometimes things happen, and creating that two-way communication early on will help navigate potentially volatile situations should they arise. If you are delayed, contact the client to explain what is happening. If you can, add a bonus for them if you’re late, showing your dedication to the role. 

How To Use Keywords To Get Found on PeoplePerHour

Keywords on PeoplePerHour have been streamlined and can be updated on your profile page. Make sure to add keywords to your profile for the skills you are confident you can perform well consistently (and that you want to perform). These “skill keywords” will help you get round on the platform, and they’re even searchable on Google. 

It’s also vital to ensure at least three of these skills are mentioned in your bio and your job title, which helps you rank higher. 

PeoplePerHour will push your profile higher and higher so it’s more and more visible the more jobs you complete. The platform’s algorithm will showcase and in some cases recommend you when clients search for freelancers in your field. Actually, my profile was the only PPH-recommended profile when Sorilbran went on the platform looking for someone to write this article. 

PeoplePerHour will also begin recommending key skills after you’ve completed specific jobs, so be sure to focus on keeping your profile up-to-date. 

The PeoplePerHour Fee Structure And The Types Of Clients You Service

The Ultimate GUide to Succeeding On PeoplePerHour as a New Freelancer - Pinterest Pin

PeoplePerHour charges 20% on all work below £250 (about $350 USD), but if you build repeated work with a client, this percentage can drop from 7.5% to 3.5%. 

Another possible benefit is if you have a client outside of PeoplePerHour who would like to work with you through the site, you can work with them on the platform for 0% commission. This is a simple way to take advantage of PPH’s escrow features to make sure clients pay you for your work. It’s also SUPER useful if you’re working with someone in another country because you don’t have to jump through hoops to get paid (like figuring out what SWIFT codes are and how to use them to get paid). Plus, the referral allows your client to receive £30 just for joining. 

Recently, for 2021, PeoplePerHour has lowered its charge for freelancers as a thank you and appreciation. Once freelancers earn a total of £2,000  within 2021, their fees go from 20% to 7.5% for all other work over the year.

The clients I work with are those seeking content writing, similar to this piece or for blogs or online magazines. I often have repeated clients, so the charges alter for me because of this. The types of jobs I complete and topics I cover vary from client to client, from fitness to lifestyle, travel to business. 

Creating Your Own Offers on PeoplePerHour

If you create an Offer, it’s a good idea to send the client a thank you message when they purchase it. This small gesture can speak volumes in such a busy and competitive marketplace.   

Creating Offers or Packages

PeoplePerHour allows freelancers to create pre-packaged Offers for clients to purchase directly from the freelancer. These are pre-packed services that you offer at a flat rate and promise to deliver within a specific time period. 

You can offer absolutely anything within the PPH guidelines. But It’s important to remember that Offers are “express” jobs delivered within a maximum of 5 days, so try to offer anything you’ll struggle to deliver on time.  

Offers create another opportunity for freelancers to be seen my clients who may not otherwise be recommended for specific job postings because PeoplerPerHour Clients can search for things like “Instagram marketing” or “blog writers” by typing them into the search bar on the platform and turn up popular Offers that match their search query. This introduces them to freelancers without them ever having to create an actual job posting. 

Popular Offers Categories screenshot on PeoplePerHour

From Instagram Marketing to Article Writing, PeoplePerHour places its best freelancers forward and offers their offers and packages upfront for clients and even site visitors to see. Clients searching for a freelancer can use the filters to the left to whittle down the options to zero-in on the type of freelancer they’re looking for. 

How to Set Up Your Own Offer as a Freelancer on PeoplePerHour

Setting up an Offer is easy enough. 

Click on the orange ‘Post Offer’ button at the top of your screen. Highlight at the top what you are offering, for example: ‘I can write an SEO article or blog post of 1,000 words’ and select a fixed price for the project. 

Choose a time frame for completing the job BEFORE choosing the category. For myself, my work and Offers are typically writing and translation projects. 

Next, select some tags to help you show up in the search queries, and upload a photo that matches your offer. It’s best to avoid stock images on PeoplePerHour. It takes just a few minutes to design a custom image on Canva or PicMonkey, so go that route for your image. 

Screenshot of Offer form on PeoplePerHour

When filling out the ‘More details’ section, be clear about what you can do – really sell yourself here and highlight what you can for the client. Add any relevant experience or expertise you have. Ensure to feed in some keywords, too, as this will help you rank higher. 

A Few Final Words on PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is an easy-to-use freelancing website that has changed my life for the better. I’ve further developed skills and worked with amazing clients, all the while earning some extra money. I hope you’ve found this whole article helpful, and it helps you win your first project and land your first 5-star rating on PeoplePerHour to get you on the CERT scale.