Freelancer Story: “I feel so fortunate to have this lifestyle.”

   

Meet Liam, a TOP cert Magento certified specialist with over 400 5-star reviews!

Hi Liam, Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?

Hi PeoplePerHour. I’m a 39 year old, married man with a 16 year old son and work as a full time freelancer offering website development and graphic design services.

Truth be told, when I was younger, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I have always been told that I am a creative person and have always loved technology. So when I left school I went to art college. From there I went to my local college and focused on graphic design, and after getting my qualifications in both, I left and got my first job as a computer technician.

Out of the blue, my manager asked me to develop the company website for the shop (in MS Publisher, believe it or not) and since that very day I have been developing websites.

I then got another job as a website developer. I didn’t particularly enjoy some aspects of it, and one stressful day, I got home and started talking to my wife who suggested going freelance. Three days later I quit my job and started up on my own.

What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?

My previous role was a web design manager in charge of 7 other designers and developers in a large well known UK based web development agency. The job was quite stressful and all of us working there had dreams of going freelance. After all, who doesn’t want to be their own boss?! The conversation would come up quite often, but as many will tell you, starting up on your own is quite a scary step. A decision I can now tell you, was one of the best I’ve ever made in my life.

How did you come across PPH?

I had been getting work from other sources, but when my work was slowing, I tried signing up for a few freelance sites and I just found PPH really stood out to me. It seemed very well thought out compared with others, and I saw people offering services at reasonable prices that I too could offer.

A selection of logos Liam has designed.

A selection of logos Liam has designed.

What was your first job like on PPH?

My first job was a Facebook design job. I started off cheap to build my profile and portfolio.

What is a typical day like for you?

Usually I get up around 8:15. I check my phone for any PPH messages (unless it’s the weekend) and reply as quick as I can. I then take my wife to work, come back and get to my computer just before 9. I get my headphones on and create a job list for the day using Wunderlist.

I sometimes finish at 5, sometimes before, but I’m one of these types of people that would happily work until 9pm to catch up or get ahead.

How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?

It’s amazing! I feel so fortunate to have this lifestyle and think I would struggle going back to a regular job. I encourage anyone who is considering it to at least give it a try. It can be a hard slog getting it off the ground but if you commit everything you have got it will work for you, like it has for me.

A recent Magento website Liam designed and developed for one of the UK's most well known Swiss watch providers.

A recent Magento website Liam designed and developed for one of the UK’s most well-known Swiss watch providers.

What benefits have you found by using PPH?

The website and system in general is very well thought out. The Customer Support are always fantastic. Out of my 450+ jobs, I’ve had one issue where a client didn’t pay and support were absolutely brilliant. In fact, each and every time I’ve contacted them they have always been really helpful.

In all honesty PPH is one of main reasons I’m a successful freelancer. If I hadn’t stumbled across them when I did, I very much doubt I’d be living the lifestyle I do now!

What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?

I’m actually quite content with my life as a freelancer at the moment. I would like to keep doing what I’m doing, but just keep learning and getting better at it. I love designing and I’m excited to see where “it” takes me.

What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?

1. Be honest and work hard on your profile. Make sure it sells you and your skills.
2. Be competitive with your pricing at first, until you have built up your profile.
3. Well written Hourlies make sales. Make sure you check your competition regularly.
4. Really push hard to make your customers happy. I’d prefer a good review to an unhappy customer.
5. Stick at it. Building your portfolio, reviews and ratings is key to having a profile that stands out, and a good profile will generate work by itself.

Liam designed and developed this website for a large provider of car tuning parts.

Liam designed and developed this website for a large provider of car tuning parts.

What are your top 5 tips for web development and the tools that you use for small businesses?

1. Take some time out to master the tools.
2. Create Templates to speed up any possible processes.
3. Follow video tutorials online to hone in on any skills that may help you.
4. Educate yourself in different software, tools and file formats. Nothing is more embarrassing than being sent a file you have never heard of and having to search or ask about it.
5. Branch out onto other software and tools. Nobody can be a master of all, but it’s always good to be a novice in a wide variety of software.

What do you think of Liam’s story? Are you motivated to achieve 400+ 5-star reviews too?! Please leave messages of support for Liam in our comments box below!

If you’d like us to feature your story, please contact us at community@peopleperhour.com.

Liam B.

Website Developer

Morecambe, United Kingdom

Overview: Certified Magento Specialist, Website Developer & Professional Graphic Designer.

CONTACT LIAM

6 Comments

  • rokshana rahman

    I build my career peopleperHour.

  • Bhagya

    Hi, Thank you so much for your story. Its really inspiring. I didn’t know we could design with Microsoft Publisher too. Thanks for your ideas too.

  • Steve Sims

    I wasn’t aware of Wunderlist, it looks quite a good tool – I use Insightly for a CRM, but as a fellow freelancer I’ll check out Wunderlust. Also out of interest do you have your own website or do you work soley on PPH?

  • Liam Beale

    Hi Steve,

    Yes you should check wunderlist out. I like it because its simple and works great on all devices so no matter what device im on i know i can keep tabs on my worklist.

    I dont have my own website setup as yet no as i dont have time but do work outside of PPH as well and have several other clients outside of PPH which give me a bit of work. I would say PPH accounts for between 50 and 80% of my work on different months.

    Bhagya, yes you can use publisher too i dont think its the best tool but that was for my first websites.

    Best of luck and thanks for your comments

  • Steve Sims

    Thanks Liam.

  • syed majid shah

    i am trying to build my career on people per hour i think your blog will help me thanks for the share

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