Meet Richard, the eagle-eyed entrepreneur with his sights set on a TOP CERT status!
Hi Richard! Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
I come from a long background of sales working in a number of varied environments. Just over 3 years ago, my partner and I decided to adopt a 7 year old boy who came along and changed our world. With his arrival, I hung up the sales pen and became a stay at home dad. I loved every minute of being a parent and was excited with the challenge. Once our son went back to school I found that I had spare time, so I started working with my parents supporting their charity. I used my experience to help their small charity become more successful, and within the first year I supported their charity in growing by 200%! But something was still missing; I had an itch that needed to be scratched. I missed the world of sales and closing regular deals. I wanted to earn just a little bit of extra money to enjoy some luxuries. Along came the concept of offering my services as a freelancer and using my skills to benefit others.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I worked in sales for many years selling houses, recruitment, educational supplies, gym memberships, make-up, carpet…. the list really is endless.
How did you come across PPH?
My partner had seen PPH advertised on Facebook and launched a profile, but didn’t have much time to manage it. So I had a go and the competitive streak in me ensured that I had the better profile and worked on it to make it successful.
What was your first job like on PPH?
My first job was June 2014 working for an accountant, it was strange to be working on sales calls again, but I got into it quite quickly. I offered 40 calls for £50 to generate interest and aim to book appointments. On the project I was able to book 2 appointments and get 6 other leads interested in hearing more. It was great to be working the phones again and seeing the results coming through.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me… I’ll take my son to school and send him in with a smile, and then head back home and settle myself in with a nice cup of coffee. I log on to my emails, PPH and LinkedIn, in that order and check what’s going on. I can almost always guarantee some sort of activity on my PPH account, a message or some feedback, or even a new hourly sold. I make my way through the plan of the day and start gathering information on the various projects that my team and I will be working on. I hit the phones and start the selling, sometimes it will be projects for others and sometimes it will be my own business development. Over the course of the day, I’ll check out my stats on my profile, I’m currently a CERT 5 seller at number 801. I must check that status twenty times per day, eager to bring in the TOP CERT ranking! A touch of lunch to re-fuel myself and of course since I am working from home, I can relax a little with my feet up and enjoy some down time. After lunch, it’s time to get back on the phones (and check my ranking) and then off starts the clock watching for school pick up time. I send feedback to my clients from the day and start thinking about the rest of the week and then head off to collect my son and have some real fun!
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
By being freelance, you manage your own time and structure your day to suit you. I’m able to work on any chores that are needed, keep up to date with the washing and decide how much my salary is going to be at the end of the month. I have the freedom to be my own boss and feel like a true entrepreneur.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
I’ve met some incredible contacts on PPH who have generated some fantastic business opportunities. From these leads I have been recommended for work elsewhere. Since my business has grown I needed to find people that I could work with to support me too. I used PPH to find people to support in sales campaigns, and I have found others that designed my logo, and people that could get leads for me. It really is an incredible site to network and get things done to a great standard.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
My future with PPH… TOP CERT!!! I have loved using the site and it has been a wonderful resource of business. I’ve been able to see some amazing success and much more than I had ever expected. My ambition takes over and I have a need to succeed and achieve, so I can’t say that I see a limit to my activities on PPH. Each time I think of something new which I can offer, the first place I take it is to PPH.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1. Make sure you are on the site at least once every day.
2. Have several hourlies available. Try variables of your services, to allow all the buyers out there to see you.
3. Check your stats. You can look at your hourlies and see which ones are being seen, which ones are selling and which are not moving. Have a think about what you could do differently on the ones that are not getting traction and perhaps look at the pricing, the wording or something else that you could do to make a difference. You could even try to feature the job to get some more interest.
4. Stay in touch. Make sure that you keep in touch with the people that have bought from you previously and see if they know about the other services you offer.
5. Leave feedback. It is always really good to have feedback on your work. So by leaving feedback for your buyers and sellers it will encourage them to do the same for you. Even poor feedback can be used as a positive. You can shape your next project based on the communication from your clients.
What are your top 5 sales tips for small businesses?
1. Don’t try to do it all alone, so often you will think that you need to manage every aspect of your business all by yourself. You need to make sure that you have a team of people (often made up of freelancers) that can pick up the slack and bring you great insights.
2. Aces in their places – Some of the most successful business people that I know understand that they are not the best at everything within the business environment. I am terrible at managing the finances. So instead of feeling bad and inevitably getting it wrong, I brought someone in that could manage that for me. My job is to just oversee what they do and make sure that my message doesn’t get diluted in the process.
3. Test your audience. Don’t just assume that because you think your product/service is amazing that your target market will agree with you. You need to be able to check the market to see what they are telling you. Listen to your customers and let them tell you what is needed.
4. See the negatives as a positive. Every time that I start a sales campaign I remind myself, that for every time someone says “No”, I am one step closer to a “Yes”. If I get some negative feedback, I see that as a great opportunity to look at what I am doing and see what I can do differently to improve. I always want to be the best I can be. I will only get there by looking at myself and my services and seeing what I need to do differently.
5. Flexibility. I think that this is something that I would consider one of my highest priorities…I’ve saved the best until last. If you are rigid in your business approach you will find that there is only a small selection of people that you will be able to work with. When I walk into a meeting I know that I may not come out with exactly what I was looking for, but if I can just keep an open mind and look for the opportunity I should be able take something out of it. Having a flexible approach to my business has allowed me to launch two new streams of business in the last 3 months and both are doing incredibly well. This is because I was asked if I could tailor a service to my clients, I was flexible and it made a massive difference!
What web browser do you use?
I am a Google Chrome kind of guy.
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
I would be a bald-headed eagle. Within the sales environment and running my own business, I need to have a bird’s eye view. I need to see all aspects of my business and then be able to focus in on one element with perfect sight. The bald-headed eagle also represents authority and control; it is remembered and looked up too.
What do you think of Richard’s story? Has he given you the inspiration you need to push your way to Top CERT status with him? Please leave messages of support for Richard in our comments box below!
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