Meet Francesca, a freelancer who is steadily building her customer base and profile here on PeoplePerHour!
Hi Francesca! Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
Its something I’ve wanted to do for years, but I put it off due to fear of failure until I was offered the chance to do some work for an online company. It went really well, and they liked what I did, so it became the push I needed to venture out on my own and start to create and build my own freelance business. I designed my own branding, developed my own website, marketed myself online and slowly work started to come in.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I am actually still working a full time job in addition to freelancing. I currently work in construction and my role is to design, collate and write tenders to win work for the South Wales region. It’s a very busy and creative role with tight deadlines to meet, but I absolutely love it!
I freelance evenings and weekends and this works really well for me at the moment. I can control my workload accordingly, but it does mean some days I’m working till 5pm and then starting again with my freelance work in the evening.
Workload is good and at the moment I still see myself as building my business, so I’m absolutely enjoying having the best of both worlds. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard work sometimes, especially if I’ve got a big project on and have already had a long day in the office…. but I love what I do and I am hugely proud of finally taking that leap of faith and just going for it!
How did you come across PPH?
I did a lot of research online, searching for the best platform to help me launch my freelance business and services. PPH stood out due to the great features, easy to use interface but also the other types of freelancers on there. It fitted me perfectly and became a launchpad, which is still hugely beneficial for me picking up work.
What was your first job like on PPH?
Scary! The fear of failure is always in my mind. Will they like my work? What if I do something wrong? Have I charged them too much? Thankfully everything went well and it wasn’t an overly complicated brief. Once you get that first feedback from a happy customer, it really spurs you on!
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m a mum of two, so mornings are a mad rush with school runs before getting to my other job at 8.30am! My freelance hours start from 5.30pm, so I literally get home, have food, log on to check messages, follow up on workload, invoicing, etc. I usually aim to finish in an evening about 10.30pm but have been known to still be sat at the dining room table at midnight (thankfully not an everyday occurrence)!
Freelancing for me is all about showcasing my skills, managing my workload, controlling my brand and just ensuring every customer is happy with my work. It’s freedom to work on my own terms, which is a great feeling! It’s all me. No hiding behind a company!
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
PPH gives you good access to an endless pipeline of job leads which is really handy. The feedback function is hugely beneficial in promoting my work and the CERT score system has helped me gain more job enquiries.
I love the Hourlies feature! Having the ability to create set priced packages is very handy and I have picked up a lot of work from this! I also appreciate the Escrow and invoicing function, which makes transactions so much easier.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
Onwards and upwards really, steadily building my customer base, my services and my profile. I’m starting to take on more work with bigger companies which is leading to a lot of ongoing, repeat business. Higher profile and local customers are always a bonus and word of mouth referrals come on top of that. I’m excited to see what the rest of 2016 holds!
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1 – Research the platform. See what services other people offer and see where you fit into the fold.
2 – Create a niche. Offer something extra to what others are offering to help yourself stand out from the crowd.
3 – Get your pricing right. Don’t undersell yourself and offer services for next to nothing just to get work. Research competition and price yourself midrange to start out.
4 – Make sure you are fully briefed on the job and ensure the customer knows exactly what they are getting, and it’s agreed in writing before you commence work. I made this mistake when first starting out. The brief was very vague and I just agreed to everything. Before I knew it, I was doing a lot of work over and above what was initially asked of me. But because I wasn’t clear at the start, they expected it as part of the deal. I soon learnt from my mistakes and haven’t made that one since!
5 – Focus on doing your best for every client. There is nothing better than gaining excellent feedback for a job well done!
What web browser do you use?
Normally I use Chrome as I find others way too clunky. But also sometimes I utilise Firefox.
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
A chameleon! The ability to change to match your environment… my wardrobe would be endless! How cool would that be?!
What do you think of Francesca’s story? Has it motivated you to utilise PPH as an additional income, alongside your full time job? Please leave messages of support for Francesca in our comments box below!
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