Rahul is a TOP CERT website developer and programmer. Exerting himself to provide the best in customer service, Rahul has plans to one day open up a UK based office.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
My first taste of programming was in 9th Standard, when we were taught C/C++, I just loved it! My friends and I used to get the permission of our class teacher to skip school assembly and prayers so we could sit every morning for 20-30 minutes in the computer lab and play with ‘for’ and ‘if’ loops. My passion for programming grew further when I passed my engineering qualifying exam and I was admitted for my BE; I fell in love with Java and multithreading and built some really cool projects. I won a Software Impact award for one project.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
After my BE studies I worked for 5 years as a Web Developer for Accenture and Aon Hewitt. I decided to quit my job with Aon Hewitt when they failed to agree to my requested pay hike. I decided that I would never work for someone else again, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I would do. That is how I started freelancing!
How did you come across PPH?
For more than 18 months after leaving my job, while we were working on our products, I earned next to nothing. My savings were rapidly drying up and things were looking bleak, until one day, while browsing the Internet, I came across PPH. In the past I had set up profiles on several freelancing websites where a strong profile is required to win work. In comparison to these sites the PPH ‘Hourlies’ were unique and I thought the site was amazing. I loved the idea of not always having to find the work, you could simply create an Hourlie to sell your expertise and skills and clients would come to you. However, it still wasn’t easy to stand out among the 20,000 Hourlies listed.
What was your first job like on PPH?
I created a pretty unique Hourlie “Website Development for $100”, and then waited. I didn’t hear anything for couple of weeks. With only $30 left in my bank account, I had a decision to make. Should I ‘Feature’ my Hourlie? In my bid to attract clients, I decided to go for it. I featured the Hourlie once, and received a request, for which I worked tirelessly to ensure that my first client was 200% happy with my work. My hard work paid off I received 150 words of fantastic feedback!
What is a typical day like for you?
My day starts at 10 am in the morning, I check emails and reply to all enquires and urgent messages. Then I work on the deliverables until the evening. Late evening, again, I check and reply to messages and then work until late night again on deliverables.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
Well, for me, I do not see much of a difference as I work as much as I used to work when I was doing my full-time job. That said, as a freelancer there is good flexibility as I am my own boss.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
Getting clients was a major challenge; I had to travel to shops, showrooms and events to build a professional network, promote the company’s services and win work. PeoplePerHour has simplified my life because I’m able to find my clients all in the one place, sometimes they even come to find me! We can now reach a global market too.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
Well I want to open an office in the UK and offer affordable design and developing services.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1. Over-delivery and quick communication: I always make sure that I over-deliver, even if the client adds to or changes their requirements we never raise the fixed fees that we have agreed, and I always deliver the work. This builds trust, and so I either win more work from same client, or they recommend me to their circle. I do set a limit for this over delivery; the maximum I over deliver by is 50%. I reply almost instantly to all of my clients who respect workmanship and are professional. This again helps to build trust. I always make sure to answer all client questions in detail, and never leave a question unanswered. Again, this builds trust, and so my clients come back to me again and again. After working with more than 150 clients, I have noticed that an instant reply to an enquiry means that the chances of converting the enquiry into a sale is three times more than a reply sent after 24 hours or more has passed.
2. Honesty and commitment: I am completely transparent; I never hide anything from my clients. If I cannot fulfil their requirements, I will refer them to other freelancers. As a result, my clients trust me, rely on me and keep coming back for referrals and more work. I am 110% committed to the work that I undertake and will deliver it before time, unless there is a delay from the client side. I always follow up with a client if I do not hear from them.
3. Quality and complementary service: I never compromise on the quality of the work that I deliver. Instead, I go beyond the scope of the original request to make sure that what I deliver is of the highest standard, without focusing on payment. In return I am always rewarded with great client feedback, which in turn gets me more business. Alongside my Hourlies I offer freebies and complementary services, which attract new customers and help me to beat the competition.
4. Under commit and deliver more: I read somewhere and always try to follow that advice. I never over commit just to win a job. Rather, I under commit and over deliver; this again builds trust and secures either repeat work or referrals from all of my clients.
What are your top 5 design tips?
1. Mobile first design – Always design mobile concepts first before you jump to web design
2. Flat design – It is a current trend, so always use flat icons
3. Retina ready – Ensure there is lot of white space and never make a page crowded with loads of information and action buttons
4. Use large sized font – Font is what can make or break the site. Make sure to use appropriate line height and letter spacing.
5. Keep it simple – From navigation to page layout, you should keep everything simple and straightforward so that even a grade 3 student can browse your site easily.
What web browser do you use?
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
Lion, I would love to be king of the jungle
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