Meet David; he writes for a number of major websites in UK, Canada, Australia and the United States. He has a background in Journalism and is an expert in online content creation, and he holds a Level 4 PPH certificate.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
My introduction to working online came through e-commerce. Our family was looking for a way to generate a second income as an investment for our children’s future.
So, we set up our own e-commerce store specializing in traditional and fair trade board games from around the world. The business was a wonderful success, and we sold it three years later.
Since we were on such a tight budget, learning additional skills such as web design, search engine optimisation and digital marketing became necessary.
After we sold that business, we picked up another business that we started in 2004 but which was sitting on the shelf. That business was Mallee Blue Media, a marketing and publishing business.
From what we had learned about web design and digital marketing, we developed a new business plan for our media and publishing company.
I began working as a Freelancer, providing search marketing, web design and content marketing support for businesses that were coming online. As my freelancing skills in publishing and content marketing grew, I continued to develop and expand my services to more and more businesses.
I particularly enjoyed design work and mastering the use of rich media tools and Flipsnack flipbook technology, in order to produce quality content and visual media for clients.
Throughout the process, Peopleperhour was an instrumental means of expanding my reach and my connections with other business online.
The platform allowed me to work as a Freelancer, experimenting with different services and the provision of different expertise until I became confident in what I was offering.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I have a background in small business management and the tourism and hospitality industry.
How did you come across PPH?
I came across PeoplePerHour after some amount of frustration with the limitations and lack of professionalism of some of the other freelance services available online.
What was your first job like on PPH?
I made life easier for myself when I joined PeoplePerHour and only provided services I was absolutely 100% confident I could deliver easily. So, my first experience was a good experience.
I would say to anyone who is thinking of starting out as a Freelancer on PeoplePerHour: Begin by only delivering what is easy for you to deliver and what you are absolutely confident you can deliver on time and with above average quality.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually start my day by going through the emails that have come in overnight and by delegating or actioning anything that needs my immediate attention.
I then prioritize the day’s tasks and get to work. I try to stop for regular meals and breaks to get some physical exercise away from the screen.
And, since I have four children under ten years old, I try and leave enough time in the day to hang with them and enjoy their company.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
Freelancing enables me to work from home or from anywhere in the world, and that’s a huge bonus and one of the major appeals of freelancing.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
The biggest benefit of PeoplePerHour is that the clients and the work come to me. I don’t have to worry about seeking out qualified business opportunities.
PeoplePerHour provides much of the quality control so that by the time person makes contact with me they are fairly certain of what they want, and they’ve come to me believing they will get it.
This means that there a minimal negotiation and maximum turnover.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I am in the process of refining my service offering. Having spent quite some years offering a full suite of search marketing services, I’ve decided to narrow my scope by providing only professional content marketing and design.
Writing and design is what I love the most and PeoplePerHour provides the opportunity for me to satisfy a growing and hungry market. People need content, and I enjoy creating it.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
- Only offer what you are certain you can deliver with the highest quality and within the necessary time frame.
- Keep your service as simple and easy to understand. Make it very clear what you are offering so that people don’t have to ask questions or guess.
- If you keep your offers tight and limited, then you’ll have an opportunity to over-deliver. Being able to deliver a little extra will be rewarded. Offering too much, and failing to deliver what you promised, will not be rewarded.
- Whatever you think you’re worth, add 30%. Of course, some people think way too much of themselves and overcharge. But, for the majority of us, our biggest problem is undercharging. People equate cost with value. If you believe in what you’re offering, then make sure you set a decent price.
- Never complain, never explain. Never complain to your customer about your circumstances and never go to war when your customer complains about you. Move on to working with clients that will appreciate you. Always be honest and transparent with your client. If you fail to do something – or can’t do something after the work has begun – communicate swiftly to avoid disappointment. Never blame them for your failure and never make excuses.
What are your top 5 tips for your particular role?
- Always create original content. Don’t copy someone else’s work
- Be sure to check all of your work for errors before you deliver. Don’t wait for your customer to point out your mistakes for you.
- Creating good content – whether it’s design work or writing – takes time. Be careful not to over-commit yourself to too many clients.
- Do be overly ambitious. If you are not familiar with a tool, a concept, a niche or a subject and you don’t know how to create what the client wants, don’t “fake it till you make it”. Don’t waste energy trying to be a one-stop shop. It is far better to be the expert on one subject and get all the work in that subject than being mediocre on 50 subjects.
- Point four notwithstanding, always be looking for ways to develop your skills But, again, know your limitations – including the limitations on your time.
What web browser do you use?
I use Chrome.
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
I would either be a frog, which would enable me to live on land or in water – or, alternatively, I would like to be an eagle. Then I could swoop down and eat the frogs I didn’t like.
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