Advice from a fellow freelancer: How to get your first client on PeoplePerHour

We’ve now updated this article to be relevant for the current website. Check out our latest page for the most recent tips on how to land your first client on PeoplePerHour here.

Congratulations on registering with PeoplePerHour and joining the community of people taking part in the new cool gig economy! But joining is not enough; now you need to get your first client. PPH provides an infrastructure but getting a customer is your job, so you have to be proactive.

Bring Your Profile to Life

Start by filling it in. List your qualifications and experience but don’t over-egg it. Upload a picture because customers like to see a face behind a CV. But you better keep the image simple, passport-style – a picture of you in Ibiza waving a pint doesn’t inspire confidence in your business qualities.

Supercharge Your Portfolio

The next step is to upload your portfolio – the evidence that you can do what you say you can do. A student project or that site you did for a cafe that has never taken off will do, too. Don’t have a single web link or a picture to present your projects? Helping a local charity (they always need volunteers) for free is a neat way to get some samples and references.

first client
A great portfolio will help you get your first client faster! Portfolio example from Max R.

Get Your References Sorted

When it comes to referrals, it’s a great idea to invite people who worked with you before to leave their testimonials. As I said before, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a paid job and may not be in the field you are selling your skills in. You want to work as a digital assistant, but never did it formally? But you did organise a Harvest Festival at your child’s school… You can ask a teacher to leave a testimonial about you being dependable and highly organised.

Apply early, apply often

Hourlies – the special PPH advertisement of a job you can do for a set price – are a great thing, but you shouldn’t expect clients to randomly stumble into you. You have to apply to job ads. Don’t be fooled by “You were invited to submit a proposal” message. It’s not a buyer contacting you directly – it’s a result of an algorithm matching keywords of your profile and searches to the Job. You still need to apply and persuade the client that you are the best person for the job.

And don’t go on PPH twice a week, expecting to go through the adverts and select those that are worth your attention. In the beginning, before you acquire your regular clients, you have to monitor ads often and apply ASAP. Being proactive and prompt increases your chances of getting the job. The customer will not wade through all 50 applications and will not wait a week before selecting the winner. A quick response also advertises your immediate availability.

Don’t wait for the reply to come in, apply to the next one. You’ll negotiate the conditions when you win the job.

Hourlies are wonderful way to package your hours into off-the-shelf offers, but don't forget to constantly bid for Jobs too! Hourlies offered by Letitia C.
Hourlies are a wonderful way to package your hours into off-the-shelf offers, but don’t forget to constantly bid for Jobs too! Hourlies offered by Letitia C.

Show that You Care

As with the CVs, a standard one-size-fits-all application indicates that you are not interested in the job, not really. You need to tailor your application to the job each time. Yes, it takes time, but it’ll improve your client-winning skills.

Set a Reasonable Price

Have a look at the profiles of other freelancers who offer similar service. You’ll notice that there’s a range of options – from the lowest to the highest bidder. The highest bidders are usually experienced people with tens and hundreds of positive reviews. Remember that your work quality is unproven yet, you are an enigma, so even if you’re positive that your service deserves a lot, don’t go to the high end just yet.

On the other hand, don’t try to underbid either because low price can raise suspicion about the quality of your service. The best would be to set your price at the lower end and explain in the application that you are trying to get your first client and therefore extending a discount.

Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s not easy to get the first client. Expect tens of applications where the job is awarded to somebody else. Please, don’t be discouraged. You only need to get the first job; more will follow.

Good hunting!

About the Author

Vicki Doronina Vicki Doronina is a freelance copywriter and marketing coordinator. Her writing appeared in Science (Careers), The Scientist, Her View From Home, Soapbox Writers, and biotech blogs as well as in Russian and Belarusian media outlets. She lives in the UK. You can hire Vicki on PeoplePerHour. 

Want to contribute to PeoplePerHour blog? Get in touch via juste@peopleperhour.com!

Kelly Jane
PeoplePerHour
Kelly is PeoplePerHour marketing expert. She has a wealth of experience in digital and social media marketing. As a freelancer, she has been committed in helping small businesses grow by offering them agile and result-driven marketing services.
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Sandeep Jethwa
Sandeep Jethwa

Nice post!

John Crowley
John Crowley

You make some nice points. The only point I slightly disagree with is the point you make about setting your price point. I think you’re absolutely right if you’re talking to somebody who has never freelanced before – inexperience should always be accompanied by a lower price. However, if you’re approaching the platform as a newbie to the website but an experienced professional, I think you should start out from the very beginning charging whatever rates you would charge elsewhere. Whenever I have started out with a new freelance platform (such as PPH), I have always made a point of… Read more »

Clementina James
Clementina James

Thank you, John Crowley, that is precisely how I feel. I should not need to undervalue myself just because I’m a newbie. If I work to a professionally high standard then I think I should charge according to what I am capable of delivering.

I’m learning the ropes, though.

Clementina J

Ezat El-Dkak
Ezat El-Dkak

Helpful post and comment. Thank you Vicki and John.

Omar M.
Omar M.

Thank you for the post and advise which is very useful for newcomer in PPH sites. The promotion of self profile with decorum of presentation is well briefed. I personally agree your advise and remark the same to all the freelancer should follow in order to represent themselves to the global platform. Further more I believe freelancing is all about speed & accuracy . Freelancing is a multi tasking professional activities not fixed for one specific employer. A freelancer is an independent contractor to undertakes multiple jobs from employers with responsibilities. Pph sites is a well elaborated user friendly freelancing… Read more »

Zoe S.
Zoe S.

Great article, but I have to agree with John – your price is your price. I’ve tweaked my Profile several times since I started here, but I think it read something along the lines of “after 15 years of successful freelancing, I can now offer my services through PPH”. I absolutely scattergunned my first 15 proposal credits on anything and everything where I knew I could do a great job – for example, if you’re presenting yourself as a writer, you’ll also have good research skills, and you’re probably a pretty quick typist too. I was also very sneaky and… Read more »

Mazedur Rahaman
Mazedur Rahaman

Thank you for the post.Great article

Engr.Farooq-uz-Zaman
Engr.Farooq-uz-Zaman

Good Article!!!
Thank You. . .

bayzid Islam
bayzid Islam

Thanks for Inform me

Waleed
Waleed

a good read , i myself am looking for my first job in the writing industry, hopefully this helps.

sumonneoaz
sumonneoaz

nice.thanks

mohammad jakhbir
mohammad jakhbir

great and nice

Eyasin Arafut Robin
Eyasin Arafut Robin

Great thank you

asitab pa
asitab pa

Hmm… Thanx!

MOhammed
MOhammed

Nice!!!

Tanim Ahmed
Tanim Ahmed

Thank you

Towhidul islam
Towhidul islam

Thanks for this helpful post!

As a newbie it’s help me to understand about job’s price and many more.

Thanks again!

Diyadinesh
Diyadinesh

Freelancing is one of the best career for individuals who want to work from home. Hundreds of freelance jobs opportunities are available on internet. But finding the best freelance job is a difficult task. This article is very useful for the beginners who are seeking for a freelance job. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

sutopa saha
sutopa saha

Thanks

ASLAM KHAN
ASLAM KHAN

Very helpful for the new comer in the field. Thanks for the guidance.

Prayitno Dulman
Prayitno Dulman

Thanks for the post
I am looking for the first job

Dheeraj Kumar
Dheeraj Kumar

Thank you for the post and advise which is very useful for newcomer in PPH sites. i have 5+ year experience looking or client and this article gonna help me thanks

Dheeraj Kumar
Dheeraj Kumar

Thank you for the post and guideline which is very useful for me in PPH sites. i have 5+ year experience looking or client and this article gonna help me thanks

Amine El Amraoui
Amine El Amraoui

Very helpful tips. Thank you

Liam O'Neil
Liam O'Neil

Vicki, Well written and thank you. I have been in my industry 14 years, and only in the last two years or so I have branched out on my own. There is a few points would like to add… 1. RE: Show that You Care I cannot stress how important this is. I have worked with clients from all around the world. The one thing clients and freelancers alike share is that we are human, and have a need to have a sense of humility. Both towards our clients and with the clients end users. Empathy goes a long way.… Read more »

Amir Mahmood
Amir Mahmood

Dear Vicki,
Thanks for sharing your experience. But it is so frustrating to wait for the first order. I’m worried about this. Please help me.

Very very thanks
Amir

Jayne Livingstone
Jayne Livingstone

Hi Vicki , you said that you should get past clients to post testimonials but when I tried to get past clients to endorse me they were not able to because they were not part of the pph website.

Can they post testimonials if they are not part of the pph website ?

Thanks

Jayne

shohag hossan
shohag hossan

very helpful articular for me thanks…
by ,shohag hossan

Faheem Shaikh Rafique
Faheem Shaikh Rafique

Hello
I am a new freelancer and having a good Typing experience so how can i get a good typing work project and how can i joint people per hour website to work as a freelancer and really we get the typing jobs from this site please help me out how can i get a typing work project as a freelancer

moranga wycliff
moranga wycliff

A great article I have gone through it and has taught me a lot as a new freelancer

Thank you.

Rinku Singh
Rinku Singh

Hello,

I have registered, I did not even upload the portfolio. The project is not coming. I have 12 years experience. What do I need to do? Please help me in this website.

I have not got any project, please help me

Fin O'Suilleabhain
Fin O'Suilleabhain

Very helpful, and I’m sure still relevant. Am I write in thinking people need to be signed up up to PPH to post an Endorsement? That’s the impression I get from the experience of inviting five people (one of whom is signed up) to write one for me.

Aman Choudhary
Aman Choudhary

Great information, patience is key , so i am waiting for my my first project

Saurabh
Saurabh

Indeed, it’s a good post on how to start on PPH.

Jackpot
Jackpot

This is very helpful.

Thank you

Abuabdellah
Abuabdellah

Thank you for these tips, one important step is what you mentioned “Apply early, apply often”.

I want to add “wakeup early, start work early”

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