This is part of our series of PeoplePerHour Freelancer Awards 2017 interviews with winners.
The winner of The Web Master Of The Year award, Peter Mahoney, remembers his first days as a freelancer and tells us how one job open the doors for him.
How and why did you get into freelancing?
In 2012, my wife and I made the decision to move our (very) young family out of the city. Commuting to my old workplace wasn’t going to be an option, and my wife had always been very certain I’d be successful setting up my own business.
So we decided to make a go of it.
The hardest bit was getting my foot in the door, building a reputation that would get my inbox filling up.
I was considering settling for contract work when a friend recommended this site he was trying out, PeoplePerHour.
How did you get your first client?
By offering an unreasonably cheap bid on a job. I worked three full days for what I’d now earn in two hours.
But it worked, I got my first feedback, and suddenly I was in the game.
What is the most enjoyable part of being a freelancer?
Family. It’s almost cliché, but so true.
I get to drop my children to school in the morning and I’m always with them for dinner.
I do have an office that I rent in town (I work well with a separation of my home and work life) but I got to choose where. And I chose somewhere very close to home.
There is so much more freedom in freelancing. Yes, there are times I’m very busy but I can choose how and when I deal with the workload.
And what is a pain?
But fortunately, there are plenty of people to help with that right here on PPH.
Thousands of skilled professionals are planning to
take the leap and start working for themselves.
What advice can you give them?
There are several ingredients to successful freelancing. You need to be motivated to get through the days when you’d really just rather be doing something else.
Patience is equally important. It might take you longer than you expected to achieve something and you can’t just throw in the towel. Remember, the reason clients are coming to you is because they can’t do this themselves; be prepared to explain things in a variety of ways until they’re satisfied.
Make sure you really are a skilled professional. PPH as a skills-based ecosystem has a lot of exceptional talent. It’s a wonderful place to be if you’re able to add something genuinely useful to the platform.
But my biggest advice is absolutely communication. Be prepared for a lot of it; I’ve delivered the same Hourlie to people who just wanted to pay me and be done with it and others who necessitated over 100 messages back and forth.
But clients absolutely have a right to understand the work you’ve done, your rationale behind it and what it means for them and their business.
How has PeoplePerHour helped you in your journey?
The PeoplePerHour platform has made such a difference to myself and my family.
I was really able to hit the ground running as soon as I found it. I didn’t have to wait for the phone to ring, I could approach people I knew would benefit from my services.
A significant portion of my income now comes from PPH, so it’s allowed me both financial security and work/life flexibility.
That’s pretty much the dream.