On Death and Earnings
If you just want to make €22 and make me €22 then click here to sign up for PPH or else read the fascinating blog post I have written.
Last week and this week were a bit crazy for me. My father was in the hospital and my mother in law passed away. Sad but that’s life. As a result, I didn’t get much work done. Rushing between two hospitals and the death of my mother-in-law last Friday meant that sitting in front of a Mac working fell way down the priority list. My father is out of the hospital (nothing major) and we are adjusting to the loss of my mother in law this week.
Besides the sadness of the loss, it also showed me two things.
The first was the importance of charging for work, something I write and rant about a lot but tend to be weak at implementing. In my Inbox on my return to my desk were a sprinkling of emails from past customers looking for little jobs. I had kept my active projects well up to date through busy triaging on my phone during that past 10 dyas at weird hours.
The second was that some day I might not be able to work (or want to) for an extended time and it is about time I started thing about “the product” that would provide recurring income (yet to be created but lots of ideas). That is for another post.
The word quick, small job sends shivers down most freelancers necks. We know what it can mean. But often they are just that.
On my return to my home office there were three requests was to reset WordPress passwords for clients who have forgotten their details.
Of course, this type of task doesn’t take that long to do (in one case the admin was broken so took a little longer) but with three of them there it did take time. And time is money kids!
Charging for these with an invoice after the work is done would be the normal approach (or as I have done many times done it for nothing), but asking people to pay up front is difficult.
In addition, my instinct on my return was to just do it fix it and not charge. But I said screw that.
Using People Per Hour
In recent months I have started using PeoplePerHour to bid for jobs. Despite your thoughts on these type of forums, I now am getting 1-2 jobs a week out of it. My basic tactic is to have my search open – hit refresh 2-3 times per day, check the listings, apply for the ones that interest me and keep the scope super tight so I don’t lose money. I win about 1 in 10 but I have a nice decent script to reply so it normally only takes about 30 seconds to apply.
On of the features of PPH is hourlies. For these people pay into escrow and you get paid when the job is complete. Of course, I could add this processing to my own site but I get lots of random queries for different jobs. So with hourlies, I can create it – post it and the client can pay for it. PPH get a percentage fee but I still get covered.
It isn’t perfect but I plan to use the hourlies going forward and basically add the type of recurring tasks that ex-clients ask me to do all the time. The magic juice is having the payment in escrow. So I basically say “pay in here and I will start the job”. This is my reset password job.
The amounts here are small but for 4-5 jobs per week it mounts up and if someone isn’t going to pay well I just don’t do the job.
I will report back on how it works over the coming weeks. If you are interested in using PeoplePerHour then the referral link below allows you to sign up, I make €22 and you get a €22 discount voucher too.
Start with PPH and we both make €22
You will now earn €22 each time you invite a friend and they start their first project on PPH*. Plus you get a cool badge for your profile, and your friend will get a €22 discount voucher too – it’s a win-win!