Though we tend to be a girls club here at ProfessionGal, I’ve tapped the guys behind the revolutionary sites for freelancers PeoplePerHour and Maven.co for tips on keeping your clients coming, books you should read to beat your competition and why freelancing isn’t as scary as working in corporate.
Here’s a rundown on each site, and as a sidenote, you should totally consider registering for both to get your name out there as a freelancer:
PeoplePerHour allows you to post a professional service (like website design, press release writing, proofreading a business presentation – whatever) that you can complete in a number of hours. A business then purchases that service. At Maven.co, you can list your services as a consultant (say as an expert in some aspect of marketing or retail), and you can be hired either for phone consultations or to complete surveys for companies on niche topics (often to help with new product development). You set your rate and get paid.
Now, let’s meet the men.
PeoplePerHour CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou
Q: Were you a freelancer at some point in your life?
A: Yes I did dabble at it but struggled to find a sustainable source of good quality work. But equally, as a small business owner at the time I was a regular buyer of freelance services and I knew what was missing from the Buyer side of the model.
As a small business owner/manager in my previous entrepreneurial endeavor, I always struggled to find good quality talent to do things we needed in the business fast and reliably, and who weren’t 10,000 miles away. So that’s what initially promoted me to look at the space and launch PeoplePerHour.
I quickly realized that this was a massive opportunity, with a huge shift of talent going online in seek of jobs, starting from small project work that the traditional job boards didn’t support. I quickly saw that the traditional jobs market as we knew it was ripe for disruption and went for it .
Q: What are the benefits to being a freelancer versus going the traditional corporate route?
A: Independence is the number one thing. Most people want to work for themselves if they can, they value their freedom and independence with all the perks it brings such as a better work-life balance, less bureaucracy and politics, less time commuting etc. And yes, a lot of people on PeoplePerHour start freelancing as a means to either support their startup or building up a service business. It’s a great way to supplement your income or start building a loyal client base
Q: For Generation Y, launching a startup is all the rage. What is some insight you can provide into the tech world shows that shows the reality? Is it all glitz and gadgets?
A: Any entrepreneur will tell you that (unless you’re very lucky which you can’t rely on) building a business is a rollercoaster ride, it’s never a straight line to the goal, there’s always a zig-zag path to success. You need to have the stamina, energy and the nerve for it. Most of all you need to believe in yourself and the cause you serve. I share a lot of my stories and learnings (amassed on the way) on my blog. http://www.xeniosblog.com/
Q: Lots of people hear the word freelancer and think: scary instability – a risky move. of a move. Myth?
A: Well for starters there’s nearly 400,000 people on PeoplePerHour to prove that it’s achievable! And these are people who are not necessarily premium domain experts in a specialized field but they are people with good skills that are reliable, trust-worthy and deliver a good service, promptly and professionally. Anyone could freelance; you, me and the neighbor next door.
It’s no longer a profession limited to niche specialist skill sets. It’s for everyone, people who can write well, do numbers, have organizational skills to help in admin or who are tech savvy enough to add value to the average mom-n-pop business. Freelancing is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon, much like ecommerce when it was niche a decade ago. It will break through the early adopters chasm and be adopted by the masses.
Q: What do you believe is the top perk about being a freelancer?
A: In the words of William Wallace in Braveheart: “Freedom!”
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