Getting paid by international clients as a freelancer can be tricky. Check out our guide to learn the best ways to get paid from abroad without losing on fees.
In many ways, it’s easier than ever these days to go freelance. Technology means that it’s now possible for much work to be done remotely, and it’s simple to connect with businesses and individuals from all around the world in moments.
What’s more, there have been many tech startups keen to use this new wave of freelancers, or ‘digital nomads’ as they’re sometimes called, by facilitating their connections with potential clients. PeoplePerHour has been going since 2007, so is one of the most established platforms through which freelancers can find work online – and through which businesses can find freelancers.
This review will take a look at PeoplePerHour from your perspective as a freelancer, and give you the key info on how it works and what you can get out of the experience.
PeoplePerHour calls itself ‘the longest running freelance service in the UK’.¹ Since 2007, it has offered individual freelancers the opportunity to connect with its list of businesses. In a nutshell, the platform lets businesses post projects, and freelancers can respond to these projects with proposals. The business can then select which freelancer they want to work with.
Before you get started, a word.
Banks and money transfer providers often don’t convert your money with the mid-market exchange rate when you make or receive an international payment. Instead they add a mark-up and charge you a hidden fee that way.
Wise Business is different. Its smart technology skips hefty international transfer fees by connecting local bank accounts all around the world. Which means you can save money using Wise rather than your bank when you send your money abroad.
Wise also has a lot of additional features for business users. You can connect with Xero to make your life easier, upload a batch of payments in one go or even automate your payments by integrating with our API. And there’s more to come in the future.
Now, back to what you came here to read.
Here’s a guide to how to get set up and start earning on PeoplePerHour.
- Apply to join You need to get “certified” before you can join the team of PeoplePerHour freelancers. PeoplePerHour takes pride in reviewing all its applications – rightly so, as they describe their freelancers as “experts”.
- Make a profile Like with many platforms, your personal profile is at the heart of your PeoplePerHour account. Set it up with a professional-looking picture and details of your expertise and experience. You also set a sample per-hour rate, which they call a “rough estimation”.
- Find projects PeoplePerHour uses AI to match you with projects that appear to match your skills and expertise. You can look for such projects yourself, or set up notifications for whenever they’re added.
- Make proposals You respond to projects with “proposals”: tailored responses to the potential client that explain why you are the perfect person for them to trust with the work.
- Make “offers” You can be proactive as well as reactive by making “offers”: jobs that you as a freelancer can provide to anyone who’s looking. Businesses may then find your offer while browsing.
- Invoice and get paid Once you have a completed project, it’s time to get paid. Sending invoices is done within PeoplePerHour: your client is notified straight away, and you should receive your money relatively smoothly.³
That’s all very well, but how do you get paid? Here’s a look at how it works.
- The fee (or rate) should be agreed on before you begin a project, reducing the likelihood of awkward conversations later on.
- Clients have to pay a deposit into an escrow (secured) account, so that some of their money is protected while you complete the project.
- You can invoice clients for work done directly through PeoplePerHour. The client then has to authorise payment, and once that’s done the money should come through to your PeoplePerHour account.
- Then it’s up to you: you can leave money in your PeoplePerHour account, or – probably more useful – you can withdraw funds to your bank account.
PeoplePerHour lets you get paid in various currencies: British pounds, euros, or US dollars. You can withdraw funds in any of those currencies, and also convert funds between the currencies. Is there a fee for currency conversion? You bet. There are other fees, too. Read on for more info on all of them.²
PeoplePerHour doesn’t just set freelancers up with clients. It offers a whole platform through which the work transaction and payment can take place. As such, there are quite a few fees that might come up. Here’s an overview of the key fees to know about. The table below only concentrates on fees for you as a freelancer, but of course buyers face various fees too.⁴
The fees are correct at the time of writing but may change. Check with PeoplePerHour directly if you’re unsure of anything.
|PeoplePerHour fee type
|Per buyer:20% on first £500 earned7.5% on £500-5,0003.5% over £5,000
|Minimum service fee per invoice: £2.50.Minimum payment using Auto Pay or Per Hour Contracts: £6.Amounts differ in different currencies. VAT is excluded.
|PeoplePerHour takes a cut of your payment. Bear in mind that these amounts are per buyer. For example, if you have two £400 projects with two different buyers, PeoplePerHour takes 20% of both of them.
|Extra proposal credits
|Per month:15 free£5.95 for 5 extra£8.95 for 10 extra£14.95 for 25 extra£19.95 for 50 extra
|Amounts differ in different currencies.
|You’re allowed to make 15 proposals per month for free. If you go above that number, you have to buy an additional allowance.
|Varies. Examples:UK bank transfer: no chargeInternational bank transfer: £19.99PayPal: 1.9%Payoneer in GBP: £2
|Fees vary depending on withdrawal method used.
|When you withdraw money from your PeoplePerHour account, you might have to pay a fee. The fee depends on payment method.
|Fast track fee
|Amount differs in different currencies.
|Pay this extra fee if you want to expedite your freelancer application.
|Feature offer fee
|£9.95Additional £3 payment possible
|Amount differs in different currencies.
|Pay this to promote one of your offers. This could be a one-off, or recurring. The extra £3 will put you in a specific newsletter going out to buyers.
|Featured profile fee
|Daily, determined by bidding
|Set your own fee and enter into a bidding competition with other freelancers: the leading bids each day win.
|You can upgrade your profile to “featured” status, giving you more prominence, if you’re willing to pay.⁴
|Featured proposal fee
|£4.95 for 1£19.95 for 5£35.95 for 15
|You get 15 proposal credits free per month - if you need more, then you will need to pay an additional fee.
|A “featured” proposal can be seen by the buyer instantly – before they see others. It’s a way to make your proposal stand out.⁵
|Inactive user account fee
|£6.70 per month
|Charged if you have dormant funds in your user account for more than 60 days.
|Even though you get a special “PeoplePerHour User Account”, you have to pay a monthly fee if you keep money in that account for too long. “PPH IS NOT A BANK”, it notes in the terms and conditions.
|Currency conversion fee
|2.5% plus possible exchange rate markup
|PeoplePerHour doesn’t control the exchange rates it uses. You do get to see the exchange rate in advance.
|If you need to convert money between currencies, the money will be converted “at a foreign exchange rate determined by an official institution”, plus you have to pay PeoplePerHour 2.5% on top of that.
There may be other fees too, for instance if something goes wrong with your bank details and a bank transfer is reversed or investigated.⁴
It’s looking closely through PeoplePerHour’s fees, especially if you’re likely to end up with money in foreign currencies in your account. Try and figure out exactly how you’d get paid and what fees you’d end up having to pay. When you’re working out how high to set your estimated hourly rate, don’t forget to factor in all the fees that you’ll have to pay along the way.
Here’s a closer look at some of the pros and cons of PeoplePerHour.
|PeoplePerHour has a large network of users, especially in the UK. Many businesses use the site.
|You’re up against a huge number of competing freelancers from all around the world.
|You get access to a constantly changing stream of potential new clients.
|You may lack the personal touch, or job security, that you get with regular clients or employers.
|Amount of work
|Committed, flexible users could be able to pick up large amounts of work.
|There’s no minimum workload guarantee: you may get no work at all, despite sending many proposals.
|You can set your own general rates and have no obligation to take on badly paying work. The rates may compare favourably to those on some competing sites.
|If you’re bidding on projects, you don’t have a great amount of flexibility with rates. Also, there may be others on the site willing to work for less than you are.
|Your client has to make an initial deposit into an escrow account, giving you some degree of financial security as you work on a project. Invoicing is automated, reducing your workload.
|Everything is done via PeoplePerHour, giving you less flexibility with payment methods and schedules.
|There’s no fee for registering for an account, and some aspects of the service are free. It’s putting you in touch with clients you probably wouldn’t be able to get otherwise, so charging a service fee is reasonable.
|PeoplePerHour takes a considerable cut of your payments, charges for add-on services. By contrast, if you deal directly with a client, you don’t have any of these fees to worry about.
|Flexibility and freelancing
|PeoplePerHour is a great enabler for freelancers, committed to “debunking the archaic 9-to-5 work model”.
|There are negative aspects to being a freelancer such as increased expenses, a lack of financial stability, no employee benefits, and potentially irregular working hours. Many freelancers would kill for a “9-to-5 work model”.
It’s well worth casting a wide net to increase your exposure, which may involve signing up for several freelancing platforms, as well as seeking out “private” clients. Here are a few of your other options when it comes to freelancing sites.
- Freelancer.com: helps freelancers easily connect with clients on projects ranging from mobile app development to graphic design.
- Fiverr: connect effortlessly with clients to provide professional services from voice overs to translations.
- Upwork: offers a wide range of opportunities for freelancers, from web development to producing content for clients.
- Outsourcely: specifically aims to connect companies with freelancers for long-term projects.
- Task Rabbit: for people looking to do odd jobs locally.
Overall, PeoplePerHour is well worth considering if you’re looking to build up a freelancing portfolio - but don’t forget that there are also alternatives to consider.
Freelance platforms provide the opportunity to connect with clients all over the world, meaning that you may need to receive payments for your work in a currency other than your local one. Specialist providers, such as Wise can help with that - offering low conversion fees and the real market exchange rate on international transfers.
PeoplePerHour can help you earn money for your work, but take the time to do your research and make sure that you choose the freelance platform that works for you.
1.https://www.peopleperhour.com/about About PeoplePerHour
3.https://www.peopleperhour.com/how-it-works How it Works
5.https://support.peopleperhour.com/hc/en-us/articles/205217597-Optional-feature-fees Featured Proposal Fees
Sources checked on 27 June 2019.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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