People Per Hour otherwise known as PPH is a platform for sellers to sell their services, the site calls these services, hourlies, they are a set price package for a specific service or skill.
I (Mitchel) have been on PPH for over 2 years now and in the early years of my design career, before I set up LeftMedia I found the site useful. Where else could I find a captive audience for my design work? It was simple, I posted an “hourlie” with my design skills, for example my logo design hourlie, which was and still is very popular. This logo hourlie alone has sold over 700 times.
So, what has changed for me? That’s the point of this blog post, to share my views on why sites like People Per Hour can be harmful to a growing business.
Cheap design, who is it good for?
The client? The saying “pay cheap, pay twice” springs to mind. I agree completely with the set price aspect of the site, I think it is important for any size business to know exactly what price they will pay for a service, hourly designer costs can soon add up. In the early days of using People Per Hour, I was one of the cheaper designers on PPH, when I say cheaper, I mean cheaper than going to a big agency. In the last year or so, I have seen a HUGE increase in the number of designers on the site, charging £5 for a logo design. I have to question the level of service and design expertise the client is getting from such a cheap design service. I have had lots of clients buying my logo hourlie on PPH after purchasing one of these cheaper options and receiving a poor service.
People Per Hour, Rewarding cheaper designers
In the last year or so, PPH have made several changes to their “CERT” scoring system. This hasn’t affected me too much as I have lots of regular clients on and off PPH. Our position on the site has stuck around the 40th mark out of the 600,000 people on the site. The people I worry about are genuine and talented graphic designers, new to the site struggling to get noticed because they charge more than cheaper overseas designers. The way the new CERT score works seems to be based on price rather than quality.
Charging fees for advertising
When I first started on PPH it was great, you posted your hourlie and you would get a regular stream of new clients. Great. In the past year though, PPH seem to have followed the likes of Facebook in the way their platform works. Pay to be seen. PPH introduced their featured option, costing £9.95 for 2 weeks initially, this has now gone down to a 7 day period, reducing the time that your hourlie is featured for. I understand that every business needs to make money, but for a platform that “prides” itself on showcasing world class designers, the way they prioritise their hourlies is wrong in my opinion.
Buyers expecting too much?
Now, this is a risky subject, I know. I love my clients and will always go out of my way to help them in anyway I can. Clients on PPH seem to have unrealistic expectations of what the design process involves. As they are not investing much money into a project, it almost seems throw away to them. This can be frustrating for designers or any professional in fact. As a designer, you need feedback on designs sent, timely responses to keep the project on track and great communication from the buyer.
I have found that because the workstream messaging system is styled similarly to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, it is very easy for clients to type a couple of words and click send before reading what you have written. In the past, this has meant that buyers haven’t looked at the designs sent in detail or taken time to evaluate what they do and dont like, instead choosing to simply say “no, try again” – Every designer will tell you, we aren’t mind readers, we won’t get it right every time first time. But, with the way the PPH messaging works it makes it very easy to send one line of text and expect a designer to work from that.
Let’s end on a more positive note, PPH can be a great platform. I used to love it and I’m sure many people still do. It’s just not for me or LeftMedia. If you want to have a chat about your next design project, get in touch.