Lack of Jobs - What is Going On?

Comments

62 comments

  • Adam

    12 months ago I use to have a waiting list as I would have 10 orders on the go. As of today I have had no new orders for 8 days and I have billed £300 and in the top 30 in the writing category (my services are not big ticket) it is rather alarming the drop off and it is totally unsustainable.

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  • Craig

    I have been sitting in the same position as a top cert for about 5 months or more. I am literally not moving, even though my earnings have dropped which is a sign of how things are for others. I have been really trying to think of where I plan to go next should things really come to an end. 

    It is amazing how things can quickly change. I was outsourcing work to four other people, things were flying along and I was earning good money. I had to go VAT registered which is a good sign too but now this year is completely different. It is quite literally throwing a lot of our plans in the air at the moment!

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  • Craig

    Yes, that is pretty much exactly the same as me. My services are very low priced (£20 each) but i was turning over such as good volume and getting in some big orders that I never had to worry. There were months where things would start slow but they would soon gather momentum. Something has happened, I am not sure what but what has caused it. I am convinced AI is the biggest factor and this site has always had people trying to offer something for nothing but the better freelancers would soon rise to the top. I am just perplexed as to how it has all fallen off a cliff.

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  • Adam

    I agree that AI is a factor, but most people are put off by the poor/no customer service, rather shoddy marketing of the site and poor quality freelancers that then influx them with rubbish proposals.

    For example, on the offer page for my niche I could honestly say from the 17 pages around 14 pages of the offers could be removed. This could be for lies, no experience, plagiarism and spelling or poor content.

    I think there is a real lack of good marketing (digital and social) on the site now and this coincides with the reduction of fees charged. Without good marketing, the site is not getting noticed. Better promotions about freelancers would be a start (not ones that haven't had reviews since 2020)

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  • Craig

    To be honest, other than a few emails and some social media presence (and a small appearance on TV), I have always thought that the marketing was lacking but then I thought that it just gathered momentum much like the other sites but who am I to know as I am not a marketing expert.

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  • Simon

    I'm sure there is a combination of factors and we notice our own niche most. For me, AI is not a problem and I don't expect it to be for a while, although I recognise it is a different story when it comes to creating written content. I think there is generally less UK work than there was years ago. In fact, I've seen a decline over the last 15 years. We hear about the big companies going bust but we don't hear about the little ones. I suspect a lot of older people in my age group and above have stopped working. That will hit me because I provide support for older technologies, like Excel macros. When work stopped due to Covid, some people didn't bother coming back.. I have a few too many years to go, not enough savings, and no private pension, so I struggle on. Even I could retire if I was prepared to ruthlessly downsize my house and the longer I scratch along, the less ruthless a downsize would have to be.

    PPH seem to have been content to run on autopilot for years, and their lack of maintenance of the site is catching up with them, but they don't care. It is no longer a top option if someone is looking to outsource work. If a new buyer does give it a try, they are likely to be put off very quickly by the poor quality freelancers, pushy poor quality freelancers, and general lack of customer support. I don't think they want the self-service approach of posting a project and sitting back while the applications roll in.

    When I search for jobs I don't filter the results so I only see the complete total. It was 1840 this morning, and the jobs posted this morning and overnight fitted on a single page. That total had got above 2000 earlier this month. It is still a fraction of what it was years ago.

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  • Adam

    I see that PPH is failing to listen and still more unqualified freelancers are flooding the site (the help forum and comments on their LinkedIn posts highlight this). I was wondering does anyone has any experience with Bark? I know it is more expensive for leads but the way the site is now I am now considering all options.

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  • Simon

    The only dealings I've had with Bark was when I set up a new website this year to try to get online tuition work. Bark sent me a couple of "enquiries" which I felt were fake, to make it look as though they had an enormous amount of work if I signed up and paid them something. The contact person they provided didn't reply to me and they had clearly not read what I was doing because the enquiry was looking for an American. It was obviously just spam marketing, which I was able to opt out from. Maybe they are okay and it is just the marketing that's dodgy.

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  • Nancy

    The trouble with Bark is that you cannot see the jobs posted.  There's no board for them.  Therefore you have to trust that you will be contacted whenever a suitable project is posted.  

    I bought a package of credits, but I don't seem to be contacted often.  Perhaps it's the same old story - AI taking over, or people using in house resources.  I'm not a great fan of Bark myself.  Promoting yourself via Linkedin is probably a better bet long term. 

     

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  • Neil

    Same here guys! Not a single project for months now. 

    There were times when I was overflowing with the work, but now it is all blank. Clients don't want to pay a sensible amount for the work and hiring people from Asian countries because they work for a very low rate. On the top of that, PPH is accepting freelancers who are not more than a tyre kickers.

    I have one contract ( outside PPH ) still running ( thank god ), otherwise I would have been on the road.

    Sad times!   

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  • Craig

    So, given that it is a Monday, I have now completed all work that I had pencilled in for this week. In over five years of freelancing full time, this is the first time that this has ever happened. I have always had work and never had to go looking for it really but as it stands, there are now 138 jobs in the Writing and Translation category. 

    I am now of the belief that this is the real start of the end of this platform. I know things have been slowly declining but I do think that this is the turning point. I have external clients and last month I had a relatively normal month and I did work with 11 clients on here, this was the highest number of clients worked with in the whole of the top ten. However, the work is very hard to get. I am not someone to throw the towel in and I  am fortunate enough to have a lot of savings behind me so I can ride bad periods out for quite some time. However, in the back of my mind I have that thing whereby I am thinking how long do we leave it?

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  • Nancy

    You can't rely on this platform, Craig.  PPH have shot themselves in the foot.  The lack of support has driven people away, etc. 

    I'm the same as you - I have savings which have helped me ride out a bad few months.  However, it's extremely difficult to find new work. Plus, I have four completed jobs on here which have invoices outstanding.  People just collect their work and go without saying a word. (Need to chase those). It's a challenging environment at the moment. 

    PPH won't improve.  We will have to seek other sources. Local networking events, contacts on LinkedIn etc.        

     

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  • Craig

    That's the thing. I would say around 70% of my work has come from here but I do have some very good clients from outside it. However, even they have disappeared to some extent. As for clients on here, I know what you mean about invoices etc etc. 

    LinkedIn is something that amazes me but I have no idea how to find work on there. Would you have any advice at all?

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  • Nancy

    There's a 'jobs' tab on LinkedIn which lists jobs available tailored to your profile and skills.  Although most are permanent vacancies, there are freelance gigs and it's worth applying for the permanent ones stating you're a freelancer and can tide them over.  I've received a couple of one-offs by this.

    Promote yourself with ads like you see on Facebook.  'Like' and Comment on other people's posts and get yourself out there.  I've collected over 300 PPH contacts and put them on LinkedIn. If those 300 contacts also have 300 contacts each, you have potential to be seen by thousands.  No guarantees, mind, but something to build on whilst the odd PPH customer comes by.       

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  • Craig

    I have never really used LinkedIn. I do have a profile but never needed to use it if that makes sense although I have had some people contact me through there over the years. That's not a bad shout asking PPH contacts and linking with them on there. I am not ready to give up doing what I do but I am a planner (and a worrier!), so do like to think ahead.

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  • Nancy

    We have to plan ahead.  I'm the main family earner and for a freelancer that's not an ideal position to be in.  Luckily, like I say, I do have savings from when time's were good but it won't last forever as house needs renovating.

    Don't give up what you do.  Changing profession or going on a company's books won't make you happy. It will kill off creativity because you're bound by someone else's ways.  Just try and build more options in.  Local companies, for example.  Check their websites. Is their blog page lacking? Can you drive sales to their business?  In quiet times, draft these email letters and hit 'send.' 

    My PPH contacts are amassed over 10 years or so.  I haven't kept this up unfortunately.  Those contacts regularly post, and are answered.  It's quite amazing how many people you can potentially contact there, and of course most will be within your sector.  It's about being far more proactive than just waiting for something to drop in your lap here.   

               

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  • Craig

    You would not believe how many businesses I have emailed through the years. Hardly any have replied. It is quite a shame to be honest.

     

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  • Adam

    I have to say I feel demoralised by the state of affairs.

    Down over 50% in revenue last month but still in the top 20 for my category. I am just making the 7-day clearing process this month and when that goes it will be disastrous for cashflow. I think it is the same across the freelancing board. I have started on the basis of using LinkedIn but some of the associated costs for social media marketing and digital is so expensive.

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  • Nancy

    Needs targeting.  Not just telling them about you - but telling them where THEY are lacking.  You have to study their websites, tell them where they're going wrong and what they're missing out on.  Blogs have power, etc...   Nothing ventured nothing gained, as they say, and it beats boredom. Freelancers have to do their own marketing now! 

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  • Simon

    The work has just about stopped for me on here. I'm not looking at the jobs board regularly, because there is very little to apply for and what there is has so many applicants I feel it is a waste of time submitting a proposal. Looking at my stats I have invoiced £30 in the last month and had 11 profile views and no sent proposals. The £30 was a follow up job from a previous client.

    I finally made it to Top Cert at the start of last month, after a relatively big invoice. I dropped back to Cert 5 within 4 days, so my plan of getting into Top Cert and getting more work as a result has fallen a bit flat.

    I have a few bits and pieces from other sources so I'm not too desperate at the moment, but I need to have a think about what to do next. It's not going to get better all by itself.

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  • sidra

    In the 2022 months of August & September, I  Got 45+ buyers in my niche, And now in the last two months, I only got 3 clients. Totally fed up with what's going on. AI may be the factor but lots of other reasons also count.

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  • Adam

    I know things have just gone down drastically in the last 6 months and there seems to be no plan by PeoplePerHour. Surely you would have a marketing strategy but no and all they get comment wise is third world applicants trying to promote their crappy services and them promoting sellers from 2020.

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  • Adam

    I put on a post last night for social media writing explaining the requirements required and out of the 17 people that applied only 3 meet the criteria. All the rest are people from India and Pakistan that state

    'I'm ready to do this in a Shortest conceivable time frame . I'm cert 5 and qualified specialist. I give limitless revisions and don't charge a penny until your fulfillment.'

    'I have read your job description. I can do it with ease and complete it in a short amount of time. Best Regards'

    No wonder this site is going downhill. As I told PPH three reported spam bids should lead to a week's suspension for bidding.

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  • Craig

    It is absolutely ridiculous. The thing is, there must still be businesses looking for our services - of that I am convinced. It is a big old world out there! I am working on putting together a mailing list but it is very time consuming. 

    Out of curiosity. Has anyone used any of the services on here to do that? I don't want to pay through the nose for it so any recommendations would be much appreciated.

     

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  • Ahmed

    I am TOP top-rated freelancer here and have worked since 2010 and my complete income depends on PPH.

    I completed 100 jobs every month but now only 5 to 10 jobs.

    I think the PPH team does not want to improve this website.

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  • Adam

    I haven't used any service - I would just be worried about GDPR and mailing unsolicited accounts. 

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  • Craig

    I just want to be able to reach out to businesses but I will see what I can find out about it all.

    @ahmed - I probably had something similar in terms of the number of enquiries I had.

    Out of curiosity I just googled "freelance writer" and Peopleperhour doesn't even appear. Upwork is there, Freelance.com. fiverr. In fact, I kept on scrolling and I didn't even come across PPH. So, why is this the case? I am assuming that PPH would regularly appear towards the top of the results. Google "Freelance Web design" and you will find PPH around 7th in the list after all the sponsored ads.

    What has changed?

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  • Adam

    The cost of digital marketing is so expensive that they can no longer compete and this is one of the main reasons why traffic has gone. I think Tom from Peopleperhour pointed out previously that they are behind companies such as fiverr and upworks. 

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  • Ahmed

    I discussed this many times with the PPH team for 4 to 5 years.

    PPH is not working to improve the marketplace because the team is very small and has less than 20 people.

    PPH change amount clearance policy is too slow now this started 2 years ago

    PPH is not based on an algorithm and also mentions the PPH team a hundred times.

    Nowadays PPH support is not able to respond to your emails urgently and it takes more than 2 days to reply.

    Sometimes I need urgent responses due to some issues with the client but the PPH team's new policies are not good.

    You can say now PPH is just a STATIC website not unlike other platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.

     

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  • Craig

    While I agree, I do not think it is good enough. This has been a thriving platform for over a decade. I have prospered from it and so have many others. They have always had competition from other sites but it has never stopped them, so why has it come to this now? This is what I am struggling to grapple with.

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