What are the top freelance tools to power your business? In this article I answer this question on detail by giving you 12 tools that will make your life easier.
It’s a fact that when you’re the one in charge of your schedule, work and performance, good planning and organization become crucial. In the U.S. alone, there are over 56 million freelancers who utilize technology and global networking to land gigs and connect with others.
Nevertheless, the life of a freelancer is anything but glamorous – what’s usually divided among different departments in big companies suddenly falls into the responsibility of a single person who is in charge of absolutely everything.
If you run your business with the work smart, not hard philosophy in mind, here are some of the best tools that will enable you to power your freelance business.
Freelance Tools for Business and Sales Offers
You know what you do and how you want to do it, but when it’s finally time to write up an official offer to a potential customer, you get stuck. Why not let online tools solve this in just a few simple steps? Here are some of our top suggestions.
This tool will not only help you with crafting a business offer but will give you a rough estimate of how much you should charge for your work. It’s primarily intended for branding, writing, web design and app development work. It’s a premium tool, but you will get the first two offers for free if you want to try it out.
Unlike Prospero, Proposify will let you change the look and design of your business offer with awesome templates. These business proposals can also be made more dynamic with images, and even videos, which will definitely make you stand out from your competition. Another cool perk of Proposify is that you’ll be able to see when the client has viewed the offer and signed it.
If you want to attach your business proposals and offers to analytics in order to find out more about your sales and deal-making success rates, Nusii will do that for you. This helps you stay in the loop and figure out what happens after you send out a proposal. For each proposal you send, you will also receive a read notification.
Freelance Tools for Finance Tracking
Perhaps you hired an accountant who’s taken the reigns over your business finances, but most freelancers usually take on this commitment themselves. In order to simplify the tracking of your expenses and finances, just relax and let one of these apps take over.
Zipbooks is a free, visually appealing tool for creating invoices, tracking payments and clients, as well as your business expenses. After all the numbers are in, Zipbooks gives you colorful, eye-catching charts that will surely illuminate some new findings about the way you earn and spend.
This mobile-friendly app is a great finance tracking tool for freelancers and independent professionals. It lets you choose the options of payment and creates reports according to the preferences you specify. Sighted can be set up in just a couple of minutes and it looks very professional. The app supports different currencies and can be adapted to your specific brand visuals.
Bonsai advertises as “everything you need to run your freelance business”, offering all that you will need for smooth operations as a freelance business. Along with invoice creation features, it also offers the option to sort agreements according to pre-defined parameters. And best of all – it’s completely free!
Freelance Tools for Slaying Social Media and Customer Relationships
You might be busy with projects now, but you should always be working on the promotion of your freelance business. For these purposes, social media networks are one of the best tools. Next to reaching new clients, they also allow you to keep in touch with your existing clients.
When your client base becomes large enough that it gets hard to remember and track all your clients’ requirements, MiniCRM will be a great addition to your business. When you use this tool, you can stay informed about your clients’ projects, track the success of your email and SMS campaigns and your sales promotions.
If you want to reap maximum benefits from your social media pages, you have to post regularly, which is where Buffer comes in handy. It’s a tool for automated posting on all major social media networks. The tool is completely free, while 10 accounts with around 100 posts per page will cost you around $10 per month.
If you’re not a social media wiz, this tool will keep all your pages under control for you. Schedule all your posts in advance, track keywords, shorten URLs for posts, organize your inbox, automatically follow those who follow you…
Freelance Tools for Better Organization and Productivity
Being your own boss is also a challenge when it comes to organizing your work – whereas in classic work environments you just do the work you were assigned to do, in freelance businesses you have to be aware that you are the one who needs to know exactly when and how much to work on a particular project. With the help of these tools, you can easily organize your work schedule.
Once you get lost in work, it’s really easy to lose track of time and forget how much time you’ve spent on a particular task. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem, except if you’re charging your client by the hour. Timely can be connected to other organization tools you’re using, such as calendars or GPS tools. You can try it out for free in a 14-day trial version.
Stay on top of all of the commitments that you have across all devices you’re working on. With Wunderlist, you can create task lists and set alarms for each stage. You can also forward them to others if you’re collaborating with other people on a specific project. For example, if you’re cooperating with content experts you can find at Studicus, you can easily share the same task list.
With the help of Freelancy, you can turn all your tracked working hours into invoices that you can simply send over to your client. All your work is visible in a calendar interface, and you can also search through it according to date or project to extract reports for particular stages.
Freelancers should adopt the work smart, not hard approach more than anyone else. The amount of planning and organization you put into your work will pay out multifold in the long term. That’s why it’s important to invest in the right apps and tools that can really improve the way you work and do business with your clients.
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