Freelancers must operate in the same way that companies do, but without the advantage of a staff.
It’s really challenging to do all of that while still pleasing clients with excellent work and adhering to deadlines.
So much so that the difficulties of juggling all of these jobs while maintaining quality is possibly the most major barrier between average and exceptional freelancers.
While freelancers may not have the resources that a digital marketing company has, we now have tools that, when used appropriately, may allow you to extract superhuman amounts of productivity from your time and efforts.
We’ll take a look at some of the more remarkable tools in categories (we call them must-have tools for online freelancers) that can be useful regardless of their skill:
Maintaining high levels of productivity is one of the keys to success as a freelancer.
The ability to do more in less time may be summed up in a single word: focus.
Most productivity solutions are intended to reduce distractions or limit your access to distractions, allowing you to maximize the benefits of the ensuing concentration.
Most of these applications do this by either supporting you in better managing your work and time, or simply assisting you in limiting the number of objects that are allowed to distract you.
It is a well-known and commonly used note-taking app.
However, it is not just a note-taking tool. It has incredible organizing abilities.
We’re talking about tasks like making to-do lists, organizing files, handling papers like receipts, invoices, and boarding passes, and taking quick notes.
It is a web tool that allows even inexperienced users to construct comprehensive mind maps.
If you’re unfamiliar with mind maps, they’re an amazing method to organize your ideas, and Coggle is a fantastic but highly intuitive and user-friendly mind map designer.
Scheduling appointments with busy customers may be time-consuming—especially if quick visits and phone discussions begin to interfere with your work.
This is why we enjoy using this online meeting planner.
You start by stating your preferences and then you share a link with anyone who wants to book a meeting with you.
Calendly takes care of the rest, adding the meeting to your calendar right away, so you don’t have to bother about any back-and-forth.
If you upgrade to a premium membership, you may connect Calendly to payment providers like Stripe and PayPal to receive payments for consultations or discovery calls as you schedule them.
This is the product for you if you’re weary of losing money due to client no-shows.
Another application that helps you find a meeting time that works for everyone who has to be there.
Simply sign up, suggest a time, invite your participants, and select a time that works for everyone.
OneTab accomplishes precisely what its name implies.
The application allows you to create a distraction-free digital environment by remembering all of the tabs you have open and allowing you to choose the single one you want to keep open.
This allows you to focus your entire attention on a single open tab, and when you’re finished, you can use OneTab to find all of the other tabs you had open earlier.
Pomodoro Technique is a well-known productivity technique that involves splitting your time into a large working window followed by a small break window.
Pomodoro Timer allows you to do precisely that.
You may choose between the standard 25-minute work time and 5-minute break time cycles, or you can tailor them to your preferences.
There will be no more time zone confusion.
Enter the locations you wish to keep track of, and FIO will show the current time in each of them whenever you open a new Chrome tab.
This simple Chrome plugin assures that you never miss a deadline or meeting, regardless of where you are in the world.
Mailbutler works with a variety of email applications, not just Gmail, but Mac Mail and Outlook as well.
The free plan includes the useful “Undo Send” function.
But you’ll need to upgrade to obtain options like “Snooze” and “Send Later.”
This free screen recording software is a Google Chrome extension.
It may be used to replace hundreds of long-winded emails with a quick, simple video clip of your computer screen.
Explainer films are a great way to educate clients through a new design or piece of writing you’re working on, deliver briefs to colleagues or contractors, or create explainer videos instead of preparing extensive, complex paperwork.
The most important thing that successful freelancers do better than their non-successful colleagues is effectively advertise themselves.
With limited resources, income, and time, freelancers must be extremely cautious about the marketing tactics they use in order to reap the most possible advantages while putting in the least amount of time and effort.
Here are a few resources to help you automate the most time-consuming portions of your marketing efforts:
You can find work through internet marketplaces, but freelancers must also have their own websites.
As a result, you will always have a self-contained platform from which to attract new clients and promote your skills.
Jimdo makes it simpler than ever to construct your own portfolio website or online company.
Simply answer a few questions about your business, and it will develop a professional website for you, complete with content and images, so you can get started right away.
Jimdo allows you to keep 100% of your profits because this is your initiative.
If you have an email list, email marketing may be a powerful marketing tool.
ActiveCampaign allows you to create custom drip campaigns that automate your marketing efforts and save you hours of time.
Newsletters are an excellent means to expand your network.
They let you to engage with existing clients, update them about new services you offer, and much more.
With the Goodbits extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, it’s never been easier to curate, generate, and deliver newsletters.
It connects smoothly with MailChimp and even gives detailed statistics to assist you in improving your marketing efforts.
Cold emails have been responsible for the launch of numerous remarkable businesses and are a frequent strategy used by many successful freelancers.
Cold emailing is challenging.
GMass makes cold emailing less painful by allowing you to send customized emails and automate follow-ups.
The best part is that GMass is completely free to use if you send up to 50 emails every day.
Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that allows you to schedule a batch of posts ahead of time so you can keep your social media presence up even when you’re not online.
Buffer interacts with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Pro users may also schedule posts to Pinterest.
The free plan lets you manage up to three social media accounts.
Zapier is a well-known automation tool for connecting web tools such as Gmail and ActiveCampaign.
It then enables you to connect apps and build automated workflows without the need for coders or prior coding skills.
These integrations may then be utilized to automate repetitive operations, allowing you to accomplish more while exerting less effort.
Biteable is a great little application that allows you to create humorous animated flicks with no prior experience.
Although you’ll need a paid subscription to download and keep your movies, you may try it out for free and you are encouraged do so.
It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll be surprised at how professional the results are.
Financial Tools and Documents
Producing and signing documents such as contracts and invoices is one of the most time-consuming but necessary aspects of being a freelancer.
Such documents not only ensure that you are compensated for your job, but they also assist you in correctly presenting yourself to prospective clients and assuring comprehensive clarity of responsibilities and obligations associated with certain projects.
In other words, managing the legal aspects of your business allows you to deliver a pleasant and satisfying experience for both yourself and your clients.
No matter how established you are, you must be prepared for the ups and downs of freelance life.
Controlling your money becomes much more important when you don’t have a fixed monthly paycheck.
This budgeting tool has everything you need to manage your money, pay off debts, cut business expenditures, and plan for the future.
Every freelancer recognizes the importance of carefully measuring your time, both for your own benefit and for the benefit of your clients.
You may do so for free using Toggl’s well-known time tracking software for freelancers.
Toggl’s best feature is its simplicity; simply sign up, download the browser extension, and click to start your timer when you start working on a project.
You may organize, track, and view your time by project, client, or team member, if you have them.
The Reports tool allows you to build detailed reports and export them as CSV or PDF files, which is essential if you’re working on an hourly rate for a client and want to give them with an itemized overview of your work.
While you may pay for more features, the free plan covers all you’ll need to get started.
3. Dropbox Sign
Dropbox Sign allows you and your clients to sign legally binding contracts without having to be physically present in the same location.
This is accomplished by enabling users to submit their own signatures for use on contracts.
In recent years, Wave has gained a loyal following and is frequently regarded as the market’s best free invoicing option for freelancers.
It is a cloud accounting software that allows you to track your revenue and expenses, send invoices to clients, and take payments.
Wave does have certain limitations.
For example, to access features like as payroll and bookkeeping, you must subscribe to a premium subscription.
However, being a free software, it remains the best alternative for self-employed and freelancers on a small budget.
Payoneer is a well-known online payment platform.
It enables freelancers to collect payment from clients online.
Clients can choose from a variety of payment options, and freelancers can accept payments from clients in other countries.
FreshBooks lets you monitor billable hours, import and manage costs, and send invoices in any currency.
You may also configure it to send automated payment reminders to your customers if they are late.
The best thing is that FreshBooks can be used on the go, thanks to their free iOS and Android apps.
FreshBooks also integrates with a variety of other business tools and services, including PayPal, Envato, and Fundbox.
If you want a UK-based accounting solution, this one includes all you need: time tracking, invoicing, cashflow management, late payment notifications, tax reminders, and more.
They also have a UK call center, so Freeagent is a great option if that is important to you.
Customers’ late payments are unfortunately a common problem for freelancers.
Previously, there wasn’t much you could do as you waited for payment.
However, with a Fundbox advance, you may now get fast reimbursement for any past-due bills.
Of course, there is a fee, but if you’re in a crisis and need money fast, this is a huge help.
Remember that if you do not repay the loan on time, you may end yourself in a worse financial condition than before.
Having the right tools allows you to do more with less effort.
This helps you to not only boost your job production but also to avoid utter burnout in the long run.
Given these reasons, it is logical to believe that having the right technology stack is just as important for freelancers as it is for online or offline businesses.
IMAGE CREDIT: Storyset