If you’re a freelance worker, working for yourself is probably more rewarding than working in-house at an office. You get to decide things like what tasks you’ll complete on any given day and how much money you want to make.
However, freelancing can be challenging if you don’t have the right tools to manage your business. Without them, it’s tough to accurately track billable hours or create invoices; it can be tough to stay organized when juggling multiple clients with different needs; new clients may struggle with trust issues since they aren’t hiring your firm – rather, hiring just you, an individual. If that sounds familiar, here are some of the best tools available for managing your freelance career:
1) Project Management System
Do you have a lot of tasks to juggle? Trying moving them all into a project management system. It can be tough to move from your old paper methods, but you’ll likely find that it’s worth the effort in the long run. Task-based systems like Trello and Basecamp are great options for this type of workflow.
2) Invoice Management System
Not sure how much money you’ve earned or how much work time is left before you can close up shop for the day? An invoice management system automatically sends out invoices when a certain point in time is reached and also tracks how much time is spent on each client’s projects so you don’t overcharge anyone. There are many options available, but one popular choice is PeachPay.
3) Time Tracking System
Do you know how much time you typically spend on a given project? If not, then it’s likely that your clients don’t either. That means they’re not getting the best value for their money and you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to losing out on potential income as well as overcharging some clients. To solve this problem, try using Harvest or Hubstaff . They’ll track where your time goes and help create an accurate hourly rate so all of your work (and pay) will be justified.
4) Communication Solution
Many freelancers simply use email to stay in touch with their clients. Sometimes that works just fine, but other times it creates a lot more back-and-forth work. Also, if you’re not available to chat while a client is online, it can leave them feeling ignored and untrusting of your services. For situations like that, consider trying out Slack, an instant messaging solution designed for teams and businesses.
5) Scheduling Solution
When someone books your time, how do you schedule the meetings with other clients? If you don’t have a good way of doing this on your own, something like Calendly can make it easy for clients to pick a time that works without having to wait around wondering if or when they’ll hear from you. It also helps prevent double-booking yourself which can create issues down the road!
6) Accounting Solution
When you’re a freelancer, you need to pay your own taxes. That means it’s up to you to track down all the necessary records and file them by their due dates. The problem with that is that it can be easy for this sort of task to fall through the cracks if you aren’t set up with an accounting system like Wave. With everything automated so you don’t have to work as hard, there’s a better chance of staying on top of these types of tasks.
7) Scheduling Appointment Tool
Do you have clients who want something else from your time? Perhaps they want a 3-D rendering or a mockup? Rather than jumping into those tasks right away (but wasting time), it can be helpful to schedule time for meetings on your calendar before getting started. That way you’re not only securing the client’s time but yours as well! To make this happen, try using Calendly to set up meetings ahead of time (this is similar to the scheduling solution listed above).
8) Business Management Tool
Sometimes your career as a freelancer can end up taking over as your primary job. This is great as long as you remember that the rest of your business needs attention too. To make sure all those other areas are getting some love, consider using something like Bench which keeps track of everything in one place (including how much money you’re making). Then there’s always time to work on growing your business when it works for you instead of against you!
So as a freelancer remember to use a project management tool to keep up your invoices, time tracker to track your day, a communication solution to maintain quality connections with clients and manage the projects. these 8 tools will do the job well for you.
General Tips for Freelancers
Take breaks. It’s easy to get lost in your work, especially if you’re doing something you enjoy. But staying at the computer for hours will only lead to exhaustion and burnout so try taking frequent breaks to rejuvenate yourself.
Be professional. Treat your clients with respect and give them nothing but the best service that you can provide. This will keep them coming back time after time which should be your ultimate goal as a freelancer!
Diversify your income sources. Sometimes it’ll take some time before the perfect client comes along, so having other money streams is important for those times when you need cash fast or are between projects. Some good places to look are UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer .com, and Craigslist.
Keep yourself organized! The organization is key to any successful business and as a freelancer, your building blocks are the tools you use every day. Using these apps will keep everything on track so find those that work best for you and start seeing some more green in your bank account!
There are plenty of other freelance tools out there which can make your life easier!
Freelancing can be a great way to earn extra income as well as create jobs. With the right tools, your job will become easier and you’ll be able to work more productively!