If you are a freelancer or someone who does online work for extra income apart from the 9-5 job, this blog is just for you. Many people who love freedom and want to work at their own pace leave their high paid jobs and choose to freelance.
According to a report by Upwork, almost 56.7 mn of America’s workforce is freelancers. That is a huge, huge number.
But why do people leave their high paid job to settle for something that is risky and does not even guarantee a consistent fixed flow of income?
People choose to freelance because of the simple reason that they love freedom. Freedom to do what they love, choose who they work with, and work at their comfort and pace.
That is an accessible business, right?
Everyone feels so until they step in the shoe of a freelancer.
The truth that nobody tells is that freelancing is not all rainbows and smiles. Freelancers have to work even harder than someone who is in a corporate job because she/ he is the only one who has to take all the decisions and do all the work for the clients from start to end.
But. Thanks to the technology which is evolving by the day and transforming the way businesses work.
Freelancing is not easy, but the tools make it easier. The upside of being a freelancer is freedom and the availability of tools to carry out different tasks easily. Talking about the downside, there are so many tools that it becomes difficult to know which are worth investing your time in.
This blog will give you insights into some fantastic tools you can leverage to grow your freelancing business.
Unlike a corporate job, freelancing is not monotonous. Every day is different, full of meetings, appointments, etc. It becomes a task to keep track of deadlines and appointments. Calendar tools help you schedule meetings and never let you miss any deadline.
Calendly, as the name suggests, is the calendar and meeting scheduling tool every freelancer should know about. It is easy to use. You can send your scheduling link to the recipients. He/she can then choose from the multiple meeting dates options based on your and his availability.
The incredible thing about Calendly is that it automatically fixes the timezone problem. Hence it allows you to set meetings with clients from anywhere in the world without any trouble.
An alternative for Calendly is the very famous Google Calendar, which is used by everyone around the world. Therefore, it is the gold standard and is very common among freelancers in terms of calendar management.
Cloud Storage Tools
Cloud storage has made work trouble-free. It is the best substitute for hard drives anyone could ask for. You can store, edit, share, and access files in real-time from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Cloud storage is essential, especially for freelancers who are remotely connected with clients from around the world.
Dropbox is a cloud storage software. It is free and can be used by anyone, but there is a storage limit. Dropbox allows you to increase your monthly space by completing specific tasks and sharing files with your friends. You can also purchase extra storage.
You can install Dropbox on your computer. It will automatically sync your online files for access on your computer.
Google Drive is a commonly used alternative to Dropbox.
Communication tools help in an uninterrupted, smooth flow of information. Whether you are prospecting or have closed your clients, it is essential to stay in touch and keep the ties intact. Tools like Slack helps you streamline your talks with the client.
Email might not be the best way to communicate all the time. If the communication requires a simple response, emailing it might sound just too bulky. Therefore, communication tools like Slack assists in connecting people working together.
Slack is a top-rated communication tool, and I have not heard of anyone in my circle, not knowing about it. Slack integrates with many other best tools for freelancers shared on this list, like Google Drive, Trello, and Asana. If you have not used Slack, it is time that you explore it now.
Other alternatives to Slack are Hunter.io and Boomerang.
Designing is an important aspect that every freelancer should know. Freelancers who provide marketing services must know the art of graphic design. Designing tools have made things pretty simple for even those people who are new to graphic designing.
Canva comes to the aid of anyone without a background in designing. You can edit an image, create a poster, or a thumbnail for your posts, all with the help of Canva. The desirable feature is that Canva also has a store of royalty-free images that can be used to enhance your blog posts and everything else.
Other alternatives include Invision, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Behance.
Freelancing isn’t easy. A freelancer has to do everything from searching the clients to managing their finances, receiving payments, and dealing with the taxes. Managing finances can be cumbersome, but thanks to some amazing tools which make this part of the job a little easier.
A freelancer works with clients from different countries. Therefore, getting paid via bank transfer can cost many fees, and the money takes time to arrive.
PayPal provides a solution to all these problems. It is available in over 200 countries and can support 25 currencies, and is considered exceptionally secure and convenient. But there is terrible news that PayPal charges a transaction fee, which hurts bad.
Other alternatives include Square, Mint, and Freshbooks.
Project Management Tools
A freelancer handles more than one project at a time. It becomes challenging to deal with a lot of clients and manage their projects. Project management tools make freelancers’ life a lot easier.
It is the all-in-one workspace that lets you manage all your projects in one place. It keeps databases, wikis, calendars, and reminders and enables you to manage your projects without complications. It is easy to use and provides a beautiful interface that makes work fun.
Other alternatives are Trello and Asana.
Business development is vital to growing your freelancing business. Prospecting and presenting your proposal works like the first impression of your work. Therefore it becomes indispensable to create a good proposal.
Proposify is the best tool to make beautiful proposals. It offers a range of templates that can reduce your time and effort. It gives you full control over the typography and layout. Proposify also allows you to add videos to your proposal, which beautifies it and conveys your point. The best thing about using propensity is that it gives you significant insights like how long the client looked at your proposal.
Other alternatives are Prospero and Draftsend.
Social Media Management Tools
Social media has proved to be a game-changer in the marketing business. It increases the reach of your business or your clients’ business in no time if executed nicely.
It helps you bolster your social media presence. You can schedule your social media posts across social media platforms using this tool. SmarterQueue is an intelligent social media managing tool that does not break your social media posts’ cycle. So for times when you do not have anything scheduled, it automatically posts for you by choosing from a rotating content library. This is how cool it is!
Other alternatives include Buffer and Hootsuite.
Video Chat Tools
Connecting with clients via cellular networks can be expensive for you, and being a freelancer, you can not afford to increase your costs. The most convenient way to connect with your client is via video chat tools, which are free to use.
Zoom is connecting businesses and people all around the world. It is the best video chat tool for conducting webinars, workshops, online classes, meetings, etc., of more than 100 people. It also provides video calling facilities to the users. Zoom is absolutely free to use for meetings of up to 40 minutes with a limited number of participants. If you need to hold longer sessions, you will have to buy one of Zoom’s incredibly affordable plans.
Other alternatives are Google Meet and Skype.
Content writing has become the most demanded freelancing service lately. Studies suggest that search engine optimized content ranks your content and is very useful in driving conversion rates. Therefore, businesses want a steady flow of content on their blogs or websites. Freelancers who provide content writing services can only survive the increasing competition by staying updated with the writing tools to deliver an engaging, grammatical-error-free, original piece of SEO content.
It is the best-paid tool to check grammar and plagiarism. Grammarly is used not only by content writers but by everyone who wants to ensure that their emails, social media posts, portfolio website has an error-free content.
Grammarly helps you correct any grammatical error in your content, detects incorrectly spelled words, and even suggests remedies to deliver a fluent, easy to understand content. It also offers a plagiarism checking tool that benefits freelancing content writers in many ways. It gives some useful statistics that let you know if your content is explicit and engaging.
Other alternatives are HemingWay, Yoast SEO, and KWfinder.
These were some of the best tools that can help freelancers manage their tasks and increase their freelancing business.