Freelancers don’t become successful in their fields without a few tools under their belt. These days, with more of the workforce turning to freelancing, more and more apps and services are available to accommodate these new independent workers.
Over the past year I’ve been building Due, an online invoicing platform for freelancers to help them to bill their clients online and get paid quicker. I even put together a full “freelancer guide” to teach anyone out there to become the best freelancer in the World. Building tools is key to growing your freelance business.
These include tools to help save time, money, and headaches by
streamlining expenses, tracking billable hours, or even just a simple and
beautiful To Do list. Even the grueling task of looking for jobs has been made
much more convenient with companies that connect freelancers directly with the
employers who are looking to hire. When it comes to freelancing, here are some
companies every independent worker should know about
Once people enter the freelancing world full-time, it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of all the daily tasks to be done, across so many different devices, often for different companies. TeuxDeux is not a complicated task-manager – in fact, it only does To Do lists – but it’s an easy, well-designed way to get through all of the day’s tasks. Using just a clean browser display and a mobile app, users can quickly add to their TeuxDeux lists, check off tasks, move them around, bold and italicize, and even type out grocery lists, Things to Remember, and other lists
Once freelancers get the hang of Evernote, they never let go of it. Evernote allows users to type notes on the go, clip web pages and articles, save graphics, snap photos and archive them, capture handwritten notes, and share notes with team members all on a convenient platform accessible on desktop, mobile and tablet.
Toggl is a useful tool for both freelancers and teams. It’s a simple time-tracker, but users can tag and set billable hours for various projects, create sub-projects, create timesheets for team members, share time reports, track offline hours, and create beautiful time usage graphs. Best part? It’s free and compatible with nearly everything you’re working on.
FollowUpp.cc is a simple e-mail integration that sends reminders to people who have e-mail heavy lives. Obviously, freelancers spend half their lives on e-mails, either pitching, following up, or simply responding. FollowUp.cc sends reminders to follow-up, schedule items, monitor who’s read your emails, and integrates its platform to suit a number of different tools and browsers.
Hostwinds is a great hosting service that I use to create my beautiful site to help demonstrate my work that I put out as a freelancer. They have simple integration services that help me setup, install and create a website.
Job Search Sites
Flexjobs has been covered in a number of different media outlets, from CNN to WIRED, and they’re well-trusted for their bank of 30,000 jobs from over 4,500 companies (including UBER, Amazon, American Express, and other large companies). Though their fee is considered quite steep for a job-search company, they help eliminate hours of searching, and their results are notably higher quality than those of their competitors.
Freelance writers who are constantly looking for new work can find it easily with Contently, a platform that connects brands who are looking for content marketing and original copy, with professional writers. It also offers a free online portfolio for writers to be able to share with any other potential clients they meet. Their blog contains helpful tips on how to be a more effective freelance writer.
Like Contently, Skillbridge matches up brands and clients with project managers and skilled business consultants. Rather than going through a bidding process, companies and freelancers are matched based on suitability, interviewed, provided necessary contracts to sign, and paid for the services all on the Skillbridge platform.
HourlyNerd helps connect projects and companies with a network of experts - that is, MBA grads, freelance consultants, business assistants, and lawyers - in their fields. As their screening process is quite elaborate, the quality of both the clients and the experts are much higher than most other similar services.
Upwork (formerly eLance and ODesk) is an international platform that connects clients with all kinds of freelancers, like web developers, writers, designers, consultants, virtual assistants and accountants. Freelancers can bid for work right away, collect reviews, and get paid all on the platform.
Working as a freelancer can be challenging, especially because
you have to handle every aspect of your business. When you can’t delegate to a
coworker, it is time to start using tools like these to get more done.
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #3 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine.