When you become a freelancer, gig worker, or small business owner, you receive freedom. Your success depends on your efficiency and ability to deliver quality work and results.
Since you make your schedule, it’s important to optimize your time. It’s easy to spend several hours on one project that only requires a few. Procrastination is a top reason why freelancers don’t reach their potential. Disorganization and incorrect pricing are two more.
The following are seven tools that all independent contractors should consider.
For 2021, the top five freelance categories included:
- Computer and information technology
- Customer service
- Human resources
- Medical field
Even though these categories differ, they all benefit from productivity software tools. The most popular productivity software suite is Google Docs, namely because it’s free.
Microsoft continues to hold its productivity software dominance on PCs. But Google got a head start on the Mac and mobile device market. If you opt for Google’s suite, you maintain access to Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Keep for free.
Veteran independent contractors might opt for other productivity software. For a user-friendly and free starting point, Google works.
To avoid procrastination, budget your time. Set hard deadlines that keep you moving from one project to another.
Sometimes freelance work is seasonal. If you optimize your time, you can fund the lulls and enjoy the downtime.
When you explore the app marketplaces and online options, you’ll find an array of time management software. Start with those that receive high ratings from fellow freelancers. Also, ask for referrals from veteran gig workers.
Toggl, Harvest, and Timeular are three professional picks that receive high ratings.
Like all businesses, billing, receiving payments, and paying your expenses are important. You also need to pay your taxes at the end of the fiscal year. All independent contractors require accounting software.
It allows you to track expenses and income. At the end of the fiscal year, you can easily compile reports that help you report your income too.
Several accounting software companies provide a basic version that is budget-friendly.
Sites that aggregate discounts, information, and services for freelancers are another tool to consider.
If you complete a search online for health insurance that accepts independent contractors, it’s a challenge. Even veteran freelancers find that it takes time to complete a thorough search.
Therefore, adopt a membership website that focuses on services for freelancers like Gigly.
Some freelance sectors focus more heavily on sales than others such as real estate, wholesaling, and brokers. All freelancers benefit from a customer relationship management platform.
The software allows you to track customer information. Plus, it delivers meaningful insights. Set up reminders, book follow-up calls, and take note of feedback.
If you have return clients, the software helps you keep track of past projects and comments.
At the end of the year or after a big project, you can add personal touches to the business relationship. For example, you can send thank you cards as the year winds down.
To keep the sales pipeline flowing, freelancers must market themselves. Marketing tools that all independent contractors should consider are social media platforms.
When you create these accounts, keep them professional. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all have a purpose. Plus, they’re free. By posting samples of your work and optimized descriptions, future clients can find your services online.
Social media also allows freelancers to build a digital portfolio that is easily accessible.
There is little doubt that Zoom became the video conferencing software choice in 2020. For most freelancers, it’s a free service, especially if the client sets the meeting.
Therefore your job is to become familiar with it. Then, build a spot in your home that’s video conference ready. Gather a camera, backdrop, lighting, and microphone appropriate for all meetings.
In addition, pick out appropriate outfits and ensure that you continually groom. This ensures that you’re ready for a last-minute meeting.
The independent contractor sector of the American economy and labor continues to grow. Thus the services that cater to freelancers continue to grow too. For a successful freelance career, obtain the tools that optimize your time, work, and billing.