Top Five Software Packages for Freelancers in 2019
Want to make life as a freelancer a little bit easier? Here are some of the software packages which could help you out in 2019.
Life as a freelancer can be great, but it’s also incredibly demanding. With no 5pm cut-off and the task of managing everything yourself, many freelancers find themselves pushing on until they drop. Fortunately, there are all sorts of software solutions available which can make life easier. Here’s our top five every freelancer should consider.
Many freelancers dread doing the books and it’s hard to argue with them. After all, they started out because they were passionate about a job, not managing the accounts. Unfortunately, it’s a key part of the business and if you’re not comfortable doing it, it’s easy to make costly mistakes.
Many freelancers manage their accounts themselves using Excel sheets, but this can be time-consuming and cause mistakes. Accounts management software streamlines the entire process and lets you see all your accounting information in one place. It allows you to drill down into the details of your finances and analyse your progress.
One of the best is FreeAgent and it’s the one we use here at 3 Wise Bears. It comes along with our subscription at no extra cost and is a great tool for any freelancer. Its central dashboard gives you a single place from which you can see all your accounting information.
FreeAgent offers various levels – each one offering different features to suit different budgets. We have recently upgraded to the highest level, Platinum. This puts the full capabilities of their software at your fingertips as well as support from a dedicated FreeAgent accountant who can provide all the support and advice you need as well as taking care of your accounts and tax returns.
Handling multiple clients can be tough. With emails flying backwards and forwards it’s all too easy for mistakes to creep in. You can avoid this with collaboration software such as Drop Box. This helps you to store all your files in the cloud. Clients can access them and make any changes they want without adding multiple versions of the same document.
Planscope, meanwhile, is an excellent project management tool which is specifically designed for managing your client projects. It allows you to plan more effectively, make estimates and predict when a project will begin and end. You can raise invoices on completion of the project and maintain seamless communication between all stakeholders.
If you want to create a website, you need to make it look as professional as possible. Tools such as WordPress make it possible to create your own website from scratch, but not everyone will be able to create sites which look good or are reliable.
Managed hosting services such as WP Engine provide a range of options including support from WordPress experts, robust security and redundancy architecture. It’s the difference between a website which looks like it has been put together by an amateur and a professional, reliable and secure site most customers have come to expect.
The most important task for any freelancer will be finding clients. The web is full of platforms and jobs boards which can be great sources of warm leads but the chances you won’t find all of them without spending hours browsing the web.
Workshop does that research for you. It scours the internet and jobs boards finding warm leads and delivering them directly to your inbox. This helps you to avoid a familiar problem for freelancers: the issue of feast and famine.
If you’re overloaded with contracts, you’ll spend all your time meeting those deadlines and not enough finding new clients and projects. It’s only when your schedule frees up that you invest time and energy into looking for new leads. The result? Suddenly, you find your workflow drying up. Getting it back up to speed could take time and effort and see you cold calling hundreds of potential customers looking for leads.
By getting warm leads you can target your efforts more effectively. You’ll spend less time spent calling or emailing potential clients and more time producing billable pieces of work. It means you can dedicate a little time each day to ensuring you have a more consistent flow of work and revenue throughout the year.
Email marketing may be a useful approach depending on your industry. This can help you engage with existing clients or leads and let them know any new services of opportunities you can offer them. Services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact offer simple to use and effective options to send all sorts of different messages to your customers.
Drip, meanwhile, allows you to segment out your existing clients and leads to create several email templates which allow you to automatically send out relevant emails to all your contacts. It helps you build relationships, nurture clients and also gives you more information about what they are looking for.