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What Tools do You Need to Start Your Freelance Career?

Becoming a freelancer is certainly not easy, else everyone would be doing it. As a freelancer, there’s a lot of freedom and flexibility that you have available, whilst those in full-time jobs have the security of an income every month.

Despite what industry you’d like to explore as a freelancer, there are some tools that can help you start off on the right foot.

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This article contains some of the top tools that can help utilize and manage your time, create connections and assist in the work you provide to your clients. As a newcomer to the freelance world, it can be helpful to have knowledge of these tools.

Are you ready to go freelance?

Becoming a freelancer is a big decision. It’s one that takes a lot of thought, preparation and planning to execute successfully. With more than 57 million freelancing in America alone, you’d be joining a growing career lifestyle.

So with that in mind, ask yourself whether it’s the right time to be taking the plunge. There may be some months where you’re earning very little and therefore savings might be a good thing to have ready in that event.

Before going into freelancing full-time, you might already be doing it as a side hustle. So with that in mind, you want to check if it’s feasible to do freelancing as a full-time career now or whether you need to build up your client list first.

For some, it’s a simple case of just jumping in at the deep end, but that might not be suitable for everyone going into freelancing.

Top tools for freelancing

There are so many tools and software that you can benefit from when it comes to freelancing. Whilst this may be a great list to start with, it’s not an exhaustive one. Here are some top tools worth using as a freelancer.

Asana for task and calendar management

As a freelancer, there’s going to be a hefty workload at times to manage and that can be difficult for some to get used to. Typically, in a full-time office job, you’ve got team members that you can rely on and a manager to oversee your work. As a freelancer, many are working alone and therefore the responsibility lies with you.

Asana is a great platform to help organize your day-to-day tasks so that you’re making the most out of your working day. The best bit about this tool is that it’s completely free to use, although there are subscriptions for premium services. However, the features you do get are likely to be more than enough when you’re a freelancer.

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The site also offers a mobile app so that you can access your work schedule when commuting. It’s a useful one too for project management. As a freelancer, you may have multiple clients with ongoing tasks all happening at once. Having an app like Asana can be helpful to keep your head above the water as work starts to get overwhelming.

Another perk of the tool is that it can integrate with other applications like Microsoft Teams and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Bonsai for contracts

Contracts are a part and parcel of running your own business and the same thing goes for freelancers. Making sure you have everything you need within the contract to protect yourself is important but not everyone has extensive legal knowledge or experience in drafting up a contract.

That’s where Bonsai comes in. With Bonsai you get access to pre-made contracts that contain everything you need and that just need tweaking to your needs. So whether you need a bridal makeup contract as an MUA or a design contract as a digital designer, this is a tool that can come in great use for every type of freelancer.

Providing contracts with your clients also helps you to look more professional and it shows you’re not only looking out for yourself but for all parties involved. It can put the client’s mind at ease when you’ve not worked with them before, knowing you’re professional and experienced enough.

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The pricing is affordable for freelancers too at $19 per month or $29 per month on a Work Flow Plus subscription.

Quickbooks for managing your finances

Quickbooks is a great resource for everyone managing their finances whether it’s freelancers, small businesses and start-ups. 43% of SMEs spend roughly around £4.4 billuon in administration costs alone when it comes to chasing late payments. As a freelancer, those figures are likely worse.

So with that being said, having a tool that can help manage your finances so that money is going in and out efficiently is key. It’ll help avoid some sleepless nights, wondering when your next paycheck is coming in.

Quickbooks provdes everything that you need to keep track of your income, draft up expenses and process invoices quickly. It can be a great help for maintaining your books in an organized manner for when the tax return comes about. Like many tools mentioned on this list, Quickbooks comes in an app too. Handling money has never been so easily done!

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It’s a versatile platform and one that can be handy when it comes to inventory management. This might be an additional feature that as a freelancer, you might from having. There’s different levels of subscription packages too, which suit anyone from a freelancer to a small organization. These prices start from $12.50 per month to $90 per month at the top end.

Buffer for social media promotion

As a freelancer, there may be a certain amount of promotion that you need to do for your business. Buffer is a necessary tool that can help you as a freelancer, to get your name or brand out there. A lot of it when you start out in the freelancing world is word of mouth and networking but it’s important to make use of the online domain.

As a freelancer, you might have the ability to reach a global audience and that could do wonders for the work you receive.

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With Buffer, you can schedule in all of your social media content, whether that be on Facebook or Twitter. This can be really helpful because it means you can focus on other areas of your freelance work schedule. Automation is being used a lot more in business because it’s a great way of helping utilize time and save on resources.

As a freelancer, you might not have the funds to spend on outsourcing a social media manager or agency to help you. Buffer and many other platforms like it, can be an affordable and handy solution to maintaining your social media presence.

Harvest for time tracking

Proscratination is a killer of productivity. One of the great benefits that can come with using a tool like Harvest is that it’s great for time tracking. Harvest uses a simple design and has powerful functionality. It creates multiple projects so that you can easily track by the minute, how much time you’re spending on client work or projects in general.

It can show you through analytics on where you might be wasting time, or where more time is needed. It’s a real benefit to those who struggle to do everything they need to do in their working day.

We often feel as though our working day is flying by and with Harvest, you can discover exactly where that time is going.

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With these SaaS tools, most are available for free to some degree. With Harvest you get to use the tool for free, otherwise it’s $12 per user, per month. For small businesses, this can be a good way of helping their staff improve productivty across the board.

Hemingway for writing and editing

This is a great one for those who are writers or editors and need something to spell or grammar-check their work. Hemingway is an app that acts as a writing assistant, helping you with any errors that have been made in your content. This is a useful one for any freelance writers, editors of content, etc.

What makes Hemingway so appealing is that it’s completely free to use and it can make significant improvements to the work you produce. That’s something that’s critical when you’re trying to impress your clients.

Start your freelance career when you’re ready

With freelancing, there might never be the right time to start it. However, you can certainly do a lot to prepare and plan so that you are giving yourself the best opportunity of success. Not every freelancer who starts out will sustain their career for years, whereas others will find that right formula that keeps the work rolling in.

Hopefully, these tools mentioned above will provide you with all the necessary tools for your freelance toolkit. This year in particular is a time where taking the plunge and trying something new is more doable than ever before. So with that said, kickstart your freelance career and commit to it fully in order to help give yourself the best chance of success