Everyone looks through rose-tinted spectacles when they consider the life of a freelancer. Pyjama days, working in your favorite coffee shop and being in control of your working hours sounds like bliss.
However, working for yourself without any guidance can be ridiculously difficult. The lure of procrastination is always present. It’s all too easy to spend a couple of hours scrolling mindlessly through social media and watching live sport on TV – which is okay when it’s your side hustle not your main source of income!
You also have to combat the many roles that you need to fulfil. While you were a specialist in your full-time position, you are now a Jack of all trades. You have to be the marketing executive, the finance bod, the HR whizz, the head honcho and the tea maker. This can be overwhelming and leave you wondering why you decided to leave your full-time role on Earth’s promotion prospects and steady wage.
To make your freelancing life easier, you need to harness the many tools on offer. Take a look at how you can make your transition to a freelancer that much was easier to bear.
Forget about constructing your own invoicing template. This takes way too much time and effort. Instead, you need to investigate professional invoice software that allows you as a freelancer to invoice your client on the go. Plus, in most online accounting apps, once you have set up your clients’ records, you can also create repeating invoices emailed to customers per calendar schedule.
For freelancers, accounting software will also send reminders on your behalf to those clients that choose to pay late, saves you time or need to hire a bookkeeper.
Being a freelancer can be a tough gig, especially when the people you work for don’t treat you with the respect you deserve. All too often, companies pay freelancers late. The use of official and professional invoice software can prevent this from happening as often.
More established freelancers choose to outsource their invoicing capability. Often it can be tedious spending an entire afternoon each week chasing up payments and invoices. Instead, you can instruct someone else to do this on your behalf. It may cost money to pay for the service. However, this will be worth the expense as you find more money appears in your bank account each week. Clients don’t like being chased up, and you won’t have time to do it. By asking a specialist to do this for you, you show your clients that you seriously take late payment.
If you work in the creative field, you may need to hone your branding, create logos and work on flyers and other promotional materials. Canva is the perfect tool for freelancers to do this with minimal effort. Unlike other logo generators, Canva gives you more freedom with designs. The templates are vast, the font range is exceptional, and it is easy to move from the generic to the individual and novel.
Many people use Canva to create Facebook posts, posters and other social media marketing materials. They have specific ranges that are the perfect pixel range. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. Even if you have no graphic design experience, Canva will enable you to hit the ground running with some bespoke branding.
As a freelancer, you need to link your social media accounts to a website. Your website could be made via a WordPress tool, or you could choose a simpler drag and drop website builder. The best website builder is Wix simply because of the designs, features, and tools you can apply to your website. The builder is intuitive but not clunky, and you can create thousands of individual web pages that are far from generic.
If you rely on writing a lot of content as part of your freelancing work, Grammarly can be an invaluable tool to ensure that your copy is grammatically accurate and has minimal spelling errors.
Even the finest writers need an extra pair of eyes to proofread their work, and Grammarly provides recommendations to suit your goals for the content. Grammarly has a plagiarism checker, too, so you know if phrases or large chunks of your content is not original. Never scrape content from another site – duplicate content may get your site may be penalised.
If you work from home as a freelancer, the chances are that you don’t want to invite clients over for meetings. If you are working with a client overseas, meeting face to face may become unwarranted. Instead, you’ll need a reliable video chat tool that is inexpensive to use. Skype for business is ideal. As long as you have a strong WiFi connection, you can chat with any client from across the globe.
Being a freelancer is tough. However, by using these tools, you can make your freelancing existence just that little bit easier.