Working as a freelancer, you have the responsibility of upholding your entire business alone. You do not maintain the safety net of a corporation, but you do have the freedom to accomplish your goals when you want to work. Even the savviest business experts will make mistakes. Fortunately for us, technology has given us a method to dilute our responsibilities while garnering the best results for our business. In this article, we have curated a list of technologies and applications you should consider implementing into your freelance business.
Time-Saving Applications and Technology
There are many things freelancers hold dear to their heart. The most important commodity is time. While many freelancers are spending their time acquiring customers, sending invoices, and acquiring customers, you can utilize these technologies to simply focus on your job.
Creating a proposal, bid, or cover letter has never been easier. Furthermore, creating a unique, eye-catching experience for your prospective employer has never been so straightforward. Many freelancers send cover letters that are bleak and uninteresting. This method of customer acquisition positions you with your competition. On the other hand, sending a prospective client a beautiful, colorful, and eye-catching proposal will increase your chances of success. The rates for Bidsketch start at $23/mo and can reach as high as $149/mo.
As previously stated, a freelancer's time is their most valuable asset. When Cushion created their app, they stated “peace of mind for freelancers” going on to explain how their software gives you the means to create a steady income for yourself. To many freelancers, a steady income seems unobtainable. However, Cushion prides itself on being the most advanced scheduling app created. The application gives you the ability to schedule as far in the future as you'd like, color code activities based on the needs and quotas for the client, add comments and links to help you get to work faster, and track delays in payments and turnaround. The software is offered in a standard pricing model, offering you $10/mo and two months free if you choose the yearly subscription.
The process of invoicing a client is time exhaustive, when you add the process of creating a sheet for expenses and updating it, the time loss is significant. Expensify aids in the effort of time management by providing a real-time expense report with cross-platform integration. This gives you the ability to edit and submit an expense report with one click (or tap), automatic approvals if you maintain a team of employees, automatic reimbursements, and automatic account syncs. The price of Expensify is free for individual users and can go as high as $9/mo if you are a business owner.
- Focus Booster
Another problem that plagues a freelancer's mindset is the ability to focus. A long-time favorite of focus experts is a technique called the pomodoro technique. Focus booster is a web application designed to implement this technique into anyone's daily work. The program is designed to track your time, enhance your productivity and help you take the breaks you need. This is accomplished through the pomodoro technique, software that tracks your performance, as well as what windows you are utilizing while you work. Focus booster is free but if you want to have an unlimited amount of access to the program it will cost $4.99/mo.
Speed Up Your Business with Cloud-Based Software
Cloud-based computation and storage has become central to many contemporary business practices. Why should it be any different for you as a freelancer? Cloud storage will help your computer run faster while giving you the space you need on your computer drive for processing and storage. The four main competitors are Amazon Cloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox. The services range in available storage options but will offer you a basic level of storage for free.
The backbone of everything is solid, trusty hardware that gets the job done. As a freelancer on the move, there’s three deciding factors when picking your tech:
- Reliability – working in the office often means you’ll have some sort of IT support if something stops working. When you’re a freelancer on the move you don’t have that kind of luxury, so you have to make sure your hardware of choice won’t glitch in a critical moment. It doesn’t matter if you run iOS, Android, Windows or Linux – if you fill your device with useless apps, hog the memory, or simply run it on subpar device, you’ll have problems. Otherwise, latest versions of all of those operating systems are solid and will get the job done.
- Battery life – this has become especially apparent in the last few years where we saw constant increase in power consumption due to the high resolution screens, demanding apps, constant wi-fi use, etc. The only thing that hasn’t changed, sadly, is battery technology, which stayed pretty much the same since 1990’s. You want to make sure your hardware packs enough juice to let you finish all your work. If you don’t require a beast of a smartphone but appreciate long battery life above all else, there’s a good option for only 200$.
- Available options – this simply means picking what’s right for you. There’s no sense in buying a gaming laptop if it’s powerful hardware will be used mostly for updating spreadsheets. Likewise, if you only need to present your work to a couple of people, tablet or laptop will do fine, there’s really no need to lug a projector around with you. In fact, most of freelancers will be covered with this setup: Lenovo Yoga 900 is a great tablet-laptop hybrid that will serve as a central point of your gear. Samsung Note 7 is for everything else, period. It’s a mobile powerhouse that won’t go obsolete any time soon. That price of over 1000$ might be steep, but it’s probably worth it. And lastly, invest in a powerbank. It’s not a matter of if, but rather when you’ll find yourself in a situation that you have important work to finish and your battery is in single digit percentage. Zendure A2 has lots of positive reviews, but really anything with over 5000 mAh will do.
A freelancer maintains an extraordinary amount of responsibility in comparison to the average professional. In order to differentiate yourself, consider using technologies that will improve your customer acquisition. To prove you are reliable, the time-saving software mentioned above will increase your focus and ability to complete work on time. The life of a freelancer is hard, don't make it harder by failing to incorporate contemporary technology.