Becoming a successful freelancer doesn't come by chance. It takes skills, hard work, determination, and of course, the right tools. Without the right tools, your growth as a freelancer will be stunted. This is because, in the current technologically advanced age, there are online tools you’re expected to be familiar with so that you can meet your clients’ needs. Failure to master these tools can reduce your ability to compete in the global marketplace.
On the other hand, mastering these online tools will put you on top of your game and equip you to work with clients from all over the world. Not only that, but you will also increase your productivity and scale your business. Are you ready to learn the type of tools you need to be a champion at freelancing? Let’s dig in!
1. Technical Creative Tools
Every skill requires certain tools and each profession has tools peculiar to it. Mastery of these tools is what elevate you to a professional level. Technical creative tools are non-negotiable for you as a creative freelancer. They are the foundation upon which all other tools stand. As an artist or designer, can you imagine being successful without tools like Adobe, Figma, Sketch or Blender?
2. Time Management or Scheduling Tools
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When you’re freelancing, you will have a lot of appointments, meetings, interviews, and programs. Therefore, you will need tools that will help you manage your time and schedule your appointments. There are many calendar apps available online. Examples are Google Calendar and Calendly. You may also need timers to help with tracking your work and billing your clients. Timeular and Toggl are cool ones you can try out.
3. Communication and Collaborative Tools
You cannot be a successful freelancer if you don't communicate and collaborate well with clients and teams. It is a known fact that good communication is the bedrock of any successful venture, and to be a pro at this skill, you need the right tools. This is especially so in the freelancing industry where the competition is stiff; communicating effectively might be the one attribute that will stand you out among many others. Hemingway and Grammarly are two tools that can help you put together the right words for your clients. Also, collaboration is inevitable if you want to grow as a freelancer. Therefore, knowing your way around tools like Google Docs, Asana, Slack, Discord and Trello are a huge plus.
4. Storage Tools
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As a freelancer, you will need to share documents like your resume and portfolios on the go. You will also need to save clients’ work for future use or record purposes. This is where storage tools like Google Drive and Dropbox come in. These tools help you keep your documents safe and handy thereby increasing your chances of getting jobs. They also help you preserve your saved jobs.
5. Marketing Tools/Platforms
Marketing is essential to your freelancing business because that is how you get clients. To position yourself for the right clients, you need to be acquainted with the necessary marketing tools. Marketing tools include social media and communities for freelancers. Knowing your way around these platforms and using them efficiently will greatly help your career as a freelancer. In fact, you couldn't be in a better place right now with Talenthouse! Here's how Talenthouse can help your career as a creative freelancer.
6. Contracting Tools
Contracts are an important and sensitive aspect of freelancing. If they are not well handled, they can mess up your projects, frustrate your efforts and give you a bad reputation. To avoid the pitfalls that come with contracting, it is advisable that you make use of tools specially designed for this purpose. Examples of such tools are Bonsai, Smallpdf, and HelloSign.
7. Payment Tools
Having an effective payment system in place is one of the best actions you can take as a freelancer. If you have every other tool in place and you don't have the tools for receiving and making payments, you are wasting your time. If you belong to certain online marketplaces, they will require you to set up a payment system during registration. However, if you meet your clients neutrally, you will need to decide which payment tool or platform you will use to receive payment. Having accounts with a couple of the popular ones will save you headaches when you’re closing a deal.
Your location will also determine the payment platform you will register with. Some payment platforms are unavailable in some countries/states. Do your research and find out what works for you.
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With the many online tools available now, freelancing has never been easier. Identifying the right online tools for your freelancing business and mastering them is necessary for you to succeed as a freelancer. Which other online tools do you use that we've missed in this list? Drop a comment!
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