5 Business Resources for Freelancers
Ease the Pain of Freelancing with These Resources
by Paul G.
Being a freelancer can be a lonely affair. You work for yourself, you probably work mostly by yourself, and your responsible for your own success. It can be easy to find yourself so enthralled in the success of your client’s projects that you neglect to work on your own business. You end up just working in it.
I’m a freelancer and know firsthand the pain. And that’s why I have compiled a list of 5 useful tools that will help you as a freelancer, and to grow your business.
1. Flying Solo
Flying Solo is a community of freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners. It’s the support network you always wish you had.
Everyday helpful articles are published by subject experts, there is a very active forum which is great for those pressing questions, and a directory of small businesses to make it easy to find an accountant to help you with your tax, a printer for your next batch of business cards, and other businesses you might need to partner up with.
LinkedIn is often described – rightly or wrongly – as Facebook for professionals. It’s a place for freelancers to list their skills, experience, and achievement. To network and reconnect with former clients and colleagues. To keep others up-to-date with what you’re working on. And to interact with others in a professional context.
LinkedIn isn’t just about publishing your resume online. It is a publishing platform which allows you to present yourself as a leader in your space. LinkedIn Groups are industry-specific forums in which to interact with others, and to share knowledge and ask questions. The groups can also a great place to find prospective leads.
StartupSmart is a online news website that, despite its name, isn’t just for startups. It’s a great business news source that is written in a down-to-earth fashion, and contains hundreds if not thousands of pages of small business knowledge from successful Australian small business owners. Here are some examples of what you will find in its pages:
If you’re like me, you struggle to rein in your to-do lists. I have post it notes, pieces of A4 paper with scribbles on them, notepads galore… Well, that was until I installed Wunderlist on my Macbook Air and iPhone. Wunderlist is cloud-based meaning you can access and sync it across multiple devices. You can categorise your notes into relevant categories, e.g. personal, client work, marketing, finance, etc. It allows you to set reminders which will notify you by alert on your device or email when something important is falling due. And it’s a collaboration tool – you can add multiple people to a note so nobody is out of the loop. This is a great way for freelancers to collaborate with and keep a client up-to-date.
5. Agile CRM
Enter the world of the CRM. CRM stands are client (or customer) relationship management. CRM software is all about managing your precious contacts through their lifecycle. From being a brand new lead, to a prospect, to a client, to a source of referral. It’s important to take care of this information – it’s at the core of your business.
With a CRM system like Agile you can efficiently manage your contact list, and segment it using tags and custom values. Contacts can be attached to a deal which is transitioned through a pipeline as your lead matures and is eventually closed or lost. The thing I love most about Agile CRM is that you can email from within the platform, get notifications when emails are opened and links clicked, and keep your incoming and outgoing correspondence in a timeline. No more lost emails.
What resources do you use most as a freelancer?