Becoming a creative freelancer is an exciting, yet challenging career decision. It allows you to do the work you want for who you want, but also comes with the risk of not knowing who your next client is and when you’ll find new work. Once you have a list of clients and money is pouring in, everything seems great. However, just a few weeks later you may find yourself strapped for cash and desperately searching for work.
Whether you’re in a brainstorming stage and trying to set your rates or organize your portfolio, or you’re overloaded with work and need to streamline processes and move more efficiently, the good news is there are plenty of helpful online tools and resources to get you where you need to be. In addition to meeting with a business services consulting firm to help you accelerate growth and find technologies that meet your needs, you can check out the following helpful tools and resources:
- Basecamp. While Basecamp isn’t a free tool, it is one of the best investments you can make. More than 350,000 companies and professionals use this project management and collaboration tool and it can make life a whole lot easier for developers and designers. You can effortlessly share your progress, ask questions, and give feedback. You can start a free trial with no obligation, or sign up for a monthly package that ranges between $20 and $250 per month.
- Your Rate. This is probably the simplest tool on the list, but it’s extremely practical. Just plug in the amount of money you need to make per month, the number of hours you wish to work per week, and how many weeks per year you want to take off. The calculator will provide you with an accurate hourly rate that should allow you to price your work and meet your financial goals.
- Zoho Invoice. Are you tired of invoicing your clients on a Word or Excel document? Zoho Invoice is an intuitive invoicing tool that lets you craft sleek invoices, track your payments, and even automate parts of the process. You’re a developer, not an accountant. Stop wasting your time with invoicing when you could be putting your skills to work.
- Google Fonts. Over recycling standard fonts over and over again? You may want to take a look at Google Fonts. This free front library offers a completely new set of unique fonts that can easily be incorporated into any website you’re working on. While it may not have what you’re looking for every time around, Google Fonts can certainly help you out on the occasional project. It’s at least worth bookmarking.
- Behance. Are you in a creative standstill? Or are you looking to get feedback on something you’ve been working on? Behance is an online platform for showcasing and discovering work. You can view work form all over the world, broken down into specific creative fields like web design, graphic design, UI/UX, branding, and more.
Harvest. While there’s nothing wrong with scheduling clients and managing projects with free tools like iCal or Google Calendar, there are some more sophisticated options on the market. Harvest, for example, is a great tracking tool that lets you handle dozens of projects, input due dates, estimate expenses, build budgets, and more. The best part is that you can connect it to Basecamp and other popular applications for further capabilities.
Bonus mention: As many designers and devs also do a bit of blogging and freelance writing about web development on the site then a freelance writing job board is a great place to pick up writing gigs and work 🙂
Finding the Solutions That Work for You
As a creative freelancer, it’s important that you surround yourself with the appropriate tools and resources. From keeping you organized to helping you finish projects faster, there’s an online tool for every need. Start with these tools and don’t hesitate to try something new.