Being a freelancer gives you incredible freedom and flexibility—but it isn’t always the easiest undertaking. In addition to the freelance work you take on, you also have to manage your own business. How do you create a contract proposal? Manage your time between various projects and clients? Find consistent freelance work?
Luckily, there are a ton of great tools and resources out there to help you build and manage your freelance career like a boss. Read on to discover some of the best ones.
A tool for creating better contract proposals
Creating contracts over and over again can be a big pain in the a$$. Beagle makes the process a little less painful. With this product, you can import pre-existing content from other contracts, save certain sections for reuse, and collaborate with your team to make the contract even better. You’ll also have access to proposal samples, which will help you get started or unstuck if you’re hitting a roadblock in the proposal creation process. Beagle is such an easy tool to use; you’ll have your first proposal done sooner than you can say, “deal won.”
A CRM for small businesses and freelancers
Funnel is a simple CRM tool built specifically for freelancers and small businesses. With this tool, you can: create contact forms, track your deals, manage important customer information, and more. Once you’ve gained traction and are adding multiple clients into your freelance pipeline, Funnel helps you keep track of everything you might want to know down the road about the history of a particular customer. There’s a certain simplicity to this tool that makes it fun to use and reduces the learning curve (and headache) that comes with heavier CRM tools built for larger businesses.
A schedule and income forecasting app for freelancers
Freelancing can be quite the roller coaster ride. For one thing, you don’t always know when your next check is coming. And with multiple projects happening simultaneously or consecutively, it’s not always easy to judge whether you have the bandwidth to take on more work at any given point in time. Enter: Cushion. This tool lets you do several really cool things, including: visualize your entire year, measure and track your income, and keep tabs on your clients. Bonus: The company lists a super in-depth, useful list of their own monthly business expenses and product updates.
Insanely simple scheduling and time tracking
Timely is a sleek app if you need something to better track your scheduling and the time you spend on a particular project or task. Unlike many other bulky time tracking apps, the design of Timely is so simple and clean, you’ll want to use it over and over again. At the end of a particular project, you’ll be able to see the total time spent on—and total money earned from—your work. Even if you’re not a freelancer but want to better schedule and track your time, trust us—you’ll love this tool.
A well-designed class every freelancer should take
The hardest part about freelancing isn’t the work you’re taking on—it’s usually the work you have to do to take on the work, like project proposals, marketing, invoicing, and landing clients. If you’re at a loss for where to start, Creative Class is a great course to help guide you through the nitty gritty of launching (and growing) a freelance business. They offer 12 self-paced online lessons to help you learn more about building your audience, positioning your value, pitching potential clients, and getting paid on time (woot!). If you’re new to the freelance game, this is a good place to start.