Although freelancing means you must charge your clients the time you work, that doesn’t mean you can’t automate most parts of your business for a better work-life balance or to earn more money.
For this reason, I am going to discuss some of the tools that you can use to automate your business and enjoy more free time.
Customer relationship management
Have you ever missed a great opportunity because you forgot to follow up? A potential customer tells you that the company isn’t ready to buy yet, but they are interested in your services. What do you do?
You can create spreadsheets, reminders, and spend a few hours setting up your system, or you can find an effective CRM and eliminate all the hassle.
Two apps you might want to try are Insightly and Zoho CRM.
BigContacts is our preferred all-in-one contact management and email marketing solution based on ease of implementation. Great fit for a freelancer on a budget for enterprise users with more complex needs.
You can manage your prospect and customer relationships by tracking all activities in a single, intelligent platform available on any device.
This is a great CRM for your freelance business. You can schedule follow-up emails, view custom reports, and it has great integration with Google Apps.
They have a free and paid version. The free version allows you to do almost everything with few limitations. Up to 2,500 records, 200MB of storage, 40 custom fields and 3 users. This is perfect if you are a new freelancer. The paid version costs $7-$9 per month, depending on the payment method you choose (annual or monthly payment).
Another great app to manage your customer relationships. Offers more pricing options than Zoho Insights.
You can choose between the free version, the standard version ($12 per month), professional ($20 per month), and enterprise ($35 per month).
What could be better than an app that can help you send automated emails? If you manage your own blog and want to email your customers or if you want to contact your customers after a certain period or event.
The best part is integrating your email marketing app into your CRM. The two most famous apps are Mailchimp and Aweber.
This is an easy-to-use application. The interface is clean and it can be free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers. However, the free version does not include auto-responders.
They have several billing methods: depending on the number of customers (starting at $10 per month) or you can buy credits and pay based on emails sent (the cheapest option is $9 and you can pay up to $150). can pay).
Aweber is a bit more complicated but you can do more customization and you pay $1 in the first month. They do not offer a free version and the cheapest option costs $19 per month. You can pay monthly, quarterly or annually.
Social media is a great way to connect with coworkers, current customers, and ideal businesses. If you want to update your social accounts effectively, it’s a smart decision to use a tool like Buffered or Hootsuite to save time and schedule updates.
The company is known for its transparency and acceptability. You can schedule content for your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.Net) and view your analytics.
They offer a free version for entrepreneurs and a paid version that costs around $10 per month.
Like Buffer, Hootsuite offers a free version with some limitations. If you upgrade to the paid version you can create custom reports to understand engagement, reach or clicks on links.
Hootsuite provides more complete reports than Buffer. However, Buffer lets you schedule your updates better than Hootsuite.
Organize and better serve your clients by implementing a project management tool. You can outsource certain tasks and communicate with your team members using one of these 3 apps: Trello, Asana or Basecamp.
My favorite project management tool ever! Trello offers a board where you can add, label, assign members and set due dates to your tasks. They have a free version and a business class version that costs $5 per month per user.
Perfect for tackling projects without sending emails. You can create tasks, steps, add links and manage your entire team. The free version is perfect for freelancers. If you manage a large team with 15 or more members, you can start paying $50 per month.
You can control your projects, calendar, progress and create to-do lists. You can manage your team with this app and simplify your communication tools. Starting at $20 per month, you can allow up to 10 projects and 3GB of storage.
Invoicing and time tracking
If you want to keep your time tracking tool integrated with your invoicing, Paydirt is a great option! Not only can you track time with this app, you also have Time Tracker as an extension in Google Chrome so that you don’t forget to track what you do online.
It integrates with Trello, Asana and Basecamp. You are also able to accept payments using PayPal and Stripe.
Pricing starts at $8 per month for freelancers, and you can get started with a free 14-day trial. If you want to try it, here’s the signup page!
Are you tired of wasting time making new offers? With this tool you can automate the process and have customers sign proposals electronically. Their interface is beautiful and it lets you track your activity. The Freelancer version costs $29 per month.
Replace checks or bank transfers with Paypal, Stripe, or Payoneer. You can better understand your finances and reduce your international bank charges.
Most popular platform for online payment. You can integrate this platform with most of the invoicing tools. They usually charge around 2.9% + 1% + $0.30 per transaction for international transactions.
Like PayPal, they charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. They accept credit cards and support recurring billing. It is available in USA, Australia, Canada, Germany and 13 other countries.
Payoneer issues you a US or EU bank account number, which allows your customers to pay you by direct bank transfer. You can then withdraw your earnings to your local bank account. Payoneer is cheaper than both PayPal and Stripe