It is evident that the competition in the freelance industry is at an all-time high. Therefore, as a freelancer, it becomes imperative for you to stay ahead of your competitors.
How can you do that? The answer is simple - by managing your time and being productive. Instead of wasting your energy on small tasks, automate them. It will help you concentrate on your core competencies, such as marketing and communication.
In this post, we will throw light on various tasks that you must automate, along with the tools that can help you do them. It will help you create a seamless workflow and spruce up your freelancing career.
1. Time Tracking
As a freelancer, it is essential for you to keep track of the time you invest in your work. It will help you understand:
- How to organize and streamline your tasks
- How to set clear objectives for your work
- How to provide better time estimates to clients
However, tracking time manually can be a cumbersome task. So, to save time, try automating it through time tracking apps such as Clockify, Timely, and more.
Such apps don’t only reduce your work, but also help you keep an accurate measure of your time investment. Simply put, they help you create precise timesheets on your behalf while you are busy freelancing, one project at a time.
2. Scheduling meetings
As a freelancer, you might be working on multiple projects with clients from across the globe. From understanding their project requirements to briefing them about your work in progress, meetings and freelancing go hand in hand.
So, how do you communicate with multiple clients residing across various locations and various time zones? By scheduling meetings through smart apps such as Clientjoy.
It helps you steer clear from the hassle of sending emails back and forth for confirming a meeting. Instead, all you need to do is choose your available meeting slots and let Clientjoy do the rest of the work for you. You can send your Clientjoy link to your clients where they can pick up a time and book a meeting with you.
Results? You save a considerable amount of time and get the chance to concentrate on your real work like designing a website or writing a top-notch blog post
3. Managing Workflow
With multiple clients come lots of different work. Every client has different requirements and different deadlines. For instance, imagine you are a freelance content writer who is working with two clients simultaneously.
One client wants you to write an article on artificial intelligence with a deadline for tomorrow. The other client wants you to prepare an eBook on email marketing.
You will need to streamline and manage your workflow to complete their work on time with their given requirements. This is where workflow management tools such as Trello and Asana come in handy.
Let's take the example of Trello. It is a great tool to automate your workflow. You can create different boards for different clients and input their requirements in their respective boards. There is also an option of putting a due date on each board so that you never miss a deadline. So, whether you are working alone or managing a team, Trello can help you automate your routine work like a pro.
4. Scanning Receipts
So, you are acing your freelancing career and making good money out of it. What's next? Managing the money you earn should be an important part of your freelancing career.
With tools like Expensify and Neat, you can keep your accounting books in order without the need for an accountant.
These tools also analyze your receipts on your behalf, store and file them according to your requirements such as income and tax type. Once they categorize your finances, they send the data to the expensing software.
5. Managing Emails
According to Radicati, an average worker sends and receives 126 emails per day. Managing such a huge amount of emails is a time-consuming task.
However, with email automation tools like Sanebox, you can automate your email marketing and save a considerable amount of time. The tool takes into account your email response habits and prepares response templates that resonate with your replies.
Further, you can also use tools such as Drip and GetResponse to automate the whole process of your email marketing campaign. From writing engaging email copies to sending the right email at the right time, these tools do it all on your behalf.
6. Updating To-Do-Lists
Managing multiple projects is an everyday thing for freelancers. A to-do list comes in handy in prioritizing how and when you need to complete your projects. With tools such as Focuster, you can automate your to-do list and schedule it in your calendar.
Another automation tool such as Zapier analyzes your emails, messages, and notes and converts them into a proper smart to-do list.
7. Creating Proposals
Finding new clients is critical to maintaining your freelance business. But time-consuming tasks like creating custom proposals for each potential client can eat away at your productivity. However, you can’t overlook it because it’s vital for growth.
So, the next best thing is to use software automation tools to simplify the process. By adopting one, you can quickly generate proposals by using fill-in-the-blank templates. Then you can click to send the completed proposal and track it in the dashboard. You’ll know when prospects open and read the proposal so you can plan the best time to follow up.
Clientjoy has 25+ built-in proposal templates across different categories that can help you create & send proposals in just a few minutes. There are templates for many categories such as digital marketing, website development, event management, etc.
8. Posting to Social Media
As a freelancer, being active on social media platforms can be a crucial part to get new business - especially if you’re into the digital marketing field. That is why you need to regularly post on social media about different topics that help your target audience and show your services as a solution.
Social media will not only help you spread awareness about your services but also promote them, and engage with your audience. However, just like email, this can become a time-consuming task as you may get drawn into the rabbit hole of creating content, posting it, commenting and engaging on similar pages, etc.
That’s where tools like Buffer and AgoraPulse come in handy for you. They allow you to schedule social media posts in advance. You can also use chatbots to deliver immediate responses or engage with other pages. And, tools like Sprout Social can curate content and generate real-time reports.
9. Creating & Sending Invoices
You’re likely going to be the only person who works to get new clients, doing the client work, scheduling meetings and what not. Naturally, you’re going to be the one who has to create invoices and send them to respective clients.
To offer a simple solution, Clientjoy lets you convert accepted proposals to invoices with just one click! No need to create invoices from scratch. Plus, you can even set payment methods and send recurring invoices to your retainer clients.
And to help you out further, you can set auto reminders for all your invoices so you don’t have to worry about getting late payments.
Freelancing, if done the right way can help you grow in your career while maintaining financial stability. You can work on your terms and be your boss. However, a good freelancing career is synonymous with productivity and time management.
So, go ahead, use automation tools such as Clientjoy, Trello, Zapier, Focuster, Clockify, to automate the mundane freelancing tasks such as email management, receipt scanning, and workflow management.
It will help you have an edge over competitors and give your freelancing career a major boost.