Having the right tools for the right task can make all the difference when it comes to starting a side gig. The fact is, freelancing can sometimes involve the strenuous chore of task management, essential in order to maximize productivity.
As a freelancer, you definitely do not want to become overwhelmed with tools. There are some basic resources out there that will aid your endeavors and go a long way to making you a successful contractor. Here are some of those tools:
In today’s work environment, almost every kind of job requires a laptop/desktop computer and/or computer-based technology, in one way or another. As a freelancer indulging in a second job online, you need a computer with plenty of storage space to save your work and often with a redundant system for data backup.
Use a smartphone to find more jobs, exchange virtual business cards, research potential clients and keep in touch with existing ones in real-time, and even make changes to project deliverables, all regardless of wherever you are.
iPhones and Android-based phones have hundreds of apps that facilitate these tasks for you. EverNote and cloud-based storage apps top most lists. Just take a look at The Top 11 Productivity Apps of 2019 For Entrepreneurs from Forbes.
Building a website for your side business is essential. And it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.
A website gives you credibility and can help potential customers understand your services.
Learn more about what to include in your website as a freelancer.
Job Search Engine / Freelance Marketplace
Another essential tool for a side gig is a quality job search website. Whether remotely or on-site, these sites are there to help you search for jobs in your area of expertise.
You can start your search by using keywords, such as: ‘work from home’, ‘freelance’, ‘part time’, ‘work online’, ‘telecommute’, ‘evening’, ‘weekend’, and so on. Since you can work remotely, you don’t really need to be location-specific when searching for online jobs. If you want to work on-site, add a specific metro area or city when searching for jobs.
Take a look at some of these sites for starting out as a freelancer: guru.com, remote.com, freelancewriting.
Among the numerous other tools, are apps to help improve your productivity.
G Suite and Google Docs
With Google Docs you can create documents, presentations and spreadsheets using a browser. Google Docs is great if you want to collaborate with other team members and get their comments about a document. It’s also an effective way to store and share large files.
Trello lets you visualize your work (to-do and project timeline tasks).
All you do is add your tasks to Trello in the form of cards. Once you’ve completed a task, just drag your taks to the right of your Trello board. Trello allows you to see your tasks and to-do items at a glance.
Zoom or Skype are popular tools today either used as for video conferencing or just voice phone calls.
If you offer a service or need to schedule appointments or phone calls, using a shared calendaring system takes less time than emailing back and forth. Some services are free and others charge a monthly fee. Calendly is frequently used. You can also check out YouCanBook.me or 10to8 (I use it and find it easy and efficient!)
You will need a way to accept online payment for your services. Whether you use PayPal, Stripe, Square, or a dedicated merchant account, you must have a way to get paid.
Each online payment provider regularly offers new features such as the ability to have payment subscriptions. Accepting online payments has become a powerful tool for a freelancer or side job contractor to be able to receive payments quickly and easily from anywhere around the globe.
Although many of these tools may vary depending on what you do, generally they remain useful for any individual contractor. This is just a partial list of tools to help enhance communications and productivity. It makes a good start.
Using content marketing and social media to get the word out about your services is critical.
Develop a marketing plan that identifies who your target audience is, what problems you solve for them and why they should do business with you over the competition.
Blogging is not only a great way to highlight your expertise, it also helps increase your ranking in search engines. Learn more about business blogging here.
To learn more about using social media to amplify your business, check out this article.
And video is a fabulous way to showcase your personality and differentiate your business. Learn how to easily use video to market your business.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.