I started as a new freelancer just like you 2 1/2 years ago.
The culture-shock I felt going from graduate student to full-time freelancer was INTENSE.
There was so much I didn’t know, so many Q’s I had. I just wanted to feel like a professional and be taken seriously.
Part of feeling like a professional was setting the foundations for my business — create a contract, learn about taxes, figure out what to charge and how to structure packages.
It can be tough to learn and figure all this out when you’re low on money or resources.
That’s why I’m here.
I’ve curated 5 free tools new freelancers like you should add to your tool belt (that won’t break bank). It’s a mix of what I used as I started freelancing and what I currently use now.
This is a fantastic static, one-page website I used to create my portfolio before I invested in a website.
Now, I have a domain and a website that’s all my own. I showcase past projects, set up an e-commerce store for the First-Time Freelancer Bundle and other digital products, and have a way for people to sign up for my email list all under one roof.
Speaking of an email list…
The first year of freelancing, I didn’t have a newsletter at all. I was only posting on social media and my blog.
I soon realized the importance of an email list. Now, I use MailChimp to send my weekly newsletter, Thursday Thoughts. I still use the free version, so I’m not able to automate my emails (yet).
In the beginning, I used this tool to e-sign PDF contracts clients were sending me. It worked for me at the time because I needed all the profit I was getting from my low-paying clients.
2 years in, I finally invested in Adobe Acrobat. Also, I created my own contract that I now send to clients (so we’re working on MY terms). Whatever you use, just make sure you’re sending the client YOUR contract… you’re the professional here.
If you can believe it, I used to collect money via checks. It was cumbersome and I wasn’t paid on time. (I’m taking net-30 and net-60, people).
Now, I understand the importance of invoicing software that can brand invoices, send reminders, and automate payments. Score.
In the beginning, I didn’t do any video editing. I didn’t think I had anything to say and was afraid to show up as a leader in my industry.
When I create fun IGTVs (like the ones for the GETTING STARTED series!), I use InShot. It helps me create engaging content that’s helpful for YOU!
Which tools are you taking advantage of this week? Tell me in the comments below.