Starting a freelance business isn’t easy. You have to find time, find clients, and find the motivation to work each day. For those of us brave enough to venture out on our own, there are dozens of tasks, projects, and processes that must be done as efficiently as possible, or we risk losing clients, losing time, and — worst of all — losing our Mom’s bragging rights.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to implement the right tools and processes to ensure your daily operations run smoothly each and every day, without fail. The most pivotal of these tools, and the one that lies at the heart of your business as a freelancer, is your freelance management software.
Freelance management software allows freelancers to streamline the way we work. It helps you create proposals that blow clients away, efficiently manage your projects, automatically send and collect invoices, process payments, provide client support, and more.
However, it’s important to note that the freelance gig industry is growing, and the needs of freelancers are ever-evolving, so choosing software that can grow with you is a must.
Here are six freelance management software features to help you win more clients, streamline your efforts, and save more money.
News flash: It’s 2021. More and more people are clinging to their phones than ever before. They’re shopping online, connecting with family and friends on social media, and yes, even working remotely. Freelancers are no different.
You’re likely using your smartphone or another mobile device for your work in some capacity, especially if you’re a freelance blogger, writer, or content creator traveling for work or finishing projects on the go.
In 2021, Mobile App support is a must. You do not want to be the freelancer your clients can’t reach.
Ideally, in order to check this box, the mobile apps should allow you to use all of the features in the software without compromising the quality of your experience and no matter the device you’re using to do your work.
One of the many challenges that freelancers experience is the constant stream of unstructured communication being thrown at them from all angles: the clients they work for, the other freelancers they work with, and of course, Mom, who wants to know if you’ll be home for Christmas this year.
That’s why it’s pivotal to your productivity to introduce your clients to easy ways to submit requests, ask questions, and check on the progress of your projects.
Communication and outreach are integral to building brand loyalty and maintaining a steady flow of clients for your freelance business. The freelance management software you choose should help you connect with your customers. It should also assist you in creating a solid social media marketing strategy.
Many apps freelance management systems implement this feature differently, with some even sending emails for every comment someone leaves on a client’s project.
Plutio has created a customer support chat widget that easily integrates into any website and allows clients to send messages directly to your inbox. Clients also get access to your fully customized and white-labeled Client Portal where they can keep track of your progress, see recent updates, and submit requests at any time.
In addition to communication features, good freelance management software should make it easier to win your dream client. Unfortunately, without professional proposals, you can kiss many prospective clients goodbye.
If your prospective client is shopping around, it’s likely that you won’t be the first applicant. Therefore, you’ll want a system that helps you stand out from the typical applicants for virtually any project. Ideally, whatever software you use will let you very quickly create professional proposals for your clients, automatically loading in the following items:
Promoting your products/services, bringing in quality client leads, and nurturing your relationships with them are extremely important to the success of your freelance business.
Choose software with marketing functions that help you:
While your freelance management software should handle the bulk of your needs as a freelancer, you never know when you need to integrate your software with other systems. Furthermore, you’re likely using various tools in addition to your overarching freelance management software. So, integrations can be instrumental in developing a cohesive automated flow of information.
You should be able to connect third-party apps to your software so that all of your business data sync together on one platform. For instance, Plutio allows Square, Stripe, or Paypal integrations to accept and manage client payments. You can also sync your Google Calendar and connect to more than 500 other apps using Zapier.
Simply put, all freelancers are unique. They run their businesses differently, have various clients, company goals, and so forth. This makes customization features that much more critical in the software you choose.
You want to be able to customize the entire software to your business needs and desires. Also, your chosen software should grow with your operation. This makes it so you don’t have to switch to new software soon and endure a learning curve that could disrupt the flow of your freelance business.
And more than ever, positioning yourself as an expert is vital to keeping your clients satisfied. So having a system that allows you to take full credit for your work is crucial. This is where white-labeling comes in. Having software that will enable you to brand it as your company’s work positions you as the leader in your field, especially if the other businesses your client works with require them to work with several systems made by several different companies.
No matter which software solutions you choose for your business, there will be a time in which you’ll need some support for it.
Your freelance management software company should place a considerable emphasis on supporting you as their customer, helping you navigate the entire system successfully. Also, you want features in the actual software that allow you to support your clients better.
For instance, Plutio has a help center that customers can visit at any time. Plutio also has a YouTube series dedicated to onboarding new clients and walking them through the most productive journey with our tools. Your freelance management software should have these sorts of resources for you and help you create them for your clients.
Ultimately, any freelance management software you choose should prioritize customer support. Representatives should be there for you when and where you need them to ensure you’re getting the most out of the software.
Top freelance management software features for the future are technology-forward and all about supporting freelancers in everything they do, from marketing to sales to customer support.
Ensure the software you choose is compatible with mobile devices, helps you leverage social media, seamlessly integrates with third-party apps, and allows you to customize it to your unique freelance business.