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So you want to become a freelancer -- to strike out on your own and join the workforce of nearly 53 million people who experience the ups and downs of contract work. Hopefully you’ve read my previous article on why it’s time for you to start freelancing, and you see the benefits and perks of freelancing, including setting your own schedule and working remotely. The timing has never been better to freelance, and here’s why:

Millennials have the advantage of starting their freelance careers in a technological world where freelancing pitfalls are few. Tedious tasks like searching for clients, invoicing, and tracking hours are streamlined by powerful apps and websites. The evolution of tech tools lets freelancers earn more than ever before, find clients easily, and navigate challenges effortlessly. So, if you want to work smarter and not harder, try these top-rated freelance tools:

 

1. Sighted

This web-based and mobile friendly invoice and expense tracking software is designed especially for freelancers and independent entrepreneurs. It integrates payment options, gives profit and loss reports, and is super easy to use and customize. Though everything can be set up and accomplished in less than five minutes, the software produces invoices that look like they took hours.

2. Buildfire

Having a mobile web presence is essential to small businesses and freelancers these days, but if you’re just starting out, you may not know how or have the money to hire someone to build a mobile site. Buildfire has streamlined and made it incredibly easy to build and customize your own mobile site in no time. It syncs with almost every major app, and has tons of capabilities like in-app social networks, mobile shops, and an ability to add custom HTML.

3. Weebly

Once you’ve got a mobile site, you’ll be needing a beautiful website as well. Weebly is the place to go to build a quick, easy, gorgeous drag and drop site with no coding necessary. It has tons of themes to choose from, plus the platform handle inventory, taxes, SEO, email marketing, and everything else you need to sell product efficiently and effectively.

4. Proposify

Proposals are a necessary evil for freelancers, so why not make them as easy and beautiful as possible? Proposify gives beginning freelancers simple design tools, streamlined metrics, and even a content museum so you can find past proposals and not re-invent the wheel. The software even lets you sync your CRM and invoicing, as well as gives you management tools for a larger team so the software grows as you do.

5. Brand24

Monitoring your brand or product can be exceedingly difficult, but Brand24’s measurement tools give you a comprehensive look into your customer satisfaction, all in one place. You can check out your marketing analytics, get an influencer score of those who are mentioning you, do a sentiment analysis (is your brand thought of as positive, neutral, or negative) real-time alerts, data exporting, and a mentions feed that puts all of your mentions front and center.

6. Dribbble

Freelance designers can find a supportive social network through this website, which offers a place for to post their latest work and showcase their skills. The community helps designers connect with jobs and other designers on a global scale, both individually and as teams.

7. Due

Due gives freelancers an easy, fast, encrypted digital wallet that is smartly integrated with an invoicing system, so you can have the ease and quality of online payments, but retain the professionalism of an entrepreneur. Due also offers time tracking for you and your team and credit card processing to make transactions even easier.

8. Timely

Timesheets and time tracking are a time sucker. Spend your time building your business rather than hunting down where the hours went with Timely, a cross-device app that integrates with your productivity apps, your calendar, your GPS, specific files on your computer, and more to track all your time in one place, automatically.

9. Streak

This CRM system for your inbox can track and manage leads, clients, potential partners, projects and more directly in your Gmail inbox. You just download the extension and go -- and even if your business evolves, it’s very easy to re-structure without changing code.

10. Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a beautiful streamlined to-do list tracker that syncs across all your devices. Lists can be set for reminders, or you can send them to others for collaboration or assignment. You can even email Wunderlist reminders so that you can seamlessly set lists for yourself without leaving your task.

Freelancing is better than ever before, and with the advent of these tools, the potential is there to be truly successful in your chosen field. With new tech released every day, it will only get easier, so don’t delay!

Author : Ashley Stahl

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2017/01/05/the-10-best-tools-for-millennial-freelancers/#32a8ee596747

Categorized in Work from Home

A new report is shedding light on the people benefiting from the explosive growth of the freelance economy. The Freelance Behaviour Report examines how freelancers live and work and what motivates them to choose freelancing over the traditional workplace.

The survey of 1000 freelance designers around the world was conducted by DesignCrowd, a website that helps small businesses crowdsource custom graphic, logo and web design from more than half a million designers around the world.

Key findings of the report include:

  • More than half (55 per cent) choose to freelance because they love being able to pick their own work hours
  • One in five (20 per cent) take advantage of flexible hours to fulfil their role as a parent or carer
  • 30.5 per cent worked in a traditional design job before switching to freelancing, with online freelancing becoming their only source of income
  • 61 per cent choose freelancing because they enjoy the freedom to work on projects they’re interested in and passionate about
  • 30 per cent choose freelancing to earn extra money on top of their full time job

 

The report reveals that freelancing is popular with a wide range of age groups, contrary to the popular perception that the internet is only for millennials. At 70 per cent , the majority of freelancersare between 18 and 35 years old.

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However, freelancing is also popular with an older demographic, with 24.3 per cent of freelancers aged between 36-50 and 4.8 per cent aged 50 years and older.

Freedom and flexibility are the top motivators for becoming a freelancer, with more than half, or 55 per cent, of freelancers choosing the path because they love picking their own work hours. This flexibility also offers a valuable solution to the one in five, or 20 per cent , of freelancers who choose freelance work because it allows them to fulfil their role as a parent or carer.

Money is still an important factor, with 29 per cent of freelancers saying they choose to freelancebecause they can earn more than if they worked full time. Interestingly, only 12 per cent choose to freelance because they can’t secure a full time job, suggesting that freelancing is a choice driven by lifestyle factors rather than a ‘temporary fix’ for people that are looking for stable work.

It’s not just work-life balance causing people to flock towards freelancing. Creative freedom is just as important to the freelancer, with 61 per cent choosing to freelance so that they can work on projects that genuinely interest them. A whopping 37 per  cent would take advantage of this freedom to reject a brief if it was written in Comic Sans.

Freelancers are also free from workplace policy, meaning that 92 per cent treat every day like casual Friday, with 71per cent turn up to work in jeans and a t-shirt, 19 per cent relax through the work day in pyjamas, and a daring 2 per cent wearing nothing but their birthday suit.

Founder and CEO of DesignCrowd, Alec Lynch said, “The global freelance economy is booming. Freelancing is becoming an increasingly mainstream and popular career path – especially for designers and creatives.  People are joining the freelance economy every day in search of the flexibility, experience, money and freedom it provides.”

Author:  TAHLIA DAVIES

Source:  http://www.bandt.com.au/marketing/makes-freelancers-tick-can-company-work

Categorized in Online Research

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