There are 53 million people working as freelancers in the U.S. alone, what makes it an extremely competitive marketplace. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the fact that 65% of them feel like freelancing is a more respectable career path than it was three years ago, it is definitely worth considering it a primary source of income.
Technology represents a big part of a freelancer’s life; almost 70% of them say it has helped them find work in the first place. For the following article, we have selected some of the most useful tools first-timers need in order to get started and work towards building a solid career in freelancing.
Upwork is undoubtedly the most popular platform for freelancers as it connects them to an enormous database of clients. Here you will be able to find both a side gig and a steady employment. What you have to do in order to join the community is create a profile and set up your price since Freelancers on Upwork are paid per hour after they finish the job. This platform comes with advanced search options and easy payment system, as well as a multitude of tests which you can take and include in your profile to show your potential employees as a proof.
Since you are going to be working remotely, a project management tool such as Active Collab is bound to come in handy. It enables you to schedule tasks, exchange files and communicate with your employer or other team members. What many users highlight as its best feature is the fact that you can send invoices directly through it, which drastically saves time and makes everything more transparent. With this in mind, it is no wonder freelancers consider it to be the best web design project management tool.
Skype is by far the most popular and widely used communication app among freelancers since it allows you to communicate with others completely free. On the other hand, if you wish to make calls to mobile or landline phones abroad, do not worry as the price is extremely competitive. Thanks to its group video calling feature, many employees insist on it when they want to organize a team meeting with staff members who are scattered all around the world.
Although working from home might seem ideal, the truth is – there are much more distractions than at the office. SelfControl is an app compatible with Mac OS and it allows you to block websites for a certain period of time so you can focus on the task in hand. This way, you will not find yourself in the middle of work hours browsing Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Google is really living up to its reputation with a variety of apps it offers to both paid and free users. Google Drive in particular allows you to keep your work online and share it with your co-workers and employees. Note that you will get 15GB of free space when you create your Google account, and it can be used across all apps.
Update: DeskSurfing has been temporarily closed. We’ll update here once it resumes.
Don’t really like working from home? Not to worry, DeskSurfing comes with an advanced search and will help you find an ideal co-working office space. It offers both socializing and career advancement opportunities for freelancers around the globe. It is considered to have a quite trendy interface where you will easily find a free working space since it can present you with about hundreds of them.
Unfortunately, this is only the crème of the crop. There is an innumerable number of tools that can help freelancers get started and advance their career, but note that you should not use all at once. Choose only the most essential ones based on the specific needs of the type of work you are doing. Tool obsession leads nowhere, so if you notice that your list is slowly piling up, review it once again and discard the ones you are actually not using at all.