The Importance of Learning Online Tools for Freelancers
Being a freelancer is not just about having the skills to provide high-quality work, it’s also about keeping up with the latest trends and technologies that will help you succeed. Clients expect their freelancers to be efficient and up-to-date with the latest tools and apps that are being used in the business world. Therefore, as a freelancer, learning and employing these online tools is vital to stay competitive and be successful.
Here are the top online tools that every freelancer should learn:
1. Content Management Systems (CMS)
A Content Management System, or CMS, is a web-based software that helps manage content efficiently. WordPress is a popular CMS that many websites use for publishing content. As a freelance writer or photographer, it is crucial to have at least basic knowledge of WordPress. There is a high chance that a client may ask a freelancer to submit articles or photos through WordPress. Therefore, it is essential to learn the basics of this tool.
Many free resources are available online that teach the basics of using WordPress, starting with the ‘Support’ section of their official website itself. Additionally, websites like WP Beginner and WP101 provide useful tutorials and how-to guides, while YouTube is full of web developers and designers who build WordPress websites for a living, thus providing more detailed walk-throughs.
2. Social Media
Social media is no longer just a leisure activity. It has a massive impact on businesses and helps to connect with clients and customers. Therefore, managing an active social media profile solely for your freelance business shows how serious you are about your work and that you take the time to share it with others.
Having an engaging social media presence also proves to clients that you understand the power of social media and are capable of building relationships online. Hootsuite and Buffer are social media tools that help schedule posts and add all accounts in one place. These apps are essential to growing a social media following and being more visible to prospective clients.
3. Invoicing Apps
It’s 2015, and there are more than enough invoicing tools available online. Sending invoices through email or snail mail is no longer efficient when some clients are busy individuals who prefer sleeker options.
Having a streamlined invoicing process not only makes it easier for both clients and freelancers but also makes the freelancer look more professional and organized. Invoicing apps like Freshbooks and Invoiceable help create invoices in less time than it would take to make them from scratch. Invoiceable is free to use, while Freshbooks offers a 30-day trial before requiring a subscription plan (starting at $9.95 per month). These apps also track income, generate reports, and link payment methods like Stripe and PayPal.
4. Apps for Collaboration
Collaboration is a crucial aspect of business. Therefore, sharing files, commenting on them, and assigning tasks to other users are necessary features. Online services like Basecamp, Slack, Asana, and Trello help users collaborate and communicate effectively on individual or group projects within a browser.
It is essential to get acquainted with the functions of these apps, especially since many clients will likely use them during a stint. Pick an app, create an account, and see how it works. Most of these apps offer tutorials immediately after signing up, so watch out for that.
5. Apps for Internet Calls
Some employers require video calls for interviews, and it’s essential to understand the technical aspects behind them. Knowing how to master this part will help the freelancer concentrate on acing the interview itself.
Commonly used apps for Internet calls include Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts, among others. While video chatting with friends on a smartphone is a familiar concept, ensuring that web cameras, microphones, and speakers are working correctly for an internet call are necessary precautions. It’s best to take the call on a desktop computer or a laptop instead of a phone. Dressing up just like in a face-to-face interview is always recommended as well.
Learn as You Go
Freelancing demands adaptability and progress. Therefore, it is essential to keep learning, especially when it comes to maintaining a client’s project. While not every freelancer may be an expert in using online tools, the willingness to learn will make a significant difference in the long run.
It’s okay to admit not having used an app before, but assuring clients of your intent to learn and focus on delivering high-quality output is the key. Learning these online tools will give the freelancer confidence in their work, gain clients’ trust, and become one of the most valuable freelancers in the field.
In conclusion, online tools are crucial in the freelancing world. The ability to use such tools seamlessly is proof of a freelancer’s expertise and professionalism. It means being productive and efficient, resulting in more opportunities for work and, most importantly, satisfied clients. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved: the freelancer, the client, and even the business.