There is a lot to love about being a freelancer – no commuting, no irritating co-workers, the freedom to set your own hours, and the ability to work pretty much anywhere you like (as long as there is a wifi connection). But when you go it alone, the pressure is on. Without an established office or a business strategy in place, it is up to you to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing or things will go south pretty quickly. This is especially true for international freelancers, so we have put together a list of 10 of the best online tools which will help you to be more efficient, more productive and more successful no matter where you are.
Initially marketed as a photo storage solution, Dropbox is increasingly being used in lieu of VPN as a place to file, store and share documents and images. It is free to create an account, and each new member is given 2GB of space with their registration. Simply upload your work, create a link and send it to your contacts, then delete the file once you are done with it and free up a bit more space.
Basecamp is a freelancer’s best friend – it is essentially an online project management tool which allows you to store, send and receive files instantaneously. It is free and easy to join, and helps freelancers add legitimacy to their projects and stay on top of deadlines.
Literally meaning ‘IF This Then That’, IFTTT helps you to create personalised ‘recipes’ which allow you to share, search for and track various topics, articles and files across a range of different platforms and social media. It is a quick and easy way to share your work, no matter where it is stored.
You can’t beat the classics – Skype may have been around for a while but there’s a reason for that – its great! Connect with anyone anywhere in the world for free via voice call, video call and instant messenger and make long distance landline calls for a fraction of the cost using the Skype wallet.
One of the most challenging aspects of freelancing is getting paid and unless you are a freelance accountant, balancing your books can be fraught with difficulties. Freshbooks.com does all the heavy lifting for you – managing your invoices, keeping track of your expenses and helping you to place a true value on your time.
LinkedIn is about more than simply connecting with new clients and colleagues – your LinkedIn profile doubles up as an online CV, while your endorsements act as references. By checking you out on LinkedIn, potential clients and employers can gauge your background, ability and reputation at the click of a button, so it is worth getting it right.
People per Hour (PPH) is essentially an online community of freelancers who come together to offer their services and skills in one place. It is a great place for freelancers to advertise themselves and look for work, but equally it is useful for finding complementary services such as graphic designers, translators, copywriters, composers and more.
For those days when you just need to have a bit of a work rant – Reddit is there for you. There are countless sub-Reddit threads dedicated to freelancer woes and freelance-to-freelance advice. When you’re having a bad day, take a deep breath, scroll through a couple of these threads and know that somewhere out there, someone is having a worst time of it than you.
The beauty of Twitter is that it can be anything you want it to be. Your Twitter account can be a virtual CV, highlighting the work you are doing and reaching out to potential new contacts; it can be a way for you to stay up to date with other professionals in your field; or it can be a business in itself, where you build up a large but niche following and charge companies for their tweets.
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Most freelancers are dealing with clients from around the world, so it is important that you are able to accept payment in multiple currencies without losing a whack of your pay in bank charges and poor exchange rates. Use our platform and find the best rate!