What’s the biggest challenge of a freelancer? It’s what someone from the outside thinks is the biggest advantage of this kind of job: managing your own time.
Yes, the ability to work under your own schedule is an advantage. However, it’s also a curse.
A client may pay you $80 per hour. However, you’re only getting paid for the effective hours spent on that specific job.
As a freelancer, you have tons of other things to think about: arranging a schedule, searching for other clients, designing lead magnets, social media marketing… you name it.
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No one is paying you for that. When you do the math, it turns out you’re earning much less per hour than what your big client is paying you.
How can you make this math more beneficial? One word: automation. There are certain tasks that you can turn into automated processes.
In fact, let’s get rid of that can in the previous sentence: there are certain tasks that you should turn into automated processes. They will make your life as a freelancer much easier. Plus, they will help you use your time more cost-effectively. Let’s see what tasks you should start with.
Not all freelancers are lucky enough to find a single client who provides a regular workflow on the long term. Most of us have to bounce from one client to another. Searching for gigs takes a lot of time and nerves, but you can automate the process!
All you need to do is setup Google alerts for important keywords. You can use the keywords you usually use in your search, such as graphic designer wanted, graphic designer job, or anything else that gives you the results you’re looking for.
Then, the search engine will send you notifications whenever an opportunity pops up.
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2. Creating lead magnets
Every freelancer should invest time in designing effective lead magnets. Often times, these are free offers you make with the intention to get more clients in your email list. How do you do that?
The easiest way for a freelancer to create lead magnets is to turn their blog posts into captivating graphic PDF files. That’s a process you can automate if you use tools like Designrr.
3. Social media marketing
Every freelancer has to build their personal brand. When you’re trying to attract new clients, you can’t impress them with plain words and promises. They will want to see your work.
They will search your name online and the impressions they get will determine your chances to get the job.
To improve your online reputation, you’re probably engaged in social media marketing. You’re sharing updates across all social profiles, so you’re definitely spending a lot of time on that activity.
With Buffer, a tool that automatically sends updates to all social profiles, that can be much easier.
To take things further, use MeetEdgar. It will recycle your old blog content, so it will give you more things to share on social media.
As a freelancer, you’ll have to learn how self-employment taxes work. You’ll have to take tax filings really seriously. Since they are usually filed on a quarterly basis, you’ll have to save enough money to cover them.
Fortunately, it’s another thing you can automate. Painess1099 is a tool that will help you save for tax season through a smart bank account. It will automatically withhold the right amounts of money for taxes.
5. Call scheduling
When you’re considering new clients, then calls and conferences are nothing new to you. It’s how most employers prefer to interview freelancers these days. Scheduling those calls, however, can be a burden.
How do you find time that works both for you and your clients? ScheduleOnce is a tool that can help. It’s an integrated scheduling platform that sends a custom link to your clients, so they can choose the time that works best to them. The schedule will be converted into their time zone.
You have to use several online services when you’re a freelancer. When you add the tools that make your work easier, you get to a complication: too many passwords to remember. Needless to say, for security purposes it’s not smart tot use the same password for different services.
It’s okay. You can use a password manager that will safely keep all your passwords and let you apply them whenever you visit a website that demands login information. Check out LastPass and 1Password.
Whoa, we gave you quite a few tools to use. It may seem like too much, but they will save you more time than you assume. Try automating few of the above-listed tasks and see what happens. Chances are, you’ll become much more effective in the way you do your work.
Do you automate? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
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