It’s important to keep your WordPress business as organized and streamlined as possible — however, this can be challenging when you’re a freelancer, working without employees.
Fortunately, there are a number of software tools available that can make running your freelancing business much easier. Anything that can be offloaded to software, should be. This way, you can concentrate on what you do best.
Below are a list of the top tools I use every day as a WordPress freelancer.
Invoicing is a hassle. But Freshbooks makes it quick and painless. I create all of my invoices within Freshbooks, and then have options to either send them via email or snail mail. When payments come it, I enter them into Freshbooks. At any time, I can see all outstanding invoices and how much each client owes.
Freshbooks even allows my clients to pay with a credit card through PayPal, Stripe, and other payment gateways.
I realized long ago that one of my biggest time wasters was scheduling meetings via email. It would take approximately 6 emails to schedule one meeting.
TimeTrade makes this process easy for both you and your clients by removing you from the equation.
Your client simply goes to your TimeTrade page and can see a calendar with your availabilities. Because TimeTrade is synced with your calendar, it automatically updates when you enter something in your calendar. When your client finds a time that works, they can sign up for that time.
TimeTrade then updates your calendar with the new meeting, and sends a reminder to your client the day before the meeting.
Keeping your clients’ WordPress sites maintained is important. But the more clients you have, the longer maintenance takes. ManageWP gives you one dashboard where you can take care of all WordPress related tasks…without having to log in to each of your clients’ sites.
You can run updates, schedule backups, publish posts, and more.
ManageWP saves me hours each week.
Bidsketch is the tool that makes contracts and agreements simple and fast. You can create your contracts in Bidsketch as a template, using defined variables to tell Bidsketch where to enter things like client names.
Then, when you have a new client, you simply select your contract template and Bidsketch automatically enters all their info in.
When the contract is ready to go, you send it via email. Your client is then able to digitally sign your contract.
No more having to find signed client agreements, or wondering what the status is on a contract. It’s all saved in Bidsketch.
Communicating with your clients via email can be difficult. It’s difficult to keep track of emails, find files, and keep track of project timelines.
Instead, I use Basecamp. It’s where I keep track of client discussions, deliverables, and to-dos.
Not only does it make it easier on you to keep all communication in one area, but clients are happy because they can see your status on the project.
If you haven’t used Dropbox before, you need to.
It is an easy to use cloud storage service. You can upload any files and share them with anyone you choose.
I use it for two purposes: First, when I’m working on a project where my client is providing me with a number of files, such as images, I’ll invite them to my Dropbox folder where they can upload the files. Secondly, when I need to share large files with clients, I’ll upload them to Dropbox and send a link.
I used to carry around a notepad with me everywhere I went. But I started losing them. All my notes gone.
Now, I use Evernote for all of my notetaking.
Not only can I access my notes from anywhere (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop), but I can search through them. So, if I need to find all of my notes regarding a specific project, I’ll just search for that project and they all pop up.
I’m notorious for forgetting to keep track of my income and expenses. So, for simple accounting, I use Mint.
It connects with my bank accounts and credit cards and automatically imports all revenue and expenses. Then, it categorizes them so I can see where I’m spending my money.
This way, I’m able to instantly see how much money I’ve made each month, and what my expenses were, day by day.
For client meetings and conference calls, I use MeetingBurner. MeetingBurner provides me with a conference line my clients can call in to, as well as an online meeting platform.
During the meeting, I can share my screen or have my client share their screen. It’s perfect for client tutorials or troubleshooting. Plus, I can record my meetings and send the recordings afterwards.
What tools do you use?
Do you have any tools you use as a WordPress freelancer that make it easier to keep your business running smoothly?
We’d love to learn about them. Please share in the comments below!
Brandon Yanofsky is a freelance WordPress developer and troubleshooter. He also shares WordPress tips, tricks, and tutorials at www.mywpexpert.com. You can email him at [email protected]