How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

If you want to know how to become a freelance social media manager, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll give you guides, tips, and tricks to help you start your freelance journey as a social media manager.

Social media marketing and management are some of the most in-demand jobs to date. Freelancer.com, an online job marketplace giant, places hundreds of job postings. And that is just one site. Similarly, hundreds, if not thousands, of social media marketers, managers, and content writers are posting their availability. But don’t be intimidated, and don’t lose sight of your goal. Even if the competition is high, there are ways to stand out and get the job.

Social Media: An Overview

Social media has become one of the most powerful platforms man has ever invented. It has bridged worlds, connecting people and creating a network of different communities with varied interests virtually. While the main purpose of social media is to provide an avenue for people to keep in touch, it has evolved into something bigger. Now, it serves as an e-commerce platform, a sales and marketing strategy, a customer service tool, and even an instrument for creating polls and surveys.

smartphone with social media icons on screen

Social media has opened up a door of limitless information-sharing, making it a good tool for data collection and market research. Opinions and facts are communicated to an international audience through articles, short posts, photos, and videos.

These platforms have changed how people communicate drastically. Reaching out and connecting has become more convenient. Through messaging and audio and video calls, we can simultaneously interact with people from all over the world, not to mention it will not cost you a dime. Social media has become so much a part of people’s lives that they rely on these platforms for almost everything: news, entertainment, business transactions, and more!

Tips on How to Become a Freelance Social Media Manager

As a social media manager, you have to understand and know how to maximize these platforms to your client’s advantage. You can see how people of different demographics perceive a product, brand, or service through different posts and comments. Trends from these platforms typically dictate fashion, movement, and even political ideologies. And this is how you can ensure a powerful social media campaign and management for your client.

Duties of a Social Media Manager

In learning how to become a freelance social media manager, you must first know your duties and responsibilities as one. As a social media manager, your primary role is to provide an efficient and sound online presence for your client.

person posting on social media on laptop

1. Develop a social media campaign

A social media campaign is a strategy where you use social media to achieve your client’s goals. The most common campaign is introducing a brand or product to the market. You may be hired to ensure that a new product or product line is available to the market. When introducing a new product, you may do some teasers, explainer videos, and pricing promotions.

Another campaign is for generating brand loyalty. For this, the product is already available in the market, and your job is to make sure that customers continue to patronize the product. You have to make the product relevant and in demand.

You may also be tasked to develop a campaign to increase sales. This involves both creativity and market research to see how you can draw more customers.

2. Run and oversee the campaign

Once a campaign is already in place, your next task is to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted implementation of the plan. You will be in charge of publishing and posting content, managing social media interactions, and generating reports through social media analytics.

Treat this task as if you are managing your own social media page. Do not post hurriedly; know the right time to post and the right platform to use. Monitor the pages consistently and be ready to troubleshoot and address any errors.

3. Producing Content

More than just managing the campaign, you are also in charge of producing the content. For this part, you have to bring your thinking hat out of the box because you need all the creativity you can get. To get your target market’s attention, you have to make the page exciting. Do not focus mainly on copywriting. Remember, you can still get the message across using visuals like photos and videos. Publish demo reels to spark interest. Post original and captivating pictures. You can even create gifs!

4. Creating Good Customer Experience

As a social media manager, you are tasked to make sure interactions with clients are done flawlessly. You are to monitor comments on posts (and reply if needed), respond to messages, and even hold polls and surveys. Make sure that when providing responses, you are aligned with the values and visions of your client. If you are unsure how to handle a situation, discuss it with your client.

Skills and Tricks

It is not enough that you simply know how to become a freelance social media manager. You must know how to become an EXCELLENT social media manager. Here are some skills (and tricks) you must have to stand out from the rest:

• Mastery and Expertise

First things first, know the different social media platforms and their strengths and weaknesses. Match the brand, product, and campaign with the right social media platform. There are different types of social media platforms, and you must master the interface and markets of each. For instance, Instagram is an excellent photo-sharing tool, while TikTok is for videos. Twitter has limited character spaces, while Facebook gives you more room for longer posts. Master the best specifications for the content you are posting for these platforms.

Check for available online mastery courses for these platforms, especially if you do not have time to explore and learn the features yourself. You might even learn a few hidden tricks during these courses. Remember, as a freelancer, you are running a business. So the more you master your craft, the more you have a chance of landing clients and projects.

• Communication Skills

Social media management is basically anchored on communication. The content you produce will be based on the message your client wants to relay to the public. Replies must be clear, polite, and professional. The voice or tone you use will have an impact on your audience.

Remember, social media reaches a global audience. So you have to know how to manipulate your content to cater to an international market. Be sensitive and careful about cultural differences, watch your word choices, and check even the images you will post. Some symbols or color schemes may be offensive to others.

Everything will boil down to how well you communicate.

• Use Your Tools

If you are a social media manager, it follows that you are a techie person. So, make use of other tools and platforms that can help you run your business efficiently. Keep in mind that many online business solutions are at your disposal. There are online job marketplaces to market and sell your business, project management software for progress tracking, online proposal and invoice generators, and accounting and bookkeeping platforms to help you with your finances.

Conclusion

person touching a tablet with laptop on background

Becoming a social media manager needs a lot of work if you want to stand out. It is important that you master social media platforms and develop excellent communication skills so you can provide expert service to clients. Now that you know how to become a freelance social media manager and understand the skills required for you to become good at your work, you can go and start your freelance business confidently.

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Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

How to Create a Copywriting Portfolio No Experience

Is it possible to create a copywriting portfolio with no experience? The short answer is yes. One of the major dilemmas of people who are just fresh out of school is they have pretty much zero experience. And companies nowadays require their potential employees to have experience. So, how could that possibly work?

It’s a good thing the freelancing industry is a bit more forgiving when it comes to working experience. In fact, it is possible to get a job even without any prior working experience. This makes freelancing ideal for those who are just starting out, whether a new graduate or someone who wants to switch to a different industry. When it comes to freelancing, you can let your skills shine through instead of showing a list of prior work experiences.

How can you possibly show your skills? Through a portfolio. So, if you want to know how to build a copywriting portfolio with no experience, read on.

Create a Copywriting Portfolio No Experience

So, if you’ve never worked as a copywriter before, where do you exactly get the materials for your portfolio? Here are some suggestions below to help you out with your copywriting portfolio no experience:

1. Dig up schoolwork

If you studied copywriting, you can actually use schoolwork for your portfolio. Make sure to use relevant materials, it could be from an exam, a project, or other requirements you submitted to your teacher or professor. Of course, make sure to filter these materials as not all may be impressive to potential clients.

Choose the ones you got a high grade on or maybe something your professor gave you excellent feedback on. It’s best to tweak these a little bit, to make sure they are still relevant today.

2. Check old internship materials

If you interned as a copywriter during your undergrad or postgrad, the materials that you have produced can also be used. Make sure to thoroughly read your internship contract first. There might be an NDA that you have signed that says the deliverables you have produced cannot be shown to the public.

For good measure, you may contact the point-person of the company and ask for approval that you will use the things you have produced for your portfolio. Who knows, you might even score a recommendation from them.

3. Create your own samples

Open notebook, blank page

Maybe you don’t have a background in copywriting because you were from another industry. That’s okay, you can still make a copywriting portfolio with no experience. You just have to be a little more creative. You have to make your own samples, below are some ways you can do it.

• Invent a scenario

Think up possible scenarios where your copywriting skills will be needed. This can be your dream scenario like a big makeup company is launching a new lipstick and need an eye-catching copy for their billboard. Maybe a trusted company is looking to bring its brand more appealing to the younger set and will require a new tagline.

When creating a scenario, write the premise so potential clients will understand the problem. Then write in detail how you would go about with the solution. Create mock-ups and enlist the help of designer friends if you can (unless you also know how to do this).

• Build a client profile

This is your chance to dream up your very own client. Build the profile of the hypothetical client and write what kind of copy you can offer them. Of course, it would be best to add a bit of a challenge when making this type of sample so potential clients can see what you are all about.

• Makeup sample products

Your creativity can really be tested when you make a copywriting portfolio with no experience. You can draw inspiration from your childhood or popular culture or pretty much anywhere. Create products that will push the boundaries of your creativity to make an ad copy. Make sure it is relatable, understandable, and of course totally sellable.

4. Use yourself or your own business

Finally, make yourself the client. As a freelancer, you are technically running your own business. You are selling yourself or your skills, so how do you go about doing that? Make your own professional account and create impressive posts that showcase your talent for catching attention and also effective CTAs.

How you sell yourself is highly effective in showing potential clients what you can do. After all, if they are drawn to the copies that you make about yourself, then it shows you can do the same for them.

Woman using laptop

Tips for Making a Copywriting Portfolio with Zero Experience

Just because you’ve never worked as a copywriter in the corporate world doesn’t mean you can’t make it as one in the freelancing industry. Some people ask, does freelance work count as experience? The answer is yes, definitely. Freelance work requires the same set of skills as that of an employee (if not more). Below are some tips to help you make your copywriting portfolio with no experience.

• Find sample copywriting problems or case studies online

Potential clients will usually give you a test so you can showcase your copywriting skills. Most of the time, this will be a made-up scenario. You can get inspiration from this for making your own portfolio. it can help give you insight into what potential clients are looking for in a copywriter.

You can also check out sample case studies of real client profiles or copywriting problems so you can see how a professional handles it. There’s so much information and resources online that you can use, utilise these to help you with your portfolio creation.

• Use appropriate samples related to the potential client’s business or project

When applying for potential clients, make sure the portfolio you make is in line with said client’s business. For example, if you are trying to be a copywriter for a hotel then highlight in your portfolio advertisements about vacations and travel, not just hotels.

Change up your portfolio depending on the client you want to work with or the project you want to work on. But of course, also have a master file of all the materials you have on your portfolio. Some clients will definitely want to see some range from you.

• Showcase your range

Speaking of range, when making a copywriting portfolio with no experience, this is your chance to “do it all”. Being a writer is quite a broad job and copywriting narrows things down but you still have a lot to cover. Below are some of the samples you may need to make to impress potential clients:

1. Press Release

Show information on product launches or anything new that a company will offer. Make sure to sell while also providing pertinent information on the project, product, and company.

2. PPC ads

Websites these days are a numbers game, that’s why PPC ads are highly important. It’s truly a challenge to make a short and snappy copy that will drive people to “click”.

3. Advertorials

As a copywriter, you also need to practice long-form writing, such as an advertorial. It’s pretty much like an article with the goal to sell but without it being too much of a hard sell.

4. Website landing pages

Copywriters need to know the language of the internet. Learn about power words that will help you retain the attention of website visitors.

5. Product Pages

With online selling eating up the market these days, copywriters also need to be adept at writing product pages. These are straight to the point and concise.

Conclusion

Remember that in a copywriting portfolio no experience is possible. You can do this in freelancing but make sure to indicate where the materials are from. If you made a sample out of your imagination, just write that it is just a sample and not actually used for a client.

Aside from that, know that the portfolio is just a hook. You also need to follow up with an excellent proposal so that you can land yourself a client. Do put in the effort when making a copywriting portfolio no experience but make sure your skills and work ethic shine through where it matters most—your freelance work.

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Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Stripe vs PayPal – Which Payment Processor Is Right for You?

As a freelancer, knowing the different features and benefits of Stripe vs PayPal is a big advantage. Stripe and PayPal are both online payment systems that are popular among freelancers, independent contractors, and remote workers. These platforms are also being used by businesses to send and receive money for any type of transaction.

Having a remote-based business means you need to have a complete online system that can fully function from sales or marketing to payment. Managing multiple projects or clients can be tricky, so you need to take advantage of technology that can help you run your business easier. This is why most business management platforms have integrated online payment systems like Stripe and Paypal so you can complete the whole duration of your project or gig in the comforts of your own home (or office).

Partial photo of a POS in blue background

Stripe vs Paypal: An Overview

As a freelancer, you want to avoid payment delays as much as possible, right? After all, you have to ensure that your business is in good financial standing in order to keep it going. Now that online payment processes have become accessible and generally easy for both you and your clients, it is only wise that you invest in these systems. But which one?

Stripe and Paypal are two of the best freelance payment methods. Both offer almost the same services to freelancers and businesses—focusing on easy and convenient payment processing. Plus, both platforms are internationally accepted so you won’t have a problem if your client is located in another country or continent!

Stripe

Stripe boasts of being one of the biggest online payment solutions worldwide. It enables businesses and independent workers to receive online payments from clients using their credit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers. If you have a physical store or office, in-person payment can also be made through Stripe’s payment terminal.

Stripe is generally free to use. What Stripe does is charge you for each completed transaction. Creating an account is also free and very easy. Once your account is verified and activated, you can already start using their invoice feature to send the billing to your client. The invoice will have a clickable payment button that will easily direct your client to the payment process. Stripe’s invoicing feature can also be used for subscription or retainer-based billing.

Stripe website

In receiving payments (payouts), Stripe deposits them to your registered bank account. This bank account is where Stripe will send the payments you receive. You will be able to register your bank details while you are initially setting up your Stripe account. Note that it may take two to three business days before payouts are deposited to your bank account. The first payment you process through Stripe, however, will take around seven to ten days.

Stripe lets you customize your invoices, checkout, and email receipts too. You can add your logo, icon, and accent color to brand it. Email receipts are sent to your clients once payment is successful, and Stripe Checkout is a payment page feature. Customizing your checkout page and official documents will make your business look more professional and reliable, which is absolutely perfect.

Paypal

Paypal is usually considered a digital wallet. A digital wallet is a mobile application that allows you to perform money exchange, like making purchases or shopping, using the financial information (credit card or account balance) stored in your app. Sure, you can use Paypal for that exact purpose, which is one feature of Paypal vs Stripe, but this software is more than that.

PayPal is a payment processing system that you can use to collect payments from your customers. It is an accepted payment platform worldwide, so your international clients will have no problems paying you for your services or products.

PayPal website

Upon signing in, Paypal will let you choose between creating a personal account or a business account. Setting up a Paypal account is free, whether it is for personal or business use. Since freelancing is considered a business, it is best to open a business account. After you fill out your business details, like your name, contact details, website, and EIN, you will be asked what you are selling. So you can choose goods, services, and others.

Next, PayPal will ask you to choose how you are going to receive your payments. Here are the choices that are available, and you can select more than one:

  • your website or app
  • marketplace
  • invoices
  • credit card (without swiping)
  • Credit card (in-person)
  • create a link to send to customers

You can also set if you will be paid based on single transactions, on a recurring basis, or both. And like Stripe, Paypal also has checkout and invoicing features. And like Stripe, you need to register a bank account in order to transfer your balance (payments received) to your bank account. Do note that some banks may charge fees for your transfers.

Stripe vs PayPal: Transaction Fees

Every software needs funds in order to keep its program running smoothly. And since Paypal and Stripe have waived joining fees, they get their funds for operational expenses through transaction fees. These payment processing systems bring so much convenience and efficiency to your business anyway. The next move now is to know which among these two vying for the best payment method for freelancers, has the more reasonable and practical transaction fees for your business.

STRIPEPAYPAL
In-Person Transaction Fees2.7% + 5 cents 2.29% + 9 cents
Online Transaction Fees2.9% + 30 cents2.9% + 30 cents

Stripe vs PayPal: Easy Comparison

To give you a clearer guide on Stripe vs PayPal, check out the table below:

StripePayPal
Business TypeFreelancers, Independent Contractors, Consultants, Coaches, Small to Medium Businesses,
Best for Enterprises, and larger corporations
Enterprises, and larger corporations
Best for Freelancers, Independent Contractors, Consultants, Coaches, Small to Medium Businesses,
UsabilityA little more complicated than PayPalEasy to Use
Internationally AcceptedYesYes
Invoicing and BillingYesYes
Reports and AnalyticsYesYes
Transaction FeesSimpleMore complicated than Stripe
In-Person PaymentsYesYes
Ecommerce/Checkout PaymentsYesYes
Customer SupportYesYes
Other Software IntegrationsYesYes

Choosing the Right One for You

woman using laptop

It is true that payment processing platforms typically have the same features. These business solutions vary mainly in usability and how they charge for their services, like in the case of Stripe vs PayPal. So, how do you choose the right one for you? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Usability. Check the platform on how easy it will be for you to navigate the interface and its systems. Of course, everyone wants an easy, sort of like a point-and-click method because as freelancers, you do not really have time for software with steep learning curves.
  • Practicality. Review the features and costs (fees) very well. If you are more of a local freelancer, then you do not need a platform that is designed for international transactions. You can choose the simpler one. Similarly, know the transaction fees for international payments and currency adjustments if you have foreign clients. See which ones have features and fees that best suit your business.

Conclusion

smartphone with dollar sign on screen

Technology has paved the way for smoother and more efficient management of businesses. Whether you are a solopreneur or a small business owner, there are online business solutions right for you. What’s amazing about these platforms is that it streamlines all your business processes from start to finish. Payment processing has become a breeze. No need to run to the bank to deposit checks anymore!

With all the available platforms, Stripe and PayPal take the top spots. With their software integrations, international payment capabilities, and other financial infrastructure features, you can never go wrong with these two. Choosing the right one for you depends on how much you are willing to pay for charges and fees and how easily you can navigate the platform. So in deciding between Stripe vs PayPal, you simply have to see which one feels right for you.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Freelance Scheduling Software to Get Organized

Forgetting an appointment or missing out on a booking is a freelancer’s nightmare. This is why freelance scheduling software is crucial in any type of freelance business. Make sure you invest in these tools if you tend to forget schedules quickly.

As a freelancer, you are in charge of every aspect of your business. You play the role of everyone. The CEO, secretary, sales manager, administrative chief, customer support, and even the delivery guy are all you. And because you attend to many things, forgetting or missing a task is not impossible. Please don’t take it against you; it really does happen, even to seasoned freelancers. It is for this reason that freelance scheduling software are developed.

Perks of Freelance Scheduling Software

person's arm and iMac showing colored calendar of schedules

They say time is gold. And nothing can be truer. Poor time management may result in profit and opportunity losses. Time blocking is a good practice for managing your tasks but for scheduling and booking, you can use online scheduling tools. So, how can freelance scheduling software really help your business?

  • Perks For You. With a good scheduling tool, you simply need to set your available appointment date and time and publish the calendar on your website. You will then be notified once a schedule has been confirmed. Additionally, you will get reminders for upcoming appointments and other activities like tax filing dates, license renewals, and project deadlines. No need to check your calendar every time a potential client calls to ask for an appointment. No back-and-forth email exchanges just to confirm or cancel a schedule. Plus, it leaves little room for errors because your schedules are updated in real-time. It’s like having your own personal assistant!
  • Perks For Your Client. Using your scheduler, clients can self-book for appointments. No need to call or send a message to ask for your availability. If they need to cancel or reschedule, they can easily do so using the app. And they will also get notifications for their confirmed booking date and reminders for their upcoming appointments. Clients will appreciate that they can see your calendar and availability schedules because then they can choose the date and time most convenient for them.

As you can see, scheduling software increases productivity and efficiency. It is convenient both for you and your clients. So if you are still not using these tools or are looking for better ones, we have a list of freelance scheduling software you can check out.

Freelance Scheduling Software to Explore

Most scheduling software have similar features and functionality. Choosing the right one for you can be tricky. Here are some freelance scheduling software you can explore:

Calendly

If you want a convenient way for your clients to book appointments, Calendly is probably the best scheduler software for you. Calendly is a great booking platform that you can integrate with your website. Whether it is for a meeting, a coaching session, or a dog-sitting service, your clients can easily book a spot through your website, thanks to Calendly.

Calendly website

However, if you do not have a website or do not want to integrate Calendly with your website, you can just send a link to your scheduler instead. You will be asked to create a Calendly URL upon signing up, and that link is what you will share with your clients for bookings and appointments.

Calendly is a crowd favorite not only because it is free to use (for the basic package) but it is also very user-friendly. Setting up your available dates and time is so easy. Just choose the time and days you want to open. You can even choose whether to accept single (one-on-one) or group bookings. Group bookings are convenient for consultants and coaches who hold group sessions or meetings. Calendly also detects time zone, so your clients do not need to convert or check for time differences anymore.

When you link Calendly with your Google Calendar, the app will automatically check for conflicts of schedule. This helps avoid double bookings. And once a schedule is confirmed through Calendly, it will instantly be added to your Google Calendar. Other calendar integrations available are Microsoft Office 365, Outlook, and iCloud.

Other features of Calendly include:

  • notifications through SMS and email (for sending schedule reminders)
  • setting buffer times (so you can have breaks in between)
  • invitee (client) forms to fill out basic information and answer your initial questions)
  • customizations
  • collect payments (available with paid accounts)
  • integrations with other software

Acuity Scheduling

Acuity Scheduling is another online scheduling software that can help you organize your meetings and appointments. This scheduling app is a component of Squarespace, one of the top website-building and hosting software, which makes it a reliable tool. Actually, if you have a Squarespace account, you can already use it to log in to Acuity Scheduling.

Acuity Scheduling website

Signing up is easy. You can sign up using your Google, Apple, or Facebook account or another email address. While signing up is easy, the landing page may seem confusing. But once you follow the steps provided, you are good to go.

Aside from setting up your availability, you can also set scheduling limitations like the maximum number of hours or days a client can book and cancel an appointment. For example, you can set that clients can book appointments up to 3 days in advance and not allow clients to cancel 24 hours before the confirmed appointment time.

Acuity Scheduling, like Calendly, allows you to add your scheduling page to your website. You can also sync your other calendars from Google, Office 365, iCloud, and Outlook. Appointments made with Acuity Scheduling will automatically be synced with your chosen calendar integration.

Other features of Acuity Scheduling include:

  • collection of payments
  • integrations with video conferencing software
  • time zone conversion
  • customization
  • email confirmation and reminders

You can try Acuity Scheduling for seven days free of charge, and if you find it suitable for your business, packages start from $14 per month.

Doodle

Doodle is a good alternative for Calendly and Acuity Scheduling. It is a simple but efficient online meeting and scheduling software. Like Calendly and Acuity Scheduling, signing up in Doodle is a breeze with the option to use your Google, Apple, Facebook, or Microsoft account. You can also use your email address to sign up.

Doodle website

Doodle enables you to sync your calendars to ensure that your schedule is always accurate. It is also integrated with video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex. When setting up your booking page, you can already choose the video conferencing platform you prefer to use for your sessions.

In setting up your booking page, you can choose the event (sessions, meetings, etc.) duration, the scheduling limitations, your availability, and the location of the event. The location may be a physical address or through video conferencing. You may also add custom question fields, like some basic information you might need before the meeting.

With Doodle, you may opt to disable the schedule reminder notifications (but we suggest keeping it on to lessen the chances of no-shows).

After creating your booking page, a shareable link will be provided by Doodle. Once clients click on your link, they will be directed to your Doodle booking page and start making their appointments.

You can use Doodle for free or take advantage of more features with the paid packages starting at $14.95 per month.

Google Calendar

iPhone showing Google apps

And, of course, there’s Google Calendar. Google Calendar is also popular among freelancers, independent contractors, and coaches. Because it comes with your Google Workspace, it becomes very convenient to use, especially if your official business email is a Google email account. Plus, you do not need to integrate any other video conferencing apps for your meetings because you already have Google Meet in your system.

You do not need to switch from one software to another or configure any integration. Using your Gmail account, you can easily email your Google Calendar (booking page) link to your clients, showing your availability along with the Google Meet link. Email notifications will be sent to your clients for your upcoming appointments. Google Calendar is probably one of the easiest-to-use scheduling software available.

Conclusion

hand  holding pen with a tablet showing calendar on the table

Managing a freelance business can really be a challenge. With all the tasks you are juggling, you must learn to take advantage of the business solutions that can help you make the journey easier.

Using online scheduling tools will definitely help you run your business smoothly. You simply need to share your calendar or booking page showing available time slots, and it automatically confirms, sends reminders, and even accepts payments!

And where were you while all these were happening? Well, you are doing other tasks necessary for your business or having dinner with friends. Freelance scheduling software automates your scheduling needs so you can have more time to do other stuff.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Producer Invoice Line Item – Best Practices and Examples

The importance of having a clear and accurate producer invoice line item could not be stressed enough. As a producer (the implementor of a project), the line items in your invoice will ensure a problem-free payment process. It will also provide proof of the complete execution of the project.

As you would know, an invoice is a very important document in your business. It formalizes your billing and makes payments easy for your clients. An excellent invoice will have complete elements such as an invoice number, date of issuance, date of payment, client and freelancer’s information, description of the project being billed, total amount, and payment terms and method.

The most critical element is, of course, the description of the project being billed. It is where you itemize or list all of the services and materials your client is paying for.

2 men discussing an item in laptop

Line Items: Why Is It Important?

Line items are the central part of your invoice. It is where you list all the services you have rendered and completed, products you have delivered, or materials you have used in the project.

Think of it as the bill restaurants give you when you dine. It is the list of all the items you ordered from their menu. You ask for it to know how much you will be paying in total, even if you have already seen the individual amounts from the menu. When the bill comes, you check if the food and drinks (and quantity) listed there are your actual orders. If there is a discrepancy, you call their attention to correct it. You do not just look at the total and pay immediately, right?

customer checking billing with server waiting

The same goes for your business. Your client is the dining customer, and you are the restaurant. You provide them with the complete and accurate list and cost of the items (products and services) they ordered from you so they can check for any discrepancies. Line items show transparency. And clients will appreciate that they are given complete information about what they are paying for.

Line Items: Best Practices

When preparing your invoice, there are several points you have to take into account to make sure that your line invoice is well written. Remember, you are running a business, so you cannot just put vague and confusing descriptions. This will only prolong the payment process because your client might return the invoice and ask for a more detailed explanation. Here are some tips on how to write a good line item:

• Be Clear

As a producer, you may be familiar with technical terms, but your client may not. Make sure to use item names and descriptions that are simple and easily understood. What we are trying to avoid is a client asking you, “What is the item, and why are you charging me for this?”

man looking confused reading laptop

Refer to Your Scope of Work

Make it a practice to have a scope of work template for every project and gig you do. This way, when preparing your invoice, you have an official document as a reference. Refer to the scope of work document to make sure that the items and rates you are billing are consistent and in line with the agreement.

Check if the line items you are billing your client are correct. You might have added an entire line item that is not supposed to be charged. In the same way, make sure that you have added every product or service you committed to deliver and provide to the invoice.

K.I.S.S.

Yes, Keep It Short and Sweet. You do not need to write every single detail on your liner item. Summarizing your producer invoice line item service or product is perfectly okay. Write the best description you can give as short as possible. Remember, you are simply describing the item and not justifying why the service was rendered or why the material was necessary.

Use Online Tools

There are online freelancing sites that have invoice-generation features. This will make creating your invoice easy. Business management platforms like Kosmo has customizable invoice templates. You do not need to worry about formatting, margins, and alignments anymore. Simply type in your items, their descriptions, and rates in the fields provided. Using Kosmo to generate your invoice will make your document more professional and official. Plus, it’s easy to use!

Kosmo invoice sample

• Watch Out for Errors

It is very easy to make mistakes when typing. Especially if you are in a rush. Before sending out your invoice, check your line items for any typos. Do grammar and spelling checks. Remember, if you accidentally wrote an item in the plural form but you actually only provided a singular item, it will be confusing for your client. They can even want more of that item if they believe they purchased more than one!

Also, do not forget to check your numbers too. Make sure you put the correct rate, quantity, and totals. Just picture the hassle it would bring you if you charged your client the incorrect amount!

Writing Your Producer Invoice Line Item

As a producer or implementor of a project, whether for music, film, or an event, you must ensure that your line items are complete and accurate. You may charge based on an agreed project fee or hourly rate or mixed. These must be reflected clearly.

Writing your line items per category is also a good practice. For example, you may categorize your video production invoice items into different stages, from planning to distribution.

Here are some samples of how you can write your line items:

The example below shows the line items in an invoice for a video production where the freelancer charges hourly rates.

Item DescriptionHoursRateAmount
Storyboard CreationDrawing of Storyboard in full color (with one revision)2025.00$500.00
Video Production2-minute animation and visual effects of approved storyboard (with two revisions)4050.00$2,000.00
Music Production2-minute music and sound effects composition, arrangement, and recording1240.00$480.00

This next sample shows the line items in an invoice issued for a project or package-based event production.

DescriptionRateSubtotal
Pre-Production
• Concept Building
• Feasibility Study
• Coordination Meetings
• Talent & Suppliers Scouting
300.00$300.00
Production
• Set up of venue (stage, props, lights and sound equipment)
• Rehearsals
• Management of Event
• Dismantle
1,000.00$1,000.00
Post-Production
• Survey
• Narrative Report
200.00$200.00

The final sample shows a music production invoice where the items were divided into services rendered and materials delivered.

Services
Item/DescriptionUnit PriceQTY/HOUR Amount
Composition
Writing music arrangement, mixing, and recording of master material
60.0020h$1,200.00
Production
Recording, mixing, and mastering of materials
50.0010h$500.00
Revisions Package
Minor revisions based on agreed terms
55.001$55.00
TOTAL LABOR $1,755.00
Materials
Item/DescriptionUnit PriceQTY/HOURAMOUNT
Master Copy in CD
Final music material recorded on a Compact Disc
5001$500.00
Digital Copy
Final music material in MP3 sent via email
5001$500.00
TOTAL MATERIALS$1,000.00

In Summary

The line items in your invoice are crucial in ensuring a stress-free payment process. If you are ultimately clear and error-free in your invoice, expect a swift payment from your client. As a freelance producer, consider your line items as a communication tool. It conveys all the services, products, and materials you are charging them that were necessary for completing the project or gig. So, just like any other communication strategy, there has to be no space or chance for misunderstanding and disagreement. Your producer invoice line item must speak for the project (so you don’t have to explain anymore!)

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Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Do Freelancers Get Sick Pay? What if You’re Not Feeling Your Best

Are you wondering, do freelancers get sick pay? Unfortunately, being a freelancer is not like being an employee. You don’t get sick pay because you don’t have an employer, you have clients. And you are not the responsibility of a client the way an employee is the responsibility of an employer.

However, there are some things that you can do to help you out. This will of course require some preparation on your end. But it will help you get through your sick days without having to suffer major setbacks for your freelancing career or freelance business.

Do Freelancers Get Sick Pay? Tips for Preparing for Sick Days

It happens, everybody gets sick, even freelancers. Since the answer to the question do freelancers get sick pay is a no, there’s really no work around that. However, you prepare for having sick days as a freelancer. Below are some tips to help you out, just in case you get sick or will require a sick day:

Woman in bed blowing nose in tissue

Managing Tasks

When it comes to managing tasks, there are definitely many things you can do to give yourself a “free day” just in case you get sick. These tasks will of course depend on the type of freelancing industry you are in:

• Pad your schedule

As a general rule, you should always have some padding when it comes to fixing your schedule. For example, if you are an artist and you can complete a portrait in 1 day, tell your client you can finish in 2 days. This way, you have enough time to finish the portrait without having to exert too much effort.

At the same time, it will give you that much-needed “space” in case there is an emergency or if you get sick. If you finish in advance and you are happy with your work then you can send it to your client. They’ll be happy to know that you “work fast”.

This is way better than making a promise to finish something in 1 day than having to request an extension. Of course, if you are ever faced with this scenario, know that there is a way to request an extension for your deadline without annoying your clients.

• Do work in advance

Another way that you can manage your tasks is to do work in advance. Let’s say you are aware that you have padded your schedule, which technically gives you an extra day. This extra day should not be used to “relax” before you even get started on the project.

As soon as you have obtained all of the information from your client, you should get started with work right away. If you end up finishing in advance and you still have that “extra day” then that is your time to relax. When you work in advance, this will help you get an “extra day” if ever you feel ill the following days.

Working in advance can be especially helpful for some industries, such as social media management. Maybe you can “bank” ideas for upcoming months for your clients. You don’t have to include these in your deliverables right away. But this “idea bank” can be used for your sick days or generally just days when you are experiencing a mental block.

• Get a backup buddy

Woman sitting on couch writing on notebook, laptop on coffee table in front of her

Networking is a must for a freelancer. No, it’s not a way to find out if the answer to “Do freelancers get sick pay?” ever changes. But rather, it’s a way for you to accomplish tasks if you are not feeling your best.

One of the best things about freelancing is the community is generally very helpful. You’ll have to find yourself a group or a buddy who will be there for you in case you need help with work. In exchange, you have to do the same for them. So, if you are a programmer and you suddenly find yourself feeling dizzy from all of the coding, maybe it’s time to call for help.

If your backup buddy is doing major work for you, you’ll have to inform your client about this. The backup buddy may be your replacement if you’ve only managed to do a small chunk of the project. However, if this is just a minor thing, for example, searching for a bug, then this step isn’t necessary. Make sure to thank your backup buddy for the help.

• Utilize automation features

Thank goodness for modern technology. Nowadays, freelancers can have an easier time, especially when dealing with admin work. Utilize these tools so you can take a “sick” day. This is a pretty good solution if you aren’t handling a certain project or you don’t have a deadline. You should have a bot for your social media accounts or your email so if you get any inquiries, the bot will do the work for you.

You can also make use of tools that can post on your accounts automatically. Maybe you have a Facebook or Instagram professional account. Make sure you post regularly so potential clients will know you are still “live” or available. You don’t have to post on a daily basis, just use the tool to schedule these posts.

Managing Finances

Woman looking at phone resting arm on table with a laptop and crumpled up tissue

Now that the “tasks” part has been tackled, it’s now time to talk about handling your finances. Sadly, freelancers don’t get sick pay the way they would if they were employed. However, as a freelancer, you are technically running a business. You are your own boss and you are also your own financier and accountant. You can make changes to your budget if you ever get caught on a sick day.

• Consider insurances

There are dozens (even hundreds) of insurance products on the market today. You might want to check out sick pay insurance, especially if you are a full-time freelancer. Think of it as a safety net for your finances in case you ever need to stop work due to health reasons.

Make sure to do your research as there are many things you need to check out with the insurance. For starters, will they be able to offer coverage for a full-time freelancer? Aside from that, you also need to check what it is they can offer you if you ever get sick. Be meticulous when reading the fine print so that you can protect yourself in an event of a health scare.

• Budget a contingency fund

Do freelancers get sick pay? Technically no. But if you know how to budget your money properly, then you may be able to make your own “sick pay”. As a freelancer, you get money from clients then it will be up to you to budget this. This isn’t like a salary where you get a fixed amount every month.

As a freelancer, you also need to be your own accountant. You have to compute how much money you will need to keep running your business (electric bills, coffee, etc.). Some freelancers fail to budget for a contingency fund, which is a must for everyone.

This contingency fund will be set aside for your sick days. In case you get sick and fail to make a deadline, you know that you still have funds to fall back on so that you can survive during the following weeks or months.

Conclusion

Woman working on laptop on bed

Again, the answer to do freelancers get sick pay is no. But as a freelancer, it will be your responsibility to come up with the money in case of emergencies. Everyone gets sick and you need to learn to plan ahead so that you don’t get caught up on deadlines and tasks in the event that you feel ill.

When you are not feeling your best, what you need to do is to rest. Don’t take up new clients or projects, especially if the deadline is ASAP.

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Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

The Journey to My First Client – How to Get Freelance Leads and Clients

Read about the journey to my first client, which can help you find your very own, too. There are a lot of tips that you can check out below. But first, know that starting out freelancing is a journey. You don’t start one day and voila! you already get your first client. It doesn’t work that way. There is actually a lot of preparation involved and you need to learn where to actually find clients. It’s a good thing that will be discussed too.

The freelancing community is experiencing a major shift these past few years. More companies prefer freelancers as opposed to staffing firms for various reasons, such as getting projects done faster and accessing different skills. With the demand for freelancers increasing, more and more people are making the switch. However, not all are equipped to find clients, which is a very important task for freelancers. Read on about how I got my first client.

Getting My First Client

When you start out your freelancing journey, you’ll be experiencing a lot of firsts. There’s of course, “my first client” and “my first project” but you also have to be aware of experiencing things that aren’t as pleasant, like “my first rejection”. Just know that this journey is all about learning, so whether you experience positive or negative responses, these all can help you grow.

Don’t be discouraged, and see how I got my first client in 3 major steps.

A. Preparation

Woman writing on a post it, on top of a resume

You might be surprised but getting my first client is not about putting myself out there and doing the search. No, you have to be prepared for your journey. You have to arm yourself with important documents so that when potential clients come along, you don’t fumble.

1. Have all requirements ready

When it comes to requirements, these are pretty much everything a client (or freelance platform) may request from you. Of course, you have to have your resume or CV. Some may require ID to check if you are a real person (to avoid scams and all). Do take the time to verify yourself so that clients will have an easier time trusting you with a project.

2. Create profiles

Now, this may seem tedious to some but you have to make profiles. This includes all of the freelance platforms that you will join as well as setting up professional accounts on social media. Of course, you will need to make these profiles to be able to access freelance markets.

Make sure your profile clearly shows what you can do or offer to clients. This isn’t simply a Facebook profile or a LinkedIn profile. You have to sell your skills and abilities here.

3. Prep portfolio

If you are literally new in the working industry, then chances are you have zero experience. Not to worry as freelancing gives you a chance to show what you can do even with no work experience—a portfolio. Even if you have prior employment, you will still need to prep this. Most clients will request to see your previous works to give an idea of what you can do.

4. Get organized

As a freelancer, you have to be forward-thinking. You may have zero clients right now, but you have to prepare for getting quite a load in the future. Don’t start organizing only when you are crowded with projects already. Create organization habits as early as now.

A good tip is to use a freelancer tool or software, such as Kosmo. This software allows you to sort out important documents too like proposals, invoices, and contracts. Utilize this tool early on your journey so you won’t have any trouble using it when you finally get your first client.

B. Daily Grind

Woman in bed using a laptop

Since I didn’t have a client yet when I was just starting out, my time was flexible. But, I was able to get my first client by doing the work. What work is this exactly? I call it the daily grind and it usually consists of the following tasks:

1. Check listings every day

Once I have an account with a freelance market platform, I took the time to check their job postings every single day. Because there are fresh tasks and new clients on a daily basis. I didn’t want to miss any opportunity so I did this task pretty much every day.

2. Plan Applications

Of course, all of the daily checkings would have been all for nothing if I didn’t make applications. This is something I do almost every day too. Whenever I find an interesting job or a project that suits me, I apply. But not all at once. I plan this properly as I don’t want to end up receiving 10 job opportunities in one day. I spread these applications out, prioritizing the ones that I like the most (or have an immediate deadline).

3. Reply to emails

When you make applications on a daily basis or really put yourself out there on freelance market platforms, expect to receive emails. You have to reply to these messages, even if it is for a job that you may not be interested in. It’s important to remain professional and you might be surprised some “rejections” can get freelance leads.

4. Interviews

Some clients will request interviews. And these can be very draining, so make sure to plan these accordingly. Try to take only 1 test or interview per day and don’t do it one day after another, either.

C. Sealing the Deal

Blank paper with the word Contract on it, hand holding a pen

After doing several weeks of my daily grind, I finally found my first client. However, it’s not a done deal just yet. Remember that you have to protect yourself as a freelancer. And at the same time, you can give confidence to your prospective clients by taking the following steps too:

1. Contract

A contract is a must for every freelancer, especially if you are in it for the long haul. If you need help, Kosmo actually has a helpful contract template you can use. Make sure to sign this and your client needs to do the same.

2. One-on-one

It’s better to have some form of communication with your first client. It doesn’t have to be a meeting in person or even a video call. Some prefer to message through Slack or even just send emails. This one-on-one can help you collaborate with your client or get a better feel for how to work for them or each other.

3. Agreements

Finally, there are some things that may not have been tackled during the one-on-one or on the contract. This can be as simple as knowing your client’s preference when it comes to messaging. Just make sure that you and your client are in agreement or are on the same page so you can finally get to work.

Where to Find Clients as a Freelancer

Now that you know how to get “my first client” it’s time to get some tips on where you can actually find them. Know that it can be different for a freelancer vs someone who has a design agency on how to get graphic design clients.

• Try Networking

It’s time to tap into your network of people. You might be surprised that your very first client might be someone you personally know or a friend of a friend, maybe even a relative. The point here is to try every opportunity available. Go to events and parties, and try to socialize. Check with your family and friends if someone needs work done, and tell them you are a freelancer looking for work. Ask former classmates or workmates, you just have to try.

• Sign up on Freelance Market Platforms

Freelancers today are quite lucky as there are now websites that are specifically for freelancing. Sign up with websites like Fiverr or Freelancer.com. You should be able to find plenty of potential clients and projects on these freelance market platforms.

• Check Out Social Media Sites

Who says you can’t find work on social media? There are some freelancers who were able to find their first freelance client by simply replying to an Instagram Story of an influencer. You can also see Facebook or even Tiktok are looking for people to collaborate with. Opportunities are everywhere. And sometimes, it’s not just about knowing where to find these opportunities but also about luck or timing.

• Join Freelancer Groups

Again, the freelancers of today have more resources. There are now online groups you can join so you can get tips on working as a freelancer in your industry. Some pioneer freelancers are more than willing to help connect you to potential clients.

Do join these freelancer groups where you can tap into a community where people can help you find work. Also, these groups can help you become a better freelancer. Some offer training while others have one-on-one sessions to give you pointers. Do what you can to land your very first client.

• Ask Former Potential Clients

Finally, there’s also client outreach. Maybe you have never had a client before but you were definitely close. Maybe you made it to the final interview with a potential client but another freelancer beat you to it. Or maybe, you just weren’t the right fit. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t get accepted. Remember not to burn bridges as these former potential clients might just be the key to landing your first real client.

A Few More Tips

Here are a few more things that helped me when I was finding my first client as a freelancer:

  • Being professional yet friendly can go a long way

Sometimes, your skills just aren’t a good fit with a project but that potential client might like your work ethic or your attitude. Some clients actually prefer someone who is easy to work with and trainable as opposed to a temperamental genius. So be friendly but always remain professional.

  • Be open to opportunities

When I was looking for my first client, I first started applying for jobs that I am only familiar with. But pretty soon, I went out of my comfort zone and did interviews and tried tests that were new to me (still within my industry of course). I was only used to making blogs and long-form articles but I decided to try out writing social media captions. It has helped me grow as a writer and also opened an exciting path for me as a freelancer.

  • Be patient

Yes, finding my first client was very frustrating. It took several weeks before I finally found my first client. And guess what? That client wasn’t a long-term one, it was just a one-month project. So, I had to do my daily grind all over again. Landing your first client is not a guarantee for the success of your freelancing journey. However, thanks to that first client, I was able to add that project to my resume. Which led me to another client who liked that project. It was a domino effect.

  • Learn from the journey

Finally, don’t let the goal of finding a client be the end-all and be-all of your freelancing journey. Make it a point to learn from what you do every day. Each client that you meet, each proposal that you make, and each job listing that you apply for. Try to learn something from all of these and all that you experience during your freelancing journey. It may help you with your success in the end.

Conclusion

Getting my first client was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. It was exciting and nerve-wracking, disappointing, and frustrating, but also fulfilling. Make sure to do the work and don’t give up, pretty soon you’ll land your own first client.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Best Freelance Websites to Grow and Find Work

Managing a freelance business is not an easy task. Knowing and using the best freelance websites can really help you run your business efficiently. After all, as a freelancer, you are singlehandedly managing all the aspects of your business—sales and marketing, accounting, and production. So, in order for you to not be overwhelmed with all these responsibilities, it is best to know the tips and tricks for having a stress-free freelancing journey.

Growing as a Freelancer

woman holding cup and smiling while looking at laptop

Corporations usually send their employees to training and seminars for capacity building. Who says you can’t do this as a freelancer as well? Of course, you can! It will actually be better if you continue to enhance your skills and gain more knowledge about freelancing and your industry. If you are just starting, you must also search for ideas to get your new business journey going. You have to remember that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of freelancers who may offer the same products or services as you. So, you must strive to always, always be relevant and on top of your game.

Best Freelance Websites for Growth

With your busy schedule, it is best that you explore online learning platforms and other resources to improve your skills and business. Here are some of the websites you can explore:

1. Clubs, Organizations, and Associations

Joining a club or an organization that is established for your industry is always a good idea. You will be exposed to other professionals, both freelancers and regularly employed. The leaders of the groups are very supportive of members, especially newbies. They help you get to know the other members and keep you in the loop for any updates. Some organizations publish newsletters. Through these newsletters, you get to know what’s happening in your industry. There may be news about policies, strategies, and technology that you can take advantage of.

Most of the websites of these associations or organizations have forums or discussion boards. This is a good way for you to ask and discuss best practices. For sure, there will be members and leaders who have been in your industry much longer than you, and they can even be your mentor! Connecting with other professionals is an excellent way for you to learn more about your industry. Plus, they can even recommend you to their clients! So, search for organizations that are established specifically for your profession and connect with them!

2. Online Learning Platforms

woman watching virtual class while sitting on bench

Let’s admit it, trends come and go. So what we know to be effective now may not be the same tomorrow. And this is why we should continue learning about our craft. Thanks to online learning platforms, you can pick the short course you want, pay for it, and attend it without having to leave the comforts of your workplace.

You can also take advantage of the many offerings of online learning platforms to learn a new skill that is relevant to your job. For example, as a photographer, you can take courses on videography so you can expand your business. Or, if you are a virtual assistant, you can learn about basic graphic design so you can have something more to offer to your client.

Online learning platforms have anything and everything an independent worker needs to keep growing. Here are some of the best freelance websites that offer online courses:

• Coursera

Online learning portal Coursera provides degree-level courses and certification programs. The site partners with top universities for their degree programs, so you are guaranteed that you are getting a world-class education. Coursera offers certificate courses for specific mastery of skills (specializations) and other short courses.

• Udemy

Another well-known online learning portal is Udemy. Udemy has one of the largest libraries of courses to choose from. There are courses for almost any field. Whether you want to learn business strategies, start a new hobby like arts and crafts and photography, or discover how to work your way around new technologies, Udemy has it. Choosing the best course for you may be a little tricky given that thousands of courses are available!

• Master Class

Master Class is an online portal where you can get tutorials and lectures from specialists in numerous subjects and fields. Tutorials and lectures are usually pre-recorded. Master Class has something extraordinary to offer—some of their classes are taught by celebrities! So, it is not impossible for you to see a Gordon Ramsay cooking class or Stephen Curry doing tutorials for basketball!

3. Other Online Resources

two women talking on mic

There are other online resources for freelancers like you. You can subscribe to online magazines and publications. Unfortunately, the print industry is nearing extinction, so just go straight to online subscriptions. These publications are very extensive, given that the platform is more flexible. So, expect to see a lot of relevant articles, news, and reviews.

For instance, if you are a photographer, you can subscribe to the “Digital Camera World” online magazine. You can read about experts’ advice and gear reviews. You can even find articles on where to buy photography equipment with great deals and promos.

If you are not so much into reading, you can try listening to podcasts. There are some podcasts that focus on the journey of freelancers, like the “Being Freelance Podcast” and “The Freelance Revolution Podcast.” At least with podcasts, you can listen to them wherever you are. Who knows, they might be talking about problems that you are now facing based on their experiences. At least, you will have an idea of how they handled the situation.

Best Freelance Websites for Opportunities

One of the greatest gifts of technology to freelancers is the development and innovation of online marketplaces. Job boards or job sites have become available to freelancers to post their job offerings and bid for job postings. All you have to do is create a profile. And, of course, you have to be diligent in checking your account to see if a job posting relevant to your profession is available.

the word "HIRING"

Check out some of the best freelance websites where you can find work opportunities:

• LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the biggest job boards around. It is also well-known globally, so you have more opportunities. While LinkedIn is more often used by professionals looking for regular employment (because you can create a LinkedIn profile that is already equivalent to a resume), a lot of clients still browse through the platform to look for freelancers or independent contractors.

• Upwork

Regardless of the type of freelancer you are, Upwork will definitely land you a gig. With its extensive pool of active clients looking for almost all types of talents, you are sure to find a client (or clients will find you). Upwork is one of the more famous job sites for freelancers. So, make sure that you create a killer profile to stand out from the rest.

• Toptal

Here’s what’s unique with Toptal: they are known for having a strict screening process for freelancers and independent contractors. They differ from so many other freelance job sites because of their exclusivity. In effect, their promise of having a pool of only the Top 3% of talents is guaranteed. In other words, a successful registration in Toptal is an achievement in itself.

• Freelancer

Freelancer is another good website for freelancers. One of the top freelance websites to look for job opportunities is Freelancer due to the large range of specialties it covers. No matter what field you are in, Freelancer has it. You can find work with different arrangements too, like project-based gigs or hourly-rate projects.

Social Media: The Jack of All Trades

And of course, let us now underestimate the power of social media. Social media is like a golden ticket to your freelance business success. See how having a professional social media page is beneficial for your business:

  • Global Audience. Global audience means global market! If location is not a consideration in delivering your service or product, then imagine just how big your market is with social media.
  • Resource Center. Because everything and everybody is on social media, this is a resource haven for you. You can find pages and pages of almost about every topic and issue (worldwide). Just make sure to only subscribe to credible and reliable accounts!
  • Groups. There are ultimately millions of groups and chatrooms you can join on social media. There are certainly groups on social media for everything (again, yes, social media has everything).

There is actually no need to discuss further how social media can help you grow and find jobs. Because, yes, and it cannot be stressed enough, you can literally find everything on social media.

Conclusion

woman sitting on street with arms raised and looking at laptop

In summary, we can say that while freelancing is challenging, it should not be overwhelming at all. There are many solutions for you to make running your business easier. Technology has made sure of that. So now, the best thing for you to do is overcome your limitations and strengthen your abilities. Find a way to grow and always be relevant. It is really expected that you will exert an effort to make your business work, but you do not need to worry, the best freelance websites are available to help you.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

Trust Format for Client – How to Create a Long-Lasting Relationship

A trust format for client is necessary for any freelancer. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for several years. A trust format is something you will need to land long-term gigs and projects.

Trust is the building block for a good and healthy freelancer-client relationship. It ensures the smooth progression of projects and a stress-free environment for both of you. Most importantly, especially for freelancers, trust anchors your client to your skills and reliability, which guarantees projects and gigs.

Trust Format for Client

Trust is a two-way street. As a freelancer, you have to trust that your client knows what is best for the project, so do not undervalue his instructions or requests. When clients feel that you trust them with their judgment, they will feel valued and in return, you also gain their trust. As the saying goes, “Trust Begets Trust,” right?

In the same sense, a client should put his trust in your capabilities and talents. You have to make them believe in you and that you will honor your commitment. So how do you build and foster trust between you and your client? It is pretty easy, actually. All it takes is your conviction to deliver your best work that will generate respect and a good name for your business. And that’s how you will create a trust format for client that will build long-lasting relationships.

TRUST formed from scrabble blocks

Building Trust

Building and fostering trust between you and your client will surely require extra effort from your end. After all, it is you who will reap the benefits of that successful relationship. Keep in mind that you are running a business, and a single misstep may lead you to lose potential clients. For every client and every project, you have to think of it as an investment. A secure relationship with your client will mean more projects and possible referrals. Here are some ways on how you can establish trust with your client:

1. Commit Realistically

Avoid making commitments you can’t fulfill. While it may sound impressive that you can execute certain tasks at a certain standard or timeframe, underdelivering will cause your name a lot of damage.

It’s simple, be honest, be transparent. Tell your clients if a task or request is not doable and explain clearly why (without sounding incompetent, of course). Having integrity is ultimately synonymous with being trustworthy. Promising the delivery of products or services that you know are not possible for you to deliver successfully can be interpreted by clients as scamming. And that will definitely be the end of your business. So, commit realistically.

Additionally, you need to be truthful in your portfolio and resumé. Make sure that every piece of information about you and your business, and every work showcased is real and accurate.

2. Be Professional (At All Times)

Although it may sound cliché, you must always act professionally if you want to earn your client’s trust. Always watch your tone; remember you are speaking with a client and not with your best friend. Whether dealing with a potential client or a current one, keep in mind that you are doing business with them. And, as it should be, utmost respect is expected.

Part of being a professional is keeping a boundary between your personal and professional life. These boundaries define not only your work-life balance but also your online behavior. Do not post anything about the project or mention their names on your online pages without their permission. And if you are given consent to do so, post with caution and only on your professional pages (never on your personal accounts). Use respectful and courteous words, phrases, and images. Post only facts and know the limitations of the details you are allowed to disclose to your viewers. You might accidentally reveal confidential information!

Similarly, do not air your dirty laundry in public. This means that if there are any disputes or disagreements between you and your client, it is not proper to share the information with anybody not relevant to any of the business decisions and transactions. Treat all clients with respect. Even if you are in disagreement.

3. Communicate, Communicate

woman on a call looking at laptop

Of course, a trust format for client is grounded in excellent communication skills. Do not leave your clients hanging or guessing about the progress of the gig. You cannot be a freelancer and not discuss the project with your client constantly. Unlike a company setup, your work arrangement is mostly remote, so communication is the key to a successful project implementation.

When executing a project remotely, clients will want to be assured that you are really working on their project. So, please make it a habit to update them with your progress regularly. Do not wait for them to ask. Being proactive with updating and reporting will build that trust. It’s also a must to make yourself accessible. Have appropriate platforms and channels where clients can reach you. Watch your response time as well. Do not make your client wait long for a reply. If you missed a call, send a message apologizing for missing the call and that you will return the call as soon as you are available. You can make use of online client portals to ensure that your clients get an immediate response. Even if it is just a templated reply like “I apologize, but I am not available at the moment. I will call as soon as I am available,” your clients will feel relieved that you have received their concerns. Do not forget to call as soon as possible! 

4. Respect Deadlines

Always, always make sure that you meet your deadlines. Make it your number one rule to never forget a task’s due date. Accepting multiple clients is okay, but do make sure that you manage them efficiently. Maximize the use of online appointment-setting and calendar apps like Calendly. Set early alerts to remind you of a nearing deadline. At this stage of your business, you must know how to manage your time well for each task. 

If you are late for a deadline, your client may conclude that you are not performing your duties effectively. And that is easily trust thrown out of the window. Missing a submission or delivery will immediately taint your reputation.

Respecting deadlines means respecting your client’s time (and money). It shows that you value them and the project. This will also mean that you are a person and a business worth trusting.

5. Collaborate; Don’t Dictate

three people looking at paper with laptop on table

Never make modifications or amendments to the project without your client’s knowledge. Do not make any decisions unless explicitly permitted by the client. Even if you believe that the changes will bring out better results, ask your client first.

This must also be stressed—do not change your rates, pricing, or add an item to your invoice without discussing it with your client first. No matter what the reason is, remember that every cent counts for your client. They may have a strict budget to keep, so do not exceed the agreed amount without your client’s authorization and approval.

It is better to collaborate with your client than to dictate. This will show that you know your client’s brand and vision. Giving relevant and substantial recommendations and suggestions is not a wrong move, but it should be done professionally. When a client sees that you are looking out for what’s best for the project, then you earn their respect. This will create a meaningful relationship that can lead to another gig.

Conclusion

two arms extended to shake hands

It is true; trust is earned. Do not expect that a potential or current client will give you their full trust immediately. While they may believe in you enough to hire you for a gig, this will not translate to a good freelancer-client relationship unless you give them a reason to trust your business completely. Exhibiting professionalism, treating them with respect, and knowing your boundaries is a good start. And again, communication is the key. A trust format for client is fundamental to any business, especially freelancers, to create long-lasting relationships with clients.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

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Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.

HoneyBook Alternatives to Fuel Your Business

HoneyBook is a well-known platform and probably one of the freelance favorites. As a freelancer, of course, you want to have the best tool that fits your work style and process. And because there are many online business management platforms available with varying features and operability, you have to explore and find the one that really suits your business needs. HoneyBook may be a good productivity tool for your business, but it is a smart move to look for a HoneyBook alternative too. Who knows, you might find a platform that combines the features, usability, and pricing that is perfect for you.

woman looking at phone with laptop on table

What is HoneyBook?

HoneyBook is a platform designed to address small businesses’ and freelancers’ need to manage their businesses efficiently. Due to its user-friendly system and business solution features, this has become many freelancers’ go-to online tool. HoneyBook takes pride in being a complete business platform, integrating and automating all the aspects of your business.

HoneyBook features:

  • Invoicing. Customizable and professional-looking invoice templates.
  • Contracts. Professional contract templates where digital signature boxes are provided for clients.
  • Payments. Online payment buttons are included in the invoice for easy payment.
  • Scheduling. Shareable online scheduling and confirmations based on your availability.
  • CRM. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) makes potential and current client management easy by automating messaging and tasks according to your workflow.
  • Integration. Use apps and software like Zoom, Gmail, and Google Calendar within the HoneyBook software.
HoneyBook website

As you can see, you can use HoneyBook’s features for almost all aspects of running a business. This may be the reason why freelancers are drawn to choosing this software over others. But then again, every person has their own taste and style. Some may want more features, while others would go to more straightforward sites. Some may find this software easy to use, while others won’t. As for you, it would be wise to check out HoneyBook alternatives first and explore what the other platforms have to offer.

HoneyBook Alternative Options

A good business management platform is the glue that will hold your business together. It will streamline your processes (making your life easy and stress-free), so you must really explore all your options before deciding on which platform to invest on. Remember, there are HoneyBook competitors available that offer various features and resources. Watch out for differences in pricing and usability too.

1. Dubsado

Dubsado is a popular HoneyBook alternative. It has functions that assist independent contractors and freelancers in managing workflow, contracts, and billings. Like HoneyBook, Dubsado has an invoice-generating feature that allows you to send digital billing to your client. To prevent receiving delayed and past-due payments from your clients, you can set automated reminders. In addition, a recurring invoice option is also available.

Dubsado website

The platform has a client management feature or CRM like HoneyBook too. You can keep track of communications with your client through this portal. You can integrate your email in this portal, as well as your calendar to utilize the scheduling feature more efficiently.

With Dubsado, you can create forms that can be used to integrate inquiries and questionnaires on your website. The customizable form templates also allow you to draft proposals, sub-agreements, and contracts with an e-signature field that makes them legally enforceable, among other things.

2. Bonsai

Bonsai is a business management system developed with the freelancers’ needs in mind. It is another HoneyBook alternative that offers a complete freelancing solution. Creating official business documents like proposals, contracts, invoices, and even the scope of work is made easy with customizable templates. E-signature fields can be added so clients can readily seal the deal.

Bonsai website

The platform has a CRM feature where you can track and monitor the movement of a contact from being a potential client into an actual buying customer.

Bonsai ensures that the platform will be a perfect business solution, from converting a lead to automating your finances. Using Bonsai’s platform, you can track your expenses as well as profit and loss measures. They even have tax templates and reminders for filing schedules during tax season.

3. 17hats

17hats is a business management software for solopreneurs. Freelancers trust this platform from different fields and industries, such as creatives, writers, event planners, photographers, and bookkeepers. Coaches, DJs, and even dog walkers have also utilized 17hats.

17hats website

Because 17hats understands that a freelancer wears many hats (see what they did there?), they made sure that this platform can help your business not only thrive but succeed. Its features include a fully-integrated CRM where all of your contacts are saved, arranged, and made accessible right away. You can integrate your 17hats Lead Capture Form on your website and set automated responses. Bookings made through the scheduler feature are confirmed automatically. Quotes, invoices, and online payments are also available in this HoneyBook alternative software.

4. Kosmo

If you want to keep track of your freelance work efficiently, Kosmo is the perfect HoneyBook alternative for you. Kosmo is a project management software created by freelancers for freelancers. You can be assured that your needs are well understood and addressed.

Kosmo website

Kosmo has made project management easy. Simply create a client and project folder, input all the details on the subject fields, and then you are ready! All features like drafting proposals and contracts, time and expense tracking, task and file management, and invoice generation are already integrated into your client and project folders. This makes progress tracking of projects more efficient and stress-free.

5. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is known for its accounting and finance features. It is one of the most trusted software that focuses on automating bookkeeping and accounting activities. Tracking accounts, expenses, and tax requirements is made stress-free (and not scary!) with FreshBooks. Mileage tracking is another feature of this software. With this feature, claiming mileage expenses is more manageable.

FreshBooks website

This productivity tool also has project collaboration features if you are working with a team or need your client to access files. You can also create and send professional proposals and invoices through FreshBooks. And, of course, online payments are seamlessly integrated with your FreshBooks invoice.

Choosing the Right Software for You

There are some factors you need to consider when choosing business management software. As you can clearly see, almost all HoneyBook alternative options have similar features. So, how do you select the right one for you?

Look for the Unique Feature

Freelancers, no matter what field and industry they are in, all need basic business solutions. These are proposal and contract templates, invoice generation, and online payment integration. However, there may be some other features that you will need to run your business. Do you need bookkeeping and accounting support? Do you need software that can offer you a dedicated business phone line? Or maybe, you need a platform that can help you focus on project management.

So, when choosing the right software, always check the Features tab of these platforms to see if what you need is available to them. Of course, using just one tool is better than juggling multiple platforms.

Pricing Considerations

As a freelancer, you must be conscious and careful with your expenses. Be practical and compare prices. Do check for package rates and other deals. Usually, business management platforms have promotions like discounts and price slashes.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of Free Trials. This way, you get to experience the software without paying for it. See if the system is the right fit for your work style. And if not, you can simply not proceed to the subscription!

See how the HoneyBook alternative options differ in pricing below:

PlatformFree TrialMonthly Rate (starts at)
HoneyBook✔️$39
Dubsado✔️$20
Bonsai✔️$24
17hats✔️$15
Kosmo✔️$18
FreshBooks✔️$24

Usability

Techopedia defines usability as the degree of ease with which products such as software and Web applications can be used to achieve required goals effectively and efficiently.

Simply put, usability is the level of ease or difficulty in using software. This, however, is very subjective. What could be user-friendly for some may not be so for others. So, when choosing a business management software, make sure that you are comfortable (and confident) in navigating it. If you are having difficulty or are taking a long time learning how to work a system, it may not be the right one for you. Remember, you will be using this software consistently and at all times. It is meant to help you run your business smoothly and as flawlessly as possible. So if the usability factor defeats this purpose, find a different platform. This is also the reason why you should avail yourself of the free trials first.

Accessibility

Are you always on the go? If you are, then look for a software that has a mobile version. Check if it works on tablets and smartphones. Well, with remote work being a popular and accepted work arrangement nowadays, software developers have started adapting. Most business management platforms now work well on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. But still, to be safe, make sure to try the software first before fully subscribing to it.

Conclusion

man working on a table with laptop

Whether you are only starting or have already been in the gig economy for some time, being a solopreneur can be challenging. Besides your actual job, you must also attend to your admin duties. As a freelancer, you need a good business management software to manage your business.

Business management software provides access to easy customer relationship management, project progress tracking, and accounting support. Choosing the right software is really up to you. List down the features that you really need, set a realistic budget, and take advantage of free trials to see if you are okay with its usability.

HoneyBook may be an obvious choice for some, but keeping an open mind and a discerning eye in looking for a HoneyBook alternative is still best.

Get Organized & Win More Clients

Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.

Post written by:

Kosmo is a free All-In-One Workspace for Freelancers.