How to use apps and websites to get the best out of freelancing

There’s a lot of changes that have been made to our daily lives because of Covid-19 restrictions. For me, the first thing that changed was becoming a freelancer. I spend a lot of my time at work or working and little has changed. The longer you spend at work is the more time you have to find the best and most efficient options to get things done. Cut through all the trial and error and have a look at some of the apps I use (like they provide oxygen).

Pinterest

Pinterest is more than just a place for DIY projects and Saturday night recipe plans. It’s a great way to start your journey planning content. Depending on what you’re freelancing in, if you’re like me not only can you make content for Pinterest, but you can also see examples of people just like you making content. As you progress, consider your brand identity and try to make sure all comments and material you make for Pinterest are consistent. It’s a great way to find out the trends that are important to other freelancers like yourself. It’s a learning curb all in itself.

Trello

Trello is an organisational tool that I simply cannot live without. As a freelancer who is working on various client’s organisational platforms, having your own platform seems ridiculously unnecessary. The question is though, how do you then coordinate all the goals you have for each project and each client. One client board only shows one groups’ client activity – where do you go when you want to see an overview of everything? That place is Trello.

I wouldn’t say it self-explanatory because I had to get the instructions after I downloaded it from the app store. As soon as I upgraded to Trello Gold it became my crutch. Each list is grouped by due dates, checklists and any material needed to complete the item. It literally fills me with the most intense joy to press ‘Done’ on any one activity and watch it disappear from my list!

Canva

Canva is great if you’re artistic but not design-orientated. Yes there’s a difference. I can sketch for an hour but I have no understanding of how to put objects together so they look professional. That is a graphic designers’ greatest weapon.

Canva on the other hand, is loaded with preset designs and specific sizes for all major social media platforms. You will also find presentations, business cards, stickers and anything else you might need to expand your business. You can even – this is very difficult though so I use Illustrator for this usually, create vector images. I’ve done some really basic things like creating a British Bulldog with the Union Jack for skin.

At the same time, it’s where I make all my artwork for Pinterest and the main app I use to put together my portfolio. At £11.99 for pro and £5.99 for a reduced pro version, which is not too bad even for a tight budget.

Hemingway.com

You can actually download the app version or use the web version of this platform. The best thing about the web version, which is the reason I haven’t bought it yet, is that I can use it alongside Grammarly on a web page.

Nothing is a substitute for checking and re-checking your work in copywriting but the Hemingway App (not Hemmingway) comes very close. Previously I used Google Translate, because it helped to be able to listen to the rhythm of the writing and decide whether the sentences were too long and convoluted. I actually ended up making more mistakes than before so I moved to this and never looked back.

It checks for too many adverbs, passive voice and complex sentences. Amazing if you want to make sure your copy is sharp and informative.

Slack

I’m a big believer in communication in a business being both fun and useful. I’ve never really understood the purpose of Slack in some of the much smaller businesses I’ve worked in. As a freelancer working with teams all across the country, this is the best way to ask silly questions and send emoji’s.

I’m not one for small talk but I accept that it’s necessary. Slack is great because salutations and niceties aren’t necessary. I can just ask what I need to ask or keep track of things without having to comment. Brilliant innovation for the freelancer forced to be more talkative than is natural to her personality.

Keyword.io

Keyword.io is the best way to find out how to write a title to a post. It gives you clear keywords related to your subject and all the variations. The keywords in your post and the title should align with keyword.io if you want the best from your content. Absolute life-saver and completely free to use.

Upwork

This is the best way I’ve found to find work. I’ve been able to create relationships with clients and future relationships so I’m inundated with work. I didn’t quite understand the Upwork credit system at first but once I got used to it, I found that it actually increased my chances of receiving a reply. I’ve been quite lucky, most of my replies have been positive but for anyone just starting out with freelancing – don’t be afraid of rejection. Brush it off and get on to the next application.

Later/Hootsuite

Later is best for creating visual content which I use specifically for my art. Hootsuite is for general written content which means I can coordinate across my favourite social media profiles. I particularly like to make sure my content is organised in advance so I can continue to get recognition without having to constantly find something new to say.

These are my goto learning apps, for fitness and education. Always keep on your toes!

Published by Lola Small

Postgraduate Londoner. Podcaster & Writer. Life is always political.

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