5 Free Tools for Freelancers: Diverse Images and Music for Creators
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Anastasia Grebneva, freelance digital marketer at Icons8.
When it comes to freelancing, especially for newcomers, working on projects often means using a variety of different resources and tools, and searching for new ones for more diversity and flexibility. Although plenty of tools pop up when you google them, many tools can be pricey, and even if a freelancer can find several low-cost services, they’ll probably need to use a whole bunch of them in one month.
Those who have just started as freelancers are more likely to work on different tasks trying to get more customers, understand what type of work is better for them, and of course to earn money.
If it’s a one-time project and/or the budget is tight, clients prefer to work with freelancers who already have subscriptions to the tools. Imagine a situation where the cost of the project ranges from $250-300. It will look good on your portfolio, but to complete the task you need several monthly subscriptions worth $100-150.
Here are five free tools for creators to consider.
1. Free Music for Videos
While searching for free music, a freelancer should consider the following:
- Are the music tracks free to use? Some music libraries offer tracks only for listening.
- Are they free for commercial usage? A free membership might mean “personal usage only.”
- Does the free license allow for a specific usage that you need? For example, some websites allow using music in your personal social media account but restrict from adding it in a boosted post or ads.
- Do they need to credit the musician or the source? Depending on the type of license, there can be different requirements.
- Is the music any good, or is it too generic and won’t be beneficial enough for the project? Some libraries look after what kind of music they are offering carefully while others upload almost anything. Typically, those that handpick their tracks are the expensive ones.
One of the free music libraries for video creators that allows personal and commercial usage is Fugue. It’s more selective than other marketplaces: all music added is chosen from thousands of tracks by professional musicians.
There is a division to Themes, Genres, and Moods in the Fugue library that helps users with the search, plus each track has tags. Music that can’t be used for free has Content ID and PRO marks (a creator can see them right away). For free usage, Fugue requires a link back to their website.
2. Free Illustration Tool
Web and UI designers, newsletter creators, and social media managers are quite frequently in need of illustrations.
No surprise, there are lots of offers for free graphics. However, finding the right one is not as simple as it seems, even considering the fact that there are thousands of free illustrations all over the internet and in image stocks. So, consider the following points:
- Does the illustration style resonate with the brand (company images and colors)?
- Are there enough suitable illustrations in the same style for the project, or do you need to search for a similar style to get missing images?
- Do all the illustrations represent the idea you or your client want to express?
Introducing a tool called Vector Creator. Users can create personalized illustrations from 9000+ elements in 20 styles. Vector Creator is an online tool and doesn’t require design skills. It’s free to use with attribution.
3. Free Icon Tools
Apart from illustrations, creators might use icons for websites, user interfaces, presentations, newsletters, infographics, and Instagram highlights covers.
The struggles they are experiencing are similar to finding suitable illustrations: not enough icons in the same style, searching for all icons needed in similar styles feels like an unnecessary waste of time, and different projects require different icon styles. Thus, one pack of 1000 icons won’t do the trick.
If anything from the above sounds familiar, then the Icons8 web app and its desktop icon apps for Windows and Mac called Pichon can be a solution. These tools have 30+ styles with thousands of icons in each (100K+ icons in total). In addition, if a user can’t find the icon they need, there is a free Request Icon option.
The web app offers all PNG icons up to 100x100px and the most popular (and needed) icons in SVG for free. Users can recolor icons in a few clicks before downloading them.
Also, those who work with popular design software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, Sketch, and others can drag and drop icons directly onto their projects. What’s more, the designers that work in Figma can try the Icons8 Plugin for Figma and use icons even easier.
4. Free Diverse Photos
A main struggle for beginner freelancers who don’t have any projects to show yet is to convince potential clients to hire them. The easiest way to do that is to create a portfolio of concept projects. By that, I mean creating actual designs of websites, ad templates, newsletters, but for either non-existing brands or for a random company. The goal is to show skills. Doubtless, the creators will need photos for most of the designs.
Moreover, clients don’t have all the photos needed for their projects and having a good photo library with free photos will help save time and money. Besides, since many freelance creators usually work with customers from all over the world, they need diverse images.
Moose stock photo library can help with that. It gives away thousands of photos created by one team. All the images are in high-resolution. Filters help find models with desirable body features in the library and because all the photos are shot based on guidelines by a single team, these images work well in one design.
5. Free Photo Creating Tool
When stock photos are not enough, for example, if they don’t tell the story that will fit, or if a freelancer needs to create a simple image fast, then the option to try is Photo Creator.
It’s an online tool with images of masked models, objects, and backgrounds. Using it, anyone can create their photos mixing ready-to-use elements and adding custom images if needed. In addition, Photo Creator has a face-swap for some models (it is possible to change facial expressions of a model or to change a face completely). As a result, the user gets a PNG image in high resolution or web-optimized that they can use in their work.
The first few months of freelancing can be pretty challenging, and additional stress about finding tools and resources that work for your tasks and don’t drain your wallet is something you want to avoid.
The list of tools above is perfect for any beginner who wants to build a portfolio or whose clients are on a tight budget. However, experienced freelancers can save time and money using them.
Anastasia Grebneva is a freelance digital marketer for Icons8 and has experience in social media marketing and web promotion for business and creative projects.
Icons8 creates design tools and resources such as icons, illustrations, photos, music library, and design software.