Automation: A Freelancer’s Best Friend
Time management is one of the most critical skills for freelancers looking to optimize income from their work. Leveraging tech tools and strategies for automation can dramatically impact your ability to maximize productivity and income.
The following outlines some aspects of your freelance business that you can automate to free up valuable time.
If you sell high-value services and work with a small number of clients, there isn’t much need to automate service ordering. However, if you sell a lot of small-project services, automating service ordering and reordering can save you a good amount of time.
On your website, place self-service order forms or portals alongside your landing pages that describe what you offer. You can then automate follow-up interactions with the client. If your services are time-based, develop a system to automate communication about service or subscription renewals.
Standard Email Communication
You can’t automate all email communication with prospects and clients, but there are certain messages that don’t need a customized approach. You can automate emails that follow a client order on your website.
Other types of email communication where automation is possible include:
- Billing: Set up automated invoicing through your accounting software as opposed to customized communication.
- Progress Updates: Rather than manually creating and sending emails updating clients on progress, set up progress trackers using software that sends emails to notify clients where you are in the process.
- Recurring Events: If there are certain activities that recur in your business at specific times, set up automated emailing for communication about these events.
Social Media Posting
You don’t want to automate all facets of your social media marketing as a freelancer, but there are some types of posts that you can automate. You can set up an automated “thank-you” or direct message for people that follow your account, for instance. A lot of freelancers create automated direct messages that introduce a new follower to their business and services, for instance.
Schedule certain types of posts in advance rather than spontaneously coming up with new content each day. Leave the manual posting for personal interaction with people discussing topics relevant to your business.
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is often extremely time-consuming for freelancers. However, QuickBooks and other top accounting software solutions can help you streamline your activities. Whether clients order through a self-service portal or you create invoices manually, connect invoices, payments and financial records for optimum efficiency.
When you or the client submits an order, an invoice is automatically generated and sent to the client. When payment is made, it is recorded in your software. The software also then tracks your revenue and expenses for easy tax preparation.
These automation strategies should free up your freelancer schedule so you can focus on productive work that earns you revenue. It may take some time upfront to put these automation tools and strategies in place, but the long term benefits are likely worth the effort.