Having multiple clients as a freelancer is a double-edged sword. While it’s good for the growth of your personal brand and earning potential, juggling multiple projects from these clients can lead to great stress and, in some cases, the decline of your overall work quality.
For many experienced freelancers, handling two clients at a time is no big deal. But what if you have three or more clients? How can you effectively split your time, attention, and resources if each of them want you to prioritize their requests?
The answer is simple: use tools to lessen the time it takes to manage your workload and maintain relationships with clients. Here’s a list of the best platforms you should include in your toolbelt:
1. Mozilla Thunderbird
As a freelancer, your morning routine usually involves sifting through a long list of unread emails. Let’s face it, browser-based email applications aren’t the fastest or most intuitive, especially if you received dozens of emails every morning. But with a desktop app like Mozilla Thunderbird, you can jump straight into your inbox and handle email-related tasks at a much faster pace. You can also manage your address book and create filters to automatically sort your client emails into folders.
Aside from speed, another advantage of using Thunderbird is that it lets you manage your messages across multiple email accounts. This is helpful if you maintain different addresses for client support, inquiries, personal messages, and so on. You can also integrate different add-ons that help you manage your tasks, calendar, and spam emails.
Price: Free — $9.99 for Business Class
Trello is undeniably one of the most popular project management and online collaboration tool for freelancers. It allows you to create multiple boards for each client, organize tasks into individual “cards”, and sort cards into their designated lists. For example, if one client hires you to work on different projects, you can split those projects into different lists so you can easily organize and prioritize future tasks.
You can also invite your clients to manage the Trello board allotted for them. This will enable them to provide comments, send attachments, and manually set deadlines for each task.
Price: Free — $3 for Business Plan
If you bill clients by the hour, then you need a reliable timesheet management tool like Timogix. It allows you to log your hours into weekly timesheets, which can then be submitted for approval. You can also record billable expenses, generate invoices, and track vacation and time-off balances for your company.
The main selling point of Timogix is simplicity and the degree of customization you can achieve with your clients, projects, and billing. It only takes a few minutes for you to know your way around the platform and have everything ready to start entering time.
Price: Free — $12 for Basic CRM Automation
Insightly is one of the most cost-effective client management platforms for freelancers and small businesses alike. It allows you to manage your contacts, organize your tasks, keep up with leads, and do a bunch of other things – all geared towards maintaining fruitful relationships with multiple clients.
With Insightly, you can have basic project management and CRM within the same platform. You can also take advantage of its advanced reporting tools in case you need to share data with others.
Price: Free — $199 to Include Service as Partner
If you’re using multiple platforms for different aspects of your freelancing business, you can use an automation platform like IFTTT to automate workflows and have more time for your actual tasks. The name “IFTTT” stands for If This Then That. It works by allowing you to connect two services – one providing a trigger while the other performs an action.
Combinations of these services are known as applets, and they can be designed to do useful tasks such as turning Gmail messages into Trello cards and turning Trello cards into Google Calendar entries. You can easily create your own applet in six steps or simply activate a pre-made one from IFTTT’s “Discover” library.
via Technology & Innovation Articles on Business 2 Community http://ift.tt/2oDMhDO