As a freelancer, both in web design and online marketing, I often get asked which tools I use on a daily basis. I thought why not create a little post to point both clients and others looking to get into the freelance lifestyle?
Here’s my freelance tools of the trade. I’m constantly travelling or on the run and these are the local apps, web apps and hardware that make my life super easy.
Search Engine Optimisation
Moz – I find moz a great tool for competitor analysis in search results as they have a handy extension for Google chrome that lets me view data right within the search. It’s also great for on page optimisation, client reports and visualising data.
Agency Analytics – Another great tool for SEO, it not only comes with all the great features of Moz but Agency analytics also pools your PPC, Social and email campaign data into the one dashboard. I’ve recently moved all my client reporting to agency analytics and the feedback has been great as you can supply your clients with their own dashboard login to view their data as and when they need it. Best thing of all? It’s half the price of Moz!
SEMRush – This is an excellent tool for auditing and prospecting new clients, it provides a detailed history of a website’s performance in search results for both organic and paid search. SEMRush is an integral part of all my SEO campaigns.
Rankbuddy – When I’m out on the run and I don’t have my laptop, Rank buddy is an excellent little app that lets me view Google search console data directly from my phone. Search console is one of the few google services they haven’t quite bothered to make responsive making it difficult to navigate when using your phone. Rank buddy correlates the data in a nice responsive dashboard letting me check positions, CTR and search queries whilst i’m on the bus, at the beach even on the couch when the laptop is out of reach.
Marketing & CRM
Active Campaign – An excellent tool for email marketing automation which helps me with sales funnels and targeting content to prospective clients. I don’t use it all the time as the majority of my work comes from Google or word of mouth but it’s what I usually suggest to my clients when they ask.
ZOHO – An excellent CRM that integrates with my website & marketing campaigns. Zoho has features just as good as Salesforce but for a 5th of the cost.
Productivity & Project Management
Upwork – My go to platform for outsourcing and staff management. If you have a simple job but just don’t have the time to get it done, upwork is a great spot to post it to the freelance world and let others bid on finishing it for you. I’ve saved literally thousands of hours by outsourcing basic work which let’s me spend more time doing the things I love.
Toptal – Time tracking platform to manage billable hours to my clients. I have a good team of staff which help me with various tasks such as copywriting or bookkeeping (most of who i’ve found on upwork). Toptal tracks the time they’ve worked as well as taking various screenshots of their desktop throughout the day so you know an hour paid is an hour worked.
Saasu – A great accounting platform that takes all of my financial data and puts it into a tidy dashboard which I can access anywhere with an internet connection. There’s also an iphone app which lets me send an invoice when I’m on the run! What I love most about Saasu is that you can sync it up with your bank feeds which makes reconciling a breeze.
QuickBooks – Another great accounting platform which has all the same features as above but it costs a little extra. In my experience accountants generally prefer using this over Saasu as they find it more streamlined for what they do.
13″ Macbook Air: It’s lightweight, powerful enough to handle multiple applications at a time and boots up fast…which is important when you forgot to send that important email at 8pm last night!
Iphone 7 Plus: I don’t always carry my laptop around, so this is my lifeline when I need to do something on the run. The large screen makes viewing websites in landscape a breeze and there’s an app for almost everything I do with my mac so I always have information on hand.