Freelance artists have it harder than most because we have to wear every hat for our business. We are the marketers, the customer service representatives, the sales team, the producer, the artisan, the bookkeeper, and every other role in between. This can make running our businesses both challenging and exhausting. Fortunately, constantly improving technology has paved the way for many different applications that can help us work smarter, not harder.
This helpful video by Signature Edits showcases 16 of their favorite productivity tools. These tools range from making the most of e-mails, sales and lead generation, scheduling, social media marketing, SEO, and more. Below is a list of each tool discussed in the video.
- Google Chrome. It is the most popular web browser for plenty of reasons, and the availability of Google Chrome Extensions is a big part of it.
- Gmail. Like all other Google applications, Gmail is integrated with Google’s entire app ecosystem. So you can easily navigate between Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar, along with the following Chrome Extensions:
- Boomerang for Gmail: This app allows you to schedule e-mails to send later, as well as program reminders, and even schedule follow-ups if e-mails are not responded to. This can be a real game-changer for sales and lead generation.
- Gmail Snippets / Canned Response. These extensions allow you to put together e-mail templates that you can access in a few clicks. You can create one for each type of inquiry, from rate requests for certain assignments to other types of e-mails that you find yourself often typing.
- Meeting Scheduler: This is another Google Chrome Extension that lets you review your availability and schedule bookings all in one place, without having to leave your inbox.
- Adblock Plus: Removing ads from websites and YouTube can help you stay focused, even as the internet does its best to hurl distraction after distraction at you.
- HelloSign: This website offers free online contract signing. It’s very easy to use and looks highly professional, which goes a long way with putting your clients at ease.
- PayPal Invoicing: Secure, fast, and easy, PayPal is a recognizable and trusted brand that won’t spook your customers. While there is a percentage taken from each transaction, one can argue that it is worth it for the convenience and reliability.
- Quickbooks Invoice Software – Quickbooks offers a free invoice generator as well.
- Pinterest Automatic Pin WordPress Plugin: This WordPress plugin embeds your photographs to be instantly added to Pinterest, making them more sharable, but with proper credits and contact information given, without the hassle of having to pin them one by one.
- Yoast SEO for WordPress: This is an in-depth tool for improving SEO for your WordPress blog. If clients can’t find you, they’re not likely to hire you. Getting your pages properly ranked can lead many potential clients your way.
- Google Forms: This tool is a quick and easy way to have clients answer questionnaires. You can set up various templates and have different forms for different needs. Have a new client who is interested in booking you for a wedding? What about a photographer who wishes to rent your shared studio space? Regardless of your needs, this is a very flexible tool.
- Google Drive: Certainly not an unknown on this list, Google Drive is great for backing up files, as well as for sharing PDFs or other marketing material with clients.
- Pixieset: One of the more recent players in this space, Pixieset is for creating proof and image galleries, making it easy for clients to select their favorites within an interface that is beautiful on any device.
- Later: Formerly known as “Latergram,” this industry heavyweight is one of the few official third-party apps of Instagram. It makes planning out your social media marketing a breeze and works on other social media platforms as well.
- Google Calendar: Referenced above with the Meeting Scheduler Extension, Google Calendar is user-friendly and well-integrated into nearly every Google application.
- Undo Send for Gmail: Mistakes happen, and occasionally you either e-mail the wrong person or an embarrassing typo sneaks up on you. Fortunately, if you enable “Undo Send” in your Gmail Settings > General, you can set it for a 10-30 second period of time where you can unsend an e-mail, dodging any egg on your face.
Watch the above tips and tools with demonstrations for each below: