The digital nomad lifestyle allows you the freedom to work on the type of projects you’re actually passionate about, and with the clients you choose. No more depressing mornings of driving to an office you hate and sitting in a grey sea of cubicles for 9 hours a day. By saying ‘yes’ to the freedom economy, you’re saying ‘yes’ to a work life you can love and ‘hello’ to the control over your schedule that you deserve.
So, now that you’ve taken the leap into the world of freelancing as an independent contractor, it’s essential to implement remote working tools that will help you work more efficiently and save you some serious time and money. These tools exist for a reason!
We’ve put together a guide on some key elements to begin automating in your business, from email inbox management to your invoicing system.
Send Professional Invoices & Get Paid Quicker
One of the biggest ways to save time as a freelancer is to think of how you can simplify your business processes. This does not mean downgrading them, however! The beauty of comprehensive project management tools is that you can appear more professional while getting things done quicker.
Choose a system that lets you send customized, professional looking invoices directly from your software platform. No more piecing together Word doc invoices!
Also, opt for a software system that lets you accept payments from clients via ACH, credit card or even in-person transfers. You’ll make their lives easier and stop having to wait for their check every month via the postal service.
Who wants to wait two weeks to get paid, anyway? Not me.
Use Better Email Inbox Management
Seek out remote working tools that allow you to focus on what you need to and eliminate unnecessary distractions. The internet has a slew of amazing apps, websites and tools that can better support your digital nomad lifestyle and your freelance work.
Consider a tool such as Inbox When Ready that allows you to “check your inbox with reasonable frequency, batch process your email on a regular schedule and minimize the total time you spend in your inbox.” The Chrome Extension can save you serious time and begin to make your email seem a lot less overwhelming.
Begin a More Efficient Onboarding Process
Taking on new clients is exciting and totally empowering as a freelancer. However, the onboarding process can seem a bit tedious after you’ve begun your 54th new project working with a brand-new team of people. The great news? You can automate how you onboard with better project management tools. Consider implementing a system that lets you house all of your team (and client’s) important documents in a specific client management portal.
This means everyone has what they need for a project, exactly when they need it. No more unnecessary email at 11 pm on a Saturday when your client wants an update on their latest set of blog revisions.
Sign Contracts Quicker than Ever
This one is really straightforward but can make your life that much easier over time.
Implement a way to send contracts to whoever you’re working with, with the click of a few buttons. Whether you go with a free system like HelloSign, or an option that’s built into your client and task management software, there is simply no need to be printing business contracts in order to mail them or requiring your clients to print them off and fax the signed version. This isn’t caveman times.
Keep Better Track of Your Time
It’s time to can the guessing game of where your time is being spent during your workday. It’s just not realistic to assume you can keep track of how many hours you spent on which set of tasks for which projects in your head. And you simply don’t have to anymore!
Begin using remote working tools that track the time you spent on every work task. There are systems that also allow you to create invoices from your time spent on a project, as well. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Save Time by Scheduling Social Media
If you’re not already automating your social media posts, it’s absolutely time to start!
Social media plays such a huge role in the digital nomad lifestyle these days, so why waste any more time on the various platforms than you need to? The great news is that many schedulers are completely free – from Facebook’s post scheduler to Planoly for Instagram and Hootsuite for multiple social sites. It’s time to get scheduling and take back your time spent on social media.
Eliminate Unnecessary Client Communication and Collaborate Seamlessly with Others
Clear, concise communication plays a key role in the effectiveness of your freelancing business. From the way you communicate with your teammates throughout a project to how you update your clients on task deadlines, it’s vital to keep your coworkers in the loop. Although you could log on to a variety of different systems and apps, the reality is that every client and digital nomad prefers a different method to chat- whether that’s Skype, Slack or good old email. So, save yourself a lot of time and headaches by opting for a project management system that lets you update everyone directly within your system. No more unnecessary emails and forgotten Skype pings.
Make the Digital Nomad Lifestyle Easier by Opting for Remote Working Tools that Help you Automate
More and more determined workers have begun to enter the freedom economy and opt for a digital nomad lifestyle. The need to stay in a corporate job that you hate simply isn’t there any longer. With more efficient remote working tools for entrepreneurs, contract workers and freelancers to take advantage of, your virtual business can run more smoothly than ever.
You may not get down to a 4-hour work week (or maybe you will), but implementing tools to automate your systems will definitely cut back your hours, give you peace of mind knowing that you can step away from your business for a minute or a while and that everything will still continue and will give you more time to work on new projects – or just explore and travel.
That’s what the gig economy is all about – the ability to choose what you want to do with your time.