As a freelancer, you’re running a business, and this entails more than just working with clients. There’s also self-marketing, sales, billing, and the many different facets of business management to juggle. With so many different things to do, it really is important you effectively automate your freelancing career as much as possible.
Automation is key if you’re to free up more of your time and avoid burnout. It’s a valuable weapon in your entrepreneurial arsenal and one to wisely use as a ninja-spirited freelance professional.
Thankfully, these days there are hundreds of apps and tools which can help you to automate various different processes. Being a freelancer is hard work but when you make the best use of modern software and technology, you can soon find your workload and workflow is made easier and faster.
With all this in mind, here are 9 effective ways to automate your freelancing career, free up more time, and still earn even more money:
Automate your email responses
The faster you reply to new client enquiries, the more likely you are to get the client. With email automation software you can respond to the enquiry within minutes with a prewritten email. This can alert the sender you have received their email and that you will be in contact with them shortly.
You can add contact forms to different pages on your website and each can send out a different quick email response, depending on the particular service page or subject matter.
Automate appointment scheduling
Most freelance professionals don’t have personal assistants who can arrange appointments with prospects and existing clients. Thankfully, automation software allows people to book an appointment or schedule a call with you, without you needing to lift a finger.
Appointment booking software lets your web visitors select a time on your calendar and book it for a meeting. You predetermine the hour and day ranges according to when you are available, and the software does the rest.
Automate the processing of client details
Working with many different clients on short-term one-off projects can mean you’re always adding new client details to your various records. If you use a lot of apps, this can mean a lot of manual updates, which can be frustrating, confusing, and time-consuming.
You can instead automate this process of adding and updating client data. When you add a new client to your Invoice Ninja account, for example, you can then sync the data across multiple different apps and platforms, and vice-versa. This means you only need to input the new client data once, and it’s automatically updated everywhere else.
Set up reoccurring billing
Working with clients long-term is ideal when you’re a freelancer. It means you really get to know your client’s needs and goals, and deliver fantastic results for them. However, manually creating and sending invoices to these clients, every week or month, can be a drain on your time.
By setting up a reoccurring billing schedule, you can have Invoice Ninja automatically create and send invoices to your clients. These will be sent out at set times each month, without you even needing to log into your account.
Automate the tracking and recording of your time
Tracking your time accurately is essential when you’re running your own business, especially when billing clients by the hour. You and they need to know exactly how many minutes you’ve spent on a particular task or project.
With specialist time-tracking tools and apps you can automatically transfer tracked time data to various different platforms including your Invoice Ninja account. The data is automatically added to the relevant invoice together with the updated price, ready for sending to the client.
Automate spreadsheet updates
Filling in spreadsheets is boring, laborious, and sometimes even confusing. There’s also a risk of making mistakes which we don’t spot until it’s too late. Manually adding data can lead to errors and also act as a drain on our time and energy.
You can instead automate spreadsheet updates by connecting Google Sheets, for example, to your other applications and accounts. This means when you update cloud-based invoice data in your Invoice Ninja account, the data is automatically updated in your specified cloud-based spreadsheet.
Automate late payment reminders and fees
Every freelancer will work with a late-paying client in their careers. It’s inevitable but there are ways to make the experience less unpleasant. Late payment reminder emails allow you to automate the process of sending polite reminders to AWOL clients. You simply write a set of template emails and your invoicing software does the rest, when invoices are past their due date.
If those bad clients are really determined to be late then you can also add automatic late payment fines, which will be automatically added to the relevant invoice as and when certain late payment milestones are passed.
Automate project management updates
Internet apps and tools have replaced pen and paper when it comes to scheduling and managing client projects. It’s difficult at the best of times to keep abreast of all the different tasks you need to complete at any one time but tools like Kanban Boards make things a whole lot easier.
You can automate most of the processes associated with project management boards and to-do lists. For example, when you send out an invoice, your task board will be automatically updated.
Productize your services
Selling products is usually faster than selling services. That’s because there’s often a lot of back and forth between freelancer and prospect when honing in on what is needed. Productizing your services allows you to treat your services in the same way as you would if selling a product.
The potential client simply selects the services they need from a variety of fields and then places the request via a form on your website. Everything is automatic.
This speeds up the information gathering process, provides you with a quick overview of exactly what the prospect requires, and allows you to more easily judge whether to take on the project, or not.
Using the right automation tools
Automating manual processes needn’t be difficult when you use the right tools and software. At Invoice Ninja we’ve integrated with the popular automation platform Integromat. This integration provides our customers with a way to connect and sync data between multiple different apps and devices.
All of the abovementioned automation solutions can be enjoyed using the seamless integration between Invoice Ninja + Integromat. You can connect the majority of the most popular apps with your invoicing account and automate more of your freelancing procedures, in a matter of minutes.
With all this integration and automation at your disposal, there’s really no excuse not to be the ultimate ninja freelancer!