Technology has opened up a new world of working for the self-employed and freelancers. From the internet and mobile devices to apps and cloud computing, we can now do our jobs anywhere, anytime, with increased ease and efficiency.
As a sole trader or freelancer, you might not consider yourself a business. However, the reality is you’re in the market and you need to be increasingly tech-savvy to stay competitive. This means taking full advantage of new and existing digital tools.
Do You Have a Digital Presence?
People increasingly search for services online, so you can’t just rely on word-of-mouth marketing or traditional advertising. Without an online presence, such as a business website and social media page, you’re not even on the radar of potential customers. By developing an online presence, you can improve your visibility and personal branding. This will open doorways to new opportunities and grow your customer base.
Even if you’re not tech-wise, web-building software such as Wix and WordPress lets you create, manage and customise a site with ease. Furthermore, tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console make it simple to monitor, analyse web traffic, and optimise your site to improve its effectiveness.
Are You Socially Active?
As well as having a website, social media is another way to promote your services. From LinkedIn to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these platforms offer an instant, engaged audience with whom you can interact, build relationships and share useful content. Plus it’s a good way to connect with other freelancers to pool ideas and services.
A social media page is also an effective tool for driving traffic to your website, especially if you deep-link your social posts with a corresponding landing page on your website that share the same topic. In addition, if you’re active on social platforms you can boost your SEO, which means your website will naturally appear higher up in Google search and people will be more likely to find you.
Do You Work Online?
Alongside social platforms, today’s most tech-savvy sole traders take advantage of cost-effective online office tools to improve and streamline their processes and communications – Google Docs for word processing, Dropbox for file sharing and storage, and much more.
Whatever services you offer – graphic design, consultancy, personal training – being able to manage all your admin on a laptop or mobile device wherever you are is a real advantage. And being cloud-based means everything is automatically backed up.
Are Your Finances Mobile?
One major headache for the self-employed is finances – from keeping your personal and business-related expenses separate to sending out and processing invoices and keeping a track of your expense receipts. However, the technology now exists to help sole traders manage them more effectively.
Cloud-based accountancy software, such as QuickBooks Self-Employed, lets you document, sort and organise all money-related matters on the go. It helps create and send invoices effortlessly through the app on the go, and it’s easy to know when to follow up with customers by seeing when the invoice has been viewed. It also connects to your bank account and untangle business and personal expenses to get you ready for tax time.
If you’re self-employed, being tech-savvy and taking advantage of online platforms and tools will not only help you grow your business, but will save you time and money. In addition, as technology enables you to deliver more efficient services, your client satisfaction levels will soar.