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9 In Operation/ Startup Life

Simple Productivity Tips For Freelancers

Amazing productivity tips to help freelancers stay on track and succeed in their task

On any given day, a million things could occur in my life. The same goes for you. From noise distractions, paying bills, battling in a Twitter debate, to seeing Llama’s on the loose. Stay productive and achieve your goals. As a freelancer task can seem like a daunting.

Set Office Hours

I was really good at this in warmer months. Waking up at 7am to go on a 5 mile jog, then I’d eat breakfast, read my bible & blogs, and finally start my work day. There is consistency in having a schedule. If you have ever worked a 9 to 5 then you had to keep a schedule. Do the same for your business. Yes, there will be times you won’t want to keep those hours, it may be, when you’re sick or when you work extra hours. There’s nothing wrong with putting in more hours. As of lately, I have been in Starbucks, more than usual, from the hours of 6pm to 10pm writing and creating content.

Set Up Bill Pay

All of my personal and business bills are automated. When I was younger, I was that person who forgot to pay their cell phone bill. Not because I didn’t have the money, simply because I completely forgot. This also includes the bills I’m receiving from my lawyer, graphic designer, or copyeditor. I have a payment plan set up with them. The money comes straight out of my checking account. Just 3 easy installments as the lady on QVC would say.

Invoicing Clients

If you’re sitting at the computer, sending your clients invoices monthly or bi weekly, I fear you’re stuck in the stone age. With WaveApp, Go Daddy Bookkeeping and PayPal, you can easily send recurring invoices to clients. A majority of my clients are signed for either a 6 month contract or a 1 year contract. Their invoices are set up in the system and are then sent out days ahead with a reminder notification the day of.

Automate Digital Orders

Anyone who has a digital product knows that, spending time sending each consumer their respective file is insane. A huge company reached out to me in January, wanting me to sell my digital products. Of course, I wanted to do a partnership with them, unfortunately, they wanted me to personally send each consumer their corresponding file. **Emoji girl throwing up the crossed arms**. Use platforms such as Big Commerce, Squarespace, Etsy, WordPress – Woo commerce plugin, and Gumroad.

Hire Staff or Freelancers

Stop trying to literally keep everything in-house. Hire people to streamline your business. Last year ,I learned how to build a website and how to graphic design. However, I do neither for my business. I have 2 graphic designers and 1 web developer. If you’re trying to juggle everything, sooner or later, you’re going to drop something. It’s just a matter of time. Taskrabbit & Fiverr are great resources.

Ten simple productivity tips for the freelancers who wants to take more control over their business.

Keep A Calendar

I swear by Google Calendar for my business. It has my editorial calendar, client calendar, conferences, speaking gigs, etc.. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone misses a meeting. Put it on your calendar. Now a days most programs are integrated with digital calendars. When I confirm attendance to an event via Eventbrite, it immediately goes to my Google Calendar. Make sure you give yourself space in your calendar. I do 30 minute breaks between meetings and when working on projects. Just in case they go over.

Digital Files For Clients

All digital files are automated once someone purchases a consultation file, and are immediately sent to them with a step by step guide included. In the guide, it denotes for my new clients to sign their contract via Hello Sign. This keeps my files in one place. Imagine having to sign every contract, then tell the client to sign the contract, and finally have them sign it in an online document. Nope, let’s keep it simple and legally binding.

Emails

If you can respond in two minutes or less without having to go back and forth then send it. Set up canned emails. Designate specific hours for you to respond to emails. Just because you send me an email at 7pm doesn’t mean I need to respond to it then. Create a filing system. All clients have their own folders even partnerships. That way it is in one thread & folder versus having to search all over.

Save emails for Monday – Friday, unless its super important, and has to be done on the weekends. The weekends are your time to recoup, just like the rest of the world.

Learn To Say No

Over committing can take up valuable time. You are saying yes to everyone but you. If it doesn’t work in your schedule then say so. Last month, I was approached several times for partnership. One company was pretty darn persistent. It didn’t fit my brand or resonate with who I am. It’s okay to say no. If you’re constantly saying yes, you will over book your schedule and then the time you really need to say yes, unfortunately won’t work for your schedule.

Get Off Twitter

As of lately, I have been spending more time on there. If I wasn’t I would’ve been clueless to The Dress Debate and the Llama’s on the run. Those are important “fakes at the water cooler” talk I can’t afford. Social media is a great tool for your small business but it can kill your productivity levels. Designate three times that you actually hop on the various platforms you use. As for the other times, learn how to automate your social media.

By killing the distractions, automating, and using the other ten tips listed, you can be productive as a freelancer and a small business owner. How can you increase your productivity today, thus helping streamline your company’s revenue and success?

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  • Shayla

    I always love your posts! I’m not a business owner, rather I’m a college student who hopes to be an entrepreneurer someday. I like to do research and make sure I’m always learning and growing so that it’s not all new to me when I finish school and start a business. Some things just aren’t taught in a classroom and companies like yours are great tools for learning the basics that are easy to overlook. Most of these tips are relevant even in my life now. Thank you!

    • imperfctconcept

      Start a business when you’re in college. So many grants and competitions that can help fund your business vs trying to fund it outside of college. Glad the tips can help you now.

      • Shayla

        I’ll look into that, there are just so many pieces to pull together if I want to do it while I’m school. I’m thinking I’m going to look into your “How to Get Started in Business” ebook. Thank you!

        • imperfctconcept

          Honestly, I wish I started a business in school. So much easier when you have less things to take care of. There is pro’s and con’s to it.

  • I have really learned the importance of having office hours and saying no. The two can really make or break your business because distractions and lack of focus will drastically hinder your productivity.

    • imperfctconcept

      As my friends grandma says “no, is a complete sentence.” It can change your business. I say no often and office hours are a Godsend.

  • Lots of great tips in this article, especially about time management which is crucial if you want grow your business and reach a higher level of productivity.

    • imperfctconcept

      Yes, time management is the biggest part to staying productive. Create guidelines that are great for you and your business.

  • Colvin Warner

    After doing exercise, I prepare my task list in the morning which helps me to prioritize my daily tasks and this tip has helped me to increase my productivity by four-folds. You can prepare your task list with the help of proofhub, asana or basecamp.

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