FREE FINANCIAL AND CLIENT RELATIONSHIP RESOURCES FOR FREELANCERS
Grow your freelance business with these free resources
Want to offer your expertise as a freelancer? Or add more clients and grow your existing freelance business? Adding clients is one thing, but keeping track of every detail, payment, and client interaction is difficult — especially when you’re doing it by yourself.
These 12 free resources for freelancers give you what you need to tackle the trickiest parts of a freelance business. When you need to close and onboard more clients, keep your payments organized, or answer questions about cost — these resources have the answers. This free resource pack includes templates for client calls, a client payment tracker, a guide for your freelance website, and a cheat sheet for handling 33 different client objections.
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How to Market Yourself as a Freelancer: 12 Freelancer Free Tools and Templates
The original definition of a freelancer was a knight who didn’t answer to anyone (they were “free” to use their “lances” for anyone who paid them).
Today, the definition of a freelancer is a bit different. But one thing stays the same – as a freelancer, you choose the work that you take on. You set your own terms. You create your own schedules.
But…how do you do all of that? Being a freelancer comes with a lot of responsibilities. You have to do the work, but you also have to get new clients. And as an individual, it’s hard to stay organized enough to build a successful freelance business. How do freelancers stay organized?
Freelancers need to:
- Acquire new clients
- Keep track of clients
- Plan and manage freelance project work
- Track finances
- Keep consistent communication with current clients
- Follow-up with past clients
That’s why we at ActiveCampaign put together 12 freelancer templates (totally free) — to give you the tools you need to run the most important (and difficult) parts of your business.Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union produce an annual comprehensive report of the U.S. independent workforce. In 2019 the results showed:
- Freelancing is becoming more of a long-term career choice – For the first time, as many freelancers said they view freelancing as a long-term career choice as they do a temporary income source. Also, the share of full-time freelancers increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2019.
- Freelancers are most likely to be skilled professionals – Skilled services are the most common type of freelance work, with 45% of freelancers providing skills such as business consulting, marketing, programming, and IT.
- Freelancing creates opportunities for those who otherwise might not be able to work – 46% of freelancers state that freelancing gives them the flexibility they need if they’re unable to find traditional work amid personal circumstances.
Freelancing doesn’t have to be a temporary job – it can be your long-term career. And the best way to reach that goal is to be as organized as possible.
The freelancer resource package will:
- Show you how to ask the right questions get the information you need from a client
- Give you tips on how to think ahead, so that you’re always in front of possible challenges
- Create a professional project proposal to acquire new clients
- Prevent scope creep and miscommunication to encourage future work relationships, referrals, and a strong portfolio of work
- Save you countless hours of time by keeping your projects organized
- Make sure you never forget an important step in a client relationship
- Run organized, efficient client meetings like a pro
- Give you plug-and-play templates to make each part of your freelance business a smooth operation
- Learn how to communicate with new, current, and past clients
- Help you develop your email marketing strategy
- Establish credibility and a professional online presence to help find new clients and increase your brand visibility
Here are the 12 templates you can get today.
Top 4 site pages
Guide: How to create the 4 most important pages of your freelancer website
“How do I market myself as a freelancer?”
Being a freelancer means that it’s mostly up to you to find clients and projects to help build your business.
And when a person wants to know more about a business, what’s the first thing they do?
Look them up online!
This can mean looking at a LinkedIn profile or setting up social media accounts, but your most important online resource is your own freelancer website.
A website is the easiest and most direct way for a prospective client to learn about:
- Who you are
- What you’ve done for past clients
- What you can do for them
- How to get in contact with you
As a freelancer, your business is you. And the best way to market yourself is to create a great freelancer website that catches attention and convinces clients to find out more about you.
You’ll get a guide with instructions for how to create the 4 most important pages of a freelancer website:
- The homepage
- The “About Me” page
- The Portfolio and Work Experience page
- The “Contact Me” page
Proposal Outline and Template
You know you’re good at the freelance work you do. And you know you can do it well for your clients.
But to turn your prospective clients into official clients, you need to prove that you can deliver what they need (and when they need it).
For that, you need a proposal.
A proposal is how you introduce yourself, your skills, and your ideas for client project production in a professional and organized manner.
A proposal includes sections like:
- A cover page with your contact information and your client’s information
- Why work with me
- Proposed work overview
- Project timelines
- Financial summary
- Next steps
You’ll get a proposal outline that teaches you how to write each section of your proposal. PLUS a customizable proposal template for you to download and use for your prospective clients.
Cheat sheet: objection handling
What happens when a client says they don’t have the budget, or has questions about your timeline?
How do you maneuver around all the obstacles in the sales process? How can you take each objection in stride, and turn it to your advantage – all while you’re doing multiple jobs?
As a freelancer, you wear all the hats. You’re the:
- Marketing department
- Operations manager
- Sales team
While this balancing act is hard enough, it’s a little harder if you don’t have any sales experience or training.
This Client Objection Handling Cheat Sheet teaches you how to handle objections in sales calls. It goes through 33 different objections you might face throughout the process and how to handle them!
Whether it’s price, timing, or a competitor — this cheat sheet will help you to turn their objection into your benefit.
Checklist: Client onboarding
What do you do when you get a new client? First, you celebrate! Then, it’s time for onboarding.
Up until now, you and your new client have talked about things like your skills, the types of projects they have in mind, and how much you agreed on for your services. You made a general plan for your work together. Now is the time when you put the plan in motion.
But there are a lot of steps to remember to go through for client onboarding – especially if you’re working with multiple clients at once.
More importantly — onboarding is where you show new clients what you can do. It’s your best opportunity to upsell them, and turn them into long-time customers.
That’s why a checklist is helpful. Ditch that nagging feeling of forgetting something important and keep track of each onboarding step required to maintain a productive client relationship.
This client onboarding checklist includes important steps to carry you through every phase of your client relationship.
Client call checklist
Checklist: how to run a great client call
Your freelance skills are needed! Potential clients are interested, and you have calls scheduled. How do you make sure you get the most out of your client calls? What can you do to make every client call a great and productive meeting?
You’ll need to do things like:
- Research your client’s business
- Prepare to take notes
- Set an agenda
- Set a reminder so you’re on time to the call
However, making a client call productive takes more preparation than you may have considered. There’s a lot to remember, and it’s hard to keep everything organized.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a checklist of 76 items that make sure your client calls run efficiently and cover every need, from pre-call planning to post-call follow-up.
Agenda template for calls
Have you ever been in a meeting that should have been an email? Of course, you have!
As a freelancer, you’re in charge of organizing and running all the meetings with your clients. Without preparation you can expect a lot of awkward pauses and a string of “Um” sounds – and a lot of unproductive meetings.
The solution to the “meeting that shouldn’t have been a meeting” problem is an agenda.
Creating a call agenda gets everyone on the same page and sets the right expectations before you start. This way, you’ll avoid the dreaded questions like:
- “What are we here to talk about?”
- “Are we going through that today?”
- “Wait, what are we talking about?”
- “Am I missing something? I think I’m missing something.”
An agenda makes every meeting you have productive and worthwhile.
These agenda templates are yours to keep and customize so nobody leaves your meetings thinking it was a waste of their time, or that it could have been an email.
Financials: Client payment tracker spreadsheet and invoice templates
The types of services you offer as a freelancer may vary – which means what you charge for your work will too. And if you have multiple client projects, you’ll have a lot of numbers to keep track of.
To make sure you get paid for your hard work, you need a way to track each of your client payments in an efficient way.
As a freelancer, you get to choose how you want to be paid for your work – by the hour or by project type. This financial resource gives you the invoice templates to do either one.
You’ll also get a client payment tracker spreadsheet to mark the stages of payment each client is in, track leftover balances, and keep contact records to ensure that everything operates smoothly. Call it your own CRM for freelancers!
Thank you script
‘Thank you’ note script
Your client relationship doesn’t stop when they sign the dotted line. In fact, this is when it truly begins.
When you onboard a new client, it’s important to build on your existing relationship and keep communication open. Step 1 is sending a thank you note.
A new client follow-up note starts your business relationship on the right foot. You’ll get 2 thank-you note scripts:
- 1 for your new clients
- 1 for your existing clients
Thank you notes let your customers know you appreciate them — and that makes everyone feel good about working together.
Follow up template
Email Template: following up with past customers and prospects for more work
Your past clients are a great source of new business. You have an established relationship and you’ve already done the heavy lifting. So what’s left to do?
Check in to see if there are new opportunities for your services!
You’ll get 3 email templates to customize and send to your past clients. Follow-up emails help re-open the conversation and explore new opportunities to work with them again!
Call follow up
Email Template: post-call follow-up
After a first call, second call, or even a closing call, it’s important to send a follow-up email to recap what you talked about and get the next steps in writing.
Post-call follow-up emails document the entire process, and provide a resource for your clients or future clients to go back to.
You’ll get 3 follow-up email templates for 3 difference client call scenarios:
- A discovery call follow-up
- A general client call follow-up
- A project proposal or closing call follow-up
Whatever the situation, you’ll have a framework to work from so you’re always on the same page.
Follow up checklist
Checklist: ways to make sure you’re following up regularly
“Hey (Client Name), Me again. Just wanted to check in and see what’s going on. Hope you’re doing well! By the way, can I provide you with some services and you can pay me again? That would be great.”
Unfortunately, too many follow-up messages look like this. Email after generic email and voicemail after canned voicemail fall on deaf ears.All you ever get back is radio silence — and for good reason.
You need to have a reason to follow-up with a potential, existing, or past client. You can’t just say the same thing over and over again and expect the result to be different. So switch it up!
This checklist will help you identify new reasons to follow-up — 16 of them, in fact.
Switching it up also means switching where you reach out. Emails and voicemails have their place, but in today’s world there are so many more options available to you. Take advantage of them!
In this checklist you’ll also get a list of 21 different methods for reaching back out. From snail mail to Twitter DMs, you can try out different communication channels.
Course launch plan
Thinkific + ActiveCampaign: A 21-day launch plan for online courses
A freelance business can be whatever you want it to be. But have you thought about everything it can be?
You can use your skills to help create projects for your clients, and you can create online courses to share your knowledge with your niche audience. But if you’ve never even thought about creating your own online course before, you may be unsure of how to start.
The first step to creating an online course is to plan it. And really plan it — down to the smallest details.
Thinkific, an online course builder, not only has the software to get your online course up and running, but also a 21-Day Launch Plan workbook to help you brainstorm every necessary part of your online course.
The Launch Plan workbook will also help you plan an email launch sequence to promote your online course. Bonus – Thinkific integrates with ActiveCampaign to make your email marketing efforts easy and organized. This integration lets you create and update user activity based on events within Thinkific.
This 21-Day Launch Plan workbook does it all: You’ll learn the 5 steps to planning your online course, so when you create your course, all of the work is already done..
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