Freelancing jobs are commonly found online. The jobs which are most in demand now are web design and development, graphic design, social media management and marketing, content production and marketing and project management.
Having skills and knowledge in one or more of these fields gives anyone, thinking of working as a freelancer an edge already. But having that knowledge is not enough. Every freelancer should have relevant tools readily available to him so he can start with an online job once he’s given the opportunity. He should not wait to be hired for the job before getting his tools ready.
The tools a freelancer should have would depend on the kind of jobs he can do. Below are some of the basic tools which should be prepared firsthand:
• Email Account. This free resource is the primary means of online communication right now. If you still haven’t signed up for one then do so ASAP. Your email address will also be used for registration to other online platforms which you may need to accomplish your freelance job.
• Messenger Accounts. Skype is the most popular messenger among freelancers but there are other choices such as GTalk, Hangout, Yahoo Messenger and even Facebook Chat. Messengers are essential for many employers who hire freelancers online because it’s a way for employers to personally talk and see their virtual employees either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Team meetings may also be held using these messengers without the need for paying for expensive teleconferencing software. If webinars are necessary, online meeting software can also be easily found on the internet now.
• Cloud Storage Service. Cloud storage is a tool which allows you to keep your files online. Google Drive, formerly Google Docs is a popular choice so is Dropbox, SugarSync and Box.Net. There are also storage platforms for specific purposes like Slideshare, Slide.Com, PhotoBucket and Flickr. It’s usually free to sign up for these resources or they ask for a minimal fee for larger storage capacity. Using cloud storage services is now seen as a need when doing your job online. These are secure storage tools which can be accessed anytime and anywhere because they are available via the internet. Sharing of files and folders are also often allowed in these tools allowing you to give access to your clients to the documents or other files they need.
• Office Applications. Now the tools of your choice will vary based on the jobs you will perform. If you will do secretarial, administrative, accounting or writing jobs, you should have and know how to use applications like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pages or Numbers. For bookkeeping and other accounting jobs, there are online tools as well like Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Wave Accounting. The best friends of graphic and web designers on the other hand are Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and the like. Special tools are used by transcriptionists and video and audio creators and editors.
• Personal Organization Tools. Your email and/or your cloud storage tool may also provide you with tools to organize your to-do lists. There are other cloud resources as well like Evernote, TeuxDeaux, Get It Done, TuDu List, Bla Bla List Stay Useful-Do, and Remember The Milk. I personally like Google Tasks because it’s integrated in my email already making viewing easier.
• Project Management Tools. These tools will come in handy when you have landed a project or job already. Often employers have their preferred project management tools and they will just provide access to new hires. This is a big organization tool where several employees and the employer himself can collaborate to bring their tasks together and accomplish the project goals. Basecamp, Teamwork, Flow, HiTask, and Orchestra are only some of the popular resources for project management.