7 best online tools for scaling your business as a freelancer

Allegra Hu
Written by Allegra Hu
on October 05, 2021

Have you just started freelancing and are wondering where to get your first clients? Or maybe you’ve been in the game for a while and want to know how to best market your skills? 

Here at Xolo, we understand a freelancers’ need for accessible networking, administrative, and marketing tools that you can easily weave into your daily routine. Using free courses that will let you charge more for your services and project management tools that help you meet deadlines, you too can thrive as your own boss in this digital age. 

Ready to get to work? Check out our list of the 7 best tools for scaling your freelance business:

1. Enrich your skillset with Google Skill Shop, Oberlo, and LinkedIn Learning

One of the best things about freelancing is the ability to dictate your own rates. And you can increase your chances of securing higher-paying gigs by adding relevant certifications to your list of skills on your resume/CV! 

Google Skill Shop, Oberlo, and LinkedIn Learning offer free course options in topics ranging from “How to start your first online business” to “How to use TikTok to get sales.” 

Once you've graduated (Congrats, we knew you could do it!) you'll receive a certification of completion which you can add to your CV and LinkedIn profile.

2. Showcase your freelance skills with a professional website and blog

The goal of a professional website is to make it easy for potential clients to understand the services you provide. By combining a portfolio and a blog into one place you can increase activity and drive traffic to your site. 

Wix and Squarespace are great if you're new to web design; they offer a variety of customizable themes with a wide range of payment options. You can also use their blog features to create scheduled posts. 

Free sites like Behance and ArtStation are used by artists who want to connect with other professionals in their field and show off their work. If you have at least 7 solid project samples, create a portfolio on Contently to be matched with the right client and project.

3. Find freelancing gigs easily with Contra and Taskshift

Looking to get commissions or find new clients? As you know there are many freelancing websites out there. If you're worried about losing a big chunk of your paycheck to commission fees, worry no more! We have narrowed the choices down to the two best gig-finding platforms that take the smallest amount of your hard-earned money:

Digital professionals around the world are using Contra to earn money commission-free and build high-quality professional communities and referral networks. Contra takes 0% commission but you need at least 5 clients to sign up, so it is a better option for freelancers with a bit of experience. 

For those just starting out, we recommend signing up with Taskshift which only takes 3% commission and has no requirements to start selling! Post up to 5 offers and wait for clients to come to you. 😏

4. Take advantage of the hidden job market

Did you know that at least 70% of jobs are not advertised or posted online? That number might be even higher, according to LinkedIn. Advertising a job posting costs money, so more clients are relying on referrals and casual social media postings to find the perfect fit. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn encourage hiring and HR managers to post opportunities all the time, you just need to know where and how to look.

Here, we'll show you how easy it is: 

Try filtering your social media by posts (instead of job listings) according to what job you’re looking for. For example: “hiring freelance writer”. 

You'll see posts by employers asking their network for referrals for positions that won’t appear anywhere else! 

Don’t be afraid to message a stranger — setting up that informational interview even without an official job posting is key! 🔑

5. Expand your digital reach with TikTok

TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform out there thanks to its attention-grabbing, video-only format, and advanced content filtering algorithm.

Capture a video of your work with a trending song playing in the background, and a link to your website in the caption to instantly drive customers towards your business. 

Have trouble staying on top of trends? There are many free courses you can find using Oberlo or Shopify Learn that will teach you the ins and outs of selling on TikTok.

6. Organize your projects like a pro with Trello and Miro

Without a manager, you probably understand that sometimes it can be hard to stick to deadlines. Check out Trello and Miro, which are free-to-use project and time management tools that allow for easy organization on any project!

Miro has a whiteboard style of mapping out your ideas and planning a project. If you are more of a visual learner, you will love Miro! Trello helps you track productivity metrics, scheduling, tasks, and more. The site uses cards and lists to make it easy to stay organized.

7. Take the guesswork out of business admin with Xolo Go and Xolo Leap 

As a freelancer, you are your own boss, accountant, and administrative expert, but let’s face it... we all need a little extra help covering our bases. Want to get paid quickly and easily? The ability to set business admin on autopilot is a unique way that Xolo can help you scale your freelance career: 

No company? No problem! Xolo Go's innovative partnership model lets you use a slice of their business to legally invoice clients in the EU, Canada, and the USA. It's a pay-as-you-go model with Xolo charging a 5% commission on every payout so there are no binding contracts or surprise fees. You can sign up for the platform and send your first invoice in less than 10 minutes! 

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If you want your own company with access to payment gateways and integrations Xolo Leap is the product for you. You'll need to become an Estonian e-Resident, but supply you with a team of expert accountants who help set up your business remotely in the EU and handle your finances for you.

With the proper tools and a surprisingly small amount of money — you can unleash your full potential as a freelancer!

About Allegra

Allegra is originally from Boston, MA (USA). She holds two degrees - a Game Art & Design degree from the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts and a B.A. in Business from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has worked on various projects as an artist and writer including several video games and books, and is currently a Game Design Instructor at Game-U! In her free time, Allegra enjoys video games, narrative design, painting, nature, film, and cooking, among other pursuits. She uses Xolo Go to invoice her clients in the EU.

Freelance

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