These are the most used apps and software by freelancers 0 120

We all have our favourite apps to make life a bit easier, even if it is a bank online application that you resisted first but then, after a sequence of lockdowns, followed by the permanent closure of several financial branches, you were forced to adopt a digital approach to the way you do things.

But when it comes to work, especially for freelancers, apps are an everyday need that makes it almost impossible to imagine life before we had these tools that optimize work.

According to a report on global freelancer income published in 2020 by online money transfer and digital payment services Payoneer, 30% of workers in the field of web and graphic design work for themselves, either as a freelancer or fronting a small business.

Charlotte Burke, a UK-based freelance writer and designer who set up a blog featuring travel and spirituality content is one of those professionals fomenting the increasingly popular gig economy.

“By far my most heavily used app is Canva. It has absolutely everything you need to create all your marketing content, videos, and graphics. It also has incredible high-quality royalty-free images and stock videos – even music. And the fact you can use a vast majority of it for free is incredible too”, says Burke. “If you are creative enough you can get everything you need online using sites like Canva”, says Charlotte about the Australian graphic design platform founded in 2012. Canva saw a $40 billion valuation last year, according to Forbes, and often popped-up while I was interviewing freelancers for this piece.

“I use Canva multiple times daily to create blog and social media images. I find it a simple and easy to use drag and drop tool for creating visual content, even though I am not talented in graphic design at all. It is helpful that I can save brand colours and fonts to make it faster when branding my content.”, explains money and lifestyle blogger Victoria Sully.

Even apps that were not initially devised as a work tool are proving to be essential.

Marketing professor and behavioural economist Michal Strahilevitz is prone to using voice messages and notes to avoid typing, whenever she can.

“Don’t laugh but I use WhatsApp to communicate to all my research and teaching assistants. I honestly have way too much typing in my life and the fact that I can record messages anytime without bothering them is fantastic. Some of my research assistants like to also record messages and others like to type and WhatsApp gives us both options. As proof of how seriously addicted I am to WhatsApp, I tell my research assistants before I hire them that they will have to get WhatsApp if they’re going to work with me. It just makes my life so much easier that I can record a voice message from my phone without having to deal with an outgoing message or worry that I’m calling them too early in the morning.” Says Strahilevitz, a PhD who is also the director of the Elfenworks Center for Responsible Business at Saint Mary’s College of California.

“When I have done consulting work, I’ve also used WhatsApp to communicate with clients. Obviously, the deliverable is a written document and/or an oral presentation, but for asking and answering questions, I think WhatsApp is the best tool there is, especially when I am dealing with clients overseas in different time zones. Not only does WhatsApp allow me to make calls for free but it allows me to leave messages based on my own schedule without having to worry about what time it is where they are. When I lived in Australia and New Zealand a few years ago, I honestly don’t think I would have survived without this app”, analyses Michal Strahilevitz.

“I believe that in 2022, the most heavily used app or software for freelancers is likely to be one that helps manage their time effectively. With more and more people working from home, there is an increasing need for apps and software that can help individuals stay on track and avoid distractions” forecasts Inez Stanway, a former elementary school teacher for over a decade who now runs an online learning template and craft platform. “While there are many different options available, some of the most popular ones include RescueTime, Freedom, and FocusMe. All of these apps allow users to block out distracting websites and apps, set timers, and track their productivity. In addition, they provide detailed reports that can help users see where they are spending the most time and identify areas where they need to improve. As a result, these apps can be incredibly valuable for freelancers who want to make the most of their time”, says Stanway.

Ryan Scollon from Lincolnshire, UK, also shared similar thoughts when it comes to time management.

“The app that I use on a daily basis is Asana, and my business would crumble without it. It’s an essential tool for managing my schedule and keeping on top of my monthly clients”, explains Scollon.

Freelance voice actor John Lano, from Minneapolis, USA, also has a preferred app to monitor and organize his daily routine.

“As a full-time, freelance voice actor I use Notion daily to organize my audition and project timelines, blog post and social media content ideas, invoicing status, and daily to-do lists. It’s literally my one-stop app for organizing both my work and personal life. You can also invite a client, colleague, or family member to collaborate on a task with you. It’s powerful, customizable, and can be used across pretty much any device you have”, explains Lano who has lent his voice to companies worldwide including American telecom AT&T and sports equipment brand UnderArmour.

 

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 669

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Why is everyone launching info products and how to successfully create one? 0 763

Unless you have managed to totally disconnect from the online world since the beginning of 2020, you will have noticed that, in recent months, everyone seems to be launching one or more info products. These products aim to provide well-crafted explanations, through a variety of domains, delivered in a simple and digestible way.

Wherever you look, someone is advertising a new online course, a podcast series, a free or paid ebook, the updated version of a digital workshop, or several video tutorials.

For a brand, it can be a case of raising awareness or upselling a product.

For freelancers, an info product can become a sizeable income stream as, every time someone signs up for a paid info product, its creator will be the one retaining the majority of the amount charged.

The topics, as you would imagine, are as wide as the web itself.

From detailed steps on how to rank on Google; running a Facebook ad campaign for the first time; creating a Youtube Channel; learning to do your own PR; launching your own fashion label; becoming an Influencer; or, building a marketing funnel – to name just a few – chances are you will find info products out there for almost every need.

As someone working with influencers on a regular basis, I have never seen so many creators turning their hands to developing content that helps others – and charging for it.

However, before spending time and resources creating an online product, what are the tangible results that should be expected in a very competitive digital world?

Recently I set out to learn golden tips from the experts in helping brands diversify their digital portfolio, and from those ones who had already launched their own info products, and here is what you should watch out for if you want your info products to be successful.

 

Test it with a small group

“To avoid wasting time or money, sell your info product to a group of testers before you create any of it. This serves three purposes: it ensures you have a product that people are willing to pay for, it allows you to modify or add content as you are getting real-time feedback and, finally, it creates motivation to complete it!”

Joanne Mosellen – Online business coach

 

Aim to establish trust

“There are a number of ways you can create an online course, but I find using software like Thinkific is easiest – just upload your content and it will help you format your content into a learning dashboard. However, as there are a lot of really terrible courses and ebooks on the web at moment, to be successful you need to establish trust by including real testimonials on your sales page, offering a money-back guarantee, and even giving away a sample chapter or lesson of your course so individuals can get a sneak peek.”

Meg Marrs – Founder of online dog training course K9 of Mine

 

Be authentic and provide value

“I just launched a YouTube channel called “Millennial Tips for Small Businesses” because I felt powerless as my company Cropsticks Inc. took an 85% loss due to the pandemic.  We provide commodity products for the foodservice and hospitality industry. So, on my new YouTube channel, I share any business resources I have found with other small business owners.  Just 2 weeks in and 700 views down, I feel more powerful than ever because Cropsticks feels seen.  Our story was covered in a local magazine, a national retailer reached out after seeing the video, and I even secured a partnership with TikTok. Most importantly, I feel like I’m truly helping my community. It’s worth putting yourself out there but, as you do it, be authentic and provide value to your audience.  Ask yourself, is this information I am glad to have learned?

Mylen Yamamoto – Creator and Founder of chopsticks.co

 

Finding your niche is key for an info product’s success

“You need to focus on the relevant market and provide a product that is legitimately helpful to people looking to succeed in it. Always invest time and efforts in continued product creation and dedication to quality. And for those doubting, don’t get down on yourself or your knowledge. Something you consider basic can be exactly the piece of knowledge another person is dying to have.”

Rob Level – CEO at Smart Rapper – Online Education for Rappers and Recording Artists

 

Hire a good content writer to get traffic

“We launched a suite of digital workshops for new remote workers and haven’t paid for any ads to bring traffic to the site. Instead, we have invested time and money into writing content that is so helpful and original that it has driven enough organic traffic to keep us more than busy. For example, we hired a writer to create 51 unique icebreaker questions to kick off a meeting and it performed extremely well”.

Michael Alexis – CEO at teambuilding.com

Why is everyone launching info products and how to successfully create one?

Distance education and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are increasing demand for information products.

Carefully plan your sales page

“The barrier to entering the info product market is practically non-existent, as anyone can use free resources to produce, distribute, and earn money from an info product that can be sold over and over again, with little to no further investment, once it is created. However, as enticing as all of that sounds, consider the way you plan to drive traffic to the info product sales page. I see people spending a lot of time and energy creating a course or other digital products; however, without being able to drive customers to the sales page, they can’t make any money”.

Ian Kelly – VP Operations at NuLeafNaturals

 

Spreading knowledge leads to endless opportunities

“Your first info product should be about a topic that you can have hours’ worth of conversations with a stranger about, the subjects that makes your blood pumping with excitement. Take time to study how the content of other info Products similar to yours are creatively presented in a practical way.

Info products are a great way to spread knowledge that you feel strongly about and to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. You never know where your brand might end up and who might see your brand. It could lead to endless opportunities, as long as you put the time in and get better over time.”

Erin Rodriguez – Founder of dripacademy.org

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