It’s no secret that the onsight of the pandemic significantly changed the American job market. Sudden layoffs had workers searching for remote work, and folks turned to platforms like Upwork or Fiverr in the hopes of earning money through the gig economy.
But it wasn’t just those who lost their jobs who were exploring their options. Full-time employees across a variety of industries saw the lockdown as an opportunity to reflect on what they wanted for their work and their life, resulting in millions of U.S. workers pursuing new ventures in the form of self-employment.
Over two years later, freelancing work, part-time side hustles, and self-employment is still a popular and thriving career path. As the Great Resignation continues to trend upward, it’s clear to experts this is much more than a pandemic trend. In March 2022, 4.53 million workers quit their jobs (a notable increase from November 2021’s high of 4.51 million).
If you’re planning to leave your full-time job to pursue freelance work or small business ownership— congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey to build the career and work environment you’ve always wanted.
It won’t be easy, but Lumanu is here to share resources and tools for a smooth transition. Here, we’re breaking down the five must-have tools to launch your freelance business.
1. Squarespace for website hosting and building
Because freelance work is more popular than ever, it’s important to find a way to stand out online. Squarespace is the website builder that makes it easy.
Your potential clients and customers need to feel confident you’re qualified for the job and gain an understanding of what the experience of working together will be like before they hire you. Your website will serve as a home base to share your skill set, personality, and the freelance jobs you offer.
Squarespace is a one-stop shop to secure a domain and build a website that sells you and your product or service. With your membership, you’ll gain access to dozens of website templates so you can choose the perfect wireframe to customize and create a crisp & professional display of the type of work you do.
Beyond the visual aesthetics, Squarespace also provides data analytics and integration of extensions like Shopify, social media channels, and email marketing platforms — all of which are essential assets for freelance business owners.
2. Notion for project management and note-taking
The flexibility to “be your own boss” means you have to find tools to manage the backend of your freelance business. Without the systems & processes a traditional job provides, freelancers often find themselves lost in a Google Doc filled with project notes, ideation, and business development brainstorms. Notion is the workspace to help you manage everything — from client projects to product ideas to meeting notes and everything in between.
Notion stands out among the many project management tools because it’s completely customizable. You can drag and drop documents, tables, and lists to curate the perfect dashboard for your workflow.
Another important feature is that as your freelance business grows, Notion will grow with you. You have the ability to share workspaces and collaborate with clients, peers, or independent contractors. Whatever a project calls for, Notion will help you organize it all.
3. Flodesk for email marketing
Email marketing is a must for growing your audience, cultivating trust, and selling your freelance offerings. While social media content is a great tool to share and sell what you do, emails still pack an important punch. In 2021, 64% of small businesses reported that they use email marketing to reach customers — proving the strategy has a consistent ROI.
Flodesk is the email platform that checks every box. It’s intuitive to use, seamless to manage, and accessible for do-it-yourself designers. Flodesk members can send branded marketing emails, create opt-in forms, and build & automate email sequences for segmented audiences.
And if you’re curious to learn more about the power of strategic email marketing, Flodesk University is a free and fantastic resource for freelancers who need reliable tips on how to market a small business.
4. Canva for content creation
Budgeting for business-building is a common obstacle for workers leaving full-time employment to pursue freelance opportunities. We can all agree that content creation is important, but many newbie freelancers don’t have room in their budget to hire a designer to manage Instagram graphics and reels.
If this is you, Canva is going to be your best friend. Whether you’re using the free or premium version of the tool, Canva makes it easy for anyone to design on-brand and high-quality graphics for any platform.
And it doesn’t stop at social media. Inside the platform, you and your collaborators can create a variety of supportive content & materials — PDF lead magnets, project proposals, pitch decks, printable posters, and much much more.
5. Lumanu for sending and receiving payments
We couldn’t leave out the essential (and best!) part of freelance work — a system for getting paid.
Lumanu offers a free invoicing app for self-employed freelancers and a business membership for growing brands & small businesses. Within both models, our goal is to take the stress out of getting paid so you can focus on the work you love to do.
Not only does our platform make it simple to send and receive payments, we also manage everything that comes along with it. That includes sending email reminders to your clients about upcoming payments, managing tax forms and vendor onboarding, and ensuring you always get paid via our instant cashout option, EarlyPay.
Freelance gig work can be a financial mess without the right systems to help you collect and report the money you’re making. Lumanu is the only invoicing and financing tool designed specifically for freelancers, influencers, and creative brands to send and receive payments, totally hassle-free.
Whether you’re in pursuit of freelance work to secure additional income, to achieve a better work-life balance, or as a short-term employment solution, remember that this is your opportunity to take control over your career path.
The team at Lumanu is available to offer support as you use your knowledge, dedication, and creative gifts to do work that you love. We’re rooting for you! Get the FREE Lumanu app today to get started.