Other Small Business Tips

Top Sites and Useful Resources for Freelancers

The following list has been compiled from some of my favorite resources and tools! When setting up my own freelance business, I found many of these sites invaluable. I’ve tried to include mostly free and inexpensive tools in this article feature. I hope you find them useful. If you have a better resource , let us know and we’ll add it to the list!

FREELANCER

Marketing and Advertising resources

1. Adbrite
Text and banner ads on over 20,000 sites – reaches a lot of people for not a lot of money; campaigns  purchased on a CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), or CPV (cost per view) basis
2. AdEngage
Cost-effective text and image/text ads
3. Professional On The Web
My favorite freelancer listings site – free listing


Time Management
Tools to help you manage and  track your work.

1. SlimTimer
A Start/Stop little timer that tracks jobs on a main web interface  – create a free account
2. Tick
Timetracking application for tracking your budgets-Free version available and  free iphone app version available
3. FourteenDayz
Online time tracking -basic free version available

Invoicing
Ensure that you stay on top of your billing and invoicing!

1. MS Office Accounting Express
Free Microsoft Accounting program
2. SimplyBill
Easy to use invoicing software – basic free version available and free iphone app version available
3. Side Job Track
Free web-based  tracking, invoice, reporting and project management
4. Freshbooks
Tracks time, sends invoices by email or U.S. mail – free version and iphone app version available
5. InvoicePlace
Easy invoice tool – get quotes From anywhere  – free “lite” version available

Project Management
Manage projects, clients, and deadlines

1. Proposal Kit
Proposal and contract management tools
2. Ta-Da Lists
Free to-do list application that can be shared with the world
3. Writeboard
Web-based text documents that you save and share with others  – so you can collaborate and compare
4. Wridea
Organize and improve ideas – share your ideas with friends and clients
5. Toodledo
A web based to-do list – iphone app also available
6. MonkeyOn
A list application that sends task and job reminders to people
7. Remember The Milk
To-do, task, and reminder program – iphone version available

Stock Libraries
1. Istockphoto
Royalty free stock photography that you have to pay for but its probably the best available!
2. Stock.xchng
Free stock photography
3. Template Monster
Lots and lots of web templates!
4. Dafont
Best for free fonts
5. Vecteezy
Free vector stuff
6. Flasheezy
Flash stock – free!
7.Bittbox
All kinds of free stock, vector, flash and other “bitts”

Lead Generation, Networking, and Business Tools
1. Google Apps
Messaging, storage, file share etc – Communication and collaboration tools from Google
2. Zoho
Suite of free online web tools offering easy collaboration
3. Campfire
Invite a client, colleague, or vendor to chat, collaborate, and make decisions – conferencing and iphone version available (not free – will cost you)
4. Wufoo
Make forms to survey your clients – free version available
5. SBA (Small Business Administration)
Small Business help and advice
6. Moneybookers
Online payment system
7. Trendwatching
Trends and consumer insights resource
8. FaxZero
Faxes for Free via the web
9. eFax
Faxes for Free via the web

Legal
Forms and Advice

1. Designers Toolbox
Free legal forms for graphic designers (also has other great resources)
2. Copyright
US copyright and copyright forms
3. AIGA Form of Agreement
Essential form of agreement for design services template
4. CreativeCommons
Licensing and Licensing law – free tools to inform people how they can reuse and share your creative works

Job Boards
Find jobs and Leads

1. 37signals Job Board
Mostly full-time design and programming jobs
2. Authentic Jobs
Job board for freelance designers and developers
3. Coroflot Job Board
Designer centric job board
4. WebProJobs
Jobs for pro web esigners, developers, copywriters and marketers
5. Krop
Full time and freelance jobs for the Creative industry
6. FWjobs
Webcentric  jobs board
7. Guru
Freelancer listing service with job board
8. Elance
No.1 site for listing and freelance jobs
9. Odesk
The other major freelance job and project listing site

Web Tools
Tools to get your presence running and optimized

1. Squarespace
Build a website. Start a blog!
2. Rackspace
All kinds of hosting options
3. MyDomain
Low-priced domain registry
4. Media Temple
Simple and complex hosting options
5. LightCMS
Content management for designers and ad agencies
6. ExpressionEngine
The designers choice for content management system (CMS) app
9. Inblogit
A free blogging tool for web designers
10. PublicSquare
User-friendly web publishing
11. WordPress
The No.1 best blog management tool
Other useful sites and tools
1. StrongSpace
Back-up and store important files (invite only – either wait for a space to be free or be invited by another user)
2. You Send It
Send up to 2GB online
3. PowerXChange
Plugins for Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver
5. Box
Share, store and retrieve files online
6. Icebrrg
Simple web forms – $9 per month
7. Kuler
Color schemes and importable themes
8. Pixie/Nattyware
A color picking utility made especially for webmasters and designers
9. TechInline
Remote Desktop – $30 per month
10. Protolize
All the essential web tools you need in one place

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  • teo

    Wow, what a great list! Thanks for sharing, and it’s certainly useful. I’ll definitely be bookmarking, and putting most of those links to good use!

  • Great list! I’d also like to add http://www.freelanceshack.com to the list for useful tips and resources for freelancers.

  • This is a great resource list. Thanks for putting together, I’ve already shared with a few friends!
    TM

  • Thanks. This is helpful.

  • Wow so helpful! Great blog, thanks for sharing!

  • Jay

    Just an FYI, Your link above to FWjobs goes to a job site for Fisheries & Wildlife Employment Opportunities. Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you…very informative!

  • Nia

    Thanks for sharing these excellent resources!

  • Preston Alexander

    Many thanks!

    This is a superb collection of valuable links — much appreciated.

    Preston
    Rock Street Studios
    Fall River, MA.

  • Another useful tool is http://www.wetransfer.com. Transfer up to 2 gigs for free and it’s super easy!

  • don’t forget brandsoftheworld.com – vector art for logos
    and another font site fontspace.com

  • This is an awesome collection. Thank you for putting it together! 🙂

  • Wow!!! What a comprehensive and valuable list of resources. Thank you!!!

  • Thank you so much…you will be my first choice for all my printing needs going forward…until i buy a print company.

  • Pamela

    Great information! Thank you for sharing!

  • Great info, I didn’t know about half of the links.

    Thanks!

  • Thanks for the very usefull information!

    Jay Jetty
    Carpet Cleaning Pahrump

    Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas

  • joe

    that is a great list… thank you!

    Another great program people might want to check out is Mac Freelance.

    Great for keeping track of hour, clients, billing, taxes, expenses and more.
    Best 100 bucks i’ve ever spent.

  • Your stock library list is good, but it doesn’t include any audio. I recommend Productiontrax as a stock site for photos, video, music, and sfx.

  • Thanks for a great posting as always…www.pelayodesigns.com

  • Great info but with the royalty free stock artwork you’ve gotta check out 123rf.com. It’s a lot cheaper than istockphoto.

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

  • Nice!

  • A terrific article with excellent ideas.