As a freelancer, your website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. It helps you get discovered by new clients, provides information about the unique services that you offer, and builds your personal brand.
But, overseeing a website as a freelancer is a lot different than managing one for a company. You’re on your own when it comes to design, upkeep, and expansion. And, without the right tools, your workload can quickly pile up with tasks that keep your website running, rather than working for your clients.
If you built your site on WordPress, there are plenty of tools available designed specifically for freelancers. These plugins can automate your email campaigns, backup your data and contact information, and make managing your website a breeze.
In this post, we’ll review some of the best WordPress plugins for freelancers. We’ll explain what they do, what they cost, and why you might want one over another.
Best WordPress Plugins for Freelancers
A CRM is a handy tool for freelancers. It tracks customer communication and engagement and logs valuable information in one, accessible database.
That being said, a CRM isn't very useful on its own. It needs to be connected to your website, email, social media, and other marketing channels if you want to gather real-time data.
With the HubSpot WordPress plugin, you can connect your HubSpot CRM to your WordPress website. That way, any time someone fills out a form on your site or engages with one of your pages, that information is logged and stored on the visitor's contact page in your CRM. Having this information at your disposal can make or break a deal when trying to convert an interested prospect into a loyal customer.
2. Updraft Plus
There are few feelings that are worse than that split-second when you click, "delete" and suddenly realize that what you just deleted, was actually what you wanted to save. Now, it's gone to oblivion and there's no way of getting it back.
Or, so you thought.
With Updraft Plus, you can schedule routine backups, so your data is always saved to the cloud. Files are backed up automatically and can be restored with a single click — even if they've been deleted in your WordPress account.
This plugin is compatible with Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault, and most email providers.
Email is a cost-effective marketing tool. As a freelancer, you probably use it to communicate with clients and to send promotional information to your subscribers.
As your customer base grows, it can be difficult to keep up with email communication. You have more customers to manage, which means you have more email threads to respond to.
MailChimp is helpful because it automates email marketing. With this plugin, contacts who fill out a form on your site are automatically added to your MailChimp lists. This makes it easy to keep track of the information your clients have submitted as well as following up with them after they complete a form on your site. A quick response shows them that even though you're a one-person show, you're reliable and on top of customer communications.
Transactions are rarely fun when lawyers get involved. The intimidating offices, the formal paperwork, the pressure to sign without reading the packet of legal documents — it all adds up to a stressful experience for both you and your client.
Fortunately, you can skip the trip to a law office with Shake. Shake lets you draft, customize, and distribute legal documents for your clients.
You can draft up a casual agreement, a consulting proposal, or an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) all from your computer. The pre-made templates and handy guides make it simple to create professional legal documents without getting a lawyer involved.
Price: $40/year for Basic Plan, $80/year for Plus Plan, $150/year for Pro Plan, $300/year for Agency Plan
With Sprout Invoices, you can quickly create and send invoices to your clients.
This plugin allows you to leave a lasting impression on clients with customization options that instantly differentiate you from the other invoices in their inboxes.
Sprout Invoices also integrates with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe to make it easier for clients to pay you quickly. Other features include a client management system, multi-currency support, and customizable notifications.
There’s always a chance that leads will try to beat your price down as a freelancer. After all, you’re not a corporate company that has a chain of command to follow. You’re an independent contractor, and your customers might see your prices as negotiable.
Fortunately, with this simple plugin, you can give prospects or leads an idea of what your services will cost before they contact you. That way, you can avoid any awkward pricing conversations or stressful negotiations after a client shows interest.
And, not only will it filter out customers who don’t fit with your pricing, it will tell you which clients spend more than others. As you continue to work with the same clients and develop relationships, you can focus on the ones who are spending the most with your business.
As a freelancer, you likely work on several projects at the same time. And, as you grow and expand your customer base, it can be challenging to manage all these projects simultaneously. While you certainly don’t want to turn away more work, you also don’t want to miss a deadline and damage your reputation with current customers.
WordPress Project Manager takes the stress off your shoulders by helping you manage projects and clients with none of the fuss. Some of its features include a time-tracker, an hourly fee calculator, an interactive task calendar, and more.
All of these tools help you stay on top of projects and ensure you’re completing tasks before the deadline, thus keeping clients happy.
Social proof or testimonials are great for boosting your credibility and showing potential clients why they should hire you.
However, you might be too busy to ask for testimonials, or you might not know how to ask in a way that drives effective results. With the Strong Testimonials plugin, you can easily collect testimonials and display them on your website.
For display options, you can show off your client testimonials as a slider or in a static grid. Strong Testimonials also allows you to pull reviews from 3rd party sites like Yelp, making your testimonial page look even more credible to your target audience. Not only will visitors see the reviews you've posted, but also the ones your clients have posted on their own without you asking.
Choosing the Right Freelancer Plugins
If you’re a freelancer, these plugins can save you time and headache when it comes to organizing and sorting your work. When you have multiple projects to tackle, deadlines to meet, and several clients to keep happy, it never hurts to have a little support in your day-to-day workflow and that’s exactly what these tools will offer.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.