Freelancing is more than just independently doing client work on a sunny beach as you listen to the waves crash. Freelance consultants actually own and operate small businesses that require project management skills, financial acumen, and marketing knowledge.
However, it’s impossible (and unreasonable) for freelancers to have expertise in every aspect of their business. That’s where WordPress plugins can step in to help freelancers with their invoicing, social media, and websites.
Ready to improve your business? Check out these six WordPress plugins for freelance consultants.
1. WP Project Manager
Research shows that the majority of freelancers work on multiple projects at a time. As a freelance consultant, you’re juggling multiple tasks at once. You’re helping various clients design logos, write articles, and solve complex issues. So, it makes sense to organize your responsibilities with a project management tool.
WP Project Manager helps you self-manage your clients and tasks without the hassle. It comes with a built-in time tracker for you to keep a log of when you start and stop projects. You can even calculate the hourly fee to invoice your clients. The interactive task calendar provides daily, weekly, and monthly views of your task timelines with a drag-and-drop feature.
With this plugin, you’ll work and deliver projects in a timely manner. No more missing deadlines because you forgot to add it to your to-do list. Instead, you can use WP Project Manager to create and assign tasks faster.
2. Yoast SEO
An online presence is essential for freelancers to attract new clients. So, you’ll want to build a website to educate potential clients about your small business. However, for your site to appear in Google or Bing results, you need to implement search engine optimization best practices.
Yoast SEO helps freelancers rank on the top pages of search engines. This plugin offers title tag and meta description templating, a content readability analysis, and complete control of your website’s breadcrumbs. You’ll know how to improve your site before you hit publish.
3. Constant Contact Forms
A study found that over one-third of freelancers use an online portfolio to market themselves. Online portfolios are an effective tool for helping freelancers showcase their work. You can maximize your marketing efforts by adding a signup form to your site.
Constant Contact Forms makes it simple to capture your potential clients’ contact information. You can customize the forms to collect details relevant to your industry. For instance, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you may include form fields for the type of color, size, or design of an image.
This plugin optimizes forms to fit the mobile screens of your visitors. Plus, you can add all the new email addresses to your Constant Contact lists.
4. WordPress to Buffer
Social media still reigns as a powerful channel to market products and services. Major well-known brands like Wendy’s and Nike use their social media accounts to spread product messages and listen to customers. In a similar way, freelancers can get on Facebook to discuss their new services and learn from potential clients.
“Having an authentic voice on social media is important, but not as easy as it sounds. It’s important because it humanizes your brand – whether that’s a company big or small, or a personal brand – and encourages people to respond and talk about you positively,” writes Mike Eckstein, a product marketer at Buffer.
With the WordPress to Buffer plugin, you can save a few hours in your work schedule. This tool automatically posts your social media content to your Buffer account for scheduled publishing to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you upgrade, you also get full image control and bulk publishing of old posts.
5. Testimonials Slider
Word-of-mouth marketing is a key part of bringing new clients to your business. Nearly a third of freelancers find work through referrals. Once a referral lands on your site, the next step is to showcase your satisfied previous clients.
Testimonials offer an honest perspective of how your work has made an impact on your clients. Your testimonials should provide a quote from the client and the person’s name and title. A pro tip is to use quotes that explicitly state how your product or service improved your client’s business or life.
You can display your testimonials on your site using the Testimonials Slider plugin. Choose from multiple layouts, like columns, sliders, and grids, to arrange your testimonials. You also can select one of the six ready-to-use templates if you’re short on time.
6. Sprout Invoices
Freelancers don’t have a regular payday, like salaried employees. They must invoice their clients for work to get paid.
Sprout Invoices allows you to create invoices for your clients in minutes, rather than hours. In the plugin’s dashboard, you can customize the invoice template to match your brand by changing the logo and header background. You also can set pre-defined line items for each client.
“There is no exact format that you should use for your invoice, but certain items are expected. By law, you must include your name, address and VAT number (if registered) plus the name and postal address of the client in question. It’s also helpful to add other items, such as your bank details and terms of payment,” states Katy Cowan, the editor of Creative Boom.
For some freelance consultants, it’s a frustrating process that takes up a lot of time in their day. This WordPress plugin is available to streamline your accounting approach.
Essential WordPress Plugins for Freelancers
Not only do freelance consultants manage their client work, but they also must run every part of their small business. WordPress plugins make the process easier for freelancers by keeping track of their projects, adding testimonials to their websites, and posting social media content.
For more help building out your freelance website on WordPress, check out our review of the Best WordPress Themes for Freelancers.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.