10 Tools To Help You Collaborate With Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer can be a challenging, but exciting process for companies and entrepreneurs. Freelancers can help your company in a variety of ways. Your freelancers may help with content creation, social media management, data entry, et cetera. I want to help you improve the entire process of hiring and working with freelancers by introducing you to a few tools. I have tools in the following categories:

  • Hiring and Scouting Freelancers

  • Freelancer Communication and Productivity

  • Delivering Freelancer Work

  • Paying Your Freelancers

Hopefully, the tools I share with you today will help you create a better relationship with the freelancers who will help guide your company onward and upward.

10 Tools To Help You Collaborate With Freelancers | From hiring freelancers to paying them what they are worth, I have the tools you need to collaborate with your favorite people. Go through this list with your team so you know all the tools you need to look into before you hire your first freelancer.

Hiring And Scouting Freelancers

The first step to collaborating with freelancers is hiring the perfect freelancer for your project. There are a variety of ways to find the best freelancer including doing a quick Google search for freelancers in your niche. I have found that LinkedIn and Upwork are great places to sleuth out freelancers if you are looking to speed up the search process.

Related Reading: Seven Signs You're Ready To Hire A Freelancer


LinkedIn Freelancer Tools

LinkedIn is a professional communication website that is also a great place for scouting potential freelancer talent. Many freelancers use the platform to showcase their talents, blog posts, projects, and more. LinkedIn provides many paid tools for connecting with potential employees and freelancers, but you can do a ton without paying for a costly LinkedIn Recruiter account. Of course, those accounts exist for a reason, and you get added tools with those accounts. You can do a ton of sleuthing on your own, though, to find freelancers to hire. Here are some places you may want to check:

  • Groups: Freelancers are quite active in LinkedIn Groups. You may be able to find a freelancer that meets your standards by seeing who posts in groups.

  • Hashtags: Hashtags are becoming increasingly popular on LinkedIn. The pound sign has become a great way to categorize information on the internet. Look for people using hashtags like #FreelanceWriter or #GraphicDesigner.

  • Search: It may take some time, but you can search for freelancers in specific niches. Since you don’t have a ton of information about these people other than the fact that the word “freelancer” is in their profile, you’ll have to dig deeper to see how they can help you.


Upwork Freelancer Tools

Another great way to sleuth freelancers is by using a freelancing platform like Upwork. Upwork was built for companies and entrepreneurs to hire freelancers quickly and easily. There a ton of freelancers to cycle through on the platform. There are a few different ways to hire on Upwork:

  • Post a job on Upwork. If you post a job on Upwork, you will receive various applications from Upworkers across the platform. It will be your job after you receive these applications to go through them, categorize them, and decide who is the best fit for your open position.

  • Use the freelancer search tool to reach out to freelancers directly. You will still have to post a job on Upwork to invite that freelancer personally to your position. When you invite the freelancer you potentially want to work with, create a more personal invitation. Let them know that you have checked out their profile and you are incredibly interested in working with them. Freelancers get many invitations to random jobs, and it's always better when potential employers make more of an effort on those invitations.

Note: If you use Upwork to hire a freelancer, you cannot pay them outside of the Upwork platform. It’s against the rules and can get you, and the freelancer, banned from the website.

Related Reading: 10 Important Lessons I Have Learned Freelancing On Upwork

Freelance Communication And Productivity

So, you’ve found the perfect freelancer, and you are working on the project. Once you are in this stage, communication and productivity are essential. Your freelancers should always know what the next step in your plan is. Tools like Asana, Slack, and, Trello help you communicate effectively and get things checked off your to-do list!


Asana Freelancer Tools

With Asana it is supremely simple to keep track of your workflow and assign tasks to various freelancers and employees. The best part of Asana? This tool is entirely free for teams of up to 15 people. This means that your small, scrappy team can use Asana to become more productive, without spending a dime.

Now, there are specific tools that may make you want to start paying for Asana sooner. If you need to buy Asana, you need to buy it for at least five people. Most small businesses will probably only need to use Asana's free plan though.

Asana is a great tool to use because you can take it on the go with the Asana mobile app or connect with your to-do list on any computer. Your freelancers will always be able to see the content that you assign to them, and you can give them access to the calendars they need while removing them from calendars that don’t pertain to them.


Slack Freelancer Tools

Slack’s slogan is “Where Work Happens,” and this is the case for thousands of companies across the world. Slack is a communication tool that you can use to chat with your freelancers and employees. You can create relevant rooms so teams can work together, and you can message with people privately to get tasks done more efficiently.

The best part about Slack is its robust app library. You can add apps like Google Calendar, Zoom, and Dropbox which brings sites you already know into your team’s Slack. Alternatively, you can explore a bunch of smaller bots and apps that help with things like employee engagement and company culture such as AttendanceBot, Ally, or Disco. Slack has apps across a ton of categories.

Overall, Slack is an innovative application that will change the way your employees and freelancers communicate. Plus, you can access it on desktop and mobile!


Trello Freelancer Tools

I personally love Asana and use it to manage my freelance life, but I know that not everyone likes Asana's style. Some people thrive when their work is managed more visually, and that's where Trello comes in handy.

Trello is a card-based system of productivity. It’s highly customizable to fit the needs of your company. This flexibility is why so many people gravitate toward using Trello as their calendar management system. With Trello, you can create boards that are as simple as a few sections with your to-dos and dones, or you can build more complex work systems.

Trello lets you be very creative in how things look and run within the boards, which may be daunting for some people who want to spill stuff into a system and start being productive right away. For those who love the freedom, though, Trello can be a fantastic system.

Delivering Freelance Work

Once the work is complete and you need to see the finished project, it’s time to get the work delivered. There are so many tools for delivering work, and it depends on the relationship you’ve built with your freelancer.

Some freelancers will want to send you a preview of the work while not giving you the complete project until you’ve paid. Other freelancers may give you the work and bill you later or come up with a deposit that you need to pay before work is delivered.

Either way, they need to get the work from their computer to your computer. Tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and LastPass can help your freelancer deliver work to you when necessary.


Dropbox Freelancer Tools

One of the simplest ways to get your freelance work delivered is via Dropbox. Here is how that system might work:

  • Your freelancer can upload the file to their Dropbox and give you a link to the file from there, although, that may be just the same as them attaching the content in an email.

  • You can create a shared folder that will give them the opportunity to upload documents for you to view. This is a much better solution, and this will allow you to collaborate on and organize freelancer work quickly and easily.

Overall, Dropbox is a simple way to transfer files without making emails too bulky or hard to manage. Dropbox handles a ton of different file types which makes it ideal, even if you are getting more than a blog post from a freelancer.

Google Drive

Google Drive Freelancer Tools

When it comes to delivering freelancer projects, Google Drive is definitely the best tool you can use. Plus, Google Drive is a free tool that so many people already have access to if they use GSuite or have a regular Google account.

I create Google Drive folders for all of my clients. Sometimes I share a folder with them, while sometimes I share the links to individual posts depending on the relationship we’ve built together.

Overall, Google Drive is a great space to create and share documents, slides, spreadsheets, and so much more. Even if you aren't sharing Google Docs, you can also upload other file types for easy sharing to Google Drive just in case you need to share different file types or videos. If you are sharing documents, slides, spreadsheets, et cetera, you can usually download those documents in other formats like Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints.


LastPass Freelancer Tools

Depending on the freelancer relationship that you have built, you may be doing more than just sharing documents. Some freelancers log in to the backend of your websites or into your social media platforms. If this is the case, you need to share passwords with them discreetly and safely. A great way to do this is by using the website and mobile application LastPass.

LastPass makes it easy to share a variety of passwords with freelancers. You can give them access to specific passwords, and they can quickly use the website, browser extension, or mobile app to log in to your sites.

There will be no more shuffling through emails or being asked for the millionth time to resend that password over to your freelancer. They can access the passwords from wherever, and when the relationship is over, you can revoke their access to your passwords so you can change them. Simple as that! I love this blog from LastPass which gives you more information on safely sharing passwords.

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Improve Online Security In Your Company

Paying Your Freelancers

Last, but certainly not least, you need to pay freelancers for their hard work. There are many tools for handling and sending invoices to clients. I’ve found that Freshbooks and PayPal are some of the easiest to use tools for your freelancers to set up and get paid. Work with your freelancer to find a solution that works for both of you.

Related Reading: Freelancer Not Free: 7 Things That Should Guide Your Freelance Pricing Strategy Every Time


Freshbooks Freelancer Tools

There are so many ways that your freelancer can bill you. One way that's a bit more robust is by using Freshbooks. Freshbooks can sync with your bank so your freelancers can charge you for any expenses. It also makes sending invoices incredibly easy. You can pay Freshbooks invoices with a credit card or PayPal depending on how your freelancer has these payments set up.

One thing I love about Freshbooks is the ability for your freelancer to track their time using the Freshbooks website, app, and browser extension. No more wondering where the time went because your freelancer can track their time with confidence.

One downside that your freelancer may not like is that Freshbooks starts at $15 a month for just five clients. While it has some positives with it’s tracking abilities, most freelancers work with many clients, so five wouldn’t be enough. Luckily, the next plan up is just $25, and it allows your freelancer to work with 50 clients!


PayPal Freelancer Tools

For a more straightforward approach to billing, you can see if your freelancers would like to use Paypal. Paypal has a ton of excellent features that help you use it as a business tool.

Ask your freelancer to send you an invoice using Paypal. They can quickly create an invoice that they can send to you via the Paypal interface OR they can grab the link and email it to you personally.

Paypal does take a small fee from your freelancer, but that can be written off as a business expense for them. This tool should help you better understand Paypal fees and how they affect your freelancers.

Overall, you can expect that most tools will take a fee from your freelancer, but most freelancers will likely be willing to take a chance because these tools are more easily trackable over a paper check sent to them in the mail.

My clients love how easy it is to pay PayPal invoices. I mostly use PayPal to send invoices to my clients.


Technology has changed the way that we work together. There are many fantastic tools that I didn't even get to touch on during this blog post. I know that you will continue to find amazing and helpful tools. I am excited to see what you find! Please don't hesitate to reach out to show me the latest, greatest tools. My inbox is always open via my contact page!

I cannot wait to see how these tools transform the relationships you build with freelancers.

8 Ways To Improve Online Security In Your Company

With a new data breach in the news every month, you need to improve online security in your company. People are beginning to trust companies with their information less, and that is not great for anyone. Today's blog will provide some quick, practical tips to help you increase online security.

8 Ways To Improve Online Security In Your Company | With a new data breach in the news every month, your company needs to take company security seriously! Click through for a post that will help you improve online security in your company right now! #SmallBusiness #SmallBusinessTips #EntrepreneurTips

1. Update Usernames/Passwords

I know this seems like common sense, but people don't update usernames and passwords often enough.

You should prompt members of your company to change their passwords once every couple months.

Yes, it's annoying, but it also helps your company stay on top of online security.

While you are at it, purge usernames and passwords to your website every blue moon too. That freelancer you worked with six months ago probably doesn't need a ton of access to your site anymore, so you should revoke some access or delete them.

2. Switch To An HTTPS Website

If you want to improve online security in your company, you must switch to an HTTPS website as soon as possible.

Having a secure website will help protect your site immensely, and Google has been taking actions against sites who are still "HTTP" sites for the last year and some change.

I know that getting a security certificate can be a pain, but trust me, confidence in your site will take an uptick, and Google will love your site again.

Check out this post from Google all about why HTTPS matters.

Also, if you'd like more information about what an SSL certificate is and how it impacts your website, I love this guide written by PixelPrivacy that covers the SSL certificate debate in much more detail.

3. Get Security Monitoring For Your Site

The next step to improve online security for your company is to get security monitoring for your site. Security monitoring will make sure that you are alerted if anything out of the ordinary finds its way into the backend of your website.

You may also want to hire someone to maintain your site. Make sure they log in daily to check around, make sure everything is running smoothly, and clean up/update anything that needs it.

Whether you get a person or software to monitor your site, your company webpage will benefit greatly from some extra protection.

4. Add More Admins To Your Site

You should never be the only person with admin access to your website if you want to improve online security in your company.

Whether you have one of your other email addresses added or you have another person on your team added, add a couple of new people to your admin roster.

If you make changes at your company, make sure that you go in to update admin and user status on the backend of your website. You don't want too many cooks in the kitchen, especially if they don't work for you anymore!

5. Use A Password Manager Like LastPass


But, I honestly love using password managers.

I hate remembering passwords and coming up with elaborate passwords for my websites.

LastPass helps me remember all my passwords, and they can come up with hard to crack, complicated passwords with the click of a button.

Password managers like LastPass have had some not so hot news in the past about how they manage the passwords they collect. Overall, though, using LastPass is so much easier than using a piece of paper that you will probably lose.

I love that LastPass has mobile apps and Chrome extensions, so I have to click a few buttons to enter my information across devices.

There are other password manager options out there, but I only have experience with LastPass. Pick the platform that you trust and works for your company though.

6. Don't Try To Handle Malicious Attacks On Your Own

The next thing you want to consider if you're going to improve online security in your company is how you handle malicious attacks. As a business, you have a lot of people depending on your company. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your customers is to hire someone to help you handle malicious attacks.

Don't try to connect with the attackers on your own. This is how malicious attacks turn into more dire situations.

Ask someone in your technology department or hire someone outside your company to help you handle the situation.

7. Alert Customers Of Data Breaches As Quickly As Possible

If you have a data breach, you need to let customers know as quickly as possible.

Knowledge is power and trust.

When you go to your customers about the data breach:

  • Have information about how the data breach happened.

  • Create an action plan featuring how you protected their information after the data breach and what you will do in the future to make sure this won't happen again (as much as you can prevent things like this.)

  • Be understanding if people are frustrated with your company, you breached their data, after all.

  • Provide support for people who experienced negative effects due to your data breach. People trusted you with your data since you betrayed that trust, you need to make up for it.

Data breaches are becoming more common, but that doesn't mean you should feel comfortable with them. If your company wants to handle data, you must hold yourself to a higher standard!

8. Be Wary Of Attachments And Things That You Add To Your Site

Last, but not least, be wary of any attachments you open or things that you add to your site.

Get anti-virus software for your computer so you can check attachments before you open them.

You should also only add plugins or extras to your site that come from reputable sources. Always look at reviews before you add something to your site!

You Are Ready To Improve Online Security In Your Company

This is a simple guide, but this will help you greatly when your company needs to improve online security.

If your company handles sensitive information, you need to be aware that data breaches and other awful online security issues can happen at any moment.

You have to be prepared and ready for to take next steps if something unfortunate were to happen to your data.

Your Task: Create An Action Plan

You should work closely with your technology department to come up with an action plan. What will you do if your data is breached? Come up with an action plan so that you can jump into action as soon as something like this were to happen. You always want to be proactive instead of reactive, so plan for these things today!

A Simple Step-By-Step Guide To Build Your Beautiful Freelance Website In A Week

In 2017, I spent a lot of my time as a freelancer on Upwork. While all my clients are still coming from Upwork, I wanted to spend 2018 building up my freelance website. Eventually, I know that this will begin to bring freelance clients my way. Building my freelance website came together pretty quickly after I had a few elements in place. Today I wanted to share some resources with you on how I created my writing website.

*This post contains affiliate links.

A Simple Step-By-Step Guide To Build Your Beautiful Freelance Website In A Week | Do you want to build a freelance website that will attract clients? Today's blog post will give you a step-by-step guide to creating your freelance website this week.

1. Pick A Domain Name

Your domain name is so important when you create a freelance website. You want your domain name to be easy to remember, so don't forget that.

When it comes to domain names, use a .com if possible. This site is a .co because amandacross.com is expensive to purchase and I don't have hundreds of dollars to buy it at the moment.

You also want to stay away from dashes in your domain name if possible.

If you want a .com, but it's taken, try adding a word or two on the end, as long as the word isn't too long. For example, last year I bought amandacrossblog.com when I had a business blog.

Special Tip:

This has never been strictly proven, but I have heard too many horror stories. Some people wanted a domain name, searched for it, came back to purchase it, and a domain squatter took it. Never search for a domain name unless you are ready to hit buy. My suggestion? Do all your domain name thinking on paper, list them out from most wanted name to least wanted name, and then search until you find the name highest on the list that's not taken. That way, if you ever wish to use those other names that were lower on the list, there will be no trace of you searching for them.

Where do you purchase your domain at, though? I am a big fan of Namecheap. I have bought probably a dozen domain names from Namecheap over the years, and they continue to be my favorite place. Here's why:

  • They are pretty cheap: I can get most domains from them for about $10 a year.

  • They come with a year of WhoIsGuard: Have you ever got a domain name and then your email inbox and phone looks like spam city? It's because you didn't protect your info and people scrape that data to sell to new website owners. All Namecheap domain names come with a free year of WhoIsGuard, and it's a lifesaver. After the year, it's only $2.88/year which is cheaper than most companies.

Overall, Namecheap is an excellent service to go with because it's reliable. I have never had bad service with them, and they price things reasonably.

2.Pick A Platform

Before you create your site, you need to pick a platform to build your site on. There are many options to do this, but I think the most viable are Wordpress.org or Squarespace.

I have a blog on Squarespace, and to be honest, it can get somewhat pricey to host a site there. Currently, the lowest Squarespace plan is $12 per month billed annually or $16 month-to-month. Plus, on that plan, you don't get that many features as it's for personal use. The best plan would be the business plan, but that starts at $18 a month billed annually or $26 month-to-month. While I am on Squarespace, I don't recommend it much because it's not as cost-effective as it used to be.

On the other hand, Squarespace is very intuitive and has a drag and drop quality about it. If you want to manipulate your website and make it do what you want without technical skill, Squarespace may be the way to go.

Wordpress.org itself is free if you have something to host it on (which we will talk about next.) I used to be afraid of Wordpress.org, but it does depend on your host and your theme. Don't be scared to branch out into the world of hosting your site.

3. If You Go With Wordpress.org, Pick Hosting

Picking a host can make or break your Wordpress.org experience. When I was on Wordpress.org in the past, I had a bad experience because my host was constantly going in and out. I used Bluehost, which I am sure has been updated a million times over since I hosted my site in 2015.

This time though, I picked SiteGround as my host, and I have never loved a platform more.

Here are some reasons that I love SiteGround:

  • Uptime Is Great: Seriously, my site has never gone down in the few months that I have been hosting this site with SiteGround. It's phenomenal.

  • Customer Service Is Awesome: I have talked with customer service quite a few times since I started, and they never disappoint. I always get my questions answered quickly.

  • Free Basic SSL Certificate: SiteGround provides a free SSL certificate with each account. It's their basic Let's Encrypt SSL certificate which will be great for most freelancers. If you need something more robust, you can pay to upgrade your certificate.

  • Different Plans To Fit Your Needs: I love that SiteGround has various shared hosting and even cloud hosting and dedicated servers for sites that need a little something extra.

I do want to say that Namecheap does offer hosting plans, but I cannot vouch for their hosting plans because I have only ever used them for domain names.

4. Pick A Theme

When you first install your Wordpress.org blog, it will probably be ugly, and you will wonder why people like self-hosting at all. You have to be willing to invest a little bit of money into a beautiful theme so that you can easily create a website that looks beautiful out of the box. If you know how to code, though, you may be able to create your website from scratch. I wasn't one of those people who knew how to code, though, so I picked up a theme for my site.

Here are a couple of Wordpress.org themes I recommend because I have tried them before or they are my current theme:

Themes are great because once you install them on your Wordpress site (or on any site that you choose a theme for), you can customize them to fit the needs of your color scheme and your branding. Themes make you look professional and they are so much easier than hand coding your entire site!

You may want to get a designer in the future to create a custom site, but when you are beginning, I encourage you to pick a theme instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a custom design.

5. Create Your Freelance Writing Pages

Now that you have selected a theme and customized it to your liking, it's time to create some pages for your blog. Here are some of the most important pages on your site. I am linking my examples of these pages below.

About (My About Page)

When you are building your freelance website, start with your About Me page. What do you want people to know about you? This page should be used to tell them what you can do for them as a freelancer. You don't want to spend the entire page talking about random things about yourself.

While my about me is technically about me, it's not a traditional "about me." I focus on my background as a freelance writer and why I would be an excellent choice. I also share some random facts at the bottom of the page, but they aren't the primary source of content on my about me page.

Hire Me (My Hire Me Page)

This is the page where you get deeper into the services that you offer and the clients that you serve. You may also want to share your prices on this page as well if you already have them in order. Sharing prices is not always ideal for all freelancers, though, so it's up to you if you want to publish your rates.

Portfolio (My Portfolio Page)

Some plugins make portfolios easier, but they aren't necessary. I load everything on to my portfolio page by hand. This page is essential to keep up with your current work examples. Compile a list, and be sure to introduce the post if you have the space to explain your portfolio items.

Testimonials (My Testimonials Page)

People want to know how others felt about working with your brand, so let them know! Compile a list of testimonials and share what you did for each client. If you have pictures of the client or even a video from the client--that's even better!

Contact (My Contact Page)

Last, but not least, you want to include a Contact page. I use the plugin Contact Form 7 to create an easy to use contact form for my brand. People are easily able to contact me, and it gets sent straight to my inbox. I also have my social media accounts and email address listed on the page.

6. If You Need Samples, Start A Blog

As a starting freelancer, you may not have an abundance of samples to put in your portfolio. Start a blog for any sample, especially writing samples.

If you aren't a freelance writer, you can still publish examples of graphic design work, branding, etc. on a blog post so you have them published somewhere that people can easily see.

I had a few different writing samples, but I wanted to start a blog, so potential companies that I would be working with knew my exact writing style.

Related Reading: Use These 16 Content Ideas To Get High-Quality Traffic To Your Site In 2018 (And Beyond)

A Simple Step-By-Step Guide To Build Your Beautiful Freelance Website In A Week

7. Start Your Mailing List ASAP

I know what you are thinking:

If I am a freelancer, why do I need a mailing list?

Well, the answer is simple: you never know what your next step will be.

Having an email list allows you to grow your brand and reach out to the awesome people who are interested in hiring you.

They may not want to bite right away. They may be interested in seeing the other things you have to offer them first like your social media insights, emails, and other communications.

Creating an email list also allows you to sell them on other things later.

For example, if you are a freelance graphic designer who creates social media graphics. A user may love your stuff, but they can't afford your prices. Down the line, you may decide to create some general social media graphics templates to generate some passive income.

You can email your engaged list about these general social media graphics, and that person who wanted to buy from you now has a more accessible point of entry to your services. If they love the general social media graphics, they may even hire you to create custom ones for their brand in the future.

This same strategy can be used for various freelance industries. For instance: maybe you are a freelance writer who eventually decides to sell PLR content, or you are a freelance publicist, and you eventually decide to sell an ebook with some basic tips for getting publicity for your company.

You can use your email list to let people know of other things you have up your sleeve. If you didn't have an email list with an enticing content upgrade, you might lose these clients forever if they forget you exist. With an active email list, you can capture these people and follow-up with them as you offer more services and more information on your site.

8. Get On The Right Social Media Networks

Freelancing requires you to be social. You can often find a lot of clients on social media. I would suggest the following social media networks:

  • LinkedIn

  • Twitter

  • Facebook (especially Facebook Groups)

You can obviously pick whichever networks speak to you, but I encourage those social media networks more than anything else.

Take it one step at a time, but make sure that you aren't staying in your bubble. You want to get out there, post about your services as much as possible. People will eventually bite as long as you are doing the hard work.

Related Reading: Your Ultimate 6-Step Guide To Using LinkedIn For Freelancers; Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Strategic Ways To Increase Your Twitter Reach

9. Add Your Site To Google Search Console

Last, but not least, add your site to Google Search Console. I explain how to do this at length in my SEO e-book that you can download using the opt-in form at the end of this post.

A lot of people think you have to wait to submit your site, but you can submit your site as early as you want to and Google will continue to update your catalog of content as you put out more pages and posts.

Google can only recommend you if they know you exist. Google provides so many page views to sites across the world, wouldn't it be great if they could offer page views on your site too? Submitting your site only takes a couple of minutes, and you will be setting yourself up for a great future of page views from Google as they begin to process your posts and how valuable they are to potential readers.

Setting your site up with Google Search Console is a necessary step for setting up your freelance website in my opinion.


Setting up your freelance website takes time, but once it's complete, you will have an excellent website that can attract clients no matter your freelance niche. Take the time to start setting up your freelance website today; you won't regret it, I promise!

Freelance Website Inspiration

Here are a couple of examples of freelance websites so you can get some inspiration for how you want your website to look.