If you’re a budding freelance graphic designer, you probably know about tools such as Zoho, Upwork, Adobe Creative Suite and Freshbooks. These are all great tools for marketing and managing your business, but there are lesser-known alternatives that are just as good (and often much cheaper). A penny saved is a penny earned, so the following lists five lesser-known tools you can use to jump-start your freelance graphic designer career.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, Plutio might be just what you need. The extensive platform makes it easy to create professional-looking proposals, and help you land new clients, track billable hours, send invoices and process payments.
It even comes packaged with a CRM and branded client portal so you can manage projects. Pricing starts at $15 per month for a single user (and $20 per month if you want the client portal).
Though Upwork is one of the most popular places to find freelance graphic design jobs, lesser-known job boards such as Giggrabbers can make it easier to land clients. You’ll face less competition and potentially earn better pay: A quick browse through open projects revealed a packaging design job for $1,000 to $2,000 and a photo retouching job for $250 to $1,000.
Like all freelance job boards, there are still some low-budget projects. But for freelancers who are just starting out, the reduced competition can make Giggrabbers a good place to land your first clients.
Invoice Ninja makes it easy to send professional-looking, branded invoices to clients and integrates with more than 40 payment gateways, but it’s more than an invoicing tool. You also get time tracking, project management and proposals, plus auto-billing and recurring invoices.
The best part? It’s free forever for up to 100 clients. After that, pricing starts at $8 per month.
QuickBooks has long been the gold standard for small business accounting, but many users find it cumbersome and confusing. Enter Less Accounting. The platform was created to simplify accounting, so you can spend more time earning money and less time managing it.
Less Accounting was created specifically for businesses with less than 20 employees or less than $10 million in revenue. It eschews the advanced features found in QuickBooks for a simple platform that’s designed to “get you in and out of our app as fast as possible.” Pricing starts at $20 per month for the accounting platform, which includes invoicing. For $70 per month, you can add bookkeeping services — they’ll do everything for you, which can free up even more time to work on paying projects.
If you design vector illustrations but don’t want to pony up the money for Adobe Illustrator, Gravit Designer is an attractive alternative. The cloud-based software offers advanced vector creation and editing on any platform: Mac OS, Windows, Linux and even Chrome OS. That means you can design anywhere you have an internet connection.
The interface was designed to be simple enough for beginners, complete with tooltips, yet advanced enough for experienced professionals to craft beautiful vectors fast. Gravit Designer is 100% free to use, though you can pay $49 for an offline version that has even more features.
Ready to put your freelance graphic design career on the fast track to success? Don’t forget PsPrint offers premium printing at discounted prices, plus offers a reseller program that will help you earn money from your print projects!