Essential Freelance Tools You’ll Love

If you are a freelancer, you know all about working hard to meet the expectations of clients and customers. By delivering quality and timely services and products to clients, you can grow your business.

But managing a business when you have to work both as a business head and a worker as well as perform various other activities like creating invoices, billing, marketing services and others can be quite hard. Pursuing so many things at the same time, you may not be able to give the required time and desired attention to your work which can affect the quality of services and products and delay their delivery.

To do away such inconsistencies, you need to adopt some enterprising tools that will organize work, ease up communication with clients and customers, automate processes and provide many other benefits. This will provide you more time for work and allow you to better focus on it, thus meeting the clients’ expectations by delivering fast and quality services.

Below is a list of 10 enterprising tools that you can go through, evaluate and choose the ones that best fit your needs, augment your skills, boost your confidence and improve your productivity.

1. Skype

This online application lets users communicate quickly and conveniently with their remotely located co-workers, clients and acquaintances. They can call them through video and voice calls, send them messages and share photographs, videos and files with them. Through its group video call option, a user can communicate with up to 10 persons at a time. This application can be operated from any mobile, computer or tablet. Work related instructions can be effectively passed to co-workers through its video feature.

2. Evernote

Notes need to be created by different people for different purposes and this Web-based application enables their creation in an easy and hassle-free manner. Apart from this, notes can be conveniently viewed, edited, stored and obtained for further use. It imparts to users the flexibility to capture different types of content like to-do lists, Web pages, handwritten notes, photographs and others. Notes can be effectively grouped together inside customizable notebooks. Through tags, notes can be searched and filtered. Co-workers can share these among themselves, in turn boosting their work efficiency.

3. Dropbox

This application lets users access their files and documents with ease from any kind of device whether it is a computer, tablet or phone. They can obtain them while being online or offline. It serves users well by letting them edit documents and add photos as well as show videos from any place in the world. Safety and security of data is ensured — it is well protected against any accidents. Its recovery is fast and smooth. It is an immensely useful application for data storage.

4. Square

This tool enables businesses to accept payments from their customers through credit cards. Its register app and reader provides some great functionality like tracking a business’ sales history, organizing its products and services, etc. Business-related information can be effectively viewed and checked through charts and reports. It also helps in brand building through cover photo and logo options. Customers’ credit card information is fully secured through encryption and it gets stocked in servers instead of device or reader.

5. FileZilla

This application allows secure and fast transfer of large files from servers located in remote locations. Files during their transfer are secured through SSL/TLS protocol. It has an intuitive interface and consumes little space on the hard drive. It is loaded with many useful features, namely remote file search and editing, bookmarks, a drag and drop feature and directory comparison to name a few.

6. Toggl

This Web-based application allows businesses to accurately and easily track and assess time spent over their tasks, projects and clients. It allows them to tag each and every time entry. A business can accurately bill its clients and customers on the basis of hours spent over various tasks. It helps them to set plans for productive usage of time in a day. Through bar and pie charts, time entries can be accurately plotted and critically analyzed. Time-related data remains safe and intact and can be accessed from anywhere in the world through the Internet.

7. Stack Exchange

This application serves as a repository of questions and answers on a variety of topics like programming, gaming, photography and others. It enhances knowledge of individuals by giving them a chance to raise questions that will be answered by experts. Editing of questions and answers is allowed. Voting over questions enables users to assess if they are useful or not. Apart from questions and answers, blogging and chat is also available. It is a free and open site and anyone can become a member, raise questions and contribute to the knowledge pool.

8. Behance

This website enables creative professionals like Web and graphic designers, photographers, typographers and others to showcase their work and skills in portfolio form. The site plays a significant role in further distributing users’ work to other online galleries and does a good job of promoting talent and creativity.

9. Dribbble

This site enables designers and other creative professionals to share screenshots of their work and projects, improving users’ prospects of being hired for prestigious assignments. A great forum to highlight, explore and promote designs that also offers a striking bond among people with creative streak.

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Essential Freelance Tools You’ll Love


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Sharon Thomson is a business manager of ProofHub, a Web-based project management software that facilitates the quick and accurate management of projects. It enables the team members who are spread out in different locations in the world to collaborate over project matters. They can define, document, discuss, organize, co-ordinate, review and control different project matters efficiently which results in their quick resolution. With its use, organizational objectives can be achieved effectively along with the generation of intended gains and assets.

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By cranbak on April 24, 2014 | Webmaster | A comment?
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Don’t Be Short-Sighted with your Website Marketing Strategy: The Value of Multiple POAs

Many website owners now realize actively steering visitors toward a clear POA (point-of-action) on their site is critical for increasing the website conversion rate, which improves the return on their website marketing investment. However, the primary POA is all-too-often an “all-or-nothing” proposition – meaning that it is often geared toward a specific kind of visitor, who is generally one that is at, or very near to, the point of decision. Therefore, our clients often utilize singular POAs, such as the ubiquitous “Contact Us,” “Download a Demo,” “Get an Estimate/Quote,” etc.  While there’s nothing wrong with this website marketing tactic, as attracting the so-called “low-hanging fruit” should be a primary website conversion goal, not all of your potential customers are close to the point of decision that leads them to engage with your company. Ignoring their needs poses a risk that visitors will leave your site unsatisfied — and many never to return.

So how do you make the most of these visitors? Consider utilizing secondary and tertiary POAs to enhance engagement. In most cases, your primary POA can and should be directed toward visitors nearing the end of the buying cycle; however, well-thought supplementary POAs can fill your sales pipeline with visitors who will become future customers. You simply need to provide these visitors with an attractive website element that speaks to their current mindset. Below are just a few examples of supplementary POAs that can be used to target potential prospects in all stages of the buying cycle, improving your overarching website marketing strategy.

Newsletter Signups

Too often, companies leverage newsletter sign-ups as the primary POA on their websites, when there are more qualified and immediate prospects to reach instead; however, this does not mean this POA is a website marketing tactic to avoid.  Newsletters that are created according to best practices and distributed on a regular basis can keep your company at the forefront of your potential prospects’ minds, even if they sign up in the very early stages of the buying cycle.  A big caveat here is that your company newsletter should not create content that is entirely self-serving; instead, it should inform your readers about industry trends, address common issues that prospects often face, and invite subscribers to engage in POAs that they were not quite ready to take when they first visited your site. Because your readers will receive this newsletter at regular intervals, these POAs will be readily-available and waiting in their inboxes — a handy way to boost your website conversion rate even when your visitors are off-site.

Social Media Engagement

A high percentage of websites now build popular social media icons into every page. However, these icons have become so common that a large percentage of visitors will ignore them. Moreover, we’ve seen that many companies do not make sufficient efforts to explain why a visitor should “Like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter — if you provide visitors with a reason to engage with you socially, you have the opportunity to remain front-of-mind, which is crucial for prospects further back in the sales cycle. However, if your social media profiles are not well-maintained and updated, you shouldn’t steer your visitors to these pages. For instance, if your social media presence was last updated in 2012, you’re sending a not-so-subtle message to your visitors that you’ve stopped caring about your brand.

Resource Sections

How do educational resource sections benefit website conversion rates? Almost every industry can benefit from creating an informational resource section on its website. This section should contain materials that address visitors in virtually every stage in the buying cycle. Information in this section can cover a broad range of topics, from how to select a vendor in your industry to how to determine if your current vendor is doing a good job. This rich, valuable content can help move your visitors closer to the point-of-decision, without having your salespeople walk them through the information, thereby shortening your sales cycle. In short, if you have valuable informational content, you shouldn’t hesitate to steer prospects early in their research process to these materials. An added benefit of such sections is that they tend to rank well on Google, as Google values informational content more than content strictly designed to sell.

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Don’t Be Short-Sighted with your Website Marketing Strategy: The Value of Multiple POAs


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There is no replacement for the primary POA — this is, of course, the most desirable action on your website that visitors closest to engaging with your company should take. However, not all of your website visitors will be at this stage, and your website marketing plan should contain strategies that present these users with meaningful alternatives. Website visitors do not all have the same immediate needs, and offering them something of value regardless of their current mindset will pay off in the long-term.
Scott Buresh is the founder and CEO of Medium Blue, which was awarded a prestigious American Marketing Association award in both 2008 and 2010.Buresh has been featured in respected publications such as Entrepreneur, Success, Direct Marketing News, Business to Business, Search Marketing Standard, Public Relations Tactics and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including ZDNet, WebProNews, MarketingProfs, DarwinMag, SiteProNews, ISEDB.com, and Search Engine Guide. He was also a contributor to How to Build Your Own Web Site with Little or No Money: The Complete Guide for Business and Personal Use (Brown, 2010), The Complete Guide to Google Advertising (Atlantic, 2008) and Building Your Business with Google for Dummies (Wiley, 2004). Medium Blue is an Atlanta search engine optimization company with local and international clients.

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$2B Facebook-Oculus Deal Gets FTC Nod

Facebook’s acquisition of virtual reality technology company Oculus VR, Inc. has received the Federal Trade Commission’s seal of approval, paving the way for the $2-billion deal to close, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The approval was confirmed by Reuters which saw a list of proposed deals that had been approved by the U.S. Justice Department and the FTC.

Facebook will dole out $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock, which is worth $1.6 billion.

Oculus VR makes virtual reality gaming glasses, dubbed Oculus Rift, that are expected to hit the market later this year or in early 2015.

Facebook’s purchase of the two-year-old firm does not signal an interest in hardware but, rather, is a bid to be ready for the future.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a press release. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

Oculus first gave a demonstration of the Oculus Rift prototype at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012. Since then, its invention has generated a lot of interest. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in August 2012 to further develop the product and surpassed its $250,000 goal in just four hours. It had secured more than $1 million within 36 hours and, by the time the month was up, it had managed to raise more than $2.4 million.

Oculus was Facebook’s second multi-billion-dollar purchase this year — it snapped up messaging app WhatsApp in February for $19 billion.

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$2B Facebook-Oculus Deal Gets FTC Nod


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Facebook Profits Carried By Mobile Ad Surge

Facebook had another blockbuster quarter: its first-quarter earnings tripled and revenue skyrocketed blowing Wall Street’s predictions out of the water.

The social media company’s sales jumped 72 percent to $2.5 billion and earnings came in at 34 cents per share not counting stock-based compensation and other expenditures. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of 24 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion.

Facebook’s massive earnings haul was chiefly due to mobile, which accounted for 59 percent of its advertising revenue for the quarter. Facebook earned $2.27 billion from ads, $1.34 billion of which came from mobile.

“Facebook’s business is strong and growing, and this quarter was a great start to 2014,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the report . “We’ve made some long-term bets on the future while staying focused on executing and improving our core products and business. We’re in great position to continue making progress toward our mission.”

Facebook said, as of the end of the quarter, it had 1.28 billion monthly active users a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. The company’s daily active user base grew 21 percent to 802 million people. Mobile monthly active users tallied 1.01 billion, a 34 percent increase.

Facebook also announced chief financial officer David Ebersman will step down after nearly five years in the role. He will be succeeded by Facebook’s corporate finance and business planning vice-president David Wehner on June 1. Ebersman will remain at Facebook through September “to ensure a seamless transition of his responsibilities” before taking a job in the health-care sector again.

“David has been a great partner in building Facebook, and I’m grateful for everything he’s done to help make the world more open and connected,” said Zuckerberg. “David set us up to operate efficiently and make the long term investments we need, and built an incredibly strong team including Dave Wehner, our next CFO. I look forward to working with Dave in his new role.”

Ebersman said his decision to leave Facebook has been a “tough because Facebook is such a great company and has such a bright future ahead, but I’ve decided to move back into health-care where I spent my career before Facebook.”

“It’s been a privilege working at Facebook and being part of such a great team,” he added. “We have an incredibly talented finance organization, and I have complete confidence in Dave Wehner and his ability to lead the team going forward.”

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Facebook Profits Carried By Mobile Ad Surge


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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“@^ Who owns hollywood casino. All about The Game! Proven. Compelling. – The Grandstand Gazette (blog)

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Strong 2Q Has Apple Investors Smiling – iPhone Maker Announces Strong iPhone Sales

Apple stock skyrocketed in after hours trading Wednesday evening following the iPhone maker’s surprisingly stellar second-quarter revenue of $45.6 billion.

Apple’s revenue and its quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion — $11.62 per diluted share — far surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts had predicted no more than $10.69 per share with some even forecasting as low as $9.65.

ios7 iPhone 5s

Apple image — The iPhone 5S.

“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”

iPhones sales tallied 43.7 million in its latest quarter, which ended at the end of March, once again leaving analysts’ estimates of roughly 38 million sales in the dust.

iPad sales did disappoint however, dropping more than 16 percent from since the same quarter last year. iPad sales came in at 16.35 million units missing analysts’ projections of 19.7 million units.

Making up for the dip in iPad sales was Apple’s TV boxes.

Apple image

Apple image

Cook, during an earnings call with investors, revealed the company has sold 20 million Apple TV boxes — 10 million in 2013 and an additional 10 million this year, making it a definite challenger to market leaders Amazon and Roku.

“I’m feeling good about this business and where it could go,” Cook said, adding that Apple’s product compares favorably to other streaming devices such as Amazon’s Fire TV.

Cook also told investors the company has quietly acquired 24 companies in the past 18 months.

“That shows that we’re on the prowl, I suppose you could say,” Cook said.

“We look for companies that have great people and great technology and that fit culturally and we don’t have a rule that says we can’t spend a lot or whatever.”

“We’re in a race to make the world’s best products, that really enrich people’s lives,” he added. “And so to the tune that acquisitions can help us do that and they’ve done that and continue to do that, then we will acquire. And so you can bet that you will continue to see acquisitions and some of which we’ll try to keep quiet and some of which seems to be impossible to keep quiet.”

Although Cook did not divulge any details, he hinted that some new products are on the way.

Apple also announced it will buy back $30 billion worth of shares through the end of 2015 and has also authorized a seven-for-one stock split, which will better line the pockets of its investors from its substantial cash stockpile.

The firm also gave the OK to an eight percent increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share.

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Strong 2Q Has Apple Investors Smiling


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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Health-Care Sector Open for Cyber-Attacks: FBI – Warned Records Can Easily be Obtained Due to Lack of Security

Health-care providers are being warned by the FBI that they’re opening themselves up to cyber-attacks.

In a story exclusive to Reuters, providers have been told their cyber-security systems aren’t quite up to par. This means, unlike other sectors, they could be easy targets for hackers looking for personal information.

The type of data such providers retain — medical and insurance records — are valuable to hackers and, therefore, should be protected.

In a private notice obtained by Reuters, the FBI has told health-care providers it is time to consider its vulnerability.

“The health-care industry is not as resilient to cyber-intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore, the possibility of increased cyber-intrusions is likely,” the April 8 statement reads.

The notice urged recipients to report suspicious or criminal activity to FBI bureaus or the agency’s 24/7 Cyber Watch.

While the health-care sector is lax in its security measures, retailers and financial institutions have taken further steps to tighten their own security in light of the massive attack on Target and other companies. Those recent hacker attacks resulted in millions of bank card numbers and other data being stolen.

While that information is highly sought after, it’s not nearly as hot a commodity as medical information.

In the wrong hands, medical records are easy doorways to bank accounts and prescriptions for controlled substances.

As well, victims of such a theft are likely to take longer to realize the records have been compromised.

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Health-Care Sector Open for Cyber-Attacks: FBI


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W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.

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