Customer relationship management (CRM) systems for freelancers are designed to centralize customer interactions, transactions, and projects, as well as monitor various revenue sources in a single platform. It also has to have affordable pricing options for self-employed freelancers and solopreneurs on a tight budget. To find the best CRM for freelancers, we evaluated several top providers and considered critical attributes according to their needs.
Best CRM For Freelancers
Harlow Best for: Overall harlow CRM Harlow helps freelancers get organized, save time, and look professional with automated invoicing, proposal templates, and much more—all in one centralized hub. Here’s what Harlow helps you handle: Client Management: Harlow integrates with Google Workspace, and gives you a complete view of your customer. You can view related meetings, tasks, and upcoming invoices all in one place. Proposals and Contracts: You can access their pre-built templates and customize based on your needs. Users can send proposals directly through Harlow, track progress, and execute contracts with e-signatures. Their contract is also legally legit, so you’re good to go! Invoicing: Whether you charge by the hour, by the month, or the project, Harlow’s flexible invoicing supports the way you do business. You can auto-create invoices for ongoing clients or send reminders for late payments. Task management: You can view and create tasks by client or project, track time against tasks, and create subtasks – all the basics you need to manage your day-to-day. Time Tracking: You can easily track time against clients, tasks, or projects. They give you a clear picture of how and where you spend your time, so you can charge your clients and plan your capacity accurately. Price: 2 week free trial, and then $29/mo. Bonsai Best for: Invoicing bonsai crm for freelancers Bonsai is an all-in-one CRM geared toward providing freelancers with an easy, user-friendly CRM solution. It aims to streamline the workload of freelancers everywhere. Bonsai does this through capabilities like: Sending you a notification after a client has viewed your proposal, so you don’t have to keep checking your email Pre-vetting legal document templates, so you don’t have to hire a lawyer every time you make a contract Integrating its time-tracking tool with invoicing tools Auto-generating invoices based on proposals and contracts you’ve built in their CRM system Bonsai’s cons are that their project management and expense-tracking features are not as comprehensive as other CRMs. Because of that, if you’re a freelancer with a lot of projects or generally complicated ones, this is probably not the CRM for you. Price: Starts free, then $19/month. Free 2-week trial available. HubSpot Best for: Easy to use CRM for freelancers hubspot crm for freelancers HubSpot has one of the best free CRMs. Not only does it allow unlimited users and the ability to store up to one million contacts, it also includes every essential tool you’ll need to run your freelance writing business, including: Contact management Gmail or Outlook integration Email templates and email tracking Project management tools (like scheduling emails and meetings) Third-party app integrations (like Mailchimp and WordPress) Some marketing tools (like email tracking, free landing pages, and ad management) Live chat and basic chatbots that can be embedded on your website There are three tiered plans for each respective area of services; marketing, sales, customer service, content management systems, and operations. This lets you tailor the CRM to fit your needs. A few cons are that free versions of its tools are fairly limited—like marketing automation. So if your business is growing swiftly, you’ll probably outgrow the free version of HubSpot. The downside? HubSpot is not a very intuitive interface. It can also get complicated very quickly, and customer service is only available through a web form or Twitter. Price: Free plan available. Betterlance Best for: Basic CRM best crm for freelancers – betterlance Betterlance is a CRM with a pretty good free version of their software. Its CRM features and functionality are basic, but what it’s really known for is its ability to get new sales leads. Betterlance’s sales team matches criteria to clients and automatically sends freelancers new leads through their CRM tool. If you sign up for a paid plan (business service or higher), you’re guaranteed a leads list every month. This CRM also allows you to: Customize how frequently you want follow-up emails automatically sent out for you Put your favorite email templates in a library Automate reminders to follow up on sales leads Price: Starts at $19/month after a 14-day free trial Streak Best for: Gmail integration gmail crm for freelancers Streak is used as an extension of Gmail. The great thing about that is you don’t have to open another window or app—everything’s done inside your Gmail window. The interface is simple and actually looks a lot like an Excel spreadsheet. You decide what data you want displayed in which cells, and just click and type. There’s no fancy dashboard, but if you’re just looking for simple functionality, this might be right up your alley. Streak has a good free version of its CRM, as well as tiered paid plans starting at $15/month. Its free plan limits the number of data boxes you can include in their CRM to 500, but if you’re a small freelance business, that might be all you need. Price: Starts free, then $15/month Agile CRM Best for: For sales pipeline tools sales pipeline crm for freelancers Much like its namesake, Agile is known for its speed. Its aim is to speed up the marketing and sales processes so you can more efficiently get through this part of your business. The drag and drop functionality makes the dashboard super quick and easy to use. One of the most notable features is the timeline it integrates into every customer profile. This timeline shows every interaction each respective customer has with your business, helping you track the progress in your sales pipeline in a user-friendly and visual way. An added bonus is Agile offers to onboard its software. It has a YouTube channel full of tutorials alongside training webinars on its website. Price: Starts free, then from $8.99/month Zoho CRM Best for: For growing freelance businesses zoho crm for freelancers One of the key aspects Zoho boasts is real-time insights into the analytics of the sales pipeline for your business. Zoho CRM tracks your leads, activity stats, and even your emails, and breaks it all down so you can monitor every step of your sales pipeline. This makes it an ideal CRM if your aim is growing your business. Be warned, though: Zoho can be overwhelming for first-time CRM users. Though the user interface is fairly simple, there are a lot of tools and features, so you may find it complicated to use. Price: Starts at $14/month Insightly Best for: Automation insightly crm for freelancers As a CRM, Insightly is a standard software serviceable for any freelancer. A notable feature of its base tier is a custom chart it creates to help you understand how leads from the same company are related. That’s all well and dandy, but Insightly is at its best at the mid-tier plan and higher. There, you get advanced workflow automations that keep freelancers on track with all projects and leads. And at the highest tier, Insightly has a great marketing automation plan, for the price of $299/month. So Insightly might not be for you if you’re just starting out as a freelance writer. However, if you’re ready to take the next step in growing your freelance business, it’s worthwhile to consider the Insightly CRM. Price: Starts at $29/month after a free trial Bitrix24 Best for: Collaboration best crm for freelancers Bitrix24 is geared toward boosting collaboration and communication in a freelancer’s business. The first thing Bitrix24 lists on its plans are the collaboration features in each tier. Even with its limited free plan, Bitrix24 offers HD video calls, shareable calendars, and a communal company workspace. As you go up in tiers, the only thing that really changes is how many users are able to use the software and how much sharable memory storage they offer your team on their servers. This CRM also stores everything in the cloud, making it easy for collaborators to grab whatever reports and documents they need. If you’re a freelancer who subcontracts work out, this software would be a great addition to your business arsenal. Price: Starts free, then $39/month Pipedrive Best for: Deal-oriented freelance teams best crm for freelance teams Pipedrive’s focus is boosting productivity for its customers. This is done through creating strong mobile apps to pair with its CRM software, as well as by keeping the CRM simple and easy to use. If you’re a freelancer who is constantly out and about, you need a CRM with a well integrated and powerful mobile app. Pipedrive has one of the more powerful mobile apps associated with its CRM suite: Full access to all your CRM data that’s on the web user interface Offline syncing and data recall (so if you lose service, you don’t need to panic) Automated prompts to help you get through paperwork, data entry, and lead follow-ups Ability to capture and store images associated with contacts On top of that, Pipedrive is one of the easier CRMs to set up and operate. It offers two-way syncing with Google contacts and the rest of the G Suite. At only $12.50/month, its base level subscription is one of the cheaper ones on the market. Price: Starts at $12.50/month after a free trial What makes a good CRM for freelancers? As a freelancer, your small business has different needs than a big corporation. You are your own sales team, customer support department, and project management team. A good CRM software will centralize all of your business functions into one place. There are a lot of CRMs out there, but here are some key things freelancers should look out for: Price As a freelancer, you want to save money wherever you can. You’re in luck, because there are a lot of affordable— and even free— CRMs out there. Many companies offer completely free, base-level free versions, or even free trials of their software. Take advantage of these opportunities to try out their CRM tools so you can figure out which ones work best for your business. Contact management This is a basic feature every CRM has. It allows you to collect and organize data on new clients and existing ones. Data like their contact information, social media accounts, purchase history, etc. All this information is collected to create a customer profile. The thing to look out for here is if this feature is user-friendly and easy to navigate.