5 Best Tips to Use Notion to Manage Your Freelance Business

Are you in search of the ultimate workspace that allows you to efficiently manage your clients and oversee all your freelance projects with ease? Whether you are a seasoned freelancer or just starting out, having a dedicated platform can streamline your workflow, enhance productivity, and help you keep everything organized.

Notion can come in as a handy, yet powerful tool to help you manage your workflows, resources, and clients. It is one of the best all-in-one tools for handling clients, projects, documents, business plans, and more. In this article, we would love to share more about the challenges of working as a freelancer and our top 5 tips on how to leverage Notion's capabilities to organize your freelance business effectively.

Challenges of Working as a Freelancer

Managing work as a freelancer comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Unlike a traditional job where tasks are often managed by a supervisor, freelancers must be self-disciplined and organized to ensure they meet all their commitments on time.
  • Freelancers often have times when they have too much work and times when they don't have enough. This can make it hard to plan their schedules & finances. Moreover, without a clear separation between work and personal life, many freelancers find themselves working long hours or struggling to disconnect from work. This can lead to burnout and reduce overall productivity.
  • Working as freelancers, you will be responsible for all aspects of their business, from project management and client communication to invoicing and marketing. This can be overwhelming, especially for those who are just starting out.
  • The project-based workflow is complicated and requires flexibility. The process involves multiple stages, from discovering clients, arranging contracts, organizing resources, delivering project milestones, planning schedules, and monitoring progress while ensuring everything is well-communicated with your clients.

Notion can become a highly effective and handy tool to solve these problems, providing a comprehensive solution for organizing and managing various tasks. With Notion, you can streamline your workflow, keep track of important deadlines, and collaborate seamlessly with other partners or clients, all within a single platform.

Tip 1. Create a Centralized Project Hub

Creating a centralized project hub is absolutely essential for maintaining organization and efficiency in your freelance business. The top three reasons are the following:

  • As your work involves managing multiple projects simultaneously, this hub can serve as the backbone of your operations. It allows you to manage projects from one or multiple clients while seeing the big picture. Moreover, this hub can also let you to track projects by status, whether they are upcoming, in-progress, failed, pending, or successful.
  • Each project comes with its own set of tasks, deadlines, and communication threads, which can be difficult to track when scattered across various tools and platforms. By consolidating all project-related information into a single, centralized hub, you ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that you can easily access any necessary details at a moment's notice, including tasks, deadlines, and research and notes.
  • The hub will help facilitate smoother communication with external and internal parties, whether it is your outsourcing partner, assistant, team member or client. Depending on your setup, you can decide which to communicate with whom and streamline the communication, instead of back-and-forth emails and calls.

Tip 2. Build a Client Pipeline

Not every lead will turn into a successful sale and paid project, but maintaining a client pipeline is highly recommended! Tracking your client pipeline allows you to follow the progress of prospective clients from initial discovery stage to contract signing. This helps you identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement in your client acquisition process. Additionally, it provides a visual representation of your potential income, aiding in effective planning and budgeting. Most importantly, it ensures that no prospective clients are overlooked and that every lead is pursued.

Notion is a powerful tool for managing your client pipeline. With Notion, you can create a database for potential clients, including details such as contact information, the stage they are at in your pipeline, and any related notes or tasks. The client pipeline can be displayed in various formats, such as a Kanban board, allowing you to move potential clients through different stages with a simple drag and drop. This not only simplifies and streamlines pipeline management but also ensures that all information related to potential clients is stored in one easily accessible location.

Some common stages in a client pipeline include:

  • Lead Generation: Identifying potential clients through various marketing strategies and gathering their contact information for future engagement.
  • Initial Contact: Reaching out to potential clients via phone, email, or social media to introduce the company's services and establish communication.
  • Proposal/Quote: Preparing and sending a detailed proposal or quote that outlines the services offered, pricing, and timelines to the prospective client.
  • Negotiation: Discussing with the potential client to address concerns, adjust terms, and finalize the proposal details to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Contract Signing: Formalizing the agreement by having both parties sign a legally binding contract outlining the terms and conditions of the partnership.
  • Onboarding: Introducing the new client to the team, providing necessary training or resources, and setting up systems to ensure a smooth transition and start of the project.
  • Project Execution: Carrying out the work as per the contract, adhering to the agreed timelines, and maintaining open communication with the client to monitor progress and address any issues.
  • Follow-up: Checking in with the client post-project to gather feedback, address any remaining concerns, and ensure their satisfaction with the services provided.
  • Retention: Implementing strategies to maintain a positive relationship with the client, encouraging repeat business, and fostering long-term loyalty through exceptional service and ongoing support.

Tip 3. Communicate with each client through a dedicated portal.

This portal should be designed to facilitate clear and efficient communication, ensuring that all messages, updates, and documents are easily accessible. By using a dedicated portal, you can keep track of conversations, manage client expectations, and provide a personalized experience. Additionally, the portal can serve as a central hub where clients can find resources, submit requests, and receive timely responses.

Some recommended features of the portal are

  • Main Dashboard: Present an overview of the project flows and current tasks, providing a comprehensive snapshot of ongoing activities and their statuses.
  • Project Overview: Inform the project scope to ensure a smooth start for your clients, detailing objectives, timelines, and key deliverables to align expectations from the outset.
  • Project Milestones & Schedule : Keep track of project milestones and important meetings, offering a detailed timeline that includes deadlines, appointments, and critical checkpoints.
  • Payments: Manage invoices and track client payments, providing a clear record of financial transactions and ensuring timely and accurate billing processes.
  • Contract: Store and manage all contractual documents, ensuring that all agreements are easily accessible and up-to-date for reference and compliance purposes.

Tip 4. Keep Track of Your Business Planning & Finances

It's essential to maintain a detailed record of your business planning and financial activities. By doing so, you can ensure that your operations run smoothly and efficiently. Regularly update your business plan to reflect any changes in your goals or market conditions.

Additionally, monitor your financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, to stay informed about your company's financial health. This practice not only helps in making informed decisions but also prepares you for any potential financial challenges. Remember, meticulous planning and financial management are crucial for the long-term success of your business.

Tip 5. Leverage the integration power of other third-party tools inside Notion?

Notion's flexibility allows you to enhance your workflow by integrating a variety of third-party tools. Here are a list of applications that we highly recommend you check it out as it can be integrated or embedded inside Notion such as Trello and Jira for project management, Slack for team communication, and Google Calendar to keep track of your schedule, all within Notion's interface. By utilizing these integrations, you can centralize your tasks, streamline your processes, and increase overall productivity. Additionally, exploring new tools and finding the best combination for your needs can further optimize how you use Notion in your daily activities.

To integrate another tool in Notion, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Tool: Determine which tool you want to integrate with Notion. Common tools include Jira, Github, Figma, and Slack.
  2. Get the Embed Link or API Key: Depending on the tool, you may need to integrate from Notion-end or the other tool’s end an embed link or an API key.
  3. Open Notion & Paste the Embed Link: Navigate to the page where you want to add the integration. Click on the page to add a block, then type /embed. Select the "Embed" option from the menu.

By following these steps, you can seamlessly integrate various tools into your Notion workspace to enhance your productivity and streamline your workflows. Check out a comprehensive list of other tools to connect with Notion in its Integration Gallery

Are there any other tools to use alongside Notion?

Notion integrates different business aspects into one platform, streamlining operations and boosting productivity. But besides Notion, there are many other tools required to manage your operations efficiently and effectively. Here are some of :

  • Website Builders: showcase your business and your profile as a coach on a professional platform (e.g. Squarespace, Wix.com)
  • Cloud-based storage: store documents and back up data securely (e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox)
  • Professional accounting Software: track your finances, review your business report and work with your accountants (e.g. Quickbooks, Zoho)
  • Link-in-bio: gather all social media links about your business in the same place (check our reviews of 5 BEST Link-In Bio Website Tools!)
  • Meeting Scheduling Tools: arrange meetings with your clients or business partners (such as Calendly)

Are you ready to take your freelance business to the next level

Whether you're just starting out or have been freelancing for years, we think you can find the right solutions with our Notion Templates!

  • Our Ultimate Freelance Dashboard provides an all-in-one solution for your freelancing business. It helps manage all aspects of your clients, track project schedules, create tasks, take notes, and store resources. Within the Client Portal, you can keep all the information related to the client, including the project details, onboarding process, client payments, contracts, and more.
  • Our Project Client Portal is designed as as separate unit for anyone who already has their own workspace and only looks for a Client Portal. This template helps you maintain a professional and organized approach to client management, ensuring that both you and your clients are always on the same page.

Notion offers a variety of features that can help streamline and organize your freelancing business. From client portals to task lists, finance tracking to resource storage, and calendar management, Notion has got you covered. So why not try it out and see how it can transform your freelancing business?

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