Freelancers are responsible for all of their business processes, from client acquisition to sending invoices. Therefore, any veteran freelancer knows that utilizing tools and automation software can make the world of a difference to one’s schedule and be crucial for your success.
One of the most beneficial tools that freelancers can use to streamline business processes is forms. In this article, we will take a look at what forms can do, how to use forms for your freelance business, and the advantages that they can bring to your schedule.
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How Using Forms Can Benefit Your Freelance Business
With any business, there is plenty of data and important information that needs to be collected, stored, and referred back to when necessary. Before online tools were commonplace, this information would be manually collected and inputted, and stored in filing cabinets or drawers. This is a time-consuming process, and freelance business owners often do not have the time to manually organize data.
This is where digital forms come in; with pre-made templates and their ease of use, professionals no longer need to worry about printing, delivering, and storing their data. Tools such as Jotform are an incredibly simple and effective way to collect and organize information, process payments, and automate workflows.
Here are some examples of forms that you may come across as a freelance business owner:
- Client Intake Form: This form is used to gather essential information about a new client, such as their name, contact details, project requirements, and budget. It helps you understand the client’s needs and evaluate whether you’re a good fit for the project.
- Project Proposal/Contract: Project proposals outline the scope of work, deliverables, timelines, payment terms, and other important details related to a specific project. They establish a formal agreement between you and your client, ensuring both parties are on the same page regarding the project’s terms and conditions.
- Lead Generation Form: A lead generation form is designed to collect contact information and other relevant details from potential clients. It serves as a valuable tool for businesses to capture and convert their leads into potential sales opportunities.
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): An NDA is a legal document that protects confidential information shared between you and your client. It ensures that sensitive information, trade secrets, or intellectual property are not disclosed to third parties without proper authorization.
- Invoice: An invoice is used to request payment for your freelance services. It includes details such as the project name, description, hours worked, rates, and total amount due. Invoices can be created using various software or online platforms such as Quickbooks.
- Timesheet: A timesheet helps you track the hours you spend on different projects. It’s useful for accurately billing clients and maintaining a record of your work hours for future reference or disputes.
- Expense Report: As a freelancer, you may have business-related expenses such as equipment purchases, software subscriptions, travel costs, or marketing expenses. An expense report helps you track and categorize these expenses for accounting and tax purposes.
- W-9 Form: In the United States, a W-9 form is used to provide your taxpayer identification number (TIN) to clients who need to report payments made to you to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It ensures that your client has the necessary information for tax reporting.
- Contract Amendment: If there are changes or updates to the original project contract, a contract amendment form is used to document and formalize those modifications. It helps maintain clarity and transparency between you and your client when adjustments are necessary.
Why Should You Use Jotform for Your Freelance Business?
One of the most popular tools for creating and managing digital forms is Jotform. Jotform is an online form builder and form management platform that allows users to create a wide variety of forms, surveys, and questionnaires without any coding knowledge.
With Jotform, you can design and customize forms to collect data, gather information, process payments, and automate workflows. Below are some of the key benefits of Jotform that can be useful for your freelance business processes.
Quick & Easy Form Creation
Jotform provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, making it simple to create customized forms without any prior coding knowledge. You can quickly design forms to collect client information, project details, feedback, or any other data relevant to your freelance services.
When dealing with clients, it is important to appear professional at all times. With Jotform, you can create forms that reflect your brand identity while still maintaining professionalism. You can customize the design, add your logo, and choose colors and fonts to match your business aesthetics.
Jotform’s automation features allow you to streamline repetitive tasks, which is essential for freelance professionals. You can set up automated email notifications to clients upon form submission, create approval workflows for project requests, or generate PDF reports automatically. Automating repetitive tasks helps to save valuable time, and ensures efficient workflow management.
Jotform integrates with popular online payment platforms such as PayPal and Stripe, enabling you to collect payments directly through your forms. This is beneficial for freelancers who offer services or products with upfront or ongoing payments. You can create invoices and securely process payments without the need for separate invoicing systems.
Data Management & Analysis
With Jotform, you can easily store all form responses in a centralized location. You can easily access and manage the collected data, as well as sort, filter, and export it for further analysis. This allows you to easily gain insights from the data and make informed business decisions.
Client Onboarding & Feedback
Forms can be used for client onboarding and gathering project details. With Jotform, you can easily create these forms to collect essential information, understand your clients’ needs, and evaluate projects. Forms can also be used to collect and organize client feedback, testimonials, or requesting project updates, ensuring smoother and more organized client communication.
Collaboration & Sharing
Jotform allows for easy collaboration among team members and clients. You can share forms with colleagues, clients, or stakeholders, enabling them to fill out forms, provide feedback, or upload files. The tool also allows for easy file conversions, with a built-in PDF editor. This streamlines communication and ensures everyone involved in a project can have access to all of the necessary information.
Jotform integrates with a wide variety of third-party applications, such as CRM systems, project management tools, email marketing platforms, and cloud storage services. Integrations enable seamless data transfer and streamline your workflow by connecting JotForm with the other tools you use in your freelance business.
Conditional logic enables you to create customized form experiences for your clients. Depending on their responses to specific questions, you can show or hide relevant form fields or questions, which ensures that clients only see the questions and options that are relevant to them, providing a more personalized and focused form-filling experience.
What Makes Jotform Different From Other Digital Form Builders?
Jotform was created by Aytekin Tank in 2006, making it 17 years old as of 2023. Since its creation, it has quickly gained popularity as one of the most versatile and user-friendly digital form builders available today. In 2023 alone, over 61865 companies worldwide have started using Jotform for their online forms, including the popular transportation application, Uber.
This powerful form builder stands out from its competitors due to its plethora of excellent features and functionalities that other form builders cannot offer. With Jotform’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, users can easily create forms without any prior coding knowledge.
Some features of Jotform that sets it apart from its competitors include:
Jotform’s Form Designer revolutionizes the approach to form design, allowing users to create stunning, tailored forms effortlessly. You can transform your form into a visually appealing and fully functional masterpiece for collecting information. Alternatively, the Theme Store offers a collection of ready-to-use, professionally crafted themes.
Over 100 Integrations
Jotform facilitates seamless integration with over 100 third-party applications, including popular CRMs such as Zoho and HubSpot, email marketing services including Mailchimp, as well as cloud storage systems like Dropbox and Google Drive. This enables the effortless transfer of data to these platforms, enhancing efficiency and integration within your business processes.
Jotform provides users with comprehensive insights into their form performance with Form Analytics, a powerful tool that offers users a detailed analysis of form conversions. Additionally, Form Analytics provides valuable data about the devices from which users submit their forms, enabling users to gain a deeper understanding of their audience’s behavior.
Secure Payment Collection
Jotform integrates with payment platforms such as Square, PayPal, and Stripe, to simplify the invoicing process by allowing users to collect payments directly through the forms that they create. Jotform is SSL-certified, meaning that all of the information is securely encrypted to prevent theft.
Incredible Ease of Use
In addition to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Jotform allows users to build forms directly on their mobile phones, desktop, or tablet, as well as to easily collaborate with others via the platform. Jotform prides itself on being incredibly accessible and easy to use, and models all of its functions to allow for simplicity and efficiency.
Jotform offers a free plan that allows users to create and share forms, integrate over 100 third-party applications, collect payments directly through the forms, and more. They also offer a 50% discount for non-profit organizations and educational institutions to use their paid plans, which allow for more submissions and storage space.
Jotform is an incredibly accessible, versatile, and easy-to-use digital form builder. With a generous free plan and over 100 integrations, this platform can provide excellent benefits to those running their own freelance business.
This excellent tool can help freelance business owners to collect essential information from leads and clients, collect payments directly from their forms, integrate with other tools, and many more essential processes. Using this platform can be very beneficial for freelance business owners, as it serves numerous purposes for a variety of needs.