Free resources to use as a freelancer
You’re called a freelancer, but one thing’s for sure: the cost of doing business isn’t free. If you’ve been in business for a while, you know there are many expenses that come with owning your own business.
The good news is that some expenses can be avoided. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best online tools and resources you can use to create project assets for free.
Free Resume Templates
As a freelancer, you can write and edit resumes for other people. Or, you might find yourself applying to a gig or with a client that requires submission of a resume.
Online resume builders are available and allow you to use their templates for free. Check them out to discover the best resume format for you. You will be able to create a beautiful professional resume in minutes.
If your job includes graphic design, building your own website, or social media marketing, you know that visuals are very important. They attract people and make them click.
If you’re able to take all your own photos, that’s fine. But if not, there are several websites that offer free professional stock photos.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Shutterstock offers a free weekly photo that you can download from the email newsletter.
- Pixabay lets you search and download thousands of free images.
- Dreamstime sends periodic emails with free photo download – sign up for their newsletter.
- Envato offers a free photo as one of its monthly free downloads. You will need to sign up for their emails in order to get the link.
- Pond5 has a free photo archive.
How can you use the stock photos you download? Typically, free downloads come with a standard royalty-free commercial license. This means you can use the image on social media, in your graphic design projects, as part of a video, or as part of a product. You will want to read the details of each website’s offers.
Free clip art
Clipart, illustrations and vector images can be used in different ways. Like the free stock photos above, most of them can be used in various commercial applications. Again, always read the agreement with each individual company.
Our favorites include the following:
- Pixabay offers thousands of free vectors and illustrations.
- Shutterstock offers free clip art in its weekly newsletter. They also have an archive of themed sets of free clip art.
- Envato occasionally includes 3D artwork as part of its free monthly downloads. You will need to sign up for their newsletter.
Videos are all the rage, from YouTube to social media. Sometimes your webcam or smartphone camera just isn’t enough. You can spice up your videos with free stock footage.
- Subscribe to Pond 5’s newsletters and you’ll receive a link to a free weekly download. They also offer an archive with hundreds of royalty-free videos.
- Envato often includes video clips in its monthly giveaways. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive the links.
Free audio tracks
YouTube has a library of music and sound effects that can be used in YouTube videos. However, keep in mind that this license does not extend to use on other platforms.
To use the audio elsewhere, check out these sources:
- Sign up for the Envato newsletter and you’ll receive a link for a monthly Audio Jungle audio track download.
- Pond5 has an archive of free sound clips.
Every freelancer needs a good website. Wix is one of the best sites to create a portfolio website for free.
Many features can be added, some of which require a monthly subscription, for example if you need to sell online or make appointments.
MailChimp, WordPress and BlogSpot also offer the possibility of creating your website for free.
Free email automation
As you grow your business, you will see your mailing list grow in importance.
But you might say, “I use social media for that!” The problem, however, is that you don’t own your audience on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform.
If these websites go down, fall victim to cyberattacks, go bankrupt, or simply decide to revoke your account privileges, you can lose your audience in an instant.
If you have their email addresses, however, you can still get in touch with them. Mailchimp lets you store several thousand email addresses on its free plan. You can also embed contact forms into your website and set up automated emails, such as weekly blog post updates or welcome emails.
Key points to remember
- You can remedy your business expenses as a freelancer by taking advantage of free assets for your projects.
- These include free resume templates, free photos, free clip art and vectors, free videos, free audio tracks, free websites, and free email management.