The Triple-Threat Starter Pack for the Newbie Freelancer

Oh hey there! So you want to be a freelancer and work on your own time, with no higher management, and on a beach! So freaking great, right! Well, if you’re new, expect to hit some road blocks, but stay the course. Let me send you off on the right foot with this Triple-Threat Starter Pack!


1. TheNu School Pricing Tool

As a new freelancer, you may feel daunted when it comes to pricing your work. You battle internally over a fair fee as you consider your level of skill and amount of work experience. However, you may have not considered other factors into your pricing strategy. I’ve mentioned this site in an earlier blog post, but this is specifically where The NuSchool’s Pricing Tool comes in handy so much. This tool is an interactive submission form that narrows in on your project details to help you come to a fair price with your interest in mind, not just the client’s.

The NuSchool Pricing Tool


Once you have hashed out all of the client’s details, requests, and budget, it is time to draft and send out the proposal. This will include all of the project requirements and deliverables in detail, as well as the breakdown in costs for the client. You will also need to include a Terms Of Service section within the contract to cover your ass. For a new designer, this is a lot of information to take in and organize. Not to mention hours of unpaid work if all done from scratch. Luckily, there is a very convenient service out there to help cut the time you spend on this crucial step in half.

2. Qwilr

Allow me to introduce my careersaver, Qwilr. This is a brilliant online service that replaces your PDF proposals, quotes, and contracts with mobile-friendly responsive webpages that your client can view anytime, and even sign and pay you through! Halle-f’n-lujah!

The platform offers three different pricing plans, so that you have the options to use it as a solo-contractor (Pro $29/monthly), or for your teams (Business – 3 users – $79/monthly, and Enterprise – 10 users – $250/monthly). This platform is well worth the investment because you would lose a whole lot more than $29 a month if you spend hours curating a lengthy proposal, only to have the client not follow through with the project.

The tool itself is very easy to use and customizable, allowing you to choose from already pre-existing templates and edit them to your needs, or you could simply start a template from scratch. You can also upload your own logos and images, but Qwilr is so awesome that it even has it’s own gallery of splash images to choose from within the platform. Genius!!    

Take a look at some of their sample templates to get a better idea of how it works.



3. Quickbooks Self-Employed

So you’ve priced accordingly, your client was impressed with the proposal, signed the contract, and is now excited for the project. Score! Now you may have ditched upper management, but you can’t escape Uncle Sam. It is likely that your client will have you sign a W-9 form, meaning only you will be solely responsible for setting money aside for your quarterly taxes and paying them on time. If you haven’t heard of Quickbooks already, you might as well be living under a rock. This site and mobile app has been essential to helping me organize my money. You are able to categorize transactions, while Quickbooks will calculate for you what you owe on your next tax deadline based on your income from your business. Not only that, but it also offers features that track your mileage, tax summary for each year, and even invoices. Seriously awesome, am I right?!

Quickbooks Self-Employed

These are just a few tools to help you get started in the big, bad world of freelancing. It’s a jungle out there but you got this. Stay tuned for future blog posts on more incredible resources in the design and freelancing world. Till then, keep on bossin’!


Cover photo credit to Gratisography. (Love his work, and you will too.)

Nicolette Shasky

About the Author | LinkedIn
Nicolette Shasky is a creative soul with a specialty in visual storytelling and UI/UX Design. She currently works as a Visual + Analytics Designer at Interactions Marketing in San Diego, California.


  1. twobytour says:

    Informative read. Just starting out as a freelancer and this really addresses a lot of my questions. That pricing tool is incredible. Thanks for providing useful information in such an easily digestible way.

    • Hi @twobytour, I’m so happy to hear that you found this post useful. I totally agree, that pricing tool is genius! Thanks for reading and good luck out there in the freelance world!

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