While it may appear odd, initially, that you could be a freelance project manager, the truth of the matter is that these jobs do exist and they are growing in popularity among all types of companies – from startups to large companies to multinationals.

Not sure what the job description of a freelance project manager might be? Check out this fun day-in-the-life story from a project manager who left the safety of his full-time project manager position for the freelance life where he is now making more money and has the flexibility to get lots of work done – plus escape into video games as part of an afternoon diversion strategy.

Freelance Project Managers

In fact, you can take a quick look at some of the top freelance sites, such as ELance, Upwork, Freelancer, FlexJobs and People Per Hour. These sites reveal all types of short-term and long-term freelance project management positions. These positions include project coordinators, project managers, and senior project managers with varying lengths and types of projects. Although these angels are only one percent of the freelance population, with 53 million freelancers in the U.S., the stats still reveal quite a few people working in this role.

Today’s freelance project manager role can mean taking on any and all types of work or assignments that helps to ensure that specific projects for a company are completed. But, that’s okay because a project manager is supposed to wear a lot of hats.

These hats include developing project objectives, giving advice, organizing and motivating the team, overseeing that the work achieves a certain quality standard, assessing progress and handling the financial aspects of a project such as costs and billing for the project work completed. Helping you achieve the best possible results as a freelance project manager are numerous tools that align with your remote status, including mobile apps and cloud-based solutions, to enhance productivity, communication, and collaboration.

Sounds pretty much like what you would do in the role of an in-house project manager, including requiring a similar skill set, such as multitasking, organization, a self-starter, negotiation, attention to detail, good communication, problem solving and technical knowledge, right? Well, it is, but, as a freelancer, you can set your hours, work from anywhere, and provide that expertise to more than one company at a time.

Online Invoicing Tools for Project Managers

What is new in this role is that you will now have to invoice for all the work you do as a freelance project manager. Previously, you more than likely got a paycheck or some type of direct deposit that you did not have to think twice about. With this new responsibility, you may not be sure how to go about getting paid, but thanks to available – and free! – online invoicing tools, it will be a snap.

Here’s what you can do with these online invoicing tools:

  • Create a professional custom and branded invoice through a wide assortment of invoicing templates that are designed to enhance the image you are trying to build as a freelance project manager. There are many styles, fonts, and colors to choose from to match your brand image. This saves you the time and hassle of trying to be a graphic designer or submit an amateur-hour invoice.
  • Use a time tracker tool to account for all your work across multiple clients and then import this data into the invoicing system to create invoices in minutes. Beyond just tracking time for clients and billing purposes, you can also take this data and use it for your own knowledge about how and where you are spending your time in order to improve productivity and add more time for further projects that can be billed to a client, or used to increase your client base.
  • Store data on clients, including contact information, so that you do not have to type this into each new invoice. This ability to populate fields on the invoices means you save even more time.
  • Take advantage of special online invoicing tool features for adding discounts or integrating expense charts as well as creating invoices that may need to be sent in another currency or include a different type of tax system. As a freelance project manager, you are no longer just tied to having clients in the U.S. but can now work with anyone across the globe. Providing an invoice in a different country’s currency (than yours) often facilitates payments, plus the online invoicing tool does it all, and the exchange rates are provided in real-time for you.
  • Leave paper invoices behind – these often get lost in the mail or pile on your client’s desk. Opt for an online invoicing tool that lets you email the invoice to a client from wherever you are working, including a mobile device. By providing a way to get the invoice in front of your client where they are most likely working and include a link to a preferred payment portal within that email invoice, you are also increasing the likelihood of prompt payment for your services. This billing option also opens up a variety of ways for them to pay you, and for you to receive your money, including options on both sides to use the likes of PayPal, bank account, and credit card. It’s convenient for everyone involved.

There’s a lot to consider when working as a freelance project manager, but those that are living it are actually loving it. They’ve got work/life balance, a way to work from anywhere, and access to multiple opportunities to work on various projects. With these online invoicing tools, a freelance project manager’s job becomes even easier and more lucrative as cash flow increases and there’s more time to market and do additional, unusual, and varied projects.

Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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