Being a 100% independent freelancer requires you to always be at the top of your game to rake in clients. And in my opinion, a solo operation requires a plethora of automation.
But automation doesn’t happen on its own.
The same business can become a 60 hour a week job, or it can be a 10 hour a week asset. The difference is in the automation system built around it – a system that’s made up of apps, software and human resources.
So in order to help other nomads see just what’s possible when it comes to automation, I’ve compiled this list of 99 resources that you can use to help build and maintain a location independent income with less effort and more output.
1 – Leadpages – quickly and easily create landing pages from pre-existing, conversion tested templates. Ideal for setting up opt-in pages, sales pages, upsells, thank you pages, etc.
Pricing: from $25/mo to $199/mo if you pay annually ($37/mo to $79/mo paid monthly)
2 – Infusionsoft – a comprehensive all-in-one suite of tools covering lead capture, conversion analytics, e-commerce, time management and email marketing.
Pricing: from $199/mo to $599/mo
3 – Aweber – low cost, reliable email marketing software (meaning it has one of the highest successful delivery rates.) Works well combined with Leadpages.
Pricing: starting from $19/mo (0 to 500 subscribers), 30 day free trial
4 – Mailchimp – alternative email marketing software that you can start with for free if you’re on a super tight budget.
Pricing: free up to 2000 subscribers, paid plans start at $10/month
5 – GetResponse – email marketing platform, with slightly lower starting costs for a larger list compared to Aweber.
Pricing: starting from $15/mo for up to 1000 subscribers
6 – Unbounce – landing page builder, similar to Leadpages.
Pricing: from $49/mo to $499/mo, free 30 day trial
7 – Pardot (from Salesforce) – Salesforce offers a range of marketing automation products. Pardot is specifically designed for business-to-business automation and is relevant for nomads running client service agencies -it’s outside the price range and beyond the needs of most freelancer and solo entrepreneurs.
Pricing: $1000/mo to $3000/mo
8 – Clickfunnels – simple sales funnel creation tool. Includes landing page creation, site hosting, split testing and email autoresponders in one place.
Pricing: starting from $97/mo, 14 day free trial
9 – Hubspot – the biggest name in inbound marketing. If you want more clients to come to you, Hubspot has a range of marketing, sales and customer relationship management tools designed to help. They also have a lot of useful free learning materials on inbound marketing topics.
Pricing: Marketing software starts from $200/mo. CRM is free and sales software starts from $0/mo.
10 – OptimizePress – landing page builder, similar to Leadpages and Unbounce. The main difference is that OptimizePress has a one-time fee so it’s cheaper over the long run (although you can pay a monthly fee to access more templates). I have tested it out and ended up going back to Leadpages for convenience.
Pricing: $97 to $207, one time fee (monthly fee for extra templates)
11 – Constant Contact – email marketing software that includes professional templates you can plug your content into (like Leadpages templates, but for emails).
Pricing: Free 60 day trial, then plans from $20/mo
12 – ActiveCampaign – combines email marketing with marketing automation tools plus CRM and sales software. Competitively priced if you’re just starting out.
Pricing: starting from $9/mo for up to 500 contacts
13 – Autopilot – software aimed towards lead capture and nurturing (automated relationship building via email). Integrates with a lot of other apps such as Mailchimp, Salesforce, etc.
Pricing: starting from $25/mo (paid monthly – $20/mo paid yearly) for up to 1000 contacts
14 – Instapage – landing page builder similar to Leadpages. The templates have a slightly different aesthetic compared to Leadpages.
Pricing: starting from $29/mo (paid yearly)
15 – Google Analytics Content Experiments (formerly Website Optimizer) – simple free tool from Google you can use to easily create A/B split tests, as well as more advanced conversion tracking tests.
Pricing: free as part of Google Analytics
16 – Marketo – comprises a range of marketing automation tools, including email marketing, mobile marketing and analytics. Marketo provides some solutions for mobile marketing and marketing to an existing customer base that are not available from most of the other providers listed here. This is one of the closest things to an all-in-one package as it includes landing page creation, email marketing, social marketing, SEO and a wide range of other options.
Pricing: varies widely depending on which bundle of features you need
17 – Oracle Eloqua – advanced B2B marketing automation software – well beyond the needs of most digital nomads but may be worth a look if you are aiming to grow big.
Pricing: $2000/mo for up to 10,000 contacts
18 – iContact – another simple email marketing platform similar to Aweber – slightly cheaper though delivery rates may be lower.
Pricing: starting from $14/mo or $11.90/mo paid annually
19 – Act-On – broad range of marketing automation features, including online public relations and influencer marketing as well as more standard features geared towards lead generation and nurturing. More focused towards enterprises, outside the price range of most freelancers and small operators.
Pricing: from $600/mo to $2000/mo (paid yearly)
User Experience/Behaviour Insights
20 – Google Analytics – Google’s incredibly in-depth, free data tracking tool. This is a must for all websites. It can be easily installed on any WordPress site via a plugin like Super Simple Google Analytics.
21 – CrazyEgg – popular heat map software which gives you a detailed look at how visitors to your site are behaving. Very helpful as data doesn’t always tell you why users are behaving a certain way, whereas heat maps can provide more insights.
Pricing: $9/mo to $99/mo
22 – Shopify – simple system for building an online store, even if you have zero experience building websites. Ideal if your goal is to sell physical products.
Pricing: $29/mo to $299/mo
23 – Woocommerce – very popular WordPress plugin for building an online store. Lets you easily list products for sale and process orders through your WordPress site.
24 – BigCommerce – online store building platform similar to Shopify.
Pricing: $29.95/mo to $199.95/mo
25 – Zazzle – allows you to sell your own custom t-shirts, buttons, hats, phone covers and so on with your own images and designs. You set pricing and Zazzle keeps a set fee for each product you sell (so you effectively choose your own margins.)
Pricing: free to join
26 – Alibaba – worldwide database of wholesalers and dropshippers for all kinds of physical products.
Pricing: free to join
Social Media Automation
27 – Hootsuite – allows you to schedule postings across multiple social media platforms and see analytics and insights about your audience. Useful for teams using shared social media accounts.
Pricing: there is a free version – Pro version is $9.99/mo billed annually and has a free 30 day trial
28 – Social Oomph – similar to Hootsuite with slightly different features.
Pricing: free basic version, or $17.97 every two weeks for the Professional version
29 – Buzz360 – marketing tool geared towards small businesses, aimed at helping you grow word of mouth through generating reviews from customers and building relationships through social media, email and mobile.
Pricing: $9/mo to $69/mo – 30 day free trial
30 – AdEspresso – complement to Facebook advertising which allows you to easily develop and test ads to find out quickly which ones perform best.
Pricing: $49/mo to $299/mo – 14 day free trial
31 – Buffer – similar to Hootsuite, Buffer lets you automate and schedule social media posts across multiple accounts and see analytics about your posts in its dashboard.
Pricing: free basic version, then $10/mo to $399/mo
Outreach/Cold Contact Automation
(Note: Don’t abuse these unless you want to bomb your brand to smithereens.)
32 – Ninja Outreach – all-in-one outreach tool for finding and contacting influencers in your market as well as sales prospects, guest blogging opportunities, link exchanges and so on.
Pricing: $29/mo to $249/mo – free 14 day trial
33 – Pitchbox – public relations, influencer marketing, sales and SEO outreach.
Pricing: from $95/mo to $1000/mo
34 – Outreach.io – sales automation software focused more around calling rather than email outreach. Integrates with other platforms like Salesforce and Gmail. This is geared more towards sales teams rather than individuals or very small businesses.
Pricing: $12,000/year for 10 users
35 – SalesLoft – similar to Outreach.io but with much more practical pricing for smaller organizations.
Pricing: starting from $75 per user per month, billed yearly
36 – ToutApp – sales automation software for enterprise teams to bring more leads into their pipelines and improve closing rates. Automatically logs information to Salesforce.
Pricing: $49 per user per month
37 – Sendbloom – sales automation software with a high level of segmentation and personalization, designed to make following up with outbound marketing prospects more natural.
Pricing: varies depending on requirements
38 – Unomy – outbound marketing software for generating new targeted lead lists and segmenting your leads for better follow up and nurturing.
Pricing: varies depending on requirements
39 – Majestic SEO – detailed competitor backlink analysis software to spy on your search engine competition.
Pricing: $49.99/mo to $399.99/mo (cheapest plan requires 3 month subscription)
40 – Google Adwords Keyword Planner – research search volumes for keywords related to your business and get suggestions on related keywords (useful both for Adwords and SEO purposes).
Pricing: free (requires Google Adwords account, also free)
41 – Long Tail Pro – another popular keyword research tool, focused on helping you identify “low hanging fruit” long tail keywords.
Pricing: $25/mo (billed annually) or $37/mo (billed monthly)
42 – Market Samurai – keyword research and SEO competition analysis tool.
Pricing: one time payment, $149
43 – Facebook Insights – find detailed information about your audience’s preferences, which can be used to target your Facebook ads more effectively.
Pricing: free (part of Facebook)
44 – Compete – analyse data from your competitor’s websites such as traffic stats and sources.
Pricing: free version, paid versions starting from $249/mo
45 – SurveyMonkey – quickly create simple surveys for market research, customer satisfaction, etc.
Pricing: free version, then $25/mo to $85/mo
46 – QuickTapSurvey – an alternative to Survey Monkey.
Pricing: $19/mo to $99/mo
CRM and Team Organization
47 – Asana – organization system for teamwork. Especially useful for managing remote teams with members in different locations around the world.
Pricing: free up to 15 users, then from $8.33/mo per user, billed annually
48 – Zoho CRM – I find Zoho handy because it combines team management, customer relationship management and several other handy features in a simple format. It’s a good starter CRM if you’re on a budget.
Pricing: basic free version for up to 10 users, Plus version for $50 per user per month
49 – Wrike – project and team management platform similar to Asana.
Pricing: free up to 5 users, then $9.80 per user per month for the Professional version
50 – Insightly – software that combines CRM and project management in one place. Integrates with many of the other apps listed here including Zapier, Dropbox, Evernote, Mailchimp and Xero.
51 – Freshdesk – simple help desk software that allows you to skip managing a customer support team. You can start on a free plan with 24×7 email support and 24×5 phone support – super handy if you’re on the road and can’t answer emails yourself.
Pricing: free basic plan, up to $70/mo, free 30 day trial
52 – Basecamp – team organization and communication platform, similar to Asana. There is a version you can use with clients which has additional features.
Pricing: $29/mo internal team version, $79/mo for version with client features
53 – Pipedrive – sales management software geared towards small teams.
Pricing: free 30 day trial, then starting from $12 per user per month
54 – Teamwork – combines a customer helpdesk, team management system and chat system for your team in one place.
Pricing: 30 day free trial, then $12/mo to $249/mo
55 – SalesforceIQ – comprised of two products: SalesforceIQ CRM (sales process management), and SalesforceIQ Inbox (a kind of email system that integrates Salesforce data).
Pricing: both products start from $25 per user per month
56 – Really Simple Systems – a small business CRM software which, as the name suggests, is focused on ease of use. Good scalability if you’re starting small.
Pricing: free version (2 users, 100 accounts), paid plans from $8/mo
Accounting and Invoicing
57 – Freshbooks – very simple online invoicing and billing software that you can use to bill clients anywhere in the world and receive payment to your Paypal account. Also includes a time tracking feature.
Pricing: free trial, then from $12.95/mo for up to 5 clients
58 – Due – invoicing software that also acts as a digital wallet which you can use to make payments. I haven’t used it but it looks ideal for a digital nomad who moves between countries often.
Pricing: free trial
59 – Zoho Invoice – billing and invoicing software, a good choice if you’re also using Zoho CRM.
Pricing: free version, up to 25 customers, then $7/mo to $30/mo
60 – Wave App – accounting, invoicing and payroll software.
Pricing: free, with paid options for credit card processing (2.9% + 30c per transaction) and support ($19/mo)
61 – Xero – simple and popular accounting software that also includes an invoicing feature. Useful for handling payroll if you have employees.
Pricing: differs depending on region – USD cost starts from $.30 for the first 6 months and $9/mo after that
62 – Hiveage – invoicing and billing software aimed at freelancers and small businesses.
Pricing: starting from $15/mo for 2 users and 250 clients, up to $79/mo
63 – Harvest – invoicing software with an emphasis on speed and simplicity. Lets you have unlimited clients for a relatively low cost.
Pricing: free plan for up to 4 clients, then paid plans for unlimited clients from $12/mo to $99/mo
Time Management, Organization, Productivity & Planning
64 – Paymo – time tracking and project management software for you and your team.
Pricing: 15 day free trial, then $15 per user per month
65 – Zapier – service that connects and automatically communicates between common apps, like Gmail, Dropbox, Slack, Trello and Asana. It’s an app for organizing and integrating your other apps.
Pricing: Free basic version, then $20/mo to $100/mo
66 – IFTTT (If This Then That) – similar to Zapier, IFTTT organizes and integrates your other apps together to automate the transfer of information between them.
67 – Trello – a kind of visual to-do list and organization software for managing projects and staying on top of your tasks. Can be used for team projects or solo.
Pricing: basic free version, then $9.99/mo to $20.83/mo (paid yearly)
68 – Wunderlist – app for to-do lists, reminders, scheduling and note taking.
Pricing: free basic version, $4.99/mo Pro version
69 – Google Calendar – schedule events and meetings and create reminders for yourself.
70 – Google Docs/Spreadsheet – cloud-based documents and spreadsheets, similar to MS Word or Excel, which can be edited and updated by multiple team members.
71 – MyLifeOrganized – online to-do list and task prioritization software.
Pricing: iOs – free version or Pro for $29.99. Android – free version or Pro for $24.99. Windows – Standard $29.95, Pro $59.95.
72 – Mind42 – simple mind mapping software, handy for planning complex projects and brainstorming ideas.
73 – RescueTime – automatically tracks your use of time on your computer and categorizes everything you do as “productive” or “unproductive.” Handy to see where your biggest timesinks are.
Pricing: free version, Premium version for $9/mo or $72/year
74 – Evernote – cloud-based note taking app designed to let you keep all your planning materials and reminders in one place. Can be used for brainstorming, filing articles for later reading or storing images. Syncs to all your devices for ease of accessibility. Recommended by Tim Ferriss.
Pricing: free version allows 60MB of uploads per month across 2 devices. Paid plans $44.99 to $89.99 per year.
75 – Universal Password Manager – how many hours have you wasted in the last year trying to search for, remember or reset one of your dozens of passwords?
76 – Focus Booster – countdown timer designed to help you knock out goals in 25 minute chunks.
Pricing: free version, then $3/mo to $5/mo month for more sessions
77 – [email protected] – music service intended to help increase your attention span – I haven’t tried it but could be handy for social media junkies.
Pricing: free 3 week trial then $3.99/mo
(Useful both for hiring talent and finding gigs if you’re a freelancer.)
78 – Upwork – the largest online marketplace to list your jobs for freelancers to bid on. Huge pool of talent – this is where I go for most tasks I can’t do myself. Very wide range of talents and skills available, with a wide range of quality cost as well!
Pricing: negotiated with freelancers (Upwork takes a 20% fee on all contracts)
79 – 99designs – get a wide range of graphic design projects handled at reasonable prices (logos, web pages, brochures, etc).
Pricing: varies, pricing breakdown is here: https://99designs.com/pricing
80 – Fiverr – a wide range of simple gigs offered by freelancers for $5 apiece (more if you want additional add-ons). This is where I go when I need something small that’s not worth posting on Upwork. Turnaround times can be slow on popular gigs.
Pricing: most gigs $5 plus 10% fee
81 – Toptal – freelancer website, specific to web designers and developers.
Pricing: Typical prices are listed as: $60-95/hour, $1000-1600/week part time, $2000-3200/week full time
82 – Freelancer – similar to Upwork, with a wide range of freelancers with various talents.
Pricing: 3% fee or $3USD, whichever is greater
83 – Guru – another alternative to Upwork, which includes engineering, architecture and legal talent.
Pricing: fees are charged to the freelancers and usually included in their bid
84 – Mechanical Turk – sort of like a crowdsourced work force. List tasks and have them completed by a large pool of freelancers.
Pricing: 20% fee on what you pay workers
85 – Craigslist – giant classifieds listings site where you can list (or look for) freelance work and remote jobs.
Pricing: most listings free, job listings generally $15-75
86 – Canva – not outsourcing per se, but this is a simple DIY graphic design app that lets you quickly and easily create nice web images for blog posts, Facebook, etc, even if you have no design skill.
Pricing: pay per stock image you use ($1 each)
87 – onlinejobs.ph – job marketplace specifically for Filipino freelancers and professionals. This is a good place to find full time virtual assistants and other talent.
Pricing: free version lets you post jobs but you can’t contact workers, paid version is $49/mo, $89/quarter or $499/year
Communications While Travelling
88 – Google Apps + Gmail – sync any email account @yourdomain.com to a Gmail account.
Pricing: Gmail is free, Google Apps for Business is $5 per user per month
89 – Skype – make calls, video calls and group calls to phones and computers anywhere in the world.
Pricing: free to call other Skype accounts, pay per minute for calling to phones
90 – GoToMeeting – high definition video conferencing software.
Pricing: $24/mo to $49/mo, free 30 day trial
91 – GoToWebinar – run online seminars for your business for anywhere in the world.
Pricing: $89/mo to $299/mo, free 30 day trial
92 – Google Hangouts – Google’s version of Skype – tends to give better quality for group calls.
Pricing: free (calling between Google accounts)
93 – Slack – messaging app for teams to communicate with one another. Includes file sharing and connects with other apps like Dropbox and Google Drive.
Pricing: free basic version, then $8/mo to $15/mo
94 – Dropbox – cloud-based file sharing, ideal for sending large files to clients or team members.
Pricing: free basic version, $9.99/mo for Pro, $15 per month per user for Business version
95 – Box.com – cloud storage and file sharing for teams, similar to Dropbox.
Pricing: $6 per month per user Starter version, $17 per month per user Business version
Life on the Road
While these are not directly business related, they do make it much easier to maintain a smooth work routine on the road, helping you avoid lulls in productivity due to less-than-ideal working conditions.
96 – Nomadlist – worldwide database of locations with stats on their suitability for remote work, including Internet speeds, accommodation prices, safety, weather, air quality and friendliness to foreigners.
Pricing: free (NomadForum and NomadBase are associated – access is $75/year for both)
97 – Airbnb – convenient way to find and book private rooms and apartments affordably on a short term basis – beats working out of backpacker hostels.
Pricing: varies depending on the rental
98 – Nomadbase – find other nomads all over the world to connect with.
Pricing: $75/year (also gives access to NomadForum)
99 – Workfrom.co – worldwide directory of coworking spaces, uploaded by users.