This guide will show you how to manage your freelance business with Hectic. Manage client communication, projects, time tracking, and invoicing all in one place, so you have more time to focus on the work you love doing (and non-work stuff, too!)
When you log into Hectic, you’ll see a sidebar you can use to navigate through the app, search, and take notes. Use the thumbtack icon to pin the sidebar open, or collapse it for more screen space to work. When the sidebar is unpinned, hover over it to re-open and navigate somewhere else.
Use the To-dos and Notes sections to keep track of general business tasks and notes that aren’t related to a specific client, like filing your taxes or ordering a more comfortable office chair. To keep track of anything client-related, head to the Clients tab.
💡 Pro tip: markdown is supported in your Notes + in calendar descriptions. Learn how to use markdown here.
Keeping track of clients
Whether you’re working with your first client ever or your 100th, your work as a freelancer is always for someone. Your relationships with your clients are one of the most valuable assets for your freelance business.
Just like in your business, everything in Hectic centers around your clients. If you’re just getting started with Hectic, go ahead and add a client (even if you haven’t landed a contract with them yet).
Turning prospects into clients
The first step in turning a prospect into a paying client is understanding what their needs are. That’s what the discovery phase is for, and it can help save you time and frustration down the road. When you first hear about a potential project, use the Hectic forms feature to send the client a brief survey asking for their budget, the scope of the project, and any other details that will help you write a compelling proposal. It can also be helpful to have an initial phone call or meeting with the client to talk through their needs in more detail.
During the discovery phase, you’re both getting to know one another. Your goal isn’t just to land the client; you should also make sure you have compatible working styles and will be able to meet their expectations. If the client or project isn’t a good fit, it’s much better to learn that now (vs. after you’ve signed a contract with them).
If the project does feel like a good fit for your business, then the next step is to write a proposal. This should include all the details about how the project will work: timelines, rates, and any other expectations you want to set in writing. A good contract can help protect your business and set you up for success once you start work.
Once the client signs, it’s time to get to work (after a little celebration, of course 🥂)!
Getting to work
Projects come in all shapes and sizes. When you land a client, they could need just a few hours of work from you, or it might become your main focus for months at a time. There’s no wrong type or scale for the projects you work on; you’re the boss, so you get to choose! But no matter what your projects look like, you need a system for tracking them.
In Hectic, projects are the big-picture work you’re doing, and every project is broken down into deliverables, and each deliverable is made up of a set of tasks. Deliverables are the pieces of the project you’ll hand over to the client, and tasks are the specific, concrete steps you’ll need to take to get everything done.
Add projects from a specific client’s Projects tab, or from the main Projects page. Within each project, add the specific deliverables you’ll need to complete, along with deadlines. Each deliverable should have a status, too; usually “not started,” “in progress,” or “done.”
As you work on your project, keep track of your time using the stopwatch feature located in your Hectic sidebar.
Once you start the stopwatch, you can select which client + project you’re working on, and we’ll add your hours to the project. Then, when you’re ready to bill the client for your work, it will just take a few clicks to generate an invoice based on your hours worked. Say goodbye to complicated spreadsheets, messy notes, or forgetting what hours you worked.
How you choose to bill your clients depends on your industry, the types of clients you work with, and your own preferences. You can choose to bill based on the hours you work, set a flat rate for a project, or charge a regular retainer fee. No matter what, your payment system should be agreed on up front, when you sign a contract. Once you’ve done the work, sending the invoice should be the easiest part!
Send invoices in Hectic from the Invoices tab of a client’s details in just a few clicks. Learn more about invoicing through Hectic.