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The 25 Freelancer Checklists You Need To Get Your Biz Off The Ground

The human brain loves checklists.

How many times do you find yourself creating a task list? A check list? A TO DO list? Call it whatever you want but lists are something which almost everyone tends to use in one form or another.

David Attard GP

There’s quite a few reasons why we find them so useful

  1. Goals – besides setting “small” goals which we need to achieve, we also have the larger goal of completing all the checklist
  2. Progress – when large tasks are split into smaller ones, a huge task becomes much easier to digest. We can feel that we are actually making progress
  3. Memory – since we’ve split a large task into a much smaller task, we are more likely to actually remember each task in the list
  4. Organization – Lists are a way to actually organize our thoughts. Our projects. Our life.

As a freelancer, having a checklist to help you plan things out can really make the difference between a project that goes smoothly and one which doesn’t.

Here’s a bunch of checklists for freelancers – we’ve found a bunch of these useful, and we’ll hope you do too!

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Get organized with our awesome collection of Freelancer checklists

As a freelancer, there’s a bunch of new responsibilities you need to handle. When you’re in a regular 9-to-5, some or most of these are actually handled by your employer.

When you’re a freelancer though, going it alone, these are some of the things you’ll have to be doing yourself.

Have a look at our favourite freelancer checklists – these apply to almost all freelancers in any industry or niche.

1. Checklist before leaving your job to become your own boss

Taking the leap from being employed to being a freelancer is something which needs to be very well thought out.

There are many advantages which come with being a freelancer. Of course there are also a number of responsibilities. A freelancer needs to be more disciplined in certain regards.

To ensure your success, this checklist allows you to plan and figure out how to get yourself in the right mindset to become a freelancer.

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2. Freelancer career checklist

Once you’ve actually made the leap to freelancing, you need to start getting active. If you want to be successful in your freelancing career, these are a must.

Most of these are not just “simple” TODO’s – they are an ongoing list of things you should be doing as a freelancer.

3. Fulltime freelancer master checklist

Whilst not as comprehensive as the previous two checklists, the freelancer master checklist is another one you should take note of. This is mostly there to help give you with some guidance on making the transition from a full-time employment to freelancing.

4. The 5-Point Checklist To Reach Any Goal

When you’re a freelancer, you’ll probably need to set yourself a few goals. Whether these are:

  • Improved financial goals
  • Freedom to decide when and on what to work
  • Spend more time with your family
  • Enjoying your hobbies more
  • Working less hours

they are still goals you’ll need to reach to make sure your life as a freelancer is actually fulfilling.

Leah, founder of FTFP (the site you’re on right now) gives us a bit of a checklist of what we need to do to make sure we reach our goals.

Ok now you’re a freelancer. How do you start getting clients?

That’s where the RUSH checklist comes in…

5. Get more work FAST, use the RUSH checklist

Getting your first few clients fast can make or break your success as a freelancer. Hopefully, you’ve prepared yourself for this “dry spell” where work doesn’t simply fall into your lap from your boss.

The RUSH checklist is there to help you ramp up your work as a freelancer. It’s got a good number of easy, tried-and-tested strategies to start getting your first few clients until all the pieces fall into place.

You HAVE to try these out.

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Make your website better with our checklists for websites, web designers and people working with websites

As a fulltime freelancer, your website is more critical than ever.

It’s your 24/7 salesperson. It’s your showcase. It’s where more business can be won (or lost!)

You need to handle your website with lots of care to make sure it’s a well-oiled business generation machine.

These website related checklist are great for freelance web designers. They’re also good if you want to make sure your website is in top-notch form. If you are in an industry where much of your work revolves around your website, these web design checklists are also an essential resource.

6. The Ultimate Web Design Checklist – 128 tasks you need to do when launching a website

If you’re looking for a web design checklist which sorts you out from start to finish this is the one where you should start (and probably stop).

The team at BeeWits have worked hard and created this checklist of 128 tasks which you’ll probably need to do if you are setting up a website from scratch.

With this web design checklist, whether you’re a freelancer or not, you’ll know that you’ve done everything you need to handle.

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7. 17 Point Checklist for Your Freelance Services Website

Whilst the BeeWits checklist covers the creation of a website from a functional point of view, Sean actually takes the website from the aspect of what it should “feel” like. If your website is intended at getting yourself more freelance business, your website must tell a bit of a story.

Sean, covers all of these aspects in his freelance website checklist.

Website Design Questionnaire: what you need to ask your client before you start designing their website

As a web design freelancer, there’s one thing which you definitely need to get done right. When designing a website for your client, you need to know exactly what the client has in mind.

Not what you think. What they NEED. Specifically, there’s a lot which you need to consider about the actual visitors.

May sound obvious, but it may be surprising to you how many of the items in this checklist, you might not have thought about asking.

Now that you know what you need to do, you’ll also want to think about creating an optimal user experience for your visitors.

9. UX Project Checklist

In recent years, software applications have matured significantly. Whilst up to a few years ago, the onus was on the user to learn the software (the hard way), today any vendor who does not give top priority to an optimal user experience is shooting themselves in the foot.

A straightforward, easy and positive, “Don’t make me think” user experience is one of the open secrets to improving the conversion rates of your business.

That’s why we’ve made UX checklists part of our list of freelancer checklists.

The first link is an awesome page with a bunch of UX things to do – each with a link to an excellent article which explains why that task in the checklist is essential and how to do it.

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10. Usability Checklist

This is another great UX focused checklist. Actually, scratch that. If I wanted to have a checklist to reference when I was thinking about UX, this would the THE one.

Whilst the previous checklist gives general guidelines, this one is all about specific details of what you must have in place.

Get the right audience for your business with these Marketing checklists

Telling the right story is at least half the sale.

There are two main reasons we are including marketing on our list of freelancer checklists.

First of all, a bunch of you are doing marketing on a freelance basis. Secondly, and probably even more important is that if you are a freelancer, marketing yourself the right way is something you really need to give much importance to.

11. The Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist To Guarantee Success

The title betrays the usefulness of this marketing checklist. Rather than a marketing checklist for 2015, this is a 100-item checklist for any year.

This is a complete checklist of how a marketing year should be planned. Campaigns should all be part of plan for a marketing year, set to achieve the goals for the year.

Starting from analyzing the past, setting a vision, analyzing the target market and competition right up to measuring the year’s success (and everything else in between).

12. 17 point content marketing checklist

You can’t have a discussion about content marketing and not mention Mr. Content Marketing himself Neil Patel.

Content marketing is of course a branch of marketing, which needs to be part of your marketing plan for the year (see previous checklist).

The checklist is more of a complete guide to a content marketing strategy, but who’s complaining?

13. A Checklist for Social Media Marketing that Actually Helps

Once we’re on the subject of marketing, we might as well discuss Social Media Marketing – another essential building block of your marketing strategy.

This combination of checklist + infographic lists the essential things you’ll need to do to make sure your SMM strategy works well.

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15. The Ultimate Checklist on How to Optimize Your Google AdWords Campaign in the First Month

There’s another potential bottomless pit when (mis)managing your marketing budget. AdWords.

If you don’t plan and optimize your campaigns carefully, your budget will be blown away in a matter of very little time. You also will probably not get the results you would have hoped for.

This AdWords checklist ensures you are actually optimizing your campaigns for the best results.

Become an awesome copy machine with this list of Copywriting Checklists

With such a huge demand for content marketing, the copywriting niche has been going through a nice boom. That’s why we know quite a few of our readers do freelance copywriting.

Even if you don’t do this freelance, you still might want to have a look at these copywriting checklists.

16. Free Checklist: 25 Copywriting Essentials Everyone in Business Must Know

Just what the title said.

This is not something for copywriters alone, it’s for anybody who does any type of copywriting. Whether it’s for emails, websites, blogs or whatever else you’re writing copy for – these are the things you must always keep in mind.

17. The Sales Page Conversion checklist

One of the most important types of copy you might need to create is a sales page. Whilst all copy has its importance, sales page copy and conversion can be the one little thing which boosts your business.

A carefully crafted sales page is an absolute enabler for any business.

Featured writer on FTFP Sonja Jobson helps us create a successful sales page with this 10 point checklist.

Boost your website traffic with these effective Search Engine Optimization Checklists

Let’s just get one thing straight. These are very few ways to game the system today.

If we had to describe SEO is one sentence, create content so awesome for your audience that it is bound to satisfy their need (and attract backlinks).

There are no shortcuts. There might be some tweaks or frameworks to follow and these are what these SEO checklists are all about.

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18. Common Sense SEO checklist

One great thing about SEO that people tend to forget is this. The best way to write for search engines, is to write awesome content which people will want to read and be associated with.

Chris Coyier from CSS Tricks reminds us of the bare essentials of writing for SEO. If you follow Chris’s checklist, your content is good to go.

19. OnPage SEO checklist

Ok, so Chris has got all of our SEO basics covered.

Although this is most of what SEO is all about, you might consider tweaking your content just a little bit to give some hints to the search engines scouring your content.

Onpage SEO is not as relevant as it used to be, but there’s no harm in following this checklist, as long as you do the rest of the necessary search engine optimization.

20. Content Quality Checklist

Without excellent quality, your content is going to fall flat on its face. Your content is going to be competing with literally millions of other posts published on a daily basis.

“If you are creating 500-word me-too blog posts that get read by no one, you are completely and absolutely wasting your time.” —

Strive for quality, length, going deep into subjects, covering them from all aspects.

Improve the quality of the posts you publish using this content quality checklist.

21. The Ultimate 22-Point Blog Post Checklist

We’ve discussed marketing, content marketing, copywriting and SEO.

Typically any blog post you publish has a mix of all four of the above. So why not a checklist which now makes sure you will get results with the post you’re about to publish?

Part SEO, part user experience, it’s a good idea to apply this checklist against your posts if you are intent on making each blog post succeed.

Create awesome designs with our Checklists for Designers

Many times you might think that as a designer, you know your skill enough to not require any kind of checklist. Sometimes however, it’s great to get back to basics and check whether you’re missing any of the fundamentals.

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22. Do You Have a Design Checklist?

Despite the fact that all projects are different and all them have their own intricacies, there’s a set of thought processes which should always be part of your design workflow.

23. How I approach logo design – a checklist

A logo is a very specific piece of design which merits its own specific thought-shaping checklist.

24. Checklists for Photographers

Nearly all of the designers in my circle are also fantastic photographers. And most freelancers involved in the creative freelance industry are bound to have done some photography as a hobby or as part of the their jobs.

In this case, it’s another checklist of checklists for photographers. Pre-shoot, location, shoot-day and specific wedding photography checklists – you’re mostly covered when it comes to photography checklists.


25. A checklist for super productivity

And to conclude this list – something for everyone.

Whether you’re a freelancer or not, increased productivity is always something you can benefit from.

This is a relatively simple 7 step checklist, but it’s effects could be quite profound on your hours.

This collection of freelancer checklists is bound to give you both a place to start and a final goal. Because as freelancers, often switching from one job to another, don’t we need all of the help and organization we can get?

David Attard David has been fascinated by the interwebs since going online involved 28k modems. With an extensive background in software and web development, David today manages BeeWits (a project management tool for creatives) after previously managing a web filtering product for an international software company.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Krysha

    I know I found this article a bit late but a lot of this is still very relevant and helpful. I’d love to read an updated article highlighting some of the very awesome tools (especially apps) that can be very helpful.

    Glad I found you!

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