The rise of the gig economy has changed marketing and creative agencies. Gone are the days where agencies employ huge teams of full-time staff. Modern agencies are now small, opting to hire freelancers as and when needed.
This reliance on freelancers and remote workers has increased the necessity for sharing tools with teammates, including remote workers and freelancers. While these kinds of marketing agencies can be incredibly profitable and productive, sharing access to tools and apps does introduce security vulnerabilities for your business and clients.
To keep your Data safe while working with freelancers give TeamPassword with their Free Trial
Document Sharing with Remote Teams & Freelancers
Document sharing is one of the most common tools agencies use to distribute files with team members. Teams need shared access to PDFs, word documents, images, videos, creative assets, and more.
These are our top four free document-sharing tools for marketing agencies.
Google Drive is one of the most accessible and free methods for teams to share documents with freelancers. Most people worldwide have a Gmail address, and if they don't, anyone can sign up for an account within minutes.
The great thing about Google Drive is that teams can also share access to Docs and Sheets beyond sharing files, making it a versatile collaborative tool.
Dropbox is another convenient and free document-sharing tool. While Dropbox also provides document collaboration functionality, it's not as user-friendly as Google Drive.
For teams using Office 365, then the obvious choice for document sharing is Microsoft OneDrive. OneDrive has a free plan offering up to 5 GB of storage so that teams can share access with freelancers too.
The downside to OneDrive is that you can only share access to Excel and Word with users who have a paid Office 365 subscription.
Zoho Docs provides free sharing for teams of up to 25 people with 5GB of free storage. The user experience is similar to Google Drive, but their mobile apps have limited features. Zoho Docs integrates well with other Zoho products, so it makes the most sense if your agency already uses Zoho Mail.
Staying on top of project management is crucial when managing remote teams and freelancers. Unfortunately, you're unlikely to find decent project management tools for free, but they're usually inexpensive, even for large teams.
Here are three popular project management tools when working with remote teams and freelancers.
Asana is one of the most comprehensive and intuitive project management tools. Navigating your way around Asana is easy, and because it's so widely used, many freelancers are familiar with the platform.
Monday.com is another popular, widely used project management tool for remote teams. Like Asana, the intuitive user experience makes it easy for anyone to jump in and start working immediately.
While Monday.com and Asana both offer free plans and are evenly priced, the latter is a couple of dollars more expensive per paid seat on their cheapest plan.
Notion provides a minimalist layout, similar to a word or spreadsheet document, making it the most accessible project management tool on the market. What makes Notion especially great for teams with freelancers is the ability to create Wikis.
Wikis are fantastic for outlining brand guidelines, standard operating procedures, and general how-to guides for new team members and freelancers.
Invoicing Apps for Teams
One of the most challenging elements of working with marketing or creative teams is time tracking and invoicing, especially when hiring freelancers all charging different rates.
If you're working with freelance accountants, you want to ensure you have complete control over who has access to your software and restrict any unauthorized sharing. TeamPassword is fantastic for sharing apps with sensitive data. You can control an individual's login credentials, monitor activity logs, and get email notifications when users log in or share access.
Hubstaff is an excellent invoicing tool for agencies needing to track and invoice hours, with tons of integrations to keep track of expenses across multiple sharing tools and apps.
Team members can install the Hubstaff app and log hours working on various tasks and projects. From the Hubstaff dashboard, you can monitor individual performance, hours billed by department, and hours attributed to projects.
Hubstaff will also capture your freelancer's invoices and allow you to bill customers.
If your agency uses Zoho Mail, then Zoho Invoice will make the most sense. Like Zoho Docs, Zoho Invoice integrates the entire Zoho suite, making financial workflows and sharing easy and efficient.
Zoho invoice is fantastic for tracking team member's time and invoicing clients. The Client Portal supports multiple payment gateway integrations making it easy for clients to log in and pay invoices.
FreshBooks has been around for more than 20 years, and it's one of the most widely used invoicing software for small businesses and agencies. While FreshBooks is designed for small companies, it's a fully comprehensive invoicing software designed to scale as your business grows.
FreshBooks allows unlimited time tracking with powerful reporting and analytics so you can monitor projects and expenses accurately.
Xero is comprehensive accounting software with advanced features like tax filing, payroll, project management, and a ton of integrations. A paid add-on called Xero Projects provides time and job tracking.
Creative Tools for Teams
If you're working with designers and content creators, you'll need to share access to your creative apps. While many of these apps have free plans, teams often require paid plans.
If your freelancers don't have a paid version, you might have to share your username and password, which isn't ideal. To share login credentials safely, you need a tool like TeamPassword. You can give access to freelancers via TeamPassword, and they can use one of many browser extensions to sign in.
Canva is extremely popular for creating social media content. The intuitive drag-and-drop builder and a vast library of assets allow creators to create content that's on-brand every time.
Canva has excellent features for teams allowing collaborators to work on the same design together for effective and efficient workflows.
Adobe has a massive product range with software for every creative project. Adobe Spark is almost identical to Canva and forms part of Adobe's Photography plan.
Like Canva, you can invite teams to collaborate in Adobe Spark and upload client brand assets, making it a perfect tool for agencies.
Aside from Canva, Adobe has powerful tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, and more to design logos, edit images, and much more.
Figma is one of the hottest tools for designing apps and websites. The app is optimized for collaboration with the ability to add comments to artboards and elements. Many creators also use Figma to create logos, icons, and other components.
Envato is a massive library of creative assets, including stock images and video, icons, logo templates, CMS themes, and much more.
You must have a paid plan to use Envato Elements, so you will need to share a single username and password with multiple team members. When sharing tools like Envato Elements, it's crucial agencies use a password manager.
With TeamPassword, you can grant or remove team members with a few clicks, perfect for a tool like Envato Elements and other asset libraries teams might need access to.
Video Creation & Editing Tools
Video creation is a big part of content strategies for social media platforms. Unfortunately, video apps and tools are expensive, and many freelancers don't have plans for every service, meaning you will likely need to share login credentials.
Lumen5 is an excellent video maker for creators who might not have professional video editing skills. The app comes with templates for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn ready to go.
Unless you're willing to pay $200 for Lumen5's Pro plan, you'll only have one user login. While Lumen5 lacks collaboration features, it is a powerful app for creating video content fast.
Vimeo not only hosts video content, but they also have an excellent video maker with similar features to Canva. Vimeo Video Maker has thousands of templates for most social media platforms, including a vast library of assets to customize your designs.
Vimeo is a paid app, so you will need to share access using a password manager with team members and freelancers.
InVideo is a unique video maker because it supports 70+ languages, perfect for agencies with diverse, multinational teams. The layout and dashboard are similar to Canva, making InVideo an easy app to use.
SEO writing requires keyword research and analysis. The problem with keyword research is they're expensive, and freelancers rarely have their own plans. Agencies almost always have to share login credentials with team members and freelancers, which is the perfect job for TeamPassword.
SEMRUSH is a powerful keyword research and marketing tool. The app allows copywriters to dive deep into keywords and optimize content plans for articles.
SEMRUSH also allows PPC team members to research keywords and analyze paid ad campaigns.
Ahrefs is another amazing keyword research tool and a favorite for content marketers. The app allows copywriters to explore the highest-ranking websites in search results to analyze competitors and look for opportunities. You can also perform SEO audits to evaluate the health of your website and make improvements.
Until 2020, Ubersuggest was 100% free. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case, but the plans are still very competitive compared to other keyword research tools.
While Ubersuggest is not as comprehensive as Ahrefs or SEMRUSH, it provides copywriters with many of the core tools required to create content, including a Chrome extension to analyze websites on the fly.
Sharing Tools With Teammates Securely
Throughout this article, we've featured tools and apps your team members, including freelancers, will need access to. Using a password manager like TeamPassword will allow you to share tools and apps safely.
Protect your agency's passwords and sign up for a free TeamPassword trial today.