How to streamline your freelance business with the Kanban approach

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant increase in the development of freelance industry. According to Website Planet, there are about 1.1 billion freelancers worldwide in 2021.

So what is driving these professionals to adopt? freelance work?

Besides better financial prospects, freedom and flexibility in choosing the type of work are the main reasons why professionals turn to freelance work.

However, freelancers face their own challenges.

What are the challenges freelancers face?

Here are some of the obstacles freelancers face when managing their work lives.

  1. Improper time management – Freelancing requires a person to wear many hats. They have to perform a variety of tasks and functions, from sales and marketing to accounting and project management. Taking on multiple responsibilities can take a lot of time and effort, as long as they’re self-organized. That’s why having excellent time management skills is an essential skill in the freelance world.
  2. Lack of focus – Ideas about multitasking different projects at the same time are very interesting to be exposed and experienced. However, the drawback here is that it is difficult for freelancers to focus or dig into an assigned task. This ultimately affects the quality of their work.
  3. No motivation – In the office environment, we often have colleagues and seniors to challenge and push us to achieve more. However, freelancers must carry themselves from one task to another. So they need to be self-motivated to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. Often times, freelancers face a drop in their motivation levels, causing their work to take a hit.

Besides the points mentioned above, not having an organized workflow significantly affects a freelancer’s motivation and productivity.

But the gig economy is here to stay! Freelancers focused on improving their work style and boosting their productivity have long depended on advanced technology tools.

Tools like customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, communication tools, project management platforms, and time trackers have helped freelancers overcome the many different challenges they face. face to face.

For example, technology has brought people from all over the world closer together. This means that freelancers can collaborate with clients and other stakeholders anywhere around the globe and have easier access to opportunities than before.

This globalization is enabled by digital transformation that has allowed freelancers to choose flexible interaction models at their convenience. As a result, freelancers are having the opportunity to choose the desired projects based on their expertise and irrespective of demographics.

Among all the digital advancements that have helped freelancers stay organized, the role of the Kanban method is phenomenal.

Let’s understand the Kanban approach and how it can help freelancers improve their performance.

How the Kanban approach can help streamline your freelance business

The Kanban approach is a workflow management approach to defining, managing, and improving your processes to bring out the best in your customers. It helps you visualize your processes and workflow to maximize its efficiency.

This project management approach helps you identify potential bottlenecks in your workflow and fix them to deliver desired results faster and cost-effectively.

Now let us understand how a Kanban approach can help you organize your business processes efficiently.

1. Track and manage client projects

Kanban is the most used project management method for managing client projects. Kanban boards provide a great overview of your projects. It helps you create and manage tasks, set deadlines, and track project progress.

In addition to managing tasks, you can also set priorities and deadlines for your tasks to ensure on-time completion.

You can also use Kanban boards to keep track of customer meetings, phone calls, and other details. Using Kanban for customer work eliminates the need for additional software applications because you can conveniently organize multiple projects and plan the delivery of tasks.

With the Kanban approach, you can invite customers to collaborate with you on your board. Additionally, some project managers like Jira provide role-based permissions for users for seamless project management.

Basecamp, a project management tool, offers a great chat feature (campfire) to chat with clients in real time.

Basecamp ToolsImage Credits:; provided by the author; Thank!

Similarly, the Jira-Slack integration allows users to chat with their customers via Slack.

Jira and Slack

Image Credit:; provided by the author; Thank!

Here are some tips that you can follow to speed up your processes.

  • Quickly document project scope for any project and share it with your clients.
  • Create email templates for outreach, pitch, and other marketing-related tasks.
  • Use invoicing software like FreshBooks or Invoicely. Jira also comes with a module to create, save and send invoices to your customers in a few clicks.

New book

2. Collect content ideas

The Kanban approach can be a perfect vehicle for brainstorming, validating, and planning your content before they get to your editorial calendar. Gather content ideas for your freelance business by conducting dedicated brainstorming sessions, doing market research, and tracking content requests from your audience.

You can use Kanban boards to save all your ideas for future blogs, articles, eBooks, and other types of content without disrupting your work. By following this method, you will never lose the content idea in your head.

RescueTime, a productivity and time tracking app, uses the Kanban method to curate content ideas for their blog. This idea board is a centralized repository of content ideas for their future blog posts.

Rescue time

Image Credit:; provided by the author; Thank!

3. Build and manage your editorial calendar

Overcome the challenges of publishing content by having an editorial calendar dedicated to your freelance business. From topic ideas and drafts to finished content, you can track the entire lifecycle of your pieces of content and manage everything seamlessly with the help of the Kanban methodology.

With the help of Kanban cards, you can store content details like keywords, resource links, reference links and other details about your task directly. You can also create custom checklists for your pieces of content to make sure you don’t miss any steps in the content creation process.

Buffer, a social posting scheduler, uses Trello to manage their editorial calendar.


Image Credit:; provided by the author; Thank!

Their simple workflow consists of six stages – Content Ideation, Pipeline, In Progress, Editing, Ready to Ship, and Delivered. The Buffer team tracks task status as they move through this workflow.

4. Manage social media calendar

Track your social media marketing initiatives by following the Kanban approach. Strategize, organize, and post branded content on your social media pages without breaking a sweat.

You can plan your social media strategy in small, actionable steps. You can create tasks for –

  • Brainstorm post ideas
  • Create content for articles
  • Design content for posts
  • Schedule a post
  • Monitor the performance of posts
  • Interact with your audience

Here are some quick tips to better manage your social content.

  • Leverage design tools like Canva to design your social media posts. Canva offers 400K+ designs for different social media channels.
  • Use online cloud storage, such as Google Drive, OneDrive, or DropBox, to store media files, specifically images, videos, and infographics.
  • Sign up for a social media scheduling app like Hootsuite or Later and eliminate the hassle of manually posting content on every social site.

Kanban for social media marketing can organize your social campaigns and ensure posting on social accounts is done in a timely manner.

5. Track outsourced work

Managing and tracking outsourced work is a complex undertaking for most freelance businesses. Overall, there is a gap in cooperation, communication and information sharing. A Kanban approach to such situations can reduce this gap significantly.

A simple Kanban board can help you keep track of your tasks and keep your entire project on track. Share tasks with a clearly written description explaining work expectations, setting priorities and deadlines, and other information, if needed. This will make sure the outsourced group stays in sync with you.

You will be able to see who is doing what and identify the challenges you may face. The Kanban board also eliminates the need for multiple software applications as it gives you everything you need to manage your outsourced work.

Here are effective tactics that will help you manage an outsourced team.

  • Sign your contracts, proposals, invoices and documents using digital signatures. This will significantly speed up the signing process and help save both time and money.
  • Regularly communicate with the outsourcing team. Conduct regular meetings and weekly meetings to discuss the progress of your projects.
  • Share essential assets – writing guides, design guides, project scopes and other information about your company and projects with the team before work begins.

6. Share your roadmap publicly

Listening to your audience and providing solutions to their pain points contributes significantly to strengthening your brand image. Likewise, audience feedback is also a factor that cannot be ignored.

Having a Kanban board to capture customer feedback and requests is the most beneficial approach. You can make this board even more public and give your customers access so they can seamlessly comment or give their thoughts.

Trello, the popular project management software, has dedicated board to manage feature requests from its customers.



To improve productivity and streamline their processes, freelancers should focus on making their workflow seamless. One way to achieve this is to use the Kanban method.

If you are a freelancer looking streamline your business, this way will help you speed up the execution of the work. It will establish the right balance between priority and deliverables at hand. So go ahead and use the Kanban method to stay organized and increase your productivity and revenue. Happy freelance work!

Top image credit: Pexels; Thank you!

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