Shopping for a freelancer can be pretty easy and very rewarding — as long as you know where to look.
Whether it's the season of giving, a birthday, or a “just because” occasion, there are many fun and helpful things to gift the freelancer in your life.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
From business software to audiobooks, there are a variety of subscriptions and memberships that freelancers use for both personal and professional development — and paying for any of these will make your freelancer very grateful.
Some great choices include:
Accounting/Bookkeeping: Services like Wave, Bill.com, and others charge an annual fee for freelancers to track who they've billed, what they've been paid, and more. Make their life a bit easier by covering the fee for a year.
Cloud Storage: After a certain level, cloud storage comes with an annual fee you could cover for the freelancer. This includes sites such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
Website/Domain Hosting: This is the annual fee to keep a website up and running, which is often a critical part of freelancing. Specific companies for this are WordPress, SquareSpace, and GoDaddy, so check to see who your freelancer uses and help them out.
Audio Books: For busy freelancers, Audible lets them listen to books for business and pleasure whenever and wherever.
There are many other subscription options, so be sure to search for the best benefits for the person you're gifting.
Professional memberships and associations
Memberships differ from subscriptions in that memberships are a great source for making business connections and keeping abreast of what's happening in a specific industry. Find one or two your freelancer uses and pay for a year — or more.
For example, as a writer and editor, I pay yearly to be a part of The Editorial Freelancers Association.
Calendars, planners, and timekeepers
While staying organized is easy for some, it can be quite a challenge for others — but it's a key part of freelancing success. Below are some ideas of gifts that can help your freelancer stay on target and on time every day.
Optimist's Calendar: Along with managing appointments, the Optimist's Calendar also offers uplifting statements for each day of the year. With the ups and downs of freelancing, this can help maintain a positive state of mind.
Passion Planner: With several options available, this planner helps freelancers stay motivated and aligned with their priorities for the day, week, month, or year.
Fun Alarm Clocks: Does your freelancer have trouble getting the day started? Maybe a new alarm clock is in order so the “boss” doesn't oversleep. Good choices include a cool natural light alarm clock or other fun options, with everything from loud bells to giant, multi-colored clock faces.
There are so many options here they could be a stand-alone article. Good places to start are:
Upwork: This is a site for specific freelancers to find one-off projects or ongoing work. While the basic service is free, they also have optional paid premium memberships and subscription services that have more benefits than the free service.
Fiverr: When more hands are needed for a project or long-term work, Fiverr provides contractors to fill the gap. A gift card for this service will really help an overworked freelancer in your life.
Office supply stores: From pencils and notebooks to printer ink and filing folders, freelancers are always in need of office supplies. Gift cards for Staples, W.B. Mason, or your local store will help keep costs down and productivity up.
Freelancers need lots of business cards, stationery, and other materials to promote their goods and services. A gift card for places like Zazzle or Vistaprint can help reduce the cost of developing these items, especially for someone just starting their business.
You can also gift printed or online books on how freelancers can market themselves effectively or other relevant business topics. If books aren't what they are in the market for, you can try this fun option: PR Tip Cards. This box of 52 cards provides weekly ideas on how to kickstart publicity or communications campaigns. They were designed specifically with freelancers and small business owners in mind.
Food and beverages
Freelancers often have to work long hours. Sometimes a late-night snack can be what keeps them going — and then of course there's coffee or tea.
Put together a box of their favorite snacks and beverages, or give a gift card to their favorite coffee haunt in town.
Now that you know it's easy to buy for the freelancer in your life, you can enjoy yourself while supporting their business. As someone with skin in the freelancer game, I can confirm that any gift will be greatly appreciated and well-remembered.
Another great gift to help the freelancer in your life? A resume rewrite from one of our professional writers.