6 Best CRMs for Freelancers & Solopreneurs in 2022

In our independent editorial review of the best CRMs for freelancers and solopreneurs, learn about each software and its primary use case.

CRMs for freelancers are sales and marketing software that help solopreneurs and independent contractors nurture leads, onboard new clients, and manage ongoing projects effectively. For this reason, the top CRMs for freelancers incorporate core sales pipeline features as well as tools like time tracking, appointment scheduling, and task automation. To help freelancers choose the best CRM for them, we evaluated the top six options and their use cases.

Here are the six best CRMs for freelancers and solopreneurs:

  • HubSpot CRM: Best overall free freelancer CRM with premium tiers (free starting price)
  • Freshsales: Best freelancer CRM for client communication (free starting price)
  • Zoho CRM: Best freelancer CRM for time tracking, invoicing & billing (free starting price)
  • Pipedrive: Best CRM for freelancers with add-on upgrade options (14-day free trial)
  • Insightly: Best freelancer CRM for ongoing project management (free starting price)
  • Streak CRM: Best freelancer CRM with a native Gmail integration (free starting price)

While the above six options are great for freelancers and solo operators, it's also helpful to understand the best general CRM options when making your decision. For more information, check out our independent review of the best overall CRM software.

How We Evaluated the Best CRMs for Freelancers

We took a quantitative approach to our freelancer CRM evaluation by defining six weighted categories important to freelancers and solopreneurs. Then, we assigned each category key subcriteria to score how each option performed in that category. Finally, we totaled the weighted scores to give each CRM software an overall rating out of five, including primary use cases.

Evaluation Criteria

Freelancers need an affordable CRM to manage leads, clients, and ongoing projects. For this reason, we assigned the most weight to features and cost. Also considered were ease of use, customer service, and customizations so freelancers can tailor their CRM to fit their industry and niche.

Cost:
25%
Core Features:
25%
Ease of Use:
20%
Integrations:
15%
Customization:
10%
Customer Support:
5%

Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless noted.

The CRMs we evaluated are all good options for freelancers, but HubSpot CRM emerged as the overall best CRM for freelancers. Below, read about each option’s primary use case and its score in each category.

HubSpot CRM: Best Free CRM With Upgrades

A leading CRM with a free plan and upgrades that offer even more robust functionality as freelancers grow their client base.

Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month (Sales Hub)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent customer support
  • Plenty of free tools

Cons:

  • Customization can be lacking
  • Paid plans can be expensive
  • Limited reporting

HubSpot CRM is a top-rated free sales software with available upgrades. The robust free plan helps freelancers manage their leads and clients, schedule meetings, and monitor tasks from their desktop or via HubSpot CRM’s free app. As their client base grows, freelancers can upgrade to a paid Sales Hub plan for automation to cut down on manual tasks. What's more, it integrates seamlessly with HubSpots marketing and service platforms.

While HubSpot offers the best free CRM, its upgrades can be costly for solopreneurs. If you need a CRM offering a more basic free version but more affordable premium tiers, check out Freshsales instead.

HubSpot CRM Pricing

  • Free Plan: Support for unlimited users, up to 1 million contacts
  • Sales Hub Starter: $45 per month for up to 2 paid users
  • Sales Hub Professional: $450 per mont for up to 5 paid users
  • Sales Hub Enterprise: $1,200 per month for up to 10 paid users
  • Additional users can be purchased for a monthly fee
  • Integrates seamlessly with HubSpot's marketing and service platforms

HubSpot CRM Key Features

  • Robust Freemium Model: Its free forever plan provides core CRM functions for free with ability to upgrade into paid tiers.
  • Marketing & Service Functionality: Integrate with free tiers of HubSpot's marketing and service platforms as well as pay for premium features.
  • Communication Tools: Communicate with prospects and clients via live chat, Facebook Messenger, a built in dialer, and more.
  • Excellent Customer Support: HubSpot is renowned for its top-notch customer support and extensive knowledge base.

Hubspot free crm dashboard

Visit Hubspot CRM

Freshsales: Best for Client Communication

Top of the line CRM built for freelancers with task and calendar features as well as multiple free communication tools.

Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Clean user interface
  • Free communication features
  • AI-powered saless features

Cons:

  • Lacks some marketing features
  • Free tier is limited
  • Full support costs extra

Freshsales is rated our best overall CRM and offers a free version great for contact management and communication. Leverage its free built-in dialer and live chat options to engage with prospects while keeping your business and personal communication separate. Upgrade into one of its affordable premium tiers for advanced features that help with things like revenue forecasting and more, so you're always planning ahead.

While Freshsales' free communication tools are robust, its free tier lacks a visual pipeline. If you need a more robust free freelancer CRM option with a pipeline, try HubSpot CRM.

Freshsales Pricing

  • Free Version: Support for unlimited users
  • Growth: $15 per user, per month
  • Pro: $39 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 21 days for all paid plans

Freshsales Key Features

  • Task Management: Create automations for repeating tasks, link tasks to relevant contacts, and get reminders for efficient follow-up.
  • AI-Powered Sales Features: Leverage the power of artificial intelligence to forecast revenue or expenses as well as to engage with prospects.
  • Communication Tools: Use Freshsales' free phone dialer and live chat, as well as communicate with leads and clients via Facebook Messenger.
  • Customized Reporting: Freelancers can create filtered lists to show specific activities as well as create robust reporting dashboards.

freshsales dashboard example

Visit Freshsales

Zoho CRM: Best for Invoicing & Billing

A classic full-stack CRM with a free plan and features that help freelancers handle customer billing cycles effectively.

Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15+ day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Operations management features
  • Omnichannel marketing features
  • Comes with a free plan

Cons:

  • Interface can be hard to use
  • Integrations can be complicated
  • Forms not great for conversions

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM with affordable functionality for customer invoicing and billing. It allows freelancers to automate recurring billing by setting up billing frequencies and payment reminders, and it makes creating and sending tax-compliant, professional-looking invoices easy. For this reason, Zoho CRM is great for freelancers who need help managing timesheets, invoices, and quotes for a high number of clients or ongoing projects.

While Zoho is a top-rated CRM for freelancers, its user interface can be difficult to learn or use. If you want a more intuitive CRM with powerful sales features, take a look at Freshsales.

Zoho CRM Pricing

  • Free Plan: Free for up to 3 users
  • Standard: $14 per user, per month
  • Professional: $23 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $40 per user, per month
  • Ultimate: $52 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 15 to 30 days for all paid tiers

Zoho CRM Key Features

  • Manage Invoice Lifecycles: Freelancers can create and send invoices for ongoing projects and effectively track them from draft to payment.
  • Subscription Billing: Allows businesses and freelancers to customize their billing process by setting up proration and billing cycle frequencies.
  • Powerful Sales and Marketing Features: Offers native social media management and other marketing features to find the best channels for prospects and clients.
  • AI-Powered Sales Features: Automate various sales and marketing strategies using AI, including targeted email campaigns, real-time analytics, client insights, and more.

Dashboard in Zoho CRM

Visit Zoho CRM

Pipedrive: Best for Add-On Upgrades

An intuitive CRM equipped with a visual pipeline and add-on upgrades offering features you can purchase a la carte.

Price Range: $14.90 to $99 per user, per month (14-day trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • More visual than many CRMs
  • Add-on features available

Cons:

  • Limited functionality for the cost
  • Customization features lacking
  • Missing some marketing features

Pipedrive is a CRM with an easy-to-use pipeline to track leads and clients. Its clear, visual interface helps freelancers stay on top of their sales process and monitor emails, calls, and projects. In addition to this core feature-set, Pipedrive offers add-on features you can purchase such as website visitor tracking, document management, email marketing, sales prospecting, and more. This makes Pipedrive great for those needing a visual CRM with add-on upgrades.

Pipedrive's flexibility makes it great for freelancers, however, it doesn't offer a free version. If you need a robust free CRM option, try HubSpot CRM instead.

Pipedrive Pricing

  • Essential: $14.90 per user, per month
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user, per month
  • Professional: $49.90 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Pipedrive Key Features

  • Visual Sales Pipeline: Pipedrive allows you to start simple and customize your pipeline in stages to visualize your sales process.
  • Add-On Upgrades: Purchase a la carte features that help with marketing, prospecting, and managing documents like client contracts.
  • Track Communications: Emails are automatically linked to associated deals and measure performance against set goals.
  • Workflow Automation: Save time and avoid repetitive tasks like follow-up emails with robust workflow automations.

Dashboard in Pipedrive

Visit pipedrive

Insightly: Best for Project Management

Insightly offers the core CRM features you expect along with advanced project management functionality for client work.

Price Range: Free to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Integrated project management
  • Kanban-style sales pipeline
  • Milestone tracking & sync

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to use
  • Free plan can be limited
  • Premium tiers can be pricey

Insightly is a leading CRM known for its core sales features and robust project management capabilities. Integrate ongoing project management into your workflow using milestone and task tracking, calendar sync, and even customize your project processes to your needs. This makes Insightly a good CRM choice for freelancers or solopreneurs who manage ongoing projects for their clients as well as manage leads through a visual pipeline.

Insightly provides robust project management features, however, there are other CRMs that help you better manage your leads and contacts. If this sounds like you, check out Freshsales.

Insightly Pricing

  • Insightly Free-for-Life: Supports up to two users
  • Plus: $29 per user, per month
  • Professional: $49 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days for all paid plans

Insightly Key Features

  • Kanban-Style Sales Pipeline: Manage contacts, leads, prospects, and customers using their intuitive pipeline
  • Project Milestone Tracking: Track ongoing client projects and customize your project management workflows to fit your needs.
  • Integration & Customization: Integrate with over 250+ business apps, including G Suite and more, in order to customize the CRM for your needs.
  • In-App Calling: Premium tiers offer an in-app phone dialer so you can make business calls without using your personal device.

Insightly CRM dashboard

Visit Insightly

Streak CRM: Best for Gmail Integration

A simple CRM offered by Google that seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace and includes a free version.

Price Range: Free to $129 per user, per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Native Google integration
  • Reduces data entry
  • Simple to set up

Cons:

  • Inteface can be cluncky
  • Can't be used outside Google
  • Lacking advanced features

Streak CRM is a native Google CRM that lives directly within your Gmail inbox and integrates seamlessly with other Google Workspace products. Create basic pipelines that you can color-code and assign deals to specific Gmail contacts and email conversations. You can use their basic tier for free or upgrade into a paid tier for more advanced sales and email features.

Even though Streak is a native Google CRM, its very basic for some, can be hard to use, and doesn't allow for robust collaboration. If you're needing a more traditional CRM for your freelance business, check out Freshsales or HubSpot CRM instead.

Streak Pricing

  • Free: For individual users
  • Solo: $15 per user, per month
  • Pro: $49 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $129 per user, per month

Streak Key Features

  • Google Workspace CRM: With Streak, freelancers can leverage Google’s vast ecosystem to manage emails, contacts, and deals in one place.
  • Link Tracking: Track link clicks and other email interactions so you can effectively manage email conversations with leads and clients.
  • Lead Management: Allows you to set up multiple pipelines so you can manage new leads across different projects.
  • Shared Pipelines: Upgrade into premium tiers for shared pipelines between members of your team for basic collaboration.

streak crm dashboard

Visit Streak CRM

Bottom Line: Best CRM for Freelancers

Freelancers often only have themselves to lean on, so they need a CRM that helps them effectively handle client relationships and administrative tasks. Their CRM should help free them from repetitive work through workflow automation and third-party app integration. The top six CRMs we evaluated provide industry-specific lead generation and customer management functionality to allow freelancers to stay on top of their work and find and nurture new clients.

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