In our independent editorial review of retail CRM solutions, learn about the top options along with their primary use cases.
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 options incorporate core sales pipeline features as well as tools like time tracking, invoicing and billing, and project milestone monitoring. To help you choose the best CRM for your freelance business, we evaluated the top six options and their use cases.
Here are the six best CRMs for freelancers and solopreneurs:
While the above six options are great for freelancers and solo operators, it's also helpful to understand the best CRM options in general when making your decision. For more information, check out our independent review of the best overall CRM software.
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.
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. Read about each option’s primary use case and its score in each category below.
Offers a fully-featured free plan with upgrade options as freelancers grow their client base.
Price Range: Free to $450 per month (Sales Hub)
HubSpot CRM is a top-rated free sales software with available upgrades. The robust free plan includes a meeting scheduler that lets a lead book a time that works for both of you and syncs with your calendar. You can also use its free Facebook Messenger integration, mobile app, and customizable quotes to meet and coordinate leads and clients. Upgrade to a paid Sales Hub plan for tools like email tracking, ACH and card payments, and simple automations.
While HubSpot offers the best free CRM, its upgrades can get costly for solopreneurs. If you need a CRM offering a slightly more basic free version but more affordable premium tiers, check out Freshsales instead.
Features built-in communication tools and task and calendar syncing tools to manage clients.
Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)
Freshsales is rated our best general CRM and offers a free version great for contact management and communication. Leverage its free built-in dialer and live chat to engage with your leads and clients directly from the platform, and automatically log important information during the conversation. You can also send individual or bulk SMS messages using the provider of your choice like Twilio, ClickSend, and ZipWhip, and integrate this process into your workflow.
While Freshsales' free communication tools are robust, its Growth tier doesn’t include features like sales forecasting to predict which potential projects will come to fruition. If you need a more robust free freelancer CRM option, try HubSpot CRM.
Provides responsive support solutions for freelancers via live chat, email, and phone.
Price Range: Free to $91.99 per user, per month
EngageBay is a user-friendly CRM with robust support solutions and glowing reviews from real users. Freelancers who need help in setting up automations and workflows can talk to a 24/7 live representative or request a free demo by scheduling an appointment online. You can also access its email and phone support to resolve issues or browse through its knowledge base to find guides for creating landing pages, email marketing campaigns, and more.
Although EngageBay is easy to use and has excellent customer service, you have to upgrade to a paid tier to receive native call features for client communication. If you’re needing a CRM with robust built-in communication tools in a free plan, check out Freshsales.
Helps freelancers handle customer billing cycles effectively with classic full-stack CRM features.
Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15- to 30-day trial)
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.
Offers native CRM tools for managing clients and integrates with Google Workspace seamlessly.
Price Range: Free to $129 per user, per month
Streak CRM is a native Google CRM that lives directly within your Gmail inbox and integrates seamlessly with other Google Workspace products like Sheets, Chat, Drive, and more. Create basic pipelines that you can color-code, and assign deals to specific Gmail contacts and email conversations. Then integrate Google Drive to access and manage files like mockups, client proposals, or project files directly from these pipelines.
Even though Streak is a native Google CRM, it's too basic for some, can be hard to use, and doesn't allow for robust collaboration. If you need a more traditional CRM for your freelance business, check out HubSpot CRM instead, which integrates well with Google Workspace.
Enables handling multiple clients with user-friendly tools for task monitoring and time tracking.
Price Range: Free to $16+ per user, per month (14-day free trial)
monday.com is a highly customizable work management software that helps freelancers visualize the progress of their projects and deliverables. It features kanban-style boards with color-coded status tags to track deadlines and next steps of each project. Use its time tracking column to monitor the time spent on tasks or access your log history to get a visual overview of the time tracked so you can update clients on your progress and bill them accurately.
While monday.com has robust project management tools, learning its features can be overwhelming for new freelancers. If ease of use and onboarding customer support are important to you, check out EngageBay, which won in both categories.
The best CRMs for freelancers and solopreneurs include the following tools:
Store, organize, and manage client information such as contact details, project history, and communication records to build stronger relationships with your client base.
Generate invoices for clients using CRM data and automate billing processes to manage transaction records, accounting, and tax documentation.
Monitor and log time spent on tasks, activities, and projects to track productivity and facilitate accurate billing.
Plan, organize, and manage projects for a growing client base using customizable dashboards, workflow automations, milestone trackers, and more.
Freelancers often only have themselves to lean on, so they need a CRM that helps them effectively and affordably handle client relationships and administrative tasks. Your CRM should help free you 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 you to stay on top of your work and find and nurture new clients.