Conferencing can be a great tool for freelancers. You can get on a conference call with a prospect to walk them through a proposal. (Whenever I do this, the prospect gets excited to work with me).
You can also use telephone or video conferencing to collaborate with clients and other outsourced staff on joint projects, such as a website, an article, or even a logo design. You can even set up training through a conferencing application.
Below are ten great conferencing apps for freelancers. Dozens of audio and video conferencing apps are available, but I’ve picked those that are either free or extremely affordable to make it easier for freelancers to use these tools.
4 Telephone Conferencing Apps
The following allow you to have an audio conference using either a regular phone, cellular phone or VOIP.
- FreeConferenceCall.com is a free telephone conferencing service that uses regular phones. While the service is free, standard long-distance charges apply. Personally, I don’t like speaking on the phone. But you can’t beat telephone conferencing in simplicity. All you need is a telephone and you’re all set. Participants don’t need to be in front of a computer with a microphone or headset. Good ‘ol telephone also provides the best sound quality.
- Leader Phone is available either free or paid depending on the features you want, provides audio conferencing only. Its simplicity is its best feature. After signing up for a free account, you get a dial-in number and PIN, and you can start an audio conference right away.
- With Free Conference Calling, you can have free conference calls for up to 1,000 callers. Features include recording and an online conference manager. Attendees can dial in using a regular phone, a cell phone or VOIP.
- BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing is a free app for Blackberry users. It makes audio conferencing extremely easy. Plus, you can have a telephone conference on the go.
6 Video Conferencing Apps
If you’re like me, you prefer to see the people you’re talking to. You may also want to share your computer screen or documents. If that’s the case, you’ll find these video conferencing applications useful.
- iVisit allows you to video conference with up one other person with a free account, and up to 8 users with a paid one. It also offers screen sharing and document sharing. If you want to use your Windows mobile device, you’ll need a different subscription.
- BT Engage Meeting & Mobile lets Android phone users run video meetings with their phone or tablet using this app. However, you must already be using one of BT Conferencing’s many services, which include audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing.
- ooVoo is an easy-to-use video conferencing app. It has a desktop version, as well as apps for several mobile devices (iPhone, Android, windows, Mac, iPad, ThinkPad, etc). With a free account, you can have a video chat with up to six people, share documents and photos, and send files. You can also record your video conferences. I’ve been using ooVoo with my mastermind group partners to record weekly updates. It takes us all of 30 minutes to record and upload the video to YouTube.
- vBuzzer offers either a telephone conference or a web conference. For $10 a month, you can have unlimited telephone conferences. The site was unclear on how much web conferencing costs.
- Open Tok provides several free apps you can use to embed video chat rooms on your website or blog. There’s an app for WordPress or any HTML site, Drupal and more. You can also embed a TokBooth and let visitors send you video messages through your website. Depending on your market, this could be an exciting way for your prospects and clients to send you their questions, give feedback, or ask for support.
- PalTalk SuperIM URL lets you share your URL with others, and you can have a voice and video chat with up to ten people for free. All they need is a computer with a web browser, mic and webcam. Your participants don’t even have to download the app. This may be the best option if you need to have a video conference with clients who can’t be bothered to figure out how to install apps.
These are only some of the options available right now, if you need to get several people on a conference call, want to see people you’re chatting with, or collaborate on a document together in real time, without emailing it back and forth.
Because of all the apps available, I may have missed your favorite. Do you use telephone or video conferencing in your freelancing business? How? And which app do you use?