Dropbox Professional delivers new account option for freelancers and creatives

Dropbox has a Plus account for those people who want extra storage and it has a business account for those who want extra features, but what it’s lacked until now was a product for sole proprietors and very small businesses who wanted some advanced features, but couldn’t justify upgrading to Business. Today, the company announced a new account level called Dropbox Professional that takes aim at those users caught in the middle.

For $19.99 a month, Dropbox has to offer some enticements beyond additional storage. As with those Dropbox Plus accounts, you will get a healthy terabyte of storage, but that’s just for starters. Of course, Dropbox is going to give you storage — that’s the company’s bread and butter, but it’s loaded up on other features too.

The biggest offering by far is a new way to package up your content into what Dropbox calls a showcase. This could be a marketing packet, a customized application for a financial services pro or a mini advertising portfolio to share with clients.

It packages all of these things together into a pdf to deliver to the client in a nice little presentation. This is not unlike the multi-document pdfs that Adobe has been offering for years, but it represents the first time that Dropbox is giving users a way to deliver the content you store in the platform in a packaged format.

Dropbox Showcase example. Photo: Dropbox

They are also throwing in Smart Sync, which is the feature previously only available for business users, that lets you decide if you want to store your files locally, in Dropbox in the cloud or both places. Users can decide on a file or folder basis how they wish to store their files. For Creative pros looking to reduce local hard drive space, this could be a way to archive work in Dropbox without clogging up their local drives.

The service also offers integrated OCR, so it can read text in scanned documents and it enables users to remotely expire a document, which could come in handy when sharing sensitive information with clients or sending out RFPs with intellectual property.

Dropbox Professional doesn’t provide any of the administrative backend type of functionality you’ll find in Dropbox for Business, but it does give a set of advanced features for a decent monthly price. It’s a big step above Dropbox Plus without having to invest in a set of tools in the business version that a sole proprietor or small business wouldn’t be likely to use.