Customer Management Business Tips and Tricks for Freelancers and Independent Contractors in 2019 and 2020
Good morning and happy Monday! As I continue to get the ball rolling with AdamHelper, it’s not uncommon for me to feel overwhelmed with the workload. At the moment, marketing is sufficient, and I am staying busy enough, but I’m still asking myself how can I grow and get more clients? How can I continue to serve my current customers in a high-quality and responsive manner, while also developing my business and helping more people in need of my marketing and branding, data entry, or maybe my moving and lawn mowing services?
After branding and marketing, I need a way to help keep track of my current customers and essential information like what do I help each of them with, how much have I helped them, how happy are they with my service, when is my next mowing or data entry appointment, and much more. Would you remember to follow up with your customer in 2 or 3 months about possibly re-organizing the basement? Maybe, but imagine having to retain this information with multiple clients – it’s impossible. So it’s essential to stay on top of my current customers and gigs, but I also want to grow and help more people.
What do you use for keeping track of your customers as well as pay?
The answer to this question will be different depending who you ask, but ultimately, it comes down to QuickBooks and Insightly. Regarding clients and pay, I primarily use Quickbooks to send out invoices and help with tracking expenses, income, and more. But in terms of building out my client relationship and growing my business, I needed to develop a CRM strategy.
What is CRM, and how could it help me as an independent contractor or freelancer?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
Wikipedia defines CRM as “customer relationship management is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.”
A good CRM strategy will help you strengthen your relationship with leads and customers throughout the full customer lifecycle experience. From the first time they hear about you to the on-going monthly cleaning or lawn care work that you do you’ll need a solution to help manage your customers and your business. A suitable CRM solution will give you insight into the companies and individuals that believe in you or have shown interest in you and your business and your services.
Use an organized system or strategy that will allow you to serve them better while also growing your business. For this reason, I suggest using CRM software instead of a spreadsheet. If you are satisfied with your ten customers and don’t intend on growing or expanding beyond that, then yes, a spreadsheet is all you need. But otherwise, you are missing out if you aren’t using CRM software.
So, back to the question, what do you use for keeping track of clients as well as pay? I’ve decided to use Insightly for now.
Insightly CRM Software is the CRM platform that I’ve decided to move forward with as I build my brand and business. Since I am just recently starting and have already invested money in other aspects of building and creating a business, I knew I wanted a free CRM. So after going down the list of top CRM software, I could already remove Salesforce (which I would also highly recommend if you are willing to spend money) and was pretty much left with Hubspot, Zoho, and Insightly.
Of course, there are tons of other great CRM solutions, but along with being free and having the essential tools I need to help with tracking customers, Insightly has some nice looking graphs and dashboards, is easy to use and configure, can integrate with other major players like Gmail, QuickBooks, and Mailerlite, among other perks. I’ll most likely be exploring the free Hubspot plan with one of my other brands over the next 6 months, but for now, I’m diving head first into Insightly.
2020 is around the corner, Stop using Excel for CRM-related Needs
Consider using a CRM such as Insightly to Help Track Customers and Pay/ Sales Instead of an Excel Spreadsheet
At some point or another, every business that begins with Google Sheets or Excel Spreadsheets eventually uploads their spreadsheets into a CRM to help manage their customers and sales. If you are still using a spreadsheet for this, you probably aren’t maximizing your time or growing your business like you have the potential to in 2019 and 2020. Generally, people use spreadsheets because their just starting and worksheets are easy to use and free. But in my opinion, using a paid or free CRM software is the best route to go since they were made to help with this exact issue – managing customer relationships and growing your business.
So, for now, here is a video I made at like 2 in the morning that helps to explain one of the solutions that I plan to use for keeping track of clients and sales as I build my business, AdamHelper. I’ll be making shorter and more direct/ to-the-point videos soon, but this video and blog post should hopefully help guide you in the right direction as you continue to grow your side hustle or develop your independent contractor grind into a small business.
And lastly, I’m always trying to learn and grow while also being supportive of others. If you have any thoughts or suggestions that you think could be helpful, please comment below.
Now, how can I help you?