1. Set up smart contact forms
Do you have one blanket “contact me”/”hire me” form on your website?
You’re making things so much harder for yourself.
The biggest benefit of automation is that while it may take time upfront, it only takes time upfront. Put some work in now to create multiple, specific contact forms on your freelance website. It eliminates a ton of the back-and-forth question asking that comes with learning about a new prospect or client.Your contact forms should ask all the questions you need to know, instead of going through them via email later on. You’ll get everything you need right away. Another handy thing is that all the good form builders hook up toIFTTT and Zapier, so this first step in getting a new client can kick off a bunch of other automated steps.
My form builder of choice normally Typeform. It’s easy to use, integrates with anything you’ll need it to, and is just ohhhh-s0-pretty!
Take advantage of contact form and survey form integrations with things like CRM & sales software, email marketing providers, and templates.For example, this is one of the more specific questions on my own “hire me” form:
It tells me whether or not this is a ghostwriting project, something a lot of freelance writing clients don’t think to mention right away. Better for me!
2. Nurture prospects
So once a new prospect has said, “hey, I wanna work with ya,” there’s still a lot of unavoidable things to hammer out.
Just like with initial outreach, forms can make that first basic communication easier.
For example, do you have a set of questions you ask each prospect or new client? Put ’em in a survey. Guidelines about your “office hours” and other things clients need to know? Create a cheat sheet or YouTube video to send them instead of going through them on yet another Skype call.
Then hook these all together in the order the client should go over them, and sleep in in the mornings, knowing you don’t need to be awake for your clients to get the info they need.
This form mentioned in #1, for example, also kicks of an automated confirmation email which includes information and links based on whether or not it’s a bylined piece. Better for the client!
3. Prospect admin
Besides all the back-and-forth involved in a new client, there’s also a whole lotta other admin to take care of.
It kind of ruins the fun and rush of winning a new deal, doesn’t it?
But things like adding a new client to your CRM and financial softwares, customizing quotes, putting together contracts – soooo much of it can be automated.
With a trigger as simple as adding an email to a certain folder or creating a new entry in your CRM, you can set up a chain reaction of activities in different apps that take care of everything for you.
Boom, instant productivity.
Read the full story at 7 Stupid Simple Ways to Automate Freelance Client Management