Starting a small business as a freelancer can be difficult. It's hard to take the time for growing your business through sales and marketing while also ensuring that you have enough time to do the work you're passionate about doing. That's where business automation tools come in. These automation tools are designed to help you save time by allowing you to ramp up your marketing efforts, work on your customer relationship management, and manage your email lists — all while you're able to focus on the work you love to do.
For busy freelancers who care more about creating art than creating invoices, these tools can be an enormous help. Read on and learn more about the automation tools that can keep your small business running smoothly.
Opt For Automated Social Media Updates
Having a strong and engaging social media presence is crucial for enhancing your lead generation and even improving your customer service. Certain tools, such as Hootsuite and 99 Dollar Social, allow you to essentially automate your social profiles by outsourcing the creation and sharing of posts on a wide variety of social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Some tools will even help you automate social marketing strategies on video platforms and help you save time and grow your business. Alternatively, consider a web plug-in that automatically updates your social media profiles whenever you publish a new blog entry or add to your portfolio, providing you with a quick and easy way of showing off your latest work. Regardless of which tool you choose, automating your social media updates will help you spend less time trying to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest online trends and more time doing the work that makes your business unique.
Use Marketing Automation Tools
If you want to expand your small business but find yourself overwhelmed by lengthy email lists and exhausted by dreaming up new marketing efforts, using marketing automation tools may be right for you. Marketing automation tools such as Constant Contact are ideal for managing long lists of email addresses and allowing you to enhance your email marketing strategy. Customize one of their email templates and send out an update or coupon to your subscribers; then, use their analytics to determine which emails are generating the type of response you want.
Some marketing automation tools can even be used to help set up an online storefront that can handle credit card transactions, allowing you to make purchasing your products as easy as possible for your customers. This type of automation software is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to build a fiercely loyal customer base but needs a little help keeping track of it all.
Try A Freelance Platform
As a freelancer, you're responsible for generating a wide variety of paperwork in addition to doing the work that you love. Freelance platforms such as Indy are great business automation tools that allow you to spend less time worrying about generating emails, contracts and invoices by creating them almost automatically. They also allow you to keep track of clients and chat with them online, manage your tasks, and record the time spent on each of your projects.
There's no telling what you can do with the time you save by using a lawyer-vetted contract generated by a freelance platform or sending out an invoice in just a few minutes instead of a few hours. If you're overwhelmed by the administrative side of things, consider trying out a freelance platform to see how it can help you save time, grow your business, and give you more time to spend on your work.
Streamline Your Office Setup
One important aspect of freelancing is presenting yourself as a small business owner who should be taken seriously — even if you're working from your own home's kitchen table. The good news is that there are numerous automation tools that can help with this. First, use a tool such as Grasshopper and turn your cell phone into a business line, thus allowing you to maintain your work-life balance without having to get a new phone.
Then, tidy up your email inbox using a tool like Unroll.Me to unsubscribe from pesky email subscriptions so you can see, read, and respond to important emails faster than ever. Finally, consider investing in a plan from Google Workspace or another company in order to generate and share presentations, spreadsheets, and more. With these tools, you'll have everything you need for growing your business, even if you're still a one-person operation.
Offer Automated Customer Service
Providing stellar customer service is a crucial part of customer relationship management. Services such as Freshworks offer a variety of customer care options, including chatbots and a call center to handle communications from customers in more than 25 different languages and dialects, client portals that allow customers to track their tickets, and data tools that can allow you to observe trends in ticket generation. With customer service currently a major factor in customer retention, as well as a significant component of word of mouth marketing, it's important to be able to provide rapid, courteous responses to customers facing difficulties with your product or business. By using an automated customer service platform, you can spend less time responding to emails or phone calls from individual customers and get back to providing the work that attracted them to you in the first place.
Freelancing is challenging enough as it is. Why not save time by using business automation tools that streamline the frustrating, time-consuming aspects of your small business? By automating your social media presence, sales and marketing, business documents, office setup, and customer service, you can enhance your customer relationship management, grow your business, and spend more time focusing on your work. Whether you're a brand-new freelancer or a seasoned small business owner, these tips are ideal for anyone who's looking to provide the best customer experience they possibly can. And who knows? These automation tools might just give you the edge you need for succeeding in a competitive market.