Whether you’re a solopreneur or a part-time entrepreneur, it’s important to keep communication open with clients, but at reasonable times that don’t interfere with your productivity. We all have had calls that seemed to be a waste of time and time is one of those things you can’t get back.
Here are some recommendations and tools below:
1 | Setup a Business Email
Ninety-percent of my clients are good with email, so email maybe be your biggest communication. First rule of communication is to keep your business email/phone separate from your personal email/phone. I recommend signing up for a Gmail or Yahoo account.
Most purchased web hosting offer an option to forward or redirect firstname.lastname@example.org to your Gmail or Yahoo account. Check this out thoroughly because some web hosts will make you think you have to pay an extra fee for using their email servers.
2 | Add a Contact Form on Website
Your website should clearly have a contact page. I recommend using forms on your contact us page versus an email address. My favorite place for building forms is Wufoo.com. Wufoo is great because they provide sample forms to help you get started and these are some beautiful forms. I also like the fact that all the data is stored so that you can refer to names and emails later. You can build up to three forms for free.
It also saves me time when I can get what I need from a potential client from the form. Here is an example of two of my forms from my literary services business, Tywebbin Creations.
I will talk more about quick messaging later in this blog post, but a tool for adding voicemail to your website is SpeakPipe.com.
3 | Establish a Business Phone Number
I use my cellular service for my business. You may want to keep your phone number private until a business relationship is established. Consider signing up for Google Voice. Google Voice can be setup to send a text or voicemail message to your phone, protecting your real phone number.
Some alternatives to use are FreeConferenceCall.com to make or record conversations.
4 | Select a Preferred Messenger
I’m not a fan of messaging and texting, but you should allow clients the ability to leave messages for designated emergencies. These days you should have a smartphone whether you prefer iPhones or Androids. There are tons of apps you can use for quick messaging.
Depending on what’s your main social network, you may like using the messengers that are included. I often have clients who contact me via Facebook Messenger. This is okay, but I always recommend for my records (and sanity) they contact me via email too. I mainly work out of my inbox and check my emails throughout the day.
5 | Use a Virtual Meeting Tool
Skype has been around for years. It includes options for individual calls, group video calls, screen sharing, instant messaging and more.
The following are tools I have used:
In conclusion to this blog post, I would like to recommend that you create office hours for your clients. To protect your work schedule, let them know when you’re available. This is especially important if this is your side hustle and you’re a part-time entrepreneur. If there is a client who prefers daytime hours, then schedule the call during lunch hour.
The majority of my phone calls are at night after 6:00 p.m. That’s not too much of a problem for me because most of my clients have day jobs too.
Below in the comments let me know what communication methods or tools work best for you.