EP137: THE CLIENT SHOW
In today’s episode, I am going to share my workflow and tools I use for managing my local freelance business, Murphy Concierge
What is Murphy Concierge?
Who are my clients and target demographic?
How do I keep track of client information?
How do I schedule and manage the calendar?
How do I organize projects and jobs?
How do I invoice and collect payment?
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Curious about what gear I use to podcast?
Tools Mentioned in Show:
(Business Tools I Use)
G Suite: The complete office suite
Google Drive: Storage
Google Calendar (everything gets scheduled)
Gmail (email & documentation)
Apple Notes (To-Dos & Notes)
Apple Contacts (Address Book)
Things 3 (To-Do App…in Trial Mode)
WHAT IS MURPHY CONCIERGE?
Murphy Concierge is my tech handyman business where I help local residents and businesses in Old Naples, Florida with their digital devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, wifi, printers and all things online such as social media channels, content creation, web and graphic design, etc.
The majority of what I do is fix issues and teaching people how to get the most out of their iOS & Mac devices as that is the center of most people’s digital worlds.
I am a problem solver, fixer and educator and Murphy Concierge is a combination of all three. Murphy Concierge is simply an extension of the brand and business I am building online only I get to meet people face to face.
WHO ARE MY CLIENTS AND TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC?
This matters because the tools and how you manage and communicate with your clients needs to be as easy and convenient for them and make sense for your business.
My clients for Murphy Concierge are broken down into 2 segments:
1. The majority of my clients are retirees over the age of 65
2. The other group is small professional businesses who I help with their content strategy and marketing and tech-related issues.
Use Tools Clients Do not have to learn. Make it easy on them.
I have a few clients who do not text message or email, so I need to be aware of these things and accommodate and so do you.
My business clients are more up to speed, but the reason they hire me typically is that they either want to get brought up to speed and be relevant online or they are tech-challenged and have no interest in learning my system or workflow.
This to me is an important consideration with everything we do also online as content creators and same thoughtfulness of who your target audience is should play a major role in every decision you make for your business and brand.
Look at your colors and fonts and graphics and podcast tone and music and the articles you write and the videos you make. Do they consistently represent you and your brand and speak to your clients and target listeners or viewers? Be yourself and be genuine, but you have to always be intentional and considerate of your audience at all times.
HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF CLIENT INFORMATION?
My business must be able to operate 100% on my iPhone so every tool I use is cloud-based meaning if I am looking at my MacBook, iPad or iPhone, I can access and manage all client relations.
Gsuite, formerly Google Apps for Work is the hub for everything I do mainly because Google Calendar is my lifeline and most important part of running my business, but the entire G Suite is worth its weight in gold.
Google Drive: Storage for documents and files and media
is also critical to client management as I have my entire address book in Gmail and I always like to send my contact information for every new client and also appointment confirmations.
Gmail is a great tool for keeping a history of your appointments and timelines. Gmail is my filing cabinet for nearly everything, so even if a client calls me to set up a job, I always send an email as a form of documenting the transaction. Creating the paper trail is important and may even protect you legally.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE AND MANAGE THE CALENDAR?
Google Calendar: 100%
I pride myself on being reliable and dependable and that means I rely on my calendar.
For me, there is no substitute for Google Calendar as it just works and also integrates with other tools I use.
If I have to be somewhere whether it is a haircut, meeting friend for coffee, etc, I tell Siri to add to calendar.
I have a Daily Agenda sent to me every morning at 6:00 am
I have alarms on all events
I use one Master Calendar synced everywhere
Here is a typical booking process for me:
Note: I am overly paranoid of missing appointments, so I make it a habit to create a calendar event immediately
Most of my jobs are booked via phone.
Gmail Captures Everything.
While on the phone, I gather all the vitals of phone, email, address, problem, etc. I send clients and email with a recap summary that includes everything we discussed. This shows I’m thorough and pay attention to detail and it also creates a document I can search in Gmail.
I copy client info and summary of job in calendar event notes, just so I don’t get lost while traveling to a job and I don’t have to scour around looking for where they live, etc.
As soon as I book a new job, I immediately grab my phone and say Hey Siri, add so and so to my calendar at noon on the 27th.
I then create a reminder the exact same way. Checks and balances. My calendar and reminders will remind me to the point where it drives me crazy, but I want that for client work.
I use iCloud Contacts & Gmail for Address Book (iCloud is default)
While I do have all of my contacts in Gmail, I use Apple iCloud contacts as my main address book and every couple of months I just synced it with Gmail so I have my contacts in both places. I prefer iCloud only because I am usually on my iPhone and it works great and if I ever get a new phone, iCloud backup is the ticket. I do not use iCloud Calendar, but I do use Reminders, Notes & Contacts.
HOW DO I INVOICE AND COLLECT PAYMENT?
Freshbooks. It is my financial center and it’s a keeper. I love it and so do clients.
Freshbooks is $25/month and it is also where I keep track of all of my expenses and my accounting stuff.
Freshbooks has a lot of features and they are always adding things with freelancers and small businesses in mind and they have as good of customer service around. Extremely friendly and helpful and they even answer the phone when you call.
Free trial available. Awesome company and service.
Make it easy for your clients to reach you and pay you. Very big part of running a successful business.
Podcast Promo Video
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