5 pro tips to help freelancers and consultants grow their business
Thad Thompson, October 26, 2021
Being a freelancer or consultant means that getting the job done is just the beginning of your responsibilities. When you're filling all the roles in your business, from CEO to administrative assistant, getting bogged down in repetitive, mundane tasks means there's less time to focus on tasks that bring in revenue.
According to a recent survey from Upwork and Freelancers Union, freelancers spend 47% of their time engaged in non-billable activities. That’s why eliminating administrative busywork through automation is vital for all freelancers and consultants. When you free up your time to build lasting client and partner relationships, you can devote more energy to growing your business.
Millions of people around the world use Calendly to reduce email traffic through scheduling automation. But did you know that it can also automate many organizational procedures that keep your business running smoothly behind the scenes?
These proven pro tips guide you through advanced Calendly features that help you get time back for what matters: delivering quality freelance and consulting services and building your business.
Build better client and partner relationships
Here are our five top tips for using Calendly to build better client and partner relationships by reclaiming your valuable time.
1. Eliminate sales funnel drop-offs to grow your customer base
When you make prospects and clients take extra steps to schedule a meeting with you or wait for a callback, you risk losing them in the process.
Make it easy for people to lock in an appointment when they’re most interested. Once a prospect fills out your existing inquiry form, direct them to a scheduling automation page so they can schedule right away. A frictionless booking experience gets them in your funnel faster — and keeps them there.
Your scheduling automation page can also boost the opt-in rate of your marketing campaigns. Use your Calendly link as the call-to-action in campaigns and emails. This approach empowers interested prospects to see your availability and schedule an informational session to learn more about your services while you have their attention.
2. Improve client satisfaction and retention
Provide a better experience for clients by enabling them to schedule quickly, whenever they need your services. Providing clients easy access to schedule their own appointments gives them the convenience of planning around their needs while eliminating extra administrative work on your end.
To get the most out of this approach, it's a best practice to provide scheduling links wherever clients find you. Embed Calendly on your website so clients have open access, and be sure to include your Calendly link in your email signature. For high-priority clients, use Calendly for Chrome to open up more availability. The extension enables you to schedule one-off meetings quickly when the need arises.
When you're working with clients across the country (or across the globe), it's not always easy to navigate across time zones. You can avoid frustrating timing mismatches by taking advantage of Calendly's integrated features to facilitate communication. With automatic time zone detection, you can use Zoom, GoToMeeting and other web conferencing platforms without worrying about time zone math.
3. Collect payments upfront
One of the most difficult aspects of freelancing and independent consulting is chasing down payments. Unfortunately, you can't grow and thrive as a business owner without having solid billing strategies in place.
Take the pain out of invoicing by including your billing information and payment links in your meeting invitation. (For example, Calendly offers Stripe and PayPal integrations.) With this feature, your clients can submit a payment as soon as they schedule.
You may be concerned that requiring upfront payment will scare off your clients. Don’t be. The good news is that it will only scare away the ones who either aren't serious about your services or don't value them enough. It may sting to lose a client in the short term, but in the long term it frees you to attract clients who understand what you provide, and who are willing to pay what you're worth.
Attracting the right clients will help you avoid being among the 44% of freelancers who’ve had a client skip out on paying them. The clients who are the best fit for you tend to be easier to work with as well — a win-win for everyone.
Knowing you don't have to worry about getting paid for your work also frees up your mind to focus on being productive and creative. Without the burden of billing, you can reduce no-shows and connect with clients who are serious about your services.
4. Automate tasks to accomplish more
Don't let the minutiae of running your business drain your precious time and distract you from the work that drives growth. Offload as much of the administrative work as possible through automation. Calendly’s features help you make connections happen while continuing to stay on top of your business.
Set up email or text reminders to reduce no-shows. This feature also allows you to share meeting information like the location or web conferencing link, so you spend less time answering housekeeping questions. Having all of the details in one commonly accessible place reduces time lost to miscommunication and redundant follow-ups.
5. Protect your productive time
Besides wasting time doing jobs that could be automated, the biggest danger freelancers might face is being interrupted during their most productive work — or not having time to do any work at all. When you're in the zone, needless interruptions do more than just annoy you. They can also prevent your best ideas from ever coming to life.
It's vital to your success that you guard your productive time. Calendly helps you do this by providing features that prevent overscheduling. Use buffers to add extra time before or after an event to make sure you're ready for important meetings. When you’re trying to devote more time to deep work, use daily limits to cap the number of meetings you take per day.
Focus time where it matters most
Building productive and long-lasting partner and client relationships is more than just making sure you deliver good work. You have to make sure the clients you're working with are the right ones for your business, and your clients have to trust your skills and professionalism. Automating your workflow can help eliminate careless oversights that make you seem unreliable.
Calendly takes care of automating your scheduling procedures so you can focus on the parts of your business that can't be automated, such as connecting with clients and providing top-quality service. Making these high-value tasks your top priority will help you grow your business.
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